2016 Programs

 2016 JANUARY EVENTS

NEW YEAR’S DAY, Friday, 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 11
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.

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 HOUSE, December 10-24.
Guest curator, Dayle Vander Sande

Friday, January 15, 7 p.m. SOLD OUT!
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 eight 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, 2015)
50 minutes. $25, $15 Members.
Upcoming Ghost Tours: Friday, February 19, March 18, April 15, May 20, June 17.

Friday, January 22, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Parlor

Our 2015 Open Mic Nite evenings were such a success, we’re making them a regular thing in 2016.
In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $13, Students & Seniors $8, FREE for Members. Reservations are not necessary.
Upcoming Open Mic Nites: Friday, February 26, March 25, April 29, May 27.

Saturday, January 23, 3 p.m. Cancelled due to the Blizzard
Exhibition Talk –
Tredwell Costume Collection/One-piece Silk Plaid Dress, 1848-1854
With Pamela Long, Textile Conservator
The Tredwell Costume Collection comprises more than 400 articles of clothing, primarily women’s dresses and their accompanying chemisettes, collars, undersleeves, and petticoats. The core of the collection is a remarkable 39 dresses documented to have been owned and worn by the women of the family. Many are outstanding examples of the 19th-century dressmaker’s art, composed of fine and delicate fabrics and ornamentation. Individual dresses are displayed on a rotating basis throughout the year. Included with General Admission

Monday, January 25, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
St. Marks Is Dead: Book Talk with Author Ada Calhoun
A collaboration with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

In this idiosyncratic work of narrative history, enriched by more than 200 interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun traces the 400-year history of the area—organized around pivotal moments when yet another group of denizens declared, “St. Marks is Dead.” And yet, Calhoun shows how the street continues to provide each new generation of rebels with a place to call home.

Calhoun has been a crime reporter for the New York Post, a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, a theater critic for New York magazine, and a ghostwriter or co-author of seven books for major publishers, including four bestsellers.

Admission is Free, but reservations are required.
NOTE LOCATION: Theater 80, 80 St. Marks Place

Wednesday, January 27, 6:30 p.m. SOLD OUT!
Illustrated lecture: The 19th Century City and the Book

Architectural historian Francis Morrone has for the last several years been studying the history of New York as a center of American book culture–publishing, printing, bookselling, libraries, and book reviewing. In this illustrated lecture, he will discuss the neighborhood of the Merchant’s House in a fascinating chapter of its varied history, when it was a center of bibliophily. The talk will cover DeVinne Press (right at our corner), the Astor Library, the Mercantile Library, Bible House, and the fabled Book Row on Fourth Avenue, the origins of Barnes & Noble (at The Cooper Union), Dodd, Mead, Brentano’s, and more.
A collaboration with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Reception follows the lecture.
$20 General Public, $10 MHM & ICAA Members. Seating is limited.

Francis Morrone is a renowned architectural historian and writer. The author of eleven books, including, most recently, “Guide to New York City Urban Landscapes” (W.W. Norton, 2013). Morrone has also written highly-regarded architectural guidebooks to Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. His writings have appeared in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, City Journal, Humanities and the New York Sun, where he was an art and architecture critic. He teaches architectural and urban history at New York University, and is the recipient of the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Travel + Leisure magazine named him as one of the 13 best tour guides in the world. Other awards include the Arthur Ross Award of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Through Saturday, January 30
Tredwell Costume Collection:
One-piece Silk Plaid Dress, 1848-1854, MHM 2002.0847

On display in Eliza Tredwell’s Bedroom, a one-piece dress of cream, brown, and salmon pink plaid silk, with fitted bodice, high round neckline with no collar, and round waist just above natural waistline, 1848-1854. The dress is hand sewn, and the bodice has wide pagoda sleeves gathered to short straight sleeve caps. The sleeves are trimmed with fringed, rust, and cream-colored ribbon, likely added at a later date when the dress was altered. The skirt, which is unlined to keep the light airiness of the silk, has six panels; the waist is tightly cartridge pleated. A 6 ½ inch pocket is sewn in to the right-hand side of the skirt.

