Author Archives: mansionmusings

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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More than Summer Style: An 1840s Straw Bonnet

  Nineteenth-century fashion editors in Paris, London, Philadelphia, and New York loved to write about straw bonnets. Why all the chatter? This charming headgear was a spring and summer favorite for decades. The female population relished the thrill of buying … Continue reading

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Sea Breezes and Business as Usual: Mayor La Guardia’s Summer City Hall, 1936

New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia smiled broadly at photographers as his motorcade reached the historic Bartow mansion at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 1936. The diminutive dynamo arrived for his official duties at the new summer city … Continue reading

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