Alice Austen House Museum

Alice Austen House Museum Alice Austen House keeps alive the daring spirit of early American photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952) with exhibits and programs in her historic home.
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The Alice Austen House Museum promotes public awareness and scholarly study regarding the life and work of Alice Austen (1866 - 1952). Austen was one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers, and over the course of her life she captured about 8,000 images. Though she is best known for her documentary work, Austen was an artist with a strong aesthetic sensibility. Furthermore, she was a landscape designer, a master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car. She never married, and instead spent fifty years with Gertrude Tate. A rebel who broke away from the ties of her Victorian environment, Alice Austen created her own independent life. Austen lived in “Clear Comfort,” a Victorian Gothic cottage that dates back to a 1690 one-room Dutch farmhouse. The house, which is one of the oldest in New York and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973, overlooks the New York Narrows and has a stunning panoramic view of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Verrazano Bridge. For good reasons the New York City Parks Department voted it one of the most romantic sites in New York.

06/17/2020

Join Executive Director Victoria Munro at 9:30 for virtual tea as we celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our LGBTQ Designation! Text “VIRTUALTEA” to 44321 to donate and help support our mission.

06/17/2020

It’s a beautiful morning to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our LGBTQ designation by raising the Pride flag! Join us at 9:30 for our virtual tea with Executive Director, Victoria Munro in conversation with our honorees, about the powerful women of Staten Island’s past and present. Text “VIRTUALTEA” to 44321 to donate. Happy Pride! 🌈

#Onthisday in 1895 Alice took this photograph of a street cleaner with his watering cans. E. Alice Austen, Street cleane...
06/17/2020

#Onthisday in 1895 Alice took this photograph of a street cleaner with his watering cans.

E. Alice Austen, Street cleaner with watering pots, 1895. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

"I am committed to poetry not only as an art but as a way of life, which it is. Poetry will give you things you want to ...
06/16/2020

"I am committed to poetry not only as an art but as a way of life, which it is. Poetry will give you things you want to know—what it will demand from you in exchange is that you do not inquire comfortably."

- AUDRE LORDE
Black Women’s Poetry Seminar 1984

This past weekend important protests continued across America and the globe sparked by the horrific and wrongful deaths of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and countless others. Nearly forty years ago, Audre Lorde said, “Without community, there is no liberation.” Her words still ring true today. We are rediscovering community in one another through rallies and marches for the same cause that Audre Lorde dedicated her life to fighting for.

The Alice Austen House may be currently closed, but we are committed to providing safe, equitable platforms to raise up the work and voices of black artists and activists.

We will be sharing the contributions to the exhibition Powerful and Dangerous: The Words and Images of Audre Lorde with you throughout 2020.

This photograph (included in the exhibition) of Audre Lorde from the 1990 I Am Your Sister conference was taken by Jean Weisinger, a black lesbian photographer committed to a career representing people of color in her work. She has documented the political activities of African American women since the mid-1980s.

An Expert from Jean Weisnger’s Artist statement: “My work is the way I give back to my sisters and to the universe. It's a way in which I fight the constant battle against racism, sexism, classism, and violence toward women/children/human beings/animals and the trees. I take photographs to not only document these times and the lives of those who cross my path, but also to express myself. Photography is a passion born within me, a necessity that is not governed by monetary payment. It has become part of the progress toward freedom and love. Photographing the self is an act of love and a gift to others.”

Want to see the exhibition? Register for our Virtual Tea Time at the link below and join Executive Director Victoria Munro for a walkthrough of the exhibition and a conversation with two Staten Island icons, Pat Salmon and Edwina Martin, Esq.