FEBRUARY EVENTS

 Saturday, February 13, 7:30 SOLD OUT!
Love in the Parlors: A Valentine in Concert
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 parlors. Chosen by NBC Online and TimeOut NY as a top pick for a Valentine’s evening, this annual event sells out fast. Singers Anthony Bellov, Amy Gluck, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande perform rarely heard gems by Bellini, Schubert, Fauré, Duparc, Rubinstein, Franz Abt, Amy Beach, Johann Strauss II, and others. 75 minutes.
$35, $25 Seniors, Students, MHM Members.
$20, Post-Performance Bubbly & Chocolate

Friday, February 19, 6:30 & 7 p.m. SOLD OUT!
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 eight 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, 2015)
50 minutes. $25, $15 Members.

Saturday, February 20, 3:30 p.m.
Special Interactive Tour for Families: A Child’s View of Life in 19th Century New York
29 East Fourth Street was home not only to the eight Tredwell children, but also to two young granddaughters. Come tour the house and learn what life was like for children (and adults) in the 1850s, from schoolwork and chores to games and play. Could you carry a bucket of coal up steep stairs? Do you have a calling card? A top hat? What, no hoop skirt? How did you take a bath? And penmanship really, really mattered.
Best for children 8 to 12 years old. $15, one adult, one child. $20, one adult, two children (max.).
Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Thursday, February 25, 6:30 p.m.
Illustrated Lecture: Conserving the Merchant’s House Gas Chandeliers
As well as being the first designated exterior landmark in Manhattan, the Merchant’s House is one of only 117 interior landmarks in New York City (1981). A significant presence in the House’s interior is a pair of gas chandeliers in the Greek Revival double parlor – possibly the oldest gaseliers remaining in situ in the Northeast. Conservator Julie Baker speaks on her 2006-7 project of dismantling, conserving, researching and documenting, and re-mounting these unique lighting fixtures with state-of-the-art fiber-optic illumination.
$10. $5 MHM Members. This special lecture will be replacing the usual 6:30 guided house tour on Thursday, February 25. The lecture is included with regular museum admission.

Friday, February 26, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Parlor 

Our 2015 Open Mic Nite evenings were such a success, we’re making them a regular thing in 2016.
In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $13, Students & Seniors $8, FREE for Members. Reservations are not necessary.

Saturday, February 27, 3 p.m.
Exhibition Talk
Tredwell Costume Collection: Two-piece Spring and Summer Cotton Dress, 1862-1865, MHM 2002.0840
With Pamela Long, Textile Conservator 

Exhibition Opens Saturday, January 30

MARCH EVENTS

Sunday, March 13, 12:30 p.m.
Second Sunday Walking Tours resume!

A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho (Second Sunday of Every Month)

Thursday, March 17, Guided Tours at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Day: A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants with Bridget Murphy
Join us for a back-stairs tour of the Merchant’s House and explore the world of the Irish immigrants who worked as domestic servants for the Tredwell family. You’ll climb the narrow staircase to the fourth-floor servants’ quarters and see where the Tredwells’ four Irish servants lived and did some of their work, “arguably the oldest intact site of Irish habitation in New York City” (Time Out New York). In the kitchen, you’ll meet 19-year-old Bridget Murphy, who worked for the Tredwells in the 1850s. What did the servants do on their day off? Where did they shop? Go to church? How did they find employment when they first arrived? Bridget will tell you why it would have been impossible to run a home like the Merchant’s House without her.
Included with General Admission. Reservations not required.

Friday, March 18, 6:30 & 7 p.m.
“Spirit of the Irish” 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 eight family members died and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them. Many of the most peculiar occurrences have been related to the Tredwells’ Irish servants, and so this special tour will include the 4th floor Servants’ Quarters.
50 minutes. $30, $20 Members.

