Members Garden Party
Jun 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Members Garden Party
Sunday, June 3
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Salem Athenæum

337 Essex Street | Salem, MA

$25 per person |  Under 21 Free
Don your hat, reconnect with old friends and make new at the annual
Members Garden Party!
Live music, picnic fare, and open bar included.


We encourage you to bring a friend to introduce to the Athenaeum. The $25 admission fee may be applied toward the cost of a new membership.

We look forward to seeing you at the party!
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer,
please contact Jean Marie.
Interactions between Poetry and Painting: Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Final lecture in the series: Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

For those who wish to read in preparation for the lecture, Dr. Schopf recommends reading the following poems by Tennyson.

“The Lady of Shalott”
“Morte d’Arthur”
  Idylls of the King
These poems can be found online at PoetryFoundation.org
(Please note: the Idylls consists of 12 lengthy narrative poems, a Victorian re-telling of the Arthurian tales; participants can read selectively in them or just a summary, both of which are available online.)


In this three-lecture series, Dr. Sue Weaver Schopf will explore questions that have often been asked in studies of the sister arts: What can poetry express that painting cannot? What can painting express that poetry cannot? And what are the artistic possibilities when painting and poetry work in tandem to convey ideas and express emotion?

William Blake and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were both painters and poets, who experimented with the potential of each medium. But when they began to illustrate their poetry, they discovered the full range of expression possible when the visual and verbal arts function as compliments to each other.

Among the many poems of the 19th century, none were more frequently illustrated than those by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. What drew artists to his poetry, and how did their paintings enhance or further elucidate the author’s works? These interesting dynamics will be the subject of separate lectures on April 20 (Blake), May 16 (Rossetti), and June 6 (Tennyson). A list of poems to be considered will be made available before each lecture.

Sue Weaver Schopf is Distinguished Service Lecturer and retired Associate Dean at the Harvard Extension School. She has served on the board of the Salem Athenaeum and is a member the Program Committee.

New Members Night
Jun 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Please join us for an orientation and behind-the-scenes tour of the Salem Athenaeum. If you are a new, long-time, or prospective  member, this tour will orient you to the Athenaeum building, include an overview of our history, mission, and outline current services and membership benefits.
Enduring Hawthorne: A Marathon Reading of “The Scarlet Letter”
Jul 7 @ 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Starting at 9:00 AM on Saturday, July 7th, and running until about 7:00 PM that evening, Salem Maritime National Historic Site will be hosting “Enduring Hawthorne: A Marathon Reading of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.”

With the help of many, many volunteers we will read The Scarlet Letter from beginning to end.

Join us from the beginning or stop by to listen as the novel progresses. Watch for special “Hawthorne’s Custom House” tour and the opportunity to make your own scarlet letter to publicly state your personal sins.

We ask everyone interested in helping to read to please email gavin_gardner@nps.gov. He will be pulling together the volunteer list and organizing a planning meeting later in June to brief all of the readers. Let us know by June 15 if you are interested in volunteering for a five minute reading slot.

Salon: “Nantaska” with Crocker Snow, Jr.
Jul 13 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

The Summer Salon series kicks off with Crocker Snow Jr., who will be speaking about his latest book, Nantaska: The Minnow and the Whale.

An award-winning journalist, Crocker Snow, Jr., a native New Englander and veteran international journalist, spent 50 years as a foreign correspondent and editor. After serving as Managing Editor of The Boston Globe in the 1970s, he was founding editor of The World Paper from 1979 to 2001, a monthly report of original news and analysis that appeared in seven languages in twenty-seven countries. From 2002-14, Snow, Jr. was the director of Tufts University’s Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he specialized in Middle East media as well as on the global impact of climate change and the warming Arctic.

Snow has long observed Nantucket and Alaska through family, friends and as a matter of professional interest in his work. Author of the 2016 book, Muskeget: Raw, Restless, Relentless Island, in NANTASKA he unites the two—”Nan-Taska”—and compares Nantucket and Alaska in fresh ways that kindle imagination and insight. Brimming with lively stories, people and anecdotes, the book reveals startling parallels between these two seemingly diverse lands. Beginning with their shared whaling histories, NANTASKA invigorates a multitude of topics on cultural connections shaped through vital climate change issues—with deep ties to people, places, weather and environment—and highlights critical community involvement as well as the mutual relationship to the sea and its impact on human lives and legacies.

