In Fall 2023, the Colgate University museum studies seminar MUSE 310 Curating Public History: Utopia, Sex and Silver at the Oneida Community Mansion House began a semester-long inquiry researching the history, philosophy, and material culture of Oneida Community and Oneida Ltd. As their final project, student exhibition teams produced five installations that ask important questions about the Community and its legacies, including:

  • How did the Oneida Community's sexual practices offer Community members freedoms and privileges? Why did outsiders see them as a threat to traditional social values?

  • What was daily life like for women and children in the Mansion House?

  • What can the unique marks left by Oneida Community women on everyday objects tell us about their experiences?

  • Since the mid-nineteenth century, visitors have always been welcomed to the Oneida Community Mansion House. Who were they? How were they welcomed? What did they see?

  • How did the teachings of Oneida Community founder John Humphrey Noyes shape the economic practices of the original community? What impact did they have on the silverware company that emerged later?