Friday, March 25, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Parlor

In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $13, Students & Seniors $8, FREE for Members. Reservations are not necessary.

Wednesday, March 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Illustrated Talk: Butchery on Bond Street, with Author Benjamin P. Feldman
A collaboration with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
On the morning of January 31, 1857, Harvey Burdell’s body was found on the floor of his dentistry office in his home at 31 Bond Street, just two blocks from the Merchant’s House. His widowed ex-lover (and landlady) was accused of his murder in a case that filled the headlines. Emma Cunningham’s desperate attempts to force the playboy bachelor to marry her and provide a home for her and her five children captured the attention of New Yorkers and people across America. The murder of an upper-middle class professional in his own home, coupled with the accused murderess’ efforts to wreak vengeance form a tale that was infamous in its day, but now long forgotten.

From The New Yorker: “Feldman collates popular accounts with archival research-—the coroner, he finds, brought witnesses to the murder site and interrogated them in Burdell’s dentist’s chair—and tells the story like a gaslight-era episode of “Law & Order.”’

Free. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

LOCATION: Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street, between Hudson Street and 7th Avenue South
[This venue is not wheelchair accessible.]

APRIL EVENTS

Sunday, April 10, 12:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho (Second Sunday of Every Month)

Friday, April 15, 7 p.m.
“April is the Cruellest Month” Candlelight Ghost Tour
Doors slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the dead of night. Venture into the shadows of history to see the house where eight 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, 2015)
50 minutes. $25, $15 Members. Upcoming Ghost Tours: May 20, June 17.

Opens January 14, through Monday, April 18
Exhibition: The Tredwells’ Books Collection and the Changing 19th Century Culture of Books
The Tredwells’ books provide a glimpse into the family’s interests, tastes, and intellectual pursuits. Books in the 19th century were meant to be studied, so it is not surprising that the most common subject/genre of literature found is education, including foreign languages, followed by religion, biography, poetry, and fiction.

Almost half of the 314 volumes in the collection have Tredwell family inscriptions (the earliest 1809). Most 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.

Saturday, April 23, 12 to 4 p.m.
The Tredwells at Home, Living History:
The Habits of Good Society” – Etiquette and Entertaining at Home
It’s 1858 and 25-year-old Tredwell daughter Julia is receiving visitors in the front parlor. New York women in the 19th century maintained friendships and other social connections through the elaborate ritual of formal visiting – or “calling” — and in order to participate, everyone was expected to know the rules. When do you make a personal call, and when can you leave a calling card? How soon should you pay a “party call” after attending a ball or formal dinner? How do you know when a family is ready to receive visitors after mourning a death? What is a “sociable”? Come pay Julia a call and find out how she and other young women in 19th century New York navigate the ins and outs of fashionable society.
Period costume encouraged. Free with admission. Reservations not required.

Friday, April 29, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Parlor

In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $10, Students & Seniors $5, FREE for Members.

Saturday, April 30, 3:30 p.m.
Special Interactive Tour for Families: A Child’s View of Life in 19th Century New York
29 East Fourth Street was home not only to the eight Tredwell children, but also to two young granddaughters. Come tour the house and learn what life was like for children (and adults) in the 1850s, from schoolwork and chores to games and play. Could you carry a bucket of coal up steep stairs? Do you have a calling card? A top hat? What, no hoop skirt? How did you take a bath? And penmanship really, really mattered.
Best for children 8 to 12 years old. $15, one adult, one child. $20, one adult, two children (max.).

Opens Saturday, January 30, through Friday, April 29
Exhibition – Tredwell Costume Collection:
Two-piece Spring and Summer Cotton Dress, 1862-1865
The invention of synthetic aniline dyes in 1856 made possible the pink color of the fabric of this dress. The first aniline dye color was mauve, which made a rich range of purples available to the general populace for the first time. Natural purple dyes were derived from a type of sea snail and were very expensive, so only the very wealthy were able to wear purple clothing. For centuries, purple textiles were synonymous with royalty.  By 1862, brilliant pink dyes were available, allowing for such confections as on the fabric of this dress.