Lavishly and colorfully illustrated, NANTASKA comes alive with vivid photographs from celebrated Inupiat photographer Brian Adams from Gridwood, Alaska, author of the award-winning I Am Alaskan photo book. Adams works with the Anchorage Museum and has covered the peoples, resources and wilds of Alaska throughout his professional life. In November, 2017, he explored Nantucket with his Leica camera in pursuit of parallel photographic studies to accompany Crocker Snow’s NANTASKA.

John Kerry, former US Senator/Massachusetts, Secretary of State under the Obama Administration, and longtime Snow family friend, has enthusiastically endorsed NANTASKA.

Salon: Greenlawn—There Is Always More to the Stories
Jul 20 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Talk by Polly Wilbert and Pat Donahue
Members, Friends of Greenlawn

Polly and Pat, who together have led eight tours of Greenlawn Cemetery, will share what they’ve learned during Greenlawn research about wealthy benefactor Walter Scott Dickson, who gave Dickson Memorial Chapel and its adjacent conservatory to the city in memory of his wife Georgianna; the Rev. Jacob Stroyer, a slave from South Carolina, who after the Civil War ministered to blacks in Salem as the founder and preacher of the Salem Colored Mission; and Malcolm Harrison Miller, author of 3,500 poems in 54 mostly self-published books, who recently became the subject of a documentary film about his life and work.

Salon: Tea with Alice B. (a theatrical tea party)
Jul 27 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

As a supplement to our Summer Exhibition, Food for Thought, we invite you to partake in an interactive biographical performance with Agatha Morrell as the author, muse, and minor celebrity: Alice B. Toklas.

Agatha will share stories, anecdotes and recipes from Alice’s life and times while she resided at 27 Rue de Fleurs with her lifelong companion, Gertrude Stein.

The focus of the performance will be the early heady days of the modernist movement in arts and literature in Paris commencing in 1907, continuing through the war years (1914-1918) and ending with introducing the ‘lost generation’ of writers in the 1920’s.

Alice was an accomplished cook and collector of recipes. She also did needlework, loved hats and was a keen gardener.

Light refreshments will be served.

Aug 3 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

HER STORY IS supports artistic conversations, exchanges, and creation among female US and Iraqi artists. In December 2017, several women poets, playwrights, painters, and film-makers from America and from Iraq gathered in Dubai as part of the HER STORY IS project in order to collaborate, share ideas, and form lasting friendships across cultural borders.  Peabody-based poet Jennifer Jean, will share her experiences as a 2017 HER STORY IS Fellow, and will present and discuss creative works which resulted from the amazing time she spent with her Iraqi colleagues.

Jennifer Jean is a poet, educator, activist, and consummate “literary citizen.” Her debut poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table); her poetry chapbooks include: The Archivist, and In the War. Jennifer’s newest manuscript, titled Object, was a finalist for the 2016 Green Mountains Review Book Prize. Other honors include: a 2018 Disquiet FLAD Fellowship; a 2017 Her Story Is residency, where she worked with Iraqi women artists in Dubai; a 2016 Good Bones Prize; and, a 2013 Ambassador for Peace Award for her activism in the arts. As well, her poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in: Poetry Magazine, Waxwing Journal, Rattle Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Denver Quarterly, Mud City Journal, Solstice, Pangyrus, and more. She is Managing Editor of Talking Writing Magazine, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artists Retreats. Jennifer teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to trauma survivors, and she teaches writing at Boston-area universities.

Farmers Market
Aug 16 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Stop by the Salem Athenaeum’s stall at this week’s Farmers Market for a small preview of our Annual Book Sale in September as well as information about membership and upcoming programs and events.

Salon: Perspectives on Frankenstein
Aug 17 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

*** Limited seating.***

Please arrive early to ensure that you have a seat.


Derek Belanger will discuss Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of its publication this year.

Throughout Derek’s academic career, Frankenstein has continually surfaced as both a masterpiece and a teaching tool. It was by way of this classic that he was first admitted to the graduate program in literature at Harvard Extension. Several papers and perspectives on the same have bolstered his studies in literary criticism as he currently writes his masters thesis.

In honor of this important book’s bicentennial year, he will share his experience with Frankenstein in the many forms by which he has studied the work, and offer a perspective on the realities of graduate studies.

In the end, perspectives arise through discussion—he invites us all to join him in the creation of the new on this 200th anniversary.

Readers of all backgrounds are welcome to attend.