Merchant's House Museum

Merchant's House Museum Life at Home in Mid-19th Century New York City www.merchantshouse.org
Built in 1832, the Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only 19th century home preserved intact, with original family furnishings and personal belongings.
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A unique survivor of Old New York, the House offers a rare and intimate glimpse of how a prosperous merchant family and their four Irish servants lived from 1835 to 1865, when New York grew from seaport to thriving metropolis. "The distinction of the Merchant's House -- and it is a powerful one -- is that it is the real thing. One simply walks through the beautiful doorway into another time and place in New York." The New York Times

Operating as usual

Check out 10 "secrets" about the Merchant's House (how many did you know??) and don't forget to join us at Untapped New ...
03/29/2021
Untapped New York

Check out 10 "secrets" about the Merchant's House (how many did you know??) and don't forget to join us at Untapped New York for a virtual house tour on April 14! See their post for details!

Uncover the secrets of NYC's Merchant's House Museum!

For the Tredwells' servants, particularly the cook and her assistant, Monday was the day to perform the Herculean task o...
03/29/2021

For the Tredwells' servants, particularly the cook and her assistant, Monday was the day to perform the Herculean task of doing the laundry. Hence Tredwell Times in Art presents “Monday Morning,” a 1912 painting by Australian artist Vida Lacey, at @queenslandartgallery. Although this painting depicts women who are not servants, I chose it because the kitchen tubs shown are almost identical to the ones in the Tredwell kitchen. The Tredwells were wealthy enough to to afford a house with a 4,000 gallon cistern in the backyard, which supplied them with the rainwater they used to do the laundry. The clothing soak in the tub at left; the woman then scrubs them with a large cake of soap, after which they are boiled and rinsed. The clothing and linens would then be wrung and dried outside on large white sheets, or hung to dry on the top floor on rainy days. This chore took hours and was very labor-intensive. The women are too busy with their chore to acknowledge the viewer. It is no wonder, since the cook was also tasked with preparing meals and baking for the family. Lahey (1882-1968), who studied painting in London and Paris, exhibited widely from 1902-1965. She was one of the first female artists in Australia to earn a living from her art. “Monday Morning” is her most famous painting. #tredwelltimesinart
#vidalahey #mondaymorning #irishservants #19thcenturylife #20thcenturyart #australianart #laundryday #washingday #tredwellfamily #merchantshouse

VIEW "My Contraband" here on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjXdiai54QJoin us Sunday for the next installmen...
03/26/2021

VIEW "My Contraband" here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjXdiai54Q

Join us Sunday for the next installment of "Women Who Dared!" This week, Museum Historian Ann Haddad reads “My Contraband” (1863) by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), in which a white nurse and her formerly-enslaved assistant work together to care for a dying patient during the Civil War.

Sunday, March 28, 4 p.m. – Streaming on YouTube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjXdiai54Q

"Women Who Dared" is a series of readings of 19th century short stories written by American women authors. Compiled and read by Museum Historian Ann Haddad, these stories reveal the harsh realities of women's lives in a male-dominated world, both inside the home and in society at large.

VIEW "My Contraband" on YouTube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjXdiai54QThis Sunday at 4 p.m., we continue our...
03/26/2021

VIEW "My Contraband" on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjXdiai54Q

This Sunday at 4 p.m., we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month and our reading series, “Women Who Dared: 19th Century American Women Writers,” with an unusual story by beloved author Louisa May Alcott, (as you’ve never read her before).

Famously known as the author of “Little Women,” and other novels for girls, Louisa (1832-1888), wrote the short story “My Contraband” in 1863 based on her experience serving as an army nurse in Georgetown during the Civil War one year prior. Did you know that Louisa and her family were ardent abolitionists? Join me as I read this powerful, disquieting story in which Louisa boldly confronts the issues of enslavement and prejudice.

Sunday at 4 p.m. on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjXdiai54Q.

And, save your notes and comments and please join us on April 8th for a discussion and Q&A with renowned scholar Elaine Showalter, an expert in the field of 19th century women’s literature. Free to attend, but registration is required at merchantshouse.org/calendar.