MAY EVENTS

May is Lower East Side History Month
Lower East Side History Month is an annual celebration of the rich and diverse history of the Lower East Side. Conceived by LES-based arts and community groups, LES History Month is an umbrella for a variety of public events, exhibits, tours, and learning opportunities — aiming to connect our present to our past, exploring how our history can inform and inspire our future.
See the full schedule of events at www.leshistorymonth.org

Sunday, May 8, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho
Celebrating Lower East Side History Month
Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

NOTE: Tours are one hour and begin promptly.
Limited to 20 people (first come, first served). No reservations.
Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories.

Wednesday, May 11, 1 to 4 p.m.
Merchant’s House Museum 80th Anniversary Celebration
Celebrating Lower East Side History Month
On May 11, 1936, the Merchant’s House Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time. Join us as we celebrate 80 years as a museum with tours of the house and publication of Miracle on Fourth Street: Saving an Old Merchant’s House, by Mary L. Knapp. Books will be available for purchase.
Admission 50 cents, as it was in 1936. No reservations.

Friday, May 20, 6:30 & 7 p.m.
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 eight 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, 2015)
50 minutes. $25, $15 Members.

Saturday, May 21, 12 to 4 p.m.
The Tredwells at Home, Living History:
Secrets of a Lady’s Toilette – Fashion and Beauty
It’s 1858 and 25-year-old Tredwell daughter Julia is in her mother’s bedroom getting ready for an evening at the theatre. In the 19th century, the theatre was a fashionable society event where women could see what others were wearing and be seen themselves, so she must dress her best. From silk sleeves and satin slippers to perfumed soaps and floral-scented skin powder, no detail is too small. How does she dress her hair? Are corsets comfortable? How many layers does it take to make the fashionable crinoline silhouette? Learn about Julia’s clothes, her cosmetics, and just how much work it takes to be well-dressed in 19th-century New York. Free with admission. No reservations.

Friday, May 27, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Parlor
In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $10, Students & Seniors $5, FREE for Members.

JUNE EVENTS

Friday, June 3, 7 p.m.
Concert: A Midsummer Serenade — Music to Greet the Solstice
“Midsummer,” as in the title of Shakespeare’s comic play, refers to the Summer Solstice, an estival  festival of ancient pagan rituals. Come hear songs of nature and sprites in both familiar and undeservedly forgotten period music sung by members of the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society – Anthony Bellov, Amy Gluck, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande – accompanied by pianist Jai Jeffryes. Delight in this musical interlude in the Museum’s landmark Greek Revival double parlor. Music by Rossini, Brahms, Fauré, Duparc, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, and others.
$25, $15 Members, Seniors, and Students. Reservations required.

Sunday, June 12, 12:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

Wednesday, June 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
At the Tredwells’ Table: A Culinary Tour of the Merchant’s House
With Reception in the Garden Catered by Food Trends
Join professional chef and culinary historian Carl Raymond for a unique tour of the Merchant’s House focusing on the culinary customs of mid-19th century New York, including favorite foods, cooking methods, dining etiquette, and entertaining.

In the 1850s kitchen, you’ll learn about nearby Tompkins Market, where the Tredwells bought their favorite foods (take-out, too), and how the American kitchen and cooking techniques have evolved over time. You’ll also hear details of the lives of the Irish servants who lived in the Tredwells’ home and cooked and served their meals.

In the elegant dining room, you’ll learn about service for an elegant dinner party – a la Francaise? A la Russe? – and the essential rules of dining etiquette. In the formal front parlor, you’ll hear about the family’s elaborate entertainments such as the famous New Year’s Day “calling.”

The tour, which also discusses the influential cookbook writers and cookbooks of the mid-19th century, covers all four floors of the museum, including the bedroom floor and servants’ quarters.
Reception in the 19th century garden follows the tour. Light fare generously donated by Food Trends.
$30, Members $25.

