Nylander, Jane C. 1938-

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NYLANDER, Jane C. 1938-

PERSONAL: Born January 27, 1938, in Cleveland, OH; daughter of James Merritt (a paperboard manufacturer) and Jeannette (a homemaker) Cayford; married Daniel Harris Giffen, November 30, 1964 (divorced, June, 1970); married Richard Conrad Nylander (a museum curator), July 8, 1972; children: (first marriage) Sarah Louise, Thomas Harris; (second marriage) Timothy Frost. Education: Brown University, A.B. (with distinction), 1959; University of Delaware, M.A., 1961.

ADDRESSES: Home—17 Franklin St., Portsmouth, NH 03801.

CAREER: Historical Society of York County, York, PA, curator, 1961-62; New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, curator, 1962-69; Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA, curator of ceramics and textiles, 1969-84, senior curator, 1985-86; Strawbery Banke, Inc., Portsmouth, NH, director, 1986-92; Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston, MA, director, 1992-93, president, 1993-2002. New England College, instructor, 1963-64; Monadnock Community College, instructor, 1964-68; Boston University, adjunct associate professor, 1978-85, adjunct professor, 1993—; University of New Hampshire, adjunct assistant professor, 1987-92. Worcester Historical Museum, trustee, 1978-84; Historic Deerfield, Inc., trustee, 1981—, head of Museum Committee, 1992-94, head of strategic planning committee, 2003—; Jones Museum, trustee, 1986-88; Portsmouth Athenaeum, trustee, 1987-90; Decorative Arts Trust, member of board of governors, 1991—; Wentworth-Coolidge advisory committee, member, 1991—; Historic Massachusetts, Inc., member of board of directors, 1992-93; Bentley College, member of board of advisers of New England Heritage Center, 1993-2001. Committee to Preserve Historic Flags Belonging to the State of New Hampshire, member, 1991-92; lecturer on New England social history and domestic life; consultant to local and national museums.

MEMBER: American Antiquarian Society, American Association of Museums, American Association for State and Local History, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Costume Society of America (member of board of directors, 1977-83; member of regional board of directors, 1984-85), National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Warner House Association, Costume Society (England), New England Historic Genealogical Society, Colonial Society of Massachusetts (member of council, 1993-95), New Hampshire Historical Society, Japan-America Society of New Hampshire (member of board of directors, 1988-92), Friends of Historic Deerfield, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Society of Winterthur Graduates.

AWARDS, HONORS: Charles F. Montgomery Award, Decorative Arts Society, 1985, for contribution to the book The Great River; Distinguished Sophomore Book Prize from Boston University, 1993, for Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860; Doctor of Fine Arts, New England College, 1994; Roger and Ann Webb Award, Historic Massachusetts, 1995 (with Richard C. Nylander); John F. Ayer Award, Bay State Historical League, 2002; Boston History Award, Bostonian Society, 2002.


Fabrics for Historic Buildings: A Guide to Selecting Reproduction Fabrics, Preservation Press (Washington, DC), 1977, 5th edition, John Wiley (New York, NY), 1995.

Our Own Snug Fireside: Image and Reality in the New England Home, 1750-1860, Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Diane Viera) Windows on the Past: Four Centuries of New England Homes, Bullfinch Press (Boston, MA), 2000.

Contributor to The Great River, Wadsworth Atheneum, 1985; Upholstery in America and Europe, Norton (New York, NY), 1987; An American Sampler: Folk Art from the Shelburne Museum, National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), 1987; and The Art of Family (Boston, MA), 2002. Contributor of articles and reviews to history, museum, and antique journals, including Connoisseur, Early American Life, Historic Preservation, Historical New Hampshire, Antiques, and Old Time New England.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A study of collecting and exhibiting decorative arts in nineteenth-century New England.

SIDELIGHTS: Jane C. Nylander is a specialist on domestic life in New England from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. As president of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, she was charged with acquiring and maintaining a museum and library of artifacts and written materials that cover every aspect of life in pre-Civil War era communities. Nylander presents the results of her research into colonial life in her book Our Own Snug Fireside: Image and Reality in the New England Home. This volume draws upon old diaries and letters, advertising billets, artifacts, and other sources to reconstruct daily routines in middle-class and upper-middle-class households prior to the Civil War. Although the book was primarily meant as a scholarly resource, the widespread interest in recreating history accurately brought more readers to the work. According to Denise Perry Donavin in Booklist, Nylander's "approach is absorbing," while the photographs and period art work "add pizzazz and authenticity." A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Our Own Snug Fireside a "delightfully intimate portrayal of New England home life."



American Historical Review, December, 1994, Jan Lewis, review of Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860, p. 1751.

Booklist, March 15, 1993, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Our Own Snug Fireside, p. 1294.

Journal of American History, June, 1994, Karin Calvert, review of Our Own Snug Fireside, p. 246.

New York Times Book Review, August 29, 1993, Martha Saxton, review of Our Own Snug Fireside, p. 16.

Publishers Weekly, February 22, 1993, review of Our Own Snug Fireside, p. 73.


Yale University Press,http://www.yale.edu/ (April 9, 2003), synopsis and reviews of Our Own Snug Fireside.