For planning purposes, it is greatly appreciated if you register for RJD programs. Registration and minimum bookings are required for certain programs.

Calendar – Lectures and Workshops are funded by the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Charitable Foundation 

EBT Card to Culture is a collaboration between the Mass Cultural Council and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Department of Transitional Assistance.

The RJD is happy to honor $3 admission for House Tours and 20% off program registration fees to all guests that present a valid EBT card. Call the Museum for more information and to learn more about the program! 



A Salute to Service • World War I Centennial Exhibit
Currently Open during Museum Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Although the United States did not enter WW I until 1917, young Americans volunteered as ambulance drivers to save French lives on the front line prior to our engagement. One of them was New Bedford resident William Rotch Bullard (1893-1953), grandson of William Rotch Jr., and father of Peter Bullard. Enjoy a small exhibit in the Upstairs Gallery featuring William’s military attire, diaries, photos and a collection of wartime sketches. William drove an ambulance for the Norton Harjes Ambulance Service with the French Army Section from July of 1916 to June of 1917. He then served with Section 61, Chefadjoint, from June to October of 1917 and was wounded at Verdun on August 20, 1917. He served with the French Army on Verdun (1916), Champagne, Chemin des Dames and Verdun (1917) fronts. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant, Field Artillery, Nov. 29, 1917, in France, and served with the 65th Artillery in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives and was promoted to First Lieutenant Oct. 11, 1918. Two related WW I talks are scheduled in March.

Sunday, February 25th • 4:00 pm • Concert
Violin Concert in the Parlors

The RJD and the New Bedford Symphony invite you to a special musical program featuring violinists Jesse Holstein and EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks. The museum parlors provide the perfect setting for a delectable smorgasbord of music for two violins featuring Leclair, Bartok, Prokofiev, Pleyel, and Telemann’s programmatic telling of Gulliver’s Travels. Jesse is an active recitalist and chamber musician, and concertmaster of the New Bedford Symphony. EmmaLee serves as principal second violinist of the New Bedford Symphony and as a busy chamber player, on stage in venues across the country.

Admission is $20; reservations required, as seating is limited. 508-997-1401 or

Thursday, March 8th • 6:00 pm • AHA! Evening
Albert Bierdstadt: An Artful New Bedford Legacy with Janice Hodson

Curator of Art at New Bedford Free Public Library, Janice Hodson will offer a presentation about New Bedford artist Albert Bierdstadt.  In 1858 he became the city’s most well-known artist, organizing an exhibit here that included fifteen of his own works that would have a lasting impact on the arts in New Bedford; no fee.

Monday, March 12th • 1:00 pm • Friends of the RJD Program
Arnold Mansion Tour

Nancy Crosby will be our host for a tour of the historic Arnold Mansion, built in 1821 by William Rotch Jr.’s daughter Sarah, and her husband James Arnold. This Federal Style home has undergone many changes over time, most dramatically when William’s nephew William J. Rotch inherited the property, and later as the headquarters of the Wamsutta Club. Learn about these changes and how efforts are being made to preserve this amazing New Bedford treasure. Meet at the Wamsutta Club, 427 County Street, at 1:00 pm. Friends of the RJD program; no fee.

Wednesday, March 21st • 7:00 pm • Lecture
Rose Garden Chronicles with Rosarian Stephen Scanniello

Picking the right rose for the right situation…”there is a rose for every garden, but not every rose is for every garden.” As we welcome spring and a new growing season, it’s time to prune and plant your roses. The garden restoration at the RJD is well underway and we are preparing to plant the beds. Buried under a pile of rose catalogs all winter, Stephen Scanniello has selected an array of rose varieties that will thrive in this garden and offer color throughout the season. He will discuss roses that require less spraying, while still producing beautiful roses for cutting and fragrance. Some of the varieties are brand new; get the “dirt” on them at this talk.

Members $12; non-members $15.

Sunday, March 25th • 4:00 pm • Lecture
World War I Flying Aces with Mark Wilkins

Flying was in its infancy and dangerous enough without the added element of combat – yet these young men climbed aboard their frail machines of canvas and wood and ascended skyward on a daily basis. By war’s end, the machines and tactics had evolved enough that airplanes became efficient killing machines. Join historian and writer Mark C. Wilkins for an illustrated talk about these remarkable pilots and their flying machines.

Pre-purchase tickets please at 508-997-1401 or, as seating is limited, members $12; non-members $15.

Thursday, March 29th • 2:00 pm • Talk and Tea with Peggi Medeiros
World War I: New Bedford and The Great War

World War I began in August of 1914 and although America did not enter the war until April of 1917, life in New Bedford had already changed forever. Edward Mandell Stone, a volunteer in the French Foreign Legion, is widely considered to be the first American to die. He was 27 years old and his parents were from New Bedford. The Grinnell family moved out of their County Street mansion and turned it over to the American Red Cross. The man who would found A.A. had his first drink there (he was stationed at Fort Rodman and invited to a number of parties there). The Easter Rising brought exiled speakers to New Bedford. John M. Bullard served in the war and kept an invaluable diary (currently on display in the RJD exhibit). Tea and rations served!