Friday, June 17, 7 p.m.
Candlelight Ghost Tour
Doors slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the dead of night. Venture into the shadows of history to see the house where eight 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, 2015)
50 minutes. $25, $15 Members.

Tuesday, June 21, 6:30 p.m.
Illustrated lecture: The Irish Bridget
With Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan
In collaboration with the New York Council for the Humanities and co-sponsored by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Who was the Irish Bridget? What relevance does her story have to the history of Irish immigration to America? Learn the answers to these questions in Margaret Lynch-Brennan’s presentation “The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930” which is based on her book of the same name. Lynch-Brennan will use photographs and personal letters the Irish Bridgets wrote to one another to give insight into the lives of these young immigrant girls. She will discuss their work life, their social life, the impact they had on Irish-American life, and their contribution to American ethnic history, labor history and women’s history. Lynch-Brennan will also explore the relevance of the Irish Bridget’s story to contemporary American life, in which domestic service is again populated by female immigrants, and immigration is once more controversial.
Free. Reservations are required: 212-475-9585 x 35 or rsvp@gvshp.org

NOTE LOCATION: Church of St. Brigid, 119 Avenue B (SE corner of East 8th Street) Built in 1848 by Irish immigrants for those fleeing the Great Famine.
Margaret Lynch-Brennan earned a Ph.D. in American History from the University at Albany (SUNY) in 2002. Her research focuses on Irish immigrants, particularly Irish immigrant women. She published essays in three books; presented at conferences in the United States, Ireland, Australia and Germany; and is a consultant to museums regarding the interpretation of Irish immigrants. Her book, The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930, remains the only book published on the topic.

This Public Scholars event, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Saturday, June 25, 3:30 p.m.
A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants with Bridget Murphy
Join us for a back-stairs tour of the Merchant’s House and explore the world of the Irish immigrants who worked as domestic servants for the Tredwell family. You’ll climb the narrow staircase to the fourth-floor servants’ quarters and see where the Tredwells’ four Irish servants lived and did some of their work, “arguably the oldest intact site of Irish habitation in New York City” (Time Out New York). In the kitchen, you’ll meet 19-year-old Bridget Murphy, who worked for the Tredwells in the 1850s. What did the servants do on their day off? Where did they shop? Go to church? How did they find employment when they first arrived? Bridget will tell you why it would have been impossible to run a home like the Merchant’s House without her.
Included with General Admission. Reservations not required.

JULY EVENTS

Thursday, until 8 p.m., July 7, 14, 21, 28 
Summer Evenings in the Garden
Guided Tour, 6:30 p.m. Light Refreshments. Rain or Shine.
Admission $13, $8 Students & Seniors, FREE for Members.
No reservations.

Sunday, July 10 (and Second Sunday of the Month: August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

NOTE: Tours are one hour and begin promptly.
Limited to 20 people (first come, first served). No reservations.
Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories.

Monday, May 2, through Friday, July 15
Tredwell Costume Collection:
Unmentionable and Never Seen: Foundations of the 19th Century Woman
In order to achieve the ever-changing silhouette of the season, women were trussed, lifted, and caged to fit properly into their gowns. Indeed, it was the foundation garments that gave women their shape and support throughout the day and made the fashions of the period possible.

The under-linens (chemises, corset covers, drawers, and petticoats) worn by 19th century women like the Tredwells were often embellished with hand embroidery and lace and were as beautiful to see as the dresses that covered them. The structural garments (corsets, crinolines, and bustles) were feats of engineering. All proper women wore them daily.

