Current Exhibitions

All exhibitions are included with general admission.


Thursday, November 2, through Monday, January  8
Exhibition –
Charles Dickens Performs ‘A Christmas Carol’ in New York, December 1867
In December 1867, Charles Dickens arrived in New York City for a month of sold-out performances of his beloved 1843 holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Dickens performed at the 2,500 seat Steinway Hall on 14th Street, the center of cultural life in the city, and just a few blocks from the Tredwell home. And the critics raved: “The Christmas Carol becomes doubly enchanting when one hears it performed by Dickens.” (New York Herald, 1867)

Exhibition in conjunction with A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the MERCHANT’S HOUSECharles Dickens in New York, 1867
Starring John Kevin Jones as Mr. Dickens. 

Limited run, November 30-December 27.  Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Friday, November 24, through Monday, January 8
Exhibition –
Christmas Comes to Old New York: Holiday Traditions of the Tredwell Family

Scenes of holiday preparation recreated in the period rooms throughout the house show how many of our modern holiday traditions originated in mid-19th century New York. From table-top Christmas trees decorated with candles and handmade ornaments, to poinsettias and evergreens decking the halls, Christmas songs and carols, presents and stockings. And, of course, Santa Claus. On display, rarely exhibited Christmas presents from the Tredwell collection.

Thursday, January 18, through Monday, April 30
Exhibition: The Tredwell Book Collection and the Changing 19th Century Culture of Books
Over the course of the their almost 100-year residency on East 4th Street, the Tredwells collected 314 books. These volumes, many inscribed, provide a glimpse into the family’s interests, tastes, and intellectual pursuits over the century. It is not surprising that the most common subject/genre of literature is education, including foreign languages, since books in the 19th century were meant to be studied. Religion, biography, poetry, and fiction followed.

Most of the Tredwell books were published in New York City during the early to mid-19th century, a period known as the “emerging mass culture of print.” The availability of booksellers close to the Tredwells’ home and the close proximity of the three largest libraries in New York City all place the family in the center of a rapidly changing 19th century book culture. Based on the amount and the variety of books they owned, and their condition, which shows good use, the Tredwells were active participants.


What’s in the Blue Box?
The Museum’s collection of the Tredwell family’s original possessions comprises almost 3,000 objects: furnishings, decorations, lighting devices, household, personal and sewing accessories, family photographs, books, ephemera, works of art, costumes, and textiles. Taken together, they provide an intimate, authentic look at the domestic life of this 19th century New York merchant-class family.

Smaller objects not on display are stored in archival “blue boxes” in a storage room on the fourth floor. A single box often contains objects spanning the Tredwells’ entire 98-year residency on Fourth Street. On display, the contents of one blue storage box, including items never before displayed.

At the Tredwells’ Table: Highlights from the Collection
On display are china and glassware spanning the Tredwell family’s almost 100 year residence in the house. Included is a partial luncheon service by American silvermaker Wm. Rogers in the “Oval Thread” pattern, dating from 1847-1872. The set, engraved “E.T.,” is believed to have been given to Elizabeth Tredwell, the eldest Tredwell daughter, shortly after her marriage in 1845.
Included with regular admission.

Exhibitions are part of a series of 2017-2018 education programs,
The Women of Fourth Street and A Century of Change: 1835-1933.