CLARA ENDICOTT SEARS, 1863-1960
Born into an affluent Yankee family, Clara Endicott Sears devoted her life to literature, historic preservation and philanthropy. Among her many accomplishments was the establishment of the Fruitlands Museum in 1914 at her summer estate in Harvard, Massachusetts.
Named for a farmhouse on the property that housed the failed Transcendentalist community promoted by Bronson Alcott, father of author Lousia May Alcott, Fruitlands served as a foundation for Sears exploration of art and culture including that of utopian communities. She purchased the first building built by the Harvard Shaker community, a 1794 office building and moved it to her property where it was incorporated into the museum in 1922.
Sears worked with Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University to acquire a Native American collection as well as a collection of early 19th century primitive portraits. She also collected Hudson River School paintings and other America folk art and built a gallery to display her collection in 1939.
An accomplished author, Sears was awarded a gold medal by the National Society of New England Women in 1942.
Source: Wikipedia (photo)