Views of Framingham’s Past: People, Places, & Things

View of Framingham Centre, 1808 by Daniel Bell

Exhibit hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
November 17th through March 13th
Edgell Memorial Library, 3 Oak Street

Come learn about the stories behind selected artwork from the Framingham History Center’s collections. This temporary exhibition is peppered with old favorites, rarely-seen gems, and maybe even a few surprises.  
Free for FHC Members, $5.00 for non-members.

Women’s History Month Feature: Framingham’s Daring Dozen

Sunday, March 25th
2:00 p.m.
Edgell Memorial Library

In 2003, former Town Historian Steve Herring created a list of Framingham women whom he felt should be recognized as part of a hypothetical Framingham Women’s Memorial, or what we might now think of as a Women’s Hall of Fame.  Considering 300 years of history, he narrowed his list to 10 women of “great talent, ability, and strength.” Read more >>

$9,830 MutualOne Grant Will Help Framingham History Center Use Technology To Link To Past


FRAMINGHAM – A recent $9,830 grant from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation to the Framingham History Center will bring the community’s past to life with history-focused education programs including support of a new Framingham History Center mobile app available to the general public including students at all levels.

The grant will be used to expand the Center’s core educational programming – supporting tours for 700 third graders, as well as Civil War programming for the entire 8th grade at the Cameron Middle School to enhance their new Civil War social studies unit.

New programming will also be created for local scouting troops, preschools, and other educational institutions, according to Annie Murphy, Executive Director of the Framingham History Center.

“Framingham has a rich history, and we are pleased to help bring that history alive for today’s students,” said Robert P. Lamprey, chair of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, “We are happy to endorse and sponsor this novel educational approach to learning.”

The $9,830 grant to the Framingham History Center was among awards totaling $68,330 in the Foundation’s most recent round of funding.

Established in 1998 as the philanthropic arm of MutualOne Bank, the MutualOne Charitable Foundation has since donated over $3.8 million to charitable, educational, and civic initiatives that improve and enrich the quality of life in Framingham, Natick, and surrounding communities.

MutualOne Bank, which operates under an 1889 state charter, has full-service offices at 828 Concord Street and One Lincoln Street in Framingham and at 49 Main Street in Natick, a Commercial Loan Center at 160 Cochituate Road in Framingham, and a Residential Loan Center at 49 Main Street in Natick.

Photo courtesy

Celebrating MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s recent grant are (from left) Jean Hoskins, manager of MutualOne Bank’s Lincoln Street, Framingham office; Framingham History Center Executive Director Annie Murphy; Laura Stagliola, museum assistant & education coordinator at Framingham History Center; and Susan Acton, MutualOne Charitable Foundation board member.

A Critical Time for Danforth Art at Town Meeting

October 11, 2017

Dear friends:

As a part of our Framingham History Center community, you recognize the value of our local heritage and culture. For that reason, we hope to enlist your support for our neighbor, Danforth Art Museum/School.  We need your help to ensure that this exceptional cultural organization stays in Framingham.

A critical vote is coming up at Framingham’s final Town Meeting on October 17th.  It will determine whether the town will give up its right of first refusal to buy the Jonathan Maynard Building and allow Framingham State University to purchase the building as part of a proposed merger with the Danforth.  We ask you to contact your Town Meeting members and voice your support for the survival of the Danforth.  

Framingham will lose one of its most important cultural assets if Town Meeting votes to purchase the Maynard building rather than allow its sale. Please urge your Town Meeting member to vote “no” on article #1.

As a Centre Common neighbor, we have seen, over the years, that the town has been unable to come up with a viable use for this historic property, nor is it financially possible for the town to do the renovations required. We were delighted by the news that the Danforth was moving in. 

Their arrival was the final piece to fulfill our dream of establishing a Centre Common Cultural District that would draw visitors from Framingham and beyond.  A Centre Common Cultural District would include the Framingham History Center’s three historic buildings, Danforth Art Museum/School, Plymouth Church, First Parish and Baptist churches, Framingham State University and local businesses and restaurants. 

Natick, Marlborough, Maynard, Concord, and now Arlington have designated Cultural Districts which highlight local arts, history, and promote local businesses and tourism. These districts become destinations that fuel local creative economies and focus the attention of local residents who often overlook the cultural gems they have in their back yards. 

The Town of Framingham sold the Jonathan Maynard Building to the Danforth in 2014 and it is imperative that it allow the Danforth to sell the building to Framingham State University as part of a proposed merger between the two entities. 

Highlights of this merger include:

  • FSU will immediately invest $4.5 million dollars to purchase and renovate the building
  • The Danforth Art Museum will re-open in January 2019 at the Maynard Building
  • The Danforth Art School will remain in operation at the Maynard Building
  • Select FSU studio art classes will also be located at the Maynard Building

By voting NO to purchasing this building back and thereby allowing the merger proceed, the Town would:

  • Enable Danforth to pay off its mortgage to the Town of Framingham.
  • Continue a 44 year community legacy of collecting, creating and exhibiting art in Framingham.
  • Keep the Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller Collection * and other nationally recognized art in Framingham.
  • Create the first State University art museum in the Commonwealth in Framingham.

On a recent tour of the Maynard Building with the Danforth’s Executive Director, Debra Petke, it was easy to imagine the light-filled rooms buzzing with FSU students, summer campers, and local residents both young and old in art studios and exhibition space.  The history of the building as a Framingham school did not escape me nor did its location on our iconic New England town common. 

As we evolve into the City of Framingham, I urge you to call your Town Meeting members today (click here for list) and ask them to make this last act of Town Meeting one that will preserve two cultural treasures — the Danforth and the Jonathan Maynard Building —  on our Centre Common which is and always has been a place of reflection and beauty.

Thank you,

Annie Murphy, Executive Director


*Meta Fuller was one of the first African American female sculptors of importance in the country and she was from Framingham. If the Danforth closes, which it will if this merger does not succeed, this collection, and all the other art, will be gone from Framingham forever.