#womenwhodared #womenshistorymonth #merchantshouse #louisamayalcott #elaineshowalter #19thcenturywomenwriters #womensstudies #womenandgenderstudies #shortstories #womenwriters #mycontraband #19thcenturylife #civilwarnurse #civilwarfiction

03/24/2021
Merchant's House Museum

Join us TONIGHT at 6 p.m. for our next "Behind the Ropes" Virtual Tour! Board Member Anthony Bellov and special guest Carswell Rush Berlin present "19th Century Domestic Lighting: 100 Years of Change."

Tickets at http://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Mar-24-6-p-m-Behind-the-Ropes-Virtual-Lighting-Tour/p/297350081/category=1651948

"19th Century Domestic Lighting: 100 Years of Change" presents an in-depth examination of the Tredwells’ lighting fixtures and what they tell us about evolving technologies and the continuing quest to illuminate the darkness. It’s an extraordinary up-close and personal experience of the Tredwell home you won’t want to miss –– behind the ropes and no stairs to climb! Presented by Board Member Anthony Bellov and featuring special guest Carswell Rush Berlin.

Happy Spring!!! Today’s Tredwell Times in Art presents a lovely folk art painting “Emma Holman” (ca. 1844),  by John Bra...
03/22/2021

Happy Spring!!! Today’s Tredwell Times in Art presents a lovely folk art painting “Emma Holman” (ca. 1844), by John Bradley @metmuseum . Depicted is two-year-old Emma standing next to a potted rosebush, while her cat climbs the plant and swats at her with his paw. Her dress is decorated with flowers. Note the delicate lace cap and sleeve trim, and the detail of her pantalettes. Her neck and wrists are adorned with coral, which according to ancient tradition, possessed mystical and medicinal properties, and acted as a talisman against illness. British-born portrait painter John Bradley was active in New York from 1836-1847; he lived and worked in SoHo. Little Gertrude Tredwell, born in 1840, may have been similarly attired when a toddler. #merchantshouse #tredwelltimesinart #emmahoman #johnbradley #americanart #folkart #19thcenturyart #metropolitanmuseumofart #tredwellfamily #coralinart #19thcenturylife #portraitpainters

03/21/2021
THE TWO OFFERS (1859) by Frances Watkins Harper (1825-1911) | Women Who Dared: 19th-Century American Women Writers | A Series of Short Fiction Curated and Read by Ann Haddad

THE TWO OFFERS (1859) by Frances Watkins Harper (1825-1911) | Women Who Dared: 19th-Century American Women Writers | A Series of Short Fiction Curated and Read by Ann Haddad

00:00 Title Card & Musical Prelude
03:05 Intro & Author Biography
05:23 Story
31:20 Background on the Series
38:08 Credits
45:52 End

For more information about the Merchant's House Museum, visit www.merchantshouse.org.

ABOUT THIS SERIES:

In celebration of Women’s History Month, join us for a series of readings of 19th-century short stories written by American women authors. Compiled and read by Museum Historian Ann Haddad, these stories reveal the harsh realities of women’s lives in a male-dominated world, both inside the home and in society at large.

These “women who dared” defied convention by invading the traditionally masculine domain of literature – and they were successful, albeit treated with disdain. In 1855, Nathanial Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, “America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public is occupied with their trash.”

Despite the popularity of their work, which was published in literary annuals, gift books, and women’s magazines like Godey’s Lady’s Book, they were largely ignored by literary critics until the end of the 20th century. We are delighted to share their remarkable stories and conclude the series with a panel discussion and Q&A with literary and feminist scholar Elaine Showalter, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University.

OTHER STORIES IN THIS SERIES:

“The Angel Over the Right Shoulder” (1852) by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1815-1852)

“The Little Mendicants” (1846) by Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867)

“My Contraband” (1863) by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

“The Storm" (1898) and "The Story of an Hour” (1894) by Kate Chopin (1850-1904)

“The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1948)

The stories are also available for viewing on the Merchant's House Museum's page: facebook.com/merchantshouse.