Members $12; non-members $15.

Monday, April 9th • 1:00 pm • Friends of the RJD Program
Tour and Talk at Buzzards Bay Coalition Headquarters

President of the Buzzards Bay Coalition Mark Rasmussen will provide a customized tour of their downtown New Bedford headquarters and an overview of their current projects including work to restore clean water, protect watershed lands, and engage the community. Attendees meet at 114 Front Street in New Bedford. Friends of the RJD program; no fee.

Thursday, April 12th • 6:00 pm • AHA! Evening  
Growing Heirloom Tomatoes with Bob Feingold

Bob has been growing heirloom tomatoes since the mid-eighties. He starts between 40-50 varieties in his greenhouse and sells about 1,800 plants for charity and grows about 200 plants to supply several restaurants and his roadside farm stand on Horseneck Road. His presentation will focus on the how and why of heirloom tomatoes and how these varieties and other heirloom veggies benefit the sustainability efforts. A slideshow and source material handouts will complement the discussion; no fee.


Saturday, April 14th • 9:00 am • Workshop
Rose Planting with Stephen Scanniello

We have over 150 new roses to plant in the RJD boxwood rose parterre. This is YOUR chance to be part of this great garden. You will learn the proper rose planting techniques from rosarian Stephen Scanniello who will oversee planting. Take pride in being part of this project and during the growing season, you can visit “your babies” and say “Yeah, I planted those!” Please be on time and bring gloves, and garden clippers and be prepared to work in the dirt!

Make a $20 donation in support of our rose garden renewal and take home a snazzy limited-edition RJD hat, compliments of AHEAD Hats.

Wednesday, April 18th • 7:00 pm • Lecture
Stories of Enslavement in Little Compton with Marjory Gomez O’Toole

Join Executive Director of the Little Compton Historical Society, Marjory Gomez O’Toole and author of the 2016 publication If Jane Should Want to Be Sold: Stories of Enslavement, Indenture and Freedom in Little Compton, Rhode Island. She will share the stories of Hannah, Jane, Sampson Shaw, Henry Manton, Moselle Gray and other local people of color impacted by New England’s 200-year-long practice of slavery, forced indenture and partial freedom. The stories will illuminate the strong ties between Little Compton, Westport, Dartmouth and New Bedford and focus on the very personal nature of bondage in the North. Ms. O’Toole’s research has focused on primary source documents and has returned the voices of 200 enslaved people of Native American and African American descent to the area’s local history. Books will be available for purchase.

Members $12; non-members $15.

Wednesday, May 2nd • 7:00 pm • Lecture
Special Homes of Fairhaven with Historian Beth Luey

Join Beth Luey, author of House Stories: The Meanings of Home in a New England Town, for a virtual tour of several historic homes in Fairhaven. Using letters, diaries, church and business records, and newspaper accounts, coupled with recollections of neighbors who knew them, Beth introduces a diverse cast of characters who lived in these houses at various times–among them a Japanese castaway, a self-made millionaire, a religious pioneer, and an entrepreneurial immigrant. Beth will also include information from her new book about notable historic houses in Massachusetts, including the RJD. Books will be available for purchase.

Members $12; non-members $15.

Monday, May 14th • 1:00 pm • Friends of the RJD Program
Old South Burying Ground Talk with Historian Kathryn Grover

Griffin Street Cemetery (sometimes called the Common or Old South Burying Ground) is the oldest surviving cemetery in New Bedford and the only one remaining in the city’s commercial core. Though it has suffered from decades of deferred or no maintenance, it contains the earliest grave markers in the city and the only surviving examples of the work of some of the region’s best-known early carvers. Griffin Street Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. This illustrated talk is drawn from research undertaken for the National Register nomination. Friends of the RJD program; no fee.

Tuesday, May 15th • 7:00 pm • Concert
Annual RJD Student Jazz Fest

The Museum will host its annual evening of jazz under the terrace tent featuring the area’s premier high school and middle school jazz bands. Enjoy a broad range of musical styles—from big band swing to upbeat Latin jazz, as the students showcase their energy, style and musical talent. Seating provided; the concert will be held rain or shine; no fee.

Saturday, May 19th • 10:00 am • Workshop
Create a Silk Scarf with Susan Czernicka

Indigo dye was the source of the blue coloration of denim jeans, Civil War uniforms, and the stripes in our flag. Susan Czernicka, a textile artist working with indigo dye, will give an illustrated talk about the history of indigo and a demonstration of her shibori technique on dying silk scarves, before guiding participants in trying their hand at dying a scarf to take home in this two-hour workshop in the Coachman’s House.

All materials included: $35 per person.


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