Adopt an Artifact

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center holds the world’s largest collection of Stowe manuscripts, furniture, and ephemera. While a portion of these items are on permanent display in the Stowe House, the rest needs proper housing and care.

You can help the Stowe Center conserve rare and historically significant artifacts by adopting your favorite. All funds raised from adoptions support the conservation, storage, and management of our vault and archives.

As an Adopt-an-Artifact donor, you:

  • are recognized for their support in both print and digital media for Adopt an Artifact.
  • will receive conservation status reports from time to time for the artifact you’ve selected, including before and after photos.

Artifacts currently up for adoption

 

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Table
Empire-style mahogany drop-leaf table, c. 1805

Provenance: owned by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Location: on permanent display in Calvin’s study

 

The only item of furniture Stowe received from her father Lyman Beecher, c. 1830. HBS used this table to write the beginning chapters of her best-selling novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Conservation needs: repair veneer deterioration and scratching.

Conservation funding……………………………………………………………………………………..$7,500

Text UTCTABLE to 44321 or visit the campaign page to support this artifact


 

Silk Pictorial
Watercolor on silk with silk embroidery, by Roxana Foote
Beecher, c. late 18th century

Provenance: gift of the Beecher family
Location: vault; special exhibits

 

 

Only four pieces by HBS’s mother, Roxana, are in existence, and this is the only one made with and on silk. The picture of two literary characters demonstrates Roxana’s talent as an artist. The rarity of this piece makes it significant; once properly conserved, it can be displayed on site and loaned to other museums.

Conservation needs: the piece as a whole needs to be stabilized; removal of existing mat; surface cleaning; testing of stains for reduction; contact humidification to flatten and improve alignment; stabilize splits in silk; attach to fabric support; and historically accurate frame.

Conservation funding………………………………………………………………………………..$5,000

Text ROXANA to 44321 or visit the campaign page to support this artifact


 

Dog Collar
Worn by Punch, a purebred pug, belonging to Stowe’s daughter Eliza, c. 1880s

Provenance: Stowe family
Location: vault; special exhibits

In manuscripts in the archives, numerous references are found about Stowe’s pet pugs – stories of them running down the stairs to greet visitors, of them living in the back parlor. Pugs were beloved pets here on Forest Street and an important part of the Stowe family story.
Conservation needs: stabilize frayed velvet; replace missing velvet; clean silver elements.

Conservation funding………………………………………………………………………………..$2,500

Text PUNCH to 44321 or visit the campaign page to support this artifact


 

Cherub Candelabra
White metal and brass candlestick purchased by HBS, c. 1855-1860

Provenance: owned by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Location: exhibit in Stowe House

 

This candelabra is in the form of small branches with a bird’s nest as the candle holder; an attached cherub climbs the tree. This is the sort of decorative item Stowe recommended to women in her book The American Woman’s Home.
Conservation needs: repair broken elements; clean and polish; reset the cherub.

Conservation funding………………………………………………………………………………..$1,250

Text CHERUB to 44321 or visit the campaign page to support this artifact


 


Caned side chairs

Set of 3, walnut, c. 1855-1860

Provenance: owned by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Location: exhibit in Stowe House

 

These chairs, with caned seats and abbreviated arms, are functional items Stowe recommended to women in her book The American Woman’s Home. They were kept in corners throughout the house and brought out for guests. Of only five known photos of the interior of the house while Harriet lived here, one of these can be seen in the background.
Conservation needs: repair scratches; surface clean; and polish.

Conservation funding………………………………………………………………………………..$1,000

Text CANED to 44321 or visit the campaign page to support this artifact