2017 Past Programs

2017 JANUARY EVENTS

NEW YEAR’S DAY, Sunday, January 1, 2 to 5 p.m.
‘Come Calling’ on New Year’s Day
Paying calls on friends and family on New Year’s Day was one of Old New York’s most cherished customs. Join us for tours of the house, 19th century readings about New Year’s Day celebrations, and punch and confectionery, as we continue the 19th century tradition of renewing, reviving, and reaffirming friendships. Holiday Raffle drawing at 4:30 p.m. “New York seemed to enjoy a general carnival. Broadway, from one end to the other, was alive with private carriages, omnibuses, cabs, and curricles, and lines of pedestrians fringed the carriageways.” From the Diary of Philip Hone, 1844. $20, $10 Members.

Through Monday, January 9 
Exhibition (opened Friday, November 25)
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.

Exhibition (opened Thursday, December 1)
Ch
arles 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 HOUSE, December 6-24.
Guest curator, Dayle Vander Sande

Opens Thursday, January 19 
Exhibition –
Winter Warmth: How the Tredwells Bundled Up

Rarely seen objects from the original Tredwell collections are on display, including a foot stove, quilts, a muff,  hand-knit ‘joint warmers,’ and a crocheted capelette, all items the family used to (try to) keep warm during the cold winter months.  In the 19th century, there was no escaping the cold. Even with brisk fires burning, water froze in wash bowls, ink froze in wells, and wine in their bottles.  People did what little they could to keep the cold at bay, but interior temperatures in the 19th century were well below today’s standard 68 degrees.
Included with general admission.

Friday, January 20, 6:30 p.m.
Dark Days of Winter Candlelight Ghost Tour of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (The New York Times) SOLD OUT!
Doors slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the dead of night. Venture into the shadows of history to see the house where seven family members died and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them. “#1 Most Haunted Place in NYC” (TimeOut New York, 2016)
50-60 minutes. $30, $20 Members.
Upcoming Ghost Tours: Friday, February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21.

Opens Saturday, January 21
Exhibition –
Tredwell Costume Collection:
One-piece Printed Cotton “Fancy Dress” Costume, 1885-1890, MHM 2002.0825

On display in Eliza Tredwell’s bedroom a “fancy dress” costume from the late 1880s. The gown is in imitation of an 18th century robe à la Française and consists of a printed cotton, sack-back gown (in which pleated fabric at the back of the dress falls loosely from the shoulders to the floor) and a peach-colored petticoat of moire taffeta. Cream-colored lace engageantes at the sleeve openings help complete the 18th century look.

In the 19th century, “fancy dress” costume balls were grand social affairs and were widely reported in the press. Guests dressed in very elaborate costumes and historical themes were most popular.
Included with general admission.

Saturday, January 28, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Behind-the-Ropes: Insider’s Tours of the Merchant’s House
First in a Series – Changing Tastes in 19th Century Furniture

Upcoming:
Saturday, February 25: 100 Years of Domestic Lighting
Saturday, March 25: The Architecture of an 1832 Landmark

Join us for a series of rare off-hours tours of the Merchant’s House. We’ll explore in detail the architecture of the 1832 Merchant’s House, one of only 117 buildings designated an interior and exterior landmark in New York, and examine the finer points of the original Tredwell family collection of furniture and domestic lighting.

We’ll gather in the 1850s kitchen for coffee and an overview of the landmark Merchant’s House and intact collection of more than 3,000 objects owned by the Tredwell family. We’ll then tour the house, including the rarely seen bedrooms on the 3rd floor (now staff offices), even peek up into the attic. We’ll pull out drawers to show furniture construction details, remove shades of lamps to see the workings, open locked doors … and more. From Duncan Phyfe to Rococo Revival; whale oil to gas to kerosene; late Federal to Greek Revival, you’ll gain new perspectives on these unique insider’s tours, learning about changing period styles and technologies and how they reflect the attitudes and values of the merchant class in mid-19th century New York City.

About presenter Anthony Bellov: Bachelor’s in Architecture from Pratt Institute, Graduate in Museum Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, long-time volunteer and board member of the Merchant’s House Museum and an aficionado in 19th Century American Decorative Arts and Architecture.

$30, $25 Members. Limited to 20 participants.
Click here to purchase tickets.

FEBRUARY EVENTS

Tuesday, February 7, 6 to 8 p.m.
Illustrated Lecture –
Stoops to Conquer: The Evolution of the New York Townhouse
With Richard Sammons, Fairfax & Sammons Architects
A collaboration with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
New York City in the popular imagination may be defined by the skyscraper, but in reality our city’s landscape is dominated by a grid plan that minced most blocks into a staggering number of narrow lots – easily bought, sold, and built on. The development of these small individual lots produced entire neighborhoods of narrow residential buildings, making the townhouse the true vernacular architecture of the city. Join architect Richard Sammons as he traces the origins and evolution of the ever-present townhouse in New York City. Townhouses give so many historic neighborhoods their charm, but what are the weaknesses of the form? And how can we as modern architects and city-dwellers improve on this classic architectural style to bring the economical, adaptable, and sustainable townhouse into the 21st century?

This event is free.
NOTE LOCATION: Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue, at 12th Street
Reception, 6 p.m. – drinks available for purchase. Presentation, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for this event are no longer available. Some seats may be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
(This venue is not wheelchair accessible.)

Tuesday, February 14, 7 p.m.
Love in the Parlors: A Valentine in Concert  SOLD OUT!
The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society presents lush, romantic vocal music of the world’s greatest 19th-century composers performed in the Museum’s Greek Revival double parlor. Singers Anthony Bellov, Amy Gluck, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande perform rarely heard gems by Beethoven, Schubert, Steven Foster, Amy Beach, and others.
Top pick for Valentine’s Day: NBC Online and TimeOut NY
75 minutes. $40, $30 Members.

Friday, February 17, 6:30 & 7 p.m. Both tours on 2/17 are SOLD OUT. Click here to purchase tickets for March 17
Dark Days of Winter Candlelight Ghost Tour
of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (The New York Times)

Doors slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the dead of night. Venture into the shadows of history to see the house where seven family members died and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them. “#1 Most Haunted Place in NYC” (TimeOut New York, 2016)
50-60 minutes. $30, $20 Members.
Upcoming Ghost Tours: Friday, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21.