Massachusetts Historical Society


Current Exhibition

Boston Views: Through the Lens of Arthur A. Shurcliff


Views of Boston captured on glass.

Arthur Asahel Shurcliff (1870–1957), a landscape architect, created a collection of 1,295 glass lantern slides that depict cityscapes and buildings in Boston during the first decades of the 20th century, and much more. In addition to the views of Boston reproduced here, there are slides of historical maps and paintings, plans and drawings created by Shurcliff to illustrate urban growth and land use, and early aerial photographs of Boston and other cities. Both the content and arrangement of the collection suggest that Shurcliff used the lantern slides to illustrate presentations to state and city planning boards, as well as lectures before educational and civic organizations.

Although Shurcliff discussed visiting sites to take photographs and creating lantern slides in his diaries, it is not possible to identify specific slides as his personal work, rather than photographs taken by others or commercially reproduced. 

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Gallery Hours:

Visit hours and admission for hours and closings due to holidays and other events.

Monday, and Wednesday through Friday, from 10:00 AM to 4:45 PM
Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:45 PM (galleries open at 12:00 PM on the second Tuesday of the month)
Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Please note: the last admission will be 45 minutes prior to closing.

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