Community Impact and Preservation Award Virtual Tea
JUNE 17, 2020
9:30 AM

https://secure.givelively.org/event/friends-of-alice-austen-house-inc/community-impact-and-preservation-awards-2020/alice-austen-house-virtual-tea-time-with-pat-salmon-and-edwina-martin

Spring is coming to an end so we thought it would be fun to share this thematic photograph from the 1901 World’s Fair in...
06/16/2020

Spring is coming to an end so we thought it would be fun to share this thematic photograph from the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo New York. This is one of two sculptures by Bela L. Pratt of Boston depicting the subject of “Floral Wealth.” This sculpture stood on the north side of the esplanade in front of the graphic arts building, it shows Flora in a chariot holding a garland of flowers. The chariot is being pulled by May and June.

E. Alice Austen, [Floral Wealth & Graphic Arts Building: Pan American Expo], 1901. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

In June 2017, the Alice Austen House, where Alice Austen and her life partner, Gertrude Tate, lived together for nearly ...
06/15/2020

In June 2017, the Alice Austen House, where Alice Austen and her life partner, Gertrude Tate, lived together for nearly 30 years, marked its national designation as a site of LGBTQ history. This was an achievement of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and the National Park Service.

We invite you to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our designation with us with a morning tea time event.
Join Victoria Munro, Executive Director of the Alice Austen House, to honor Patricia Salmon, historian and preservationist, and Edwina Martin, Esq., Public Administrator at the The Community Impact and Preservation Award Virtual Tea JUNE 17, 2020 AT 9:30 AM. The Tea will honor the contributions of Ms. Pat Salmon and Ms. Edwina Martin, Esq., to the life and history of Staten Island. Your participation in this event will support us as we create and make available digital content during this uncertain time and allow us to lay the groundwork to safely reopen our doors to you. Click the link below for more information and to register for the event.

https://secure.givelively.org/event/friends-of-alice-austen-house-inc/community-impact-and-preservation-awards-2020/alice-austen-house-virtual-tea-time-with-pat-salmon-and-edwina-martin

We wanted to give you a #MondayMention for Untapped New York's Virtual tour through Central Park’s LGBTQ sites that will...
06/15/2020
Virtual Tour: Central Park PRIDE - Untapped New York

We wanted to give you a #MondayMention for Untapped New York's Virtual tour through Central Park’s LGBTQ sites that will be taking place tomorrow at 12 PM. Click the link below to register and if you join the tour keep an eye out for one of Alice’s photos.

https://untappedcities.com/events/virtual-tour-central-park-pride/?fbclid=IwAR2JxT-pxblH9wHXsWTpQqVmV424BL8VG1iQnylooNlPPYWPlvoQsbp2P5k

Most people don’t think of Central Park when they think of June’s LGBTQ Pride Celebration. However, the Park has not only played a significant role in LGBTQ culture, but it also benefitted from the creativity of queer artists who are mostly unknown to us in the 21st century. Join tour guide, Bet...

Today is #NaturePhotographyDay and although Alice certainly loved to photograph her friends she also loved taking pictur...
06/15/2020

Today is #NaturePhotographyDay and although Alice certainly loved to photograph her friends she also loved taking pictures outdoors. Here is a photograph from her trip to the Catskills in 1899. Alice liked this picture so much that she printed a copy for the album that she gifted to Gertrude and another copy for her personal album of the Catskills trip.

E. Alice Austen, [South Lake, Kaaterskill Hotel] 1899. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

It’s #CityViewSunday and we are sharing this photograph from Alice’s Street Types of New York project with you. Alice to...
06/14/2020

It’s #CityViewSunday and we are sharing this photograph from Alice’s Street Types of New York project with you. Alice took this picture in June of 1896 on thirteenth street of a Western Union bike messenger. He poses stretching across the empty street directly in front of Alice's camera while the busier area of 13th street can be seen in the background. True to Alice’s sense of humor there are signs in the background for both bicycles and a telegraph messenger service.

E. Alice Austen, Mounted Messenger Boy, 1896. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

It’s #NationalWeedYourGardenDay so of course we have to share a photograph that Alice took in the gardens of Clear Comfo...
06/13/2020

It’s #NationalWeedYourGardenDay so of course we have to share a photograph that Alice took in the gardens of Clear Comfort.

