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The Legend of Seven Gables – New England Art Print


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On my last trip to Boston, I discovered that Salem was an easy train ride away! With it’s rich history, Salem had always been on the increasingly-large list of places I wanted to see. That was in no small part due to Salem’s literary heritage. This print of the famous House Of The seven Gables is Exhibit A!

This historic colonial home was made legendary by American writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne. I visited The House of The Seven Gables in the midst of winter which meant that I practically had the place to myself as you can see from this print. I suspect it would be hard to get a scene quite so empty of people during the summer. The season also gave me a very atmospheric scene with all the bare trees reaching into the skies around the tops of Seven Gables.

The history of the House of The Seven Gables turns out to be as rich as Salem’s. It looked nothing like it does now in Hawthorne’s time. By his era, tastes had changed, and the House of The Seven Gables had been remodeled. Not least of which, it no longer had seven gables at all! Hawthorne’s landmark book was actually based on memories of a cousin who lived there.

Ironically, the House of The Seven Gables today looks neither as it did in Hawthorne’s day nor as it did originally. Around a 100 years ago, the Salem landmark was slated to be demolished. At the last minute, it was saved by an enterprising New England lady who used the House Of The Seven Gables as a museum to raise money for charity. In the years that followed, the house was remodeled into what could best be described as romanticized colonial. Like so many medieval buildings remodeled in the Victorian Gothic revival period, it wasn’t historically accurate, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.

Accurate or not, this print captures the Salem landmark at its moody best. This has been one of my most popular Salem prints for some time now. I’m sure a mixture of people find this black and white print appealing. It no doubt interests both people who have visited Salem as well as people who love literature. And, of course, I’m sure there are people who simply love the rich New England feel of the architecture in this print.

Note: The House of Seven Gables is part of the Derby Street Historic District.


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