2020 Past Programs



Wednesday, January 1, 2 to 5 p.m.
New Year’s Day 2020 Celebration!
Paying social calls on friends and family on New Year’s Day was one of Old New York’s most cherished customs. Join us for good cheer for the New Year and learn how New Yorkers like the Tredwells celebrated the day in the 1850s.

Guided tours of the house throughout the afternoon, walking tours of the NoHo neighborhood, and hot cider and cookies in the cozy 19th century kitchen.

New this year! Gertrude Tredwell, portrayed by a costumed interpreter, will receive guests in the elegant parlors decorated with swags of evergreens, brilliant holly berries, white mistletoe, and red-leafed poinsettias – and a table-top tree festooned with ribbons and candles.

Exhibitions on view: Home for the Holidays: A Mid-19th Century Christmas;
Festoon, Feast & Frolic: 19th Century Christmas Festivities in Print,
 On loan from the Michael A. Russo Ephemera Collection; and Plaid Silk Dress, ca. 1848-1854, from the Tredwell Costume Collection.

FREE for MHM Members, $20 General Admission.

7th SMASH Year!
Final Performances! Closes January 5, 2020

A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House, Charles Dickens in New York, 1867
In December 1867, Charles Dickens arrived in New York for a month of sold-out performances of his beloved A Christmas Carol. Join Mr. Dickens, portrayed by John Kevin Jones, as he tells his timeless Christmas tale in the museum’s elegant double parlor. Surrounded by 19th century holiday decorations and flickering candles, you’ll be transported back 150 years in this captivating and critically acclaimed one-hour performance created from Dickens’ own script. Perfect for families.

Presented in association with Summoners Ensemble Theatre. Adapted and presented by John Kevin Jones and Rhonda Dodd. Click here for performance schedule, tickets, and more information.

“Masterful storytelling” and a “tour de force”

“The Christmas Carol becomes doubly enchanting when one hears it performed by Dickens.” New York Herald, 1867

“… a celebration of not only the holiday season, but of the value of everyday kindness.”

Closes Monday, January 6!
Exhibition –
Home for the Holidays: A Mid-19th Century Christmas
It’s 1855 and the Tredwell family is celebrating the season with holiday decorating, elaborate parties, festive food, and gift giving. New York had proclaimed Christmas a state holiday in 1849 and was leading the way in creating the joyous traditions we celebrate today.

Festive scenes are recreated throughout the house as the Tredwells make merry. Their elegant parlors are decorated with swags of evergreens, brilliant holly berries, white mistletoe, and red-leafed poinsettias; a table-top tree festooned with ribbons and candles takes center stage. Mrs. Tredwell is stuffing the children’s stockings and sending holiday greetings, and the Tredwell daughters are dressing in their finest silks.

In the kitchen, the Irish servants are preparing the plum pudding, shucking the oysters, and readying the punch bowl, using recipes from the latest holiday cookbooks.

Tour the house and discover how many of our modern holiday traditions, from Christmas trees and Christmas cards, to gifts and stockings, Christmas carols (and Santa Claus, too) originated in mid-19th century New York.

Closes Monday, January 6!
Exhibition –
Festoon, Feast & Frolic: 19th Century Christmas Festivities in Print
On loan from the Michael A. Russo Ephemera Collection
Worth a thousand words, period illustrations from greeting cards, newspapers, trade cards, and even cookbooks reveal some of the most treasured and celebrated Yuletide traditions of the 19th century — and highlight the food, décor, and activities the Tredwell family may have enjoyed for their holiday merry making.

Michael A. Russo is a member of the Ephemera Society of America, Vice President of the National Valentine Association and the owner of Trout Lily Farm, a flower farm, in southern Connecticut, where he grows and creates unique floral designs for his clients.