E. Alice Austen, [Backyard with Daffodils], 1933. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

We will be honoring Staten Island Icons Edwina Martin, Esq. and Patricia Salmon at our Virtual Tea Party on June 17th as...
06/12/2020

We will be honoring Staten Island Icons Edwina Martin, Esq. and Patricia Salmon at our Virtual Tea Party on June 17th as part of the celebration of the third anniversary of our designation as a site of LGBTQ history. Will you be joining us to help celebrate our anniversary and the amazing work of these two fabulous women?

For more information and to reserve your space visit https://secure.givelively.org/event/friends-of-alice-austen-house-inc/community-impact-and-preservation-awards-2020/alice-austen-house-virtual-tea-time-with-pat-salmon-and-edwina-martin

To learn more about our designation visit https://mailchi.mp/aliceausten.org/what-our-lgbtq-site-of-history-designation-means-and-why-we-celebrate-it-annually?e=d1fa6fc32f

It’s #flashbackfriday so we’re flashing back to 1900 when Alice photographed part of P.R.H.S.’s graduating class. We wan...
06/12/2020

It’s #flashbackfriday so we’re flashing back to 1900 when Alice photographed part of P.R.H.S.’s graduating class. We want to say congratulations to everyone who has graduated already or will be graduating soon. We know you may not be able to celebrate the way you had initially planned but we think you should all be proud of the work you did to get there so Happy Graduation from the Alice Austen House.

E.A. Austen, Graduating Class P.R.H.S., 1900. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome #congratulationgraduates

#OnThisDay 130 years ago Alice took this photograph in front of the home of her friends Violet and Carrie Ward. Carrie (...
06/11/2020

#OnThisDay 130 years ago Alice took this photograph in front of the home of her friends Violet and Carrie Ward. Carrie (left) and a woman named Miss Miller (right) are seated in a horse drawn carriage outside the Ward family home on Grymes Hill in Staten Island. Violet stands behind the carriage with a large dog and is holding a parasol. The vines on the homes porch seem to be even more overgrown than the ones on Alice’s house.

E. Alice Austen, [Wagonette General Wards House], 1890. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

#OnThisDay in 1793 the first public zoo opened in Paris. 98 years later Alice took this photograph of a camel at the zoo...
06/10/2020

#OnThisDay in 1793 the first public zoo opened in Paris. 98 years later Alice took this photograph of a camel at the zoo in Central Park.

E. Alice Austen, Camel, Central Park Zoo, 1891. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

Alice Austen passed away on this day in 1952, at the age of 86. After reading the obituary Oliver Jenson wrote for Alice...
06/09/2020

Alice Austen passed away on this day in 1952, at the age of 86. After reading the obituary Oliver Jenson wrote for Alice in Life Magazine Gertrude wrote to Oliver to thank him for his kind words about Alice, this is a part of that letter “My heart is so full of sorrow at my deep sense of loss… She was a rare soul, and her going leaves me bereft indeed. She’s at peace now...God was good to spare me these long years when she needed me so much, so I can only thank him for answering my prayer, that I might be with her to the end.”

Today is national #BestFriendsDay! One of Alice’s best friends was Gertrude Eccleston. Alice and Trude met as children, ...
06/08/2020

Today is national #BestFriendsDay! One of Alice’s best friends was Gertrude Eccleston. Alice and Trude met as children, Trude living just up the road from Alice on Bay st. They formed a cooking and sewing group with two other friends that would later become “The Darned Club” that many of you are probably familiar with from Alice’s photos. Alice would spend a lot of time with Trude’s family at their home in the Rectory of St. John's Episocopal Church as well as accompanying them on many vacations to places in upstate New York. Here we see Trude standing on the rocks watching another friend in a boat. Feel free to tell us a little something about one of your best friends in the comments below. ⠀

E. Alice Austen, Trude Eccleston Mrs. Smalley in Boat, 1896. Collection of the Alice Austen House.

#museumfromhome

It’s #CityViewSunday and today's view is of a Hansom Cab waiting in the cobblestone streets at Union Square. The buildin...
06/07/2020

It’s #CityViewSunday and today's view is of a Hansom Cab waiting in the cobblestone streets at Union Square. The buildings in the background are Brentano's Bookstore (right) and B.L. Solomons Sons (left).

