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 FREE 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! Click here for full details –

Tuesday, January 22, 5:30 pm
Building a Legacy: Rotch Family Houses in New Bedford
Bruce Barnes

In the years preceding the American Revolution when the Rotch Family moved its commercial whaling enterprise to Bedford Village, modern New Bedford was born. Their arrival transformed the small, farming community into a thriving seaport town. Over time, they built a series of stately homes that remain hallmarks of the city’s distinguished cultural and architectural history. This illustrated program will highlight those buildings.  

$10 RJD Members / $12 Public

Sunday, February 3, 2:00 pm
In partnership with NBSO
Super Bowl Sunday Violin Recital
(We promise it will be done long before kickoff!)

New Bedford Symphony concertmaster Jesse Holstein and pianist Jeff Louie will present a recital of violin/keyboard music from the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries.  Works will include Mozart’s charming two-movement sonata in G-major, K. 301, Beethoven’s mighty “Kreutzer Sonata,” Maurice Ravel’s Magyar showpiece, “Tzigane.” What better tailgating party than an early afternoon recital of great music?

Tickets: $20 RJD Members / $25 Public

Wednesday, February 13, 5:30 pm
Sweethearts at Sea: Love and Marriage in the Age of Sail
Amanda Goodheart Parks, Ph.D.

During the nineteenth century, when Yankee whale oil lit the world, men from more than thirty New England communities sailed the seven seas in the pursuit of whales, leaving their families behind for up to five years at a time. Meanwhile, new philosophies encouraging companionate marriages became popular in New England society. The combination of these historical phenomena meant men and women in nineteenth century New England whaling communities faced the daunting prospect of spending most of their married lives apart. That is until the 1840s, when a small group of married couples defied social and industrial tradition by going to sea together aboard whale ships. This lecture will focus on one of these remarkable couples— Captain John and Elizabeth Marble of Fall River, Massachusetts— using the letters and journals they left behind to tell a story of love, life, and loss at sea. 

Single Admission: $10 RJD Members / $12 Public
Romance Package (with chocolates & bubbles): $25/person, $40/couple

Thursday, February 14, 5:30 pm
AHA Night at the RJD: Students Respond to New Bedford
Bristol Community College Students

Bristol students will share their individual research projects on a variety of topics related to Downtown New Bedford. Predicated on the pedagogy of “city as text,” students embrace the city as a distinctive learning environment and consider the relationship between theory and practice in selected methods of urban fieldwork.


Thursday, March 14, 5:30 pm
AHA Night at the RJD: Funky Fashion Exhibition Tour
Blair Walker

Fashions change every season, and every year. Outdated style stands out in a crowd, but so does that fashion oddity, leaving the viewer with that question: “what were they thinking?” RJD Curator, Blair Walker, will talk about her latest exhibition.

Blair Walker is the Curator of Manager of Collections at the RJD.  In her role, she researches and ensures the proper care and handling of all museum collections, including the interior of the house. She provides interpretive materials for all objects on display and curates temporary and special exhibitions twice yearly.


Tuesday, March 19, 5:30 pm
The Art of Appraising: From Connoisseur to Scientist
Allyson Lee

Every object tells a story that can be revealed through research and examination.  Join fine art expert and appraiser, Allyson Lee, as she walks through the appraisal examination process: a balance of connoisseurship and scientific method. Lee will share several interesting stories from the field of art appraising. Topics will also include what to look for and questions to ask before buying a work of art, the difference between buying and selling in the auction verses the retail market, and when it is necessary to engage an appraiser. 

Allyson Lee has over fifteen years of art appraisal experience, holds a Master of Arts Degree in Art from Eastern Illinois University, and has passed the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice courses (USPAP), as well as the four course educational series for Personal Property Appraisers administered by the American Society of Appraisers.

$10 RJD Members / $12 Public

Sunday, March 31, 2:00 pm
Music of the Period
Seaglass Theater

The house and residents at 396 County span decades: 1834 to 1981. This concert explores music across the periods, in the way it might have been experienced: the parlors of someone’s home.  Musicians will provide additional context to each work performed in this intimate setting.

Tickets: $20 RJD Members / $25 Public

Thursday, April 11, 5:30 pm
AHA Night at the RJD: Sustainable Southcoast
Bristol Community College Students

Students from Bristol will present their research and recent projects on the sustainability of our region.


Tuesday, April 16, 5:30 pm
Discovering ECJ        
Peggi Medeiros

Of the three men who have owned 396 County Street, Captain Edward Coffin Jones is the least known. New research into letters, logs and ledgers make it possible to discover this truly extraordinary man.

$10 RJD Members / $12 Public

Sunday, April 28, 2:00 pm
An Afternoon of Chamber Music at the RJD
In partnership with NBSO

Join NBSO musicians Jesse Holstein and Peter Zay for an early afternoon concert of music for violin and cello. The program opens with the genial Mozart Sonata for Violin and Viola, K. 423 (arranged for violin and cello) followed by the fascinating and inventive Duo by the 20th Century Hungarian composer, educator, and ethnomusicologist Zoltan Kodaly. The lush “Meditation” from the opera “Thais” by French composer Jules Massenet followed by the virtuosic Passacaglia by Handel and arranged by the Norwegian violinist/conductor/composer Johan Halvorsen will round out the program.  

Tickets: $20 RJD Members / $25 Public

Friday, May 3
Reading with Horizon Glass Poetry Group

Enjoy a night of original works written and read by local poets. The RJD’s own Rick Finneran will emcee as the group celebrates their second publication, “Journeys and Destinations”.


Thursday, May 9, 5:30 pm
AHA Night at the RJD: Carriage Ride Down County
Beth Luey

The Rotch-Jones-Duff House is but one example of a house that tells several stories over time. The three generations of the Adams family that lived in their homes in Quincy had very different experiences, as did the six generations who lived in the Fairbanks House in Dedham. The Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston reflects the history of a whole neighborhood. These stories all come from Luey’s new book, At Home: Historic Houses of Eastern Massachusetts.


Tuesday, May 21, 7:00 pm
Jazz Concert

Featuring the music of local middle and high schools.


Thursday, June 13, 5:30 pm
AHA Night at the RJD: Tales from the Trails
Rick Finneran, Chris Stockdale

Two aficionados discuss on long-distance hiking from both personal and technical perspectives. Rick Finneran and Chris Stockdale are both avid hikers who met at Rick’s previous talk about hiking at the RJD. Rick is Manager of Facilities at the RJD.  



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