#ReadingSeries #WomensHistoryMonth #WomenWriters #MerchantsHouseMuseum #MerchantsHouse #AmericanWomenWriters #AmericanWomenAuthors #19thCenturyAuthors #19thCenturyWomenAuthors #19hCenturyWomenWriters #FrancesWatkins #FrancesWatkinsHarper #FrancesHarper #TheTwoOffers #AfricanAmericanWriters #AfricanAmericanAuthors #AfricanAmericanWomenWriters #AfricanAmericanWomenAuthors #AfricanAmerican19thCentury

The Museum’s magnificent gasoliers were installed by the Tredwells in the mid-1850s. Was gas REALLY such an improvement ...
03/20/2021

The Museum’s magnificent gasoliers were installed by the Tredwells in the mid-1850s. Was gas REALLY such an improvement in lighting technology? Is it true this gasolier nearly burned down the house? Can you imagine lighting your home today exclusively with open flames?

All this, and more, when Board Member Anthony Bellov and special guest Carswell Rush Berlin discuss all things illuminating in the next "Behind the Ropes" Virtual Tour.

Wednesday, March 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
19th Century Domestic Lighting: 100 Years of Change

This exclusive virtual tour presents an in-depth examination of the Tredwells’ lighting fixtures and what they tell us about evolving technologies and the continuing quest to illuminate the darkness.

Tickets at http://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Mar-24-6-p-m-Behind-the-Ropes-Virtual-Lighting-Tour/p/297350081/category=1651948

(Photo by Max Touhey for Curbed NY)

This Sunday in "Women Who Dared,"  Museum Historian Ann Haddad presents “The Two Offers” (1852) by Frances Harper (1825-...
03/19/2021

This Sunday in "Women Who Dared," Museum Historian Ann Haddad presents “The Two Offers” (1852) by Frances Harper (1825-1911). The story, which follows the lives of two cousins and how their choices determine their future happiness, made literary history as the first short story published by a Black woman in the US.

Sunday, March 21, 4 p.m. – Streaming here on Facebook Live!

"Women Who Dared" is a series of readings of 19th century short stories written by American women authors. Compiled and read by Museum Historian Ann Haddad, these stories reveal the harsh realities of women's lives in a male-dominated world, both inside the home and in society at large.

As part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, this Sunday at 4 pm we continue our reading series “Women Who Dared...
03/19/2021

As part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, this Sunday at 4 pm we continue our reading series “Women Who Dared: 19th Century American Women Writers,” with “The Two Offers,” which was the first published short story written by an African-American writer. Frances Watkins Harper (1825-1911), born in Baltimore, was a teacher, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist who wrote many novels and poems. She contributed to many anti-slavery newspapers, and is known as the Mother of African-American Journalism. “The Two Offers” first appeared in 1859 in the Anglo-African Magazine. Please join me on Facebook Live or on our YouTube Channel. Info in profile. Swipe to see Sheldon Peck’s folk art painting “Young Woman from New York.” Peck (1797-1868), was an abolitionist and a conductor on the Underground Railroad. #womenwhodared #merchantshouse #merchantshousemuseum #tredwelltimesinart #19thcenturyamericanart #franceswatkinsharper #19thcenturywomenwriters #19thcenturyliterature #womensstudies #womenandgenderstudies #thetwooffers #sheldonpeck #youngwomanfromnewyork #americanart

Tea light or state-of-the-art 1890s home security system? This Clarke’s “Burglar’s Horror” was apparently so effective a...
03/18/2021

Tea light or state-of-the-art 1890s home security system? This Clarke’s “Burglar’s Horror” was apparently so effective at repelling unwanted intruders even Queen Victoria used them. Just HOW DARK were 19th Century homes that a single flame sent burglars fleeing?

Join Board Member Anthony Bellov next Wednesday, March 24, at 6 pm for our next "Behind the Ropes" Virtual Tour, 𝟭𝟵𝘁𝗵 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘂𝗿𝘆 𝗗𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗟𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴: 𝟭𝟬𝟬 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲.

