Current Exhibitions

All exhibitions are included with General Admission.

Thursday, May 3, through Monday, July 30
Exhibition –
Tredwell Brides: Changing Wedding Traditions in the 19th Century
Over the course of the 1800s, weddings in New York City evolved from intimate private ceremonies to large, lavish affairs. This exhibition explores the changes in wedding customs as the 19th century progressed, including the trousseau, printed invitations, and the giving of gifts. Highlights include Eliza Tredwell’s 1820 empire-style embroidered cotton wedding dress and Sarah Ann Tredwell’s 1872 silk bridal dress made in Paris, the highest fashion of the post-Civil War bustle period. Accessories include silk wedding boots, and earrings, corsage, and headpiece of wax orange blossoms. The Greek Revival parlor overflows with white flowers for the reenactment of the 1845 wedding of Elizabeth Tredwell and Effingham Nichols on June 9.

Thursday, August 2, through Monday, October 1
Beating the Heat: Keeping Cool in the 19th Century
Fans and parasols from the Tredwell collection illustrate the ways people kept their cool during the dog days of a New York City Summer — before the invention of air conditioning.


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.