Opens Saturday, July 16
Exhibition
Tredwell Costume Collection – Wrapped in Good Taste: 19th Century Dressing Gowns 

Wednesday, July 27, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Garden
In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $10, Students & Seniors $5, FREE for Members.
Upcoming Open Mic Nites: August 28, September 30

AUGUST EVENTS

Thursday, until 8 p.m., August 4, 11, 18, 25
Summer Evenings in the Garden
Guided Tour, 6:30 p.m. Light Refreshments. Rain or Shine.
Admission $13, $8 Students & Seniors, FREE for Members.
No reservations.

Opens Thursday, August 4
Exhibition: What’s in the Box?

Sunday, August 14 (and Second Sunday of the Month: September 11, October 9, November 13)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

NOTE: Tours are one hour and begin promptly.
Limited to 20 people (first come, first served). No reservations.
Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories.

Friday, August 26, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Garden
In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $10, Students & Seniors $5, FREE for Members.
Upcoming Open Mic Nites: TBA

SEPTEMBER EVENTS

Sunday, September 11 (and Second Sunday of the Month: October 9, November 13)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

NOTE: Tours are one hour and begin promptly.
Limited to 20 people (first come, first served). No reservations.
Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories.

Wednesday, September 21, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
80th Anniversary Celebration: Benefit Party in the Garden
Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music, tours of the house.
Host Sponsors: Fairfax & Sammons Architects, Studio Sofield
Click here to purchase tickets. 

Saturday, September 24, 3 p.m.
Exhibition Talk
Tredwell Costume Collection: 19th Century Dressing Gowns
With Pamela Long, Textile Conservator
Free with admission.

Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 p.m.  POSTPONED
Illustrated Lecture: Edith Wharton and the Food and Dining of Old New York
Descended from the city’s oldest Dutch and English families, Edith Wharton had intimate knowledge of the fading social customs of the early 19th century, Old New York, which she skillfully captured in numerous novels, stories, and her unforgettable characters. Her narrative details, of fashion, décor, etiquette – and food – are telling of the period and, more importantly, the social world of her characters. Using examples from Wharton’s fiction and non-fiction, combined with details of culinary history, food historian and professionally trained chef Carl Raymond will present a unique portrait of food and dining in 1840s to 1860s New York told through the lens of one of America’s greatest writers. Reception follows the lecture.
$25, Members $15. Click here for tickets.

Friday, September 30, 6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nite in the Garden
In the 19th century, literary salons gathered great thinkers, artists, and writers under one roof for a night of socialization and “improving conversation.” In that same spirit, the Merchant’s House celebrates the works of today’s new writers, performance artists, and musicians. Come to share your work or simply enjoy. Wine & light refreshments will be served.
If you’d like to perform, please bring no more than 5 minutes of material; sign-up available upon entry.
Admission $10, Students & Seniors $5, FREE for Members.
Upcoming Open Mic Nites: TBA

OCTOBER EVENTS

Opens Thursday, August 4, through Monday, October 3
Exhibition: What’s in the 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.

Saturday, July 16, through Monday, October 3
Tredwell Costume Collection –

Wrapped in Good Taste: 19th Century Dressing Gowns
In 19th century polite society, women’s dress was dictated by the time of day; to understand and adhere to this was a show of good taste. The interval between when a lady rose from her bed in the morning and dressed for her day was no exception. According to Florence Hartley’s Ladies Book of Etiquette (first published in 1860), “The most suitable dress for breakfast is a wrapper made to fit the figure loosely.”
The dressing gown, or wrapper, was an informal, functional garment, to be worn only at home, in the boudoir, or in the company of close family members or servants. On display, Tredwell dressing gowns from the collection.

Thursday, April 28, through Monday, October 3
Miracle on Fourth Street: Celebrating 80 Years as a Museum
On May 11, 1936 – 80 years ago – the Merchant’s House officially opened its doors to the public as a museum. The founder, George Chapman, exclaimed:

“Here in Fourth Street stands a house that is really Old New York itself! It is an authentic picture of a merchant prince’s life, who helped to make New York the greatest city in the world today.”

For the last 80 years, the Merchant’s House Museum has carried on the legacy of its founder: preserving the house and its original collection, and sharing the story of a wealthy merchant family and their Irish servants in mid-19th century New York with thousands of visitors each year.