Tickets at http://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Mar-24-6-p-m-Behind-the-Ropes-Virtual-Lighting-Tour/p/297350081/category=1651948

03/18/2021
THE TWO OFFERS (1859) by Frances Watkins Harper (1825-1911) | Women Who Dared: 19th-Century American Women Writers | A Series of Short Fiction Curated and Read by Ann Haddad

THE TWO OFFERS (1859) by Frances Watkins Harper (1825-1911) | Women Who Dared: 19th-Century American Women Writers | A Series of Short Fiction Curated and Read by Ann Haddad

00:00 Title Card & Musical Prelude
03:05 Intro & Author Biography
05:23 Story
31:20 Background on the Series
38:08 Credits
45:52 End

For more information about the Merchant's House Museum, visit www.merchantshouse.org.

ABOUT THIS SERIES:

In celebration of Women’s History Month, join us for a series of readings of 19th-century short stories written by American women authors. Compiled and read by Museum Historian Ann Haddad, these stories reveal the harsh realities of women’s lives in a male-dominated world, both inside the home and in society at large.

These “women who dared” defied convention by invading the traditionally masculine domain of literature – and they were successful, albeit treated with disdain. In 1855, Nathanial Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, “America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public is occupied with their trash.”

Despite the popularity of their work, which was published in literary annuals, gift books, and women’s magazines like Godey’s Lady’s Book, they were largely ignored by literary critics until the end of the 20th century. We are delighted to share their remarkable stories and conclude the series with a panel discussion and Q&A with literary and feminist scholar Elaine Showalter, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University.

OTHER STORIES IN THIS SERIES:

“The Angel Over the Right Shoulder” (1852) by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1815-1852)

“The Little Mendicants” (1846) by Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867)

“My Contraband” (1863) by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

“The Storm" (1898) and "The Story of an Hour” (1894) by Kate Chopin (1850-1904)

“The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1948)

The stories are also available for viewing on the Merchant's House Museum's page: facebook.com/merchantshouse.

#ReadingSeries #WomensHistoryMonth #WomenWriters #MerchantsHouseMuseum #MerchantsHouse #AmericanWomenWriters #AmericanWomenAuthors #19thCenturyAuthors #19thCenturyWomenAuthors #19hCenturyWomenWriters #FrancesWatkins #FrancesWatkinsHarper #FrancesHarper #TheTwoOffers #AfricanAmericanWriters #AfricanAmericanAuthors #AfricanAmericanWomenWriters #AfricanAmericanWomenAuthors #AfricanAmerican19thCentury

𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 𝗦𝘁. 𝗣𝗮𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸'𝘀 𝗗𝗮𝘆! Join us TONIGHT at 6 p.m. for 𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘔𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘩𝘺: 𝘈 𝘝𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘳 to disco...
03/17/2021

𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 𝗦𝘁. 𝗣𝗮𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸'𝘀 𝗗𝗮𝘆! Join us TONIGHT at 6 p.m. for 𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘔𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘩𝘺: 𝘈 𝘝𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘳 to discover what daily life was really like for 19-year-old Irish immigrant Bridget Murphy, who worked as a domestic servant in the Tredwell home in 1855.

Tickets at http://merchantshouse.org/calendar/reservations/#!/Mar-17-6-p-m-In-the-Footsteps-of-Bridget-Murphy-A-Virtual-House-Tour/p/298907027/category=1651948

In honor of the millions of young Irish women who immigrated to America in the 19th century, especially during the Great...
03/15/2021

