Author Archives: mansionmusings

Dashing Through the Snow! Sleigh Riding in the 19th Century

“Ah! This looks like winter!” Snow started to fall in New York City at around two o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, January 21, 1846. It snowed hard all day, “and it wasn’t any of your common, pin-feather snow but … Continue reading

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Cheerful and Bright (and Smoky): Staying Warm in 19th-Century American Homes

Stories about the effects of cold weather in the 19th century are plentiful. Ink sometimes froze. Pitchers cracked and broke overnight when the water in them turned to ice. Bitterly cold wind made its way through poorly sealed windows and … Continue reading

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If This Mahogany Desk Could Talk: A Colorful Tale of Aaron Burr and His Wives

An unpretentious mahogany desk from the 1830s might easily go unnoticed in Bartow-Pell’s upstairs parlor. Although this ordinary piece is of little interest to connoisseurs of fine furniture, the fact that it belonged to the tempestuous patriot Aaron Burr definitely … Continue reading

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George Inness’s The Woodchoppers (1858) on Display at Bartow-Pell

I wrote recently about Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Summer Landscape (1853). Today I would like to consider The Woodchoppers (1858), a landscape painting by Cropsey’s contemporary George Inness (1825–1894), another artist who came of age during the heyday of the Hudson … Continue reading

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Hats, Gloves, and Pearls: Fashion Promenade in the Garden, 1960

Runway twirls and a peek of frilly petticoats. Pearls. Women in hats and gloves. And a radiant bride in a tulle veil, of course. On a gloriously sunny Wednesday in May 1960, smiling models—most of them wearing gloves, the era’s … Continue reading

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Hudson River School Landscapes on Display at Bartow-Pell

The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum collection was recently enriched by the addition of two Hudson River landscape paintings on loan from the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, namely Summer Landscape (1853) by Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823–1900) and The Woodchoppers (1858) by George Inness (1825–1894). … Continue reading

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Classical Reflections: Recent Gifts from Richard T. Button

A monumental giltwood mirror from about 1840, which has now been installed in Bartow-Pell’s entrance hall, may be the largest known documented New York mirror of the first half of the 19th century. This splendid piece was recently given to … Continue reading

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