2023 Past Programs
Sunday, January 1, 2023, 3 p.m.
Virtual New Year’s Day 2023 Celebration!
Paying social calls on friends and family on the first day of the new year was one of Old New York’s most cherished customs. Join us – virtually – for good cheer to toast the New Year and learn how New Yorkers like the Tredwells celebrated the day.
In this immersive video experience, we’ll go back in time to the mid-19th century to meet the Tredwells and hear how they’ve been decking the house for New Year’s Day and preparing their lists of social calls. Join us as we continue the 19th century tradition of renewing, reviving, and reaffirming friendships that last the whole year through.
After the video, join Museum Historian Ann Haddad and the actors for a live Q&A. 45 minutes. FREE (suggested donation $10); register for Virtual New Year’s Day Celebration.
Open through Sunday, January 8
Special Holiday Exhibition –
Christmas Comes to Old New York
Step back in time to the 1850s and join the Tredwell family for the holidays. Their elegant parlors are decorated with swags of evergreens, brilliant holly berries, white mistletoe, and red-leafed poinsettias – and a table top tree festooned with ribbons and candles.
Celebrate the season and discover how many of our modern holiday traditions, from table-top Christmas trees, to presents and stockings, Christmas carols and songs (and Santa Claus, too) originated in mid-19th century New York. Included with museum admission.
Tuesday, January 17, 5:30 p.m.
Before Salmagundi: Part Two, with Anthony Bellov
Co-sponsored by the Salmagundi Club and Village Preservation
MHM volunteer and esteemed architectural sleuth Anthony Bellov continues with Part Two of his popular series exploring the historic fabric and architectural and social history of the 1853 Hawley Mansion, now the Salmagundi Club. He’ll explore the stunning architecture of the Double Parlors and delve deeply into the former appearance and functions of the Second Floor, now housing the Club’s world-renown 1917 library, revealing unnoticed details of past lives in the process. This is an in-person talk, held at the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue. Free; register at www.salmagundi.org.
Friday, January 20, 6:30 p.m.
In the Spirit of Science: Researching the Paranormal Using the Scientific Method
January’s Topic: “What Is Psi?” (Other Than the 23rd Letter of the Greek Alphabet)
RESCHEDULED to March 10.
ESP, clairvoyance, deja vu, precognition, synchronicity. These and other psychic or paranormal abilities and phenomena are all psi, experiences of the human mind that seem to violate our common sense view of space and time. What kinds of experiments can be done to validate psi? What do these experiments “prove,” if anything? Join Dan, Matilda, and Dr. Lee as they delve into psi, one of the most researched areas of parapsychology.
In the Spirit of Science is an ongoing virtual program about ground-breaking paranormal research, that began in 2020, when the Museum closed due to COVID-19. Through unbiased observation and systematic experimentation, this research is building a better understanding of the strange and fascinating phenomena observed at the Merchant’s House.
The project is led by neuroscientist Dr. Lee and Dan Sturges, founder of Sturges Paranormal, who appears on the Travel Channel’s weekly series, Paranormal Caught on Camera. He has performed investigations at the Merchant’s House – and documented his spine-chilling findings – since 2007. Thanatologist Matilda Garrido joins Dan and Dr. Lee to discuss their research findings.
FREE (suggested donation $10). Register for In the Spirit of Science.
Saturday, January 21, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Inside Old New York: A Neighborhood & House Tour
Co-Sponsored by The Gilded Gentleman Podcast and Bowery Boys Walking Tours
Join Carl Raymond, host of The Gilded Gentleman history podcast for this unique look inside the world of Old New York. In many ways, the roots of the society that fueled the Gilded Age began here, with the old money families, like the Astors. Wealthy families, such as the Tredwells, who owned what is today the Merchant’s House Museum, were the foundation of the economy and society we call “Old New York.”
This 90-minute tour will begin with a brief walk in the neighborhood south of Astor Place, pre-Civil War New York’s wealthiest area and then proceed to the Merchant’s House Museum. This unique expertly guided tour inside the house will include the formal parlor and dining room, the families private areas and bedrooms, and we’ll even have a chance to visit the servant’s quarters. $40; Register for “Inside Old New York.”
Exhibition on Display January 26 – March 12
19th-Century Valentines: Confections of Affection
Ornate and extravagant lace paper valentines reached their zenith during the second half of the 19th century. Victorian sentimentalism combined with advancing print technology fostered an outpouring of handmade and manufactured cards. Lace paper made its appearance in the 1830s, followed by ‘scraps,’ small embossed cut-outs colored by early chromo-lithography.
On display is a selection of 19th century valentines, including several from the Tredwell Collection. Delicate and lacy, these expressions of love celebrate the whimsy and romance of the Golden Age of Valentines. Included with regular admission.
Exhibition on Display through Sunday, March 5
Tredwell Costume Collection: “Fancy Dress” Costume (1885-1890), MHM 2002.0825
In the late 19th century, “fancy dress” costume balls were grand social affairs and widely reported in the press. Guests dressed in very elaborate costumes, and historical themes were most popular. On display, a sack-back – or sacque-back – gown, also known as a robe à la Française. The style of dress was popular in the 1700s, and was distinguished by its back; fabric was arranged in box pleats at the shoulders and fell to the floor in a small train. The sleeves of this dress harken back to an even earlier time, the 16th century, enhancing the romance and nostalgia of a time gone by. Included with museum admission.
Exhibition January 19 – March 26
Winter Warmth: How the Tredwells Bundled Up
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. On display, rarely seen objects from the original Tredwell collection, 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. Included with regular admission.