E. Alice Austen, Hansom Cab, © 1896. Collection of the Alice Austen House. (From the portfolio Street Types of New York)
#museumfromhome

It's #behindthescenessaturday and we want to tell you about a great virtual tour that Untapped New York  will be doing o...
06/06/2020
Virtual Tour: Central Park PRIDE - Untapped New York

It's #behindthescenessaturday and we want to tell you about a great virtual tour that Untapped New York will be doing on June 16th to take you through different LGBTQ sites and stories in Central Park. You can click the link below for more information on the tour. And as a little sneak peak we will say that there will be an Alice Austen photo included in the tour.
https://untappedcities.com/events/virtual-tour-central-park-pride/

Most people don’t think of Central Park when they think of June’s LGBTQ Pride Celebration. However, the Park has not only played a significant role in LGBTQ culture, but it also benefitted from the creativity of queer artists who are mostly unknown to us in the 21st century. Join tour guide, Bet...

June is National #AdoptACatMonth so it’s a great time to share this photo that Alice took in the 1930’s of Gertrude Tate...
06/06/2020

June is National #AdoptACatMonth so it’s a great time to share this photo that Alice took in the 1930’s of Gertrude Tate and her cat. Do you have an adopted cat? Feel free to share your photos with us in the comments below.

E. Alice Austen, [Gertrude and her Cat], ca. 1930’s. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

It’s #WorldEnvironmentDay so we thought we would share this photograph of a tree lined river with sheep grazing that Ali...
06/05/2020

It’s #WorldEnvironmentDay so we thought we would share this photograph of a tree lined river with sheep grazing that Alice copyrighted in 1909.

E. Alice Austen, Sheep Grazing, 1909. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

Will you be joining us and the wonderful Pat Salmon and Edwina Martin, Esq. for Virtual tea on June 17th? During the tea...
06/04/2020
Inside Out: Festive birthday drive-by; Alice Austen House hosts virtual fundraiser; call for nature photos

Will you be joining us and the wonderful Pat Salmon and Edwina Martin, Esq. for Virtual tea on June 17th? During the tea both of these amazing women will be telling us about their recent projects. If you want a little bit more information check out this great article from the Staten Island Advance. https://www.silive.com/entertainment/2020/06/inside-out-festive-birthday-drive-by-alice-austen-house-hosts-virtual-fundraiser-call-for-nature-photos.html?fbclid=IwAR2CLL_ChFN6d2pg3R667l4zN3SFs8RWunQ7Nzrv-fW3EC2zq_Ssnvh02sc

to register visit https://secure.givelively.org/event/friends-of-alice-austen-house-inc/community-impact-and-preservation-awards-2020/alice-austen-house-virtual-tea-time-with-pat-salmon-and-edwina-martin

“We took a bad situation and turned it into something positive...It turned out to be a unique, fun day for all.”

It's #ThrowbackThursday and we're throwing it back to June of 1888 when Alice's uncle Oswald took this photograph of her...
06/04/2020

It's #ThrowbackThursday and we're throwing it back to June of 1888 when Alice's uncle Oswald took this photograph of her standing on a lawn. She holds a compact in one hand and leans her other hand on a parasol which is a treasured part of our collection.

Oswald Muller, [Alice Austen age 22], 1888. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

We thought that for this #waybackwednesday instead of taking you back in one of Alice’s photos we would take you to back...
06/03/2020

We thought that for this #waybackwednesday instead of taking you back in one of Alice’s photos we would take you to back into the personal photo album made by Audre Lorde friends that we reproduced for Powerful and Dangerous. Here you can see Audre at her desk in St. Croix.

Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios the new guidebook from @papress to all the #HAHSSites, part of @savingplaces ...
06/02/2020

Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios the new guidebook from @papress to all the #HAHSSites, part of @savingplaces is out today and we are so excited to be a part of the beautiful book. To get your copy and visit us and the other #HAHSSites from the comfort of your own home you can visit https://www.papress.com/html/product.details.dna?isbn=9781616897734 to order now.

Happy June everyone! 129 years ago on Monday June 1, 1891 Alice took this photograph in the garden of her family’s home ...
06/01/2020

Happy June everyone! 129 years ago on Monday June 1, 1891 Alice took this photograph in the garden of her family’s home Clear Comfort. It is one of many pictures she took of her home documenting its changes throughout various seasons in a photo album that now resides in the museum.

E. Alice Austen, Our Whygelia in full bloom, 1891. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome #onthisday

Happy #CityViewSunday! This photograph is one that Alice took of the Dewey Arch that stood in Madison Square for only a ...
05/31/2020

Happy #CityViewSunday! This photograph is one that Alice took of the Dewey Arch that stood in Madison Square for only a single year from 1899 - 1900. Due to the materials the arch was made from it started to deteriorate fairly quickly and was demolished the year after it was constructed. Alice's negative sleeve for this photograph reads "Dewey Arch at junction of Broadway and Fifth Ave at 23rd st. Oct. 1899."

E. Alice Austen, Dewey Arch, 1899. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

#Onthisday in 1890 Alice took this photograph of John Francis Emmons and his son Kintzing in front of their home. Mr. Em...
05/30/2020

#Onthisday in 1890 Alice took this photograph of John Francis Emmons and his son Kintzing in front of their home. Mr. Emmons is in a Phaeton carriage and Kin is on his horse. If you look close you can see that Kin is wearing half chaps to protect the bottoms of his pants.

E. Alice Austen, Ready to start. May 30, 1890. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

It's #flashbackFriday and we're flashing back to a May day in 1893 when Alice took this photograph of her friend Lou (Ma...
05/29/2020

It's #flashbackFriday and we're flashing back to a May day in 1893 when Alice took this photograph of her friend Lou (Mary Louisa Alexander Richards) and Lou's husband Frank (Reuben Francis Richards) in their carriage on a dirt road in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

If you look close you can see that Lou is bending down to pet two dogs, one by the carriages wheel and another that has jumped up to reach her.

E. Alice Austen, [Mr. & Mrs. Richards in Horse drawn Wagon with Dogs], 1893. Collection of the Alice Austen House.

#museumfromhome

#Onthisday in 1898 Alice took this photograph of a crowd of people checking the war bulletins  by park row in manhattan....
05/28/2020

#Onthisday in 1898 Alice took this photograph of a crowd of people checking the war bulletins by park row in manhattan. Her original negative sleeve for this 4x5 glass plate reads “Crowd at war bulletins, Park Row, May 28, ‘98.”

E. Alice Austen, Crowd at War Bulletins, Park Row, 1898. Collection of the Alice Austen House.
#museumfromhome

Address

2 Hylan Blvd
Staten Island, NY
10305

From Manhattan by Staten Island Ferry Subway to South Ferry (1), Whitehall Street (N/R), or Bowling Green Station (4/5) or bus or taxi to: Staten Island Ferry (25 minute ride). At the ferry terminal in Staten Island #S51 Bus to Hylan Boulevard (15 minute ride). Walk one block east to water and house From Manhattan via Brooklyn by car From the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (toll) or the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge take the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to Staten Island (right lane on bridge). Take the first exit (after toll), "Bay Street". Continue to the end of street (School Road) then turn left onto Bay Street. Continue to Hylan Boulevard then turn right and follow street to water and house. From New Jersey toll bridges From the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals or Bayonne Bridge follow signs to Route 278 East. Exit at "Clove Rd./Richmond Rd./Hylan Blvd." Continue on service road (Narrows Road South). Just before the fifth traffic light turn left onto Hylan Boulevard and continue to water and house.

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