This exhibition traces the museum’s 80-year history, from the struggle of the museum’s founder to realize his quixotic vision, to the dedication of a group of professional woman committed to reclaiming the beauty of the house’s original furnishings, to the critical intervention of an architect who devoted his life to an authentic structural restoration, to preservation efforts that persist to today.

Miracle on Fourth Street: Saving an Old Merchant’s House, by Mary L. Knapp, Museum Historian, has been published in celebration of the Museum’s 80th anniversary.  To order, click here.

Through Monday, October 3
At the Tredwells’ Table: Highlights from the Collection
A treasure trove of Tredwell silverware has returned to 29 East Fourth Street. The donation includes 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. Also on display are china and glassware spanning the Tredwell family’s almost 100 year residence in the house.

Sunday, October 9 (and Second Sunday of the Month: next tour November 13)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

NOTE: Tours are one hour and begin promptly.
Limited to 20 people (first come, first served). No reservations.
Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories.

Thursday, October 6 – Monday, October 31
Exhibition
“Truly We Live in a Dying World:” A 19th Century Home in Mourning

Including rarely exhibited items of Tredwell family mourning dress and accessories from the collection.

And NEW this year: Stage your own “postmortem” photograph in our 19th century coffin. And share with your friends #mhmcoffin2016

Step back in time to 1865, when family patriarch Seabury Tredwell died at home in his second floor bedroom. Poignant scenes of death and grief recreated in the House will explore mid-19th century mourning customs. Pay your last respects at his deathbed upstairs, or join the mourning in the double parlor, hung with black crepe and set for a mid-19th century funeral.

Also on exhibit, Tredwell family photographs and mourning attire and accessories, including jewelry made of hair and jet, a black net veil, several bodices and shawls, and two 1870s mourning gowns.  Included with regular admission; reservations not required.

Click here for “SPIRITED” October events: Candlelight Ghost Tours, Seabury Tredwell’s 1865 Funeral Reenactment, Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt, paranormal lecture with Dan Sturges, and Horror on Halloween.

“#1 Most Haunted Place in NYC” (TimeOut New York)         
“Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (The New York Times)

NOVEMBER EVENTS

Sunday, November 13 (Walking Tours resume in March)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
A Walking Tour of Historic 19th Century Noho

Join us for a journey back in time to the elite ‘Bond Street area,’ home to Astors, Vanderbilts, Delanos — and the Tredwells, who lived in the Merchant’s House. You’ll walk the footsteps of these wealthy mercantile families whose elegant Federal mansions once lined the tranquil cobblestone streets. Our tour passes by iconic landmarks such as the imposing Colonnade Row, the Public Theater, and The Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his ‘right makes might’ speech. On the bustling Astor Place, imagine the drama of events that led to the Opera House riot of 1849, among the bloodiest in American history. And visit the site of the scandalous 1857 Bond Street murder of Harvey Burdell, one of the City’s still unsolved crimes.
$10, FREE for Members.

NOTE: Tours are one hour and begin promptly.
Limited to 20 people (first come, first served). No reservations.
Tours are canceled in the case of heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat and cold advisories.

Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 p.m.
Stanford White’s New York

Illustrated Talk by Justin Ferate, Urban Historian
Join Urban Historian Justin Ferate to learn of the rich New York legacy, the extravagant life, and the sensational death of the great architect Stanford White. Stanford White was a partner in McKim, Mead & White – America’s most noted architectural firm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. White and his partners completed nearly 1,000 commissions, including public buildings, churches, social clubs, monuments, university buildings, and many others. The firm had a reputation for incorporating the lavish Beaux Arts style of embellishment into their public buildings, creating grand spaces designed to give Americans a great sense of civic pride.