In honor of the millions of young Irish women who immigrated to America in the 19th century, especially during the Great Famine, to work in domestic service so that they could support their starving families back home, Tredwell Times in Art presents, “The First Place” (1860), an oil painting by A. Erwood. Erwood, a British genre painter, flourished 1860-69. This young servant, captured sweeping a rug with a broom in the parlor of a well-to-do family, weeps quietly, clearly overwhelmed by her work, her loneliness, and her isolation; she has been removed from everyone and everything that is loving and familiar to her. This scene was probably enacted in the Tredwell’s parlor over the years, as the family employed many servants, most of them Irish. The “Bridgets,” as they were sadly often called, worked long hours with pay that averaged $3-4/month. They faced extraordinary prejudice from the Protestant elite class, and were subject to cruel treatment and stereotyping. Despite these challenges, this group of strong women sent millions of dollars home to help their families emigrate. We don’t know how the Tredwells treated their servants; we DO know that they could not have managed the upkeep of their home and lifestyle without the backbreaking labor of the Irish women who toiled for them. We salute their bravery and fortitude! #merchantshousemuseum #tredwelltimesinart #irishdomesticservants #saintpatricksday #irishwomendomestics #19thcenturylife #servitude #thegreatfamine #irishpotatofamine

03/14/2021
THE LITTLE MENDICANTS (1846) by Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) | Women Who Dared: 19th-Century American Women Writers | A Series of Short Fiction Curated and Read by Ann Haddad

THE LITTLE MENDICANTS (1846) by Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) | Women Who Dared: 19th-Century American Women Writers | A Series of Short Fiction Curated and Read by Ann Haddad

00:00 Title Card & Musical Prelude
02:08 Intro & Author Biography
04:16 Story
31:20 Background on the Series
37:20 Credits
38:39 End

For more information about the Merchant's House Museum, visit www.merchantshouse.org.

ABOUT THIS SERIES:

In celebration of Women’s History Month, join us for a series of readings of 19th-century short stories written by American women authors. Compiled and read by Museum Historian Ann Haddad, these stories reveal the harsh realities of women’s lives in a male-dominated world, both inside the home and in society at large.

These “women who dared” defied convention by invading the traditionally masculine domain of literature – and they were successful, albeit treated with disdain. In 1855, Nathanial Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, “America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public is occupied with their trash.”

Despite the popularity of their work, which was published in literary annuals, gift books, and women’s magazines like Godey’s Lady’s Book, they were largely ignored by literary critics until the end of the 20th century. We are delighted to share their remarkable stories and conclude the series with a panel discussion and Q&A with literary and feminist scholar Elaine Showalter, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University.

OTHER STORIES IN THIS SERIES:

“The Little Mendicants” (1846) by Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867)

“The Two Offers” (1859) by Frances Harper (1825-1911)

“My Contraband” (1863) by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

“The Storm" (1898) and "The Story of an Hour” (1894) by Kate Chopin (1850-1904)

“The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1948)

The stories are also available for viewing on the Merchant's House Museum's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeHkaBFCiEkqpl5t9LHBVdQ

#ReadingSeries #WomensHistoryMonth #WomenWriters #MerchantsHouseMuseum #MerchantsHouse #AmericanWomenWriters #AmericanWomenAuthors #19thCenturyAuthors #19thCenturyWomenAuthors #19hCenturyWomenWriters #CatherineMariaSedgwick #CatherineSedgwick #TheLittleMendicants

Address

29 E 4th St
New York, NY
10003

Subway: 6 to Astor Place, N or R to Broadway/8th, F or B to Lafayette Bus: M5 or M6 to Broadway/4th, M102 to 4th, M1 to Brdwy/8th

General information

HOURS: Thurs-Mon, 12-5pm (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) GUIDED TOUR 2pm Thurs-Mon SELF-GUIDED TOUR booklet available RESERVATIONS not required for groups of less than 10. ADMISSION: $15 General, $10 Students & Seniors, FREE Members and Children under 12. GROUP TOURS: http://merchantshouse.org/visit PROGRAMS & SPECIAL EVENTS: http://merchantshouse.org/calendar

Opening Hours

Saturday 12:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(212) 777-1089

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“The real thing”

www.merchantshouse.org Built in 1832, the Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only 19th century home preserved intact, with original family furnishings and personal belongings. A unique survivor of Old New York, the House offers a rare and intimate glimpse of how a prosperous merchant family and their four Irish servants lived from 1835 to 1865, when New York grew from seaport to thriving metropolis and the commercial emporium of America. "The distinction of the Merchant's House -- and it is a powerful one -- is that it is the real thing. One simply walks through the beautiful doorway into another time and place in New York." The New York Times

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