Meanwhile, few came close to matching Stanford White’s sophisticated style and flair as a designer of opulent private homes – for such eminent American families as the Vanderbilts, Astors, Pulitzers, Paynes, and Whitneys (including some outside of New York).
The talk will also discuss the life of this well-loved architect, friend, and compatriot as well as his scandalous death, which has generated more “purple ink” than any comparable event in American history.
$30, Members $20.
Click here to purchase tickets.

Justin Ferate was honored as New York’s “Most Engaging Tour Guide” by Governor George Pataki and the New York State Tourism Council. Mr. Ferate also wrote the official New York City Professional Tour Guide Licensing Examination for the City of New York. The AAA Guide to New York selected the Grand Central Terminal tour offered by Mr. Ferate as “New York’s Best Walking Tour!”

Friday, November 18, 6:30 & 7 p.m.
Pre-Thanksgiving Candlelight Ghost Tour
of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House”

Haunted by the prospect of your relatives at Thanksgiving? Join us on a Candlelight Ghost Tour to get in the mood. 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 The New York Times called “Manhattan’s Most Haunted”) by flickering candlelight and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them.
50 minutes. $25, $20 Members.
Click here to purchase tickets.

“#1 Most Haunted Place in NYC” (TimeOut New York, 2015 & 2016)

OPENS Friday, November 25, through Monday, January 9
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.

DECEMBER EVENTS

Friday, December 2 
5:30 p.m., Holiday Preview & Farewell Toast to Urban Historian Justin Ferate
6:30 p.m., Illustrated Talk, New York’s Secret Nooks & Crannies, by Mr. Ferate
Join us for a special season preview of the Merchant’s House in full holiday regalia and a reception, followed by an illustrated talk by urban historian Justin Ferate.

We will toast Justin in our cozy 1850s kitchen and wish him the fondest of farewells as he prepares to leave his beloved New York City. Guests may wander freely through the period rooms decorated in festive mid-19th century holiday style. At 6:30 p.m., guests will gather in the double parlor for Mr. Ferate’s illustrated talk, an “armchair” romp throughout New York. The talk will explore some of the city’s great, but often overlooked treasures, including myriad offbeat landmarks, secret gardens, covert byways – and hidden holiday treasures.

$50, Members $30. Click here to purchase tickets.

Justin Ferate was honored as New York’s “Most Engaging Tour Guide” by Governor George Pataki and the New York State Tourism Council. Mr. Ferate also wrote the official New York City Professional Tour Guide Licensing Examination for the City of New York. The AAA Guide to New York selected the Grand Central Terminal tour offered by Mr. Ferate as “New York’s Best Walking Tour!” He is moving to Santa Fe at the end of the year.

Monday, December 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
Annual 19th-Century Holiday Party 
With special performance previews of ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the MERCHANT’S HOUSE, Charles Dickens in New York, 1867’ throughout the evening by star John Kevin Jones
The House will be in festive mid-19th century holiday dress with a table top tree, poinsettias, and greenery decking the halls. Join us for tours of the house, caroling, and a collation of Dickensian fare as we celebrate the holidays in Old New-York. Holiday raffle.
$25. FREE for Museum Members. Members, please call 212-777-1089 or email nyc1832@merchantshouse.org to reserve.

4th SMASH Year! Limited engagement December 6 to December 24.
All performances are SOLD OUT. Mark your calendars for 2017!
A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the MERCHANT’S  HOUSE, Charles Dickens in New York, 1867
Starring John Kevin Jones as Mr. Dickens
Come celebrate the season with this unique retelling of a holiday classic, set in the Museum’s Greek Revival double parlor decorated in 19th century holiday style. Perfect for families.
Meet Mr. Dickens and toast the holiday season before the performance. Mulled wine, cider, and light fare.

“The Christmas Carol becomes doubly enchanting when one hears it performed by Dickens.” New York Herald, 1867
TimeOut New York: “One of the 10 Best Plays to see this holiday season”

“Masterful storytelling” and a “tour de force”
“Stays true to Dickens’s voice”
“Perfectly suited to the season”