Category: Exploring Historic Rhinebeck NY

Hyde Park Historical Society                                                 4389 Albany Post Road                                                         Hyde Park, NY 12538

Hyde Park Historical Society 4389 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538

Hyde Park Historical Society

4389 Albany Post Road

Hyde Park, NY 12538

(845) 229-2559

https://hydeparkhistoricalsociety1821.org/

https://www.hydeparkny.us/669/Hyde-Park-Historical-Society

Open: Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60801-d3426818-Reviews-Hyde_Park_Historical_Society_Museum-Hyde_Park_New_York.html

The Hyde Park Historical Society at 4389 Albany Post Road

The Hyde Park Historical Society is going through a type of rebirth as it has reopened with a fresh approach towards not just the history of Hyde Park, NY but the area in general and life here over the last two hundred years. The society is taking a new direction and revamping their efforts on the displays and on the history and activities of the museum. The museum is housed in what was once the Hyde Park, NY Fire Department building.

The museum is broken down into sections by displays. When you enter the museum there is an display of bicycles and recreation items that would have been used over the years. This activity changed the social life of both men and women of that era.

Bicycle display:

Next to it was the history of the Hyde Park Fire Department with pictures of companies of fire fighters and all sorts of memorabilia. There are pictures of former fire companies including the ones that were once housed in the museum building.

The Hyde Park Fire Department:

Across from that, there is a display called “Daily Life” which was the history of the town with homes and businesses in the area at that time. There were all sorts of pictures of prominent families and their day to day activities.

Daily life in Hyde Park, NY for the Middle class members of the community

Luxury items of the Gilded Age

There was all sorts of objects from the bills of sale of homes, household items and there is an wonderful display of accessories from the Victorian era.

The front room of the museum is dedicated to life of the middle to upper-middle class of Hyde Park around the turn of the last century. There is all sorts of clothing, pictures and artifacts from schools, the boy scouts, area schools and there are even sleds and skates from winter recreation sports played on the Hudson River. There are all sorts of athletic equipment, clothing based on sporting or activity event and accessories that were used and worn when participating in all seasonal activities.

Life in Hyde Park, NY

Every day life in Hyde Park, NY

There is a small display from the semi-professional baseball team that used to be located in Hyde Park with pictures, equipment and uniforms. It seemed that semi-professional baseball was a big entertainment and community event in years past in Hyde Park, NY.

The Hyde Park baseball team

There are also items in a small war display that is circa WWI. Many artifacts were donated by families whose members fought in the war.

The second small room in the back is dedicated to communication equipment from WWII and pictures of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was the President at the time as well as a prominent member of the community. The Roosevelts had lived in the Hudson River Valley for generations.

There are several important pieces of war time equipment located here.

There is also a display of farm equipment showing off the areas agricultural past and present. This is still a major farming area as you head north of Rhinebeck, NY.

The back room is dedicated to clothing and wardrobe items like dresses, hats and spinning items.

There are a few portraits of local residents as well.

This shows the change of clothing from when Dutch women would spin their wool for clothing to buying ready to wear items in the local department and specialty stores that dotted towns like Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie.

The display also shows the manner of dress went from the Victorian era to the Jazz Age and the changes in just ten years.

Hats from various ages

Here and there are other items that relate to daily living and a prosperous life in Hyde Park, NY. The museum is well lit and very well organized and signed so it makes viewing the displays a pleasure. It is a treasure trove of artifacts and information and insights to the life of Rhinebeck NY at that time. This display was on the Hype Park School System.

Everyday life in the schools in Hyde Park and Rhinebeck, NY

The History of the Hyde Park Historical Society:

(From the museum’s pamphlet):

The Hyde Park Firehouse:

As indicated by the engraved stone lintels over the engine bays, the firehouse that the museum is housed in was built in 1905 for the Eagle Engine Company founded in 1845 and the Rescue Hook & Ladder Company (1866), separate companies whose volunteer members included Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The old Hyde Park Firehouse serves as the museum

Designed by Poughkeepsie architect William Beardsley, the Renaissance Revival style brick building features a cast iron cornice and a bas relief decoration above the third story windows.

You can find all sorts of items at the museum. It contains lots of local pictures and artifacts. In the Textile Room, you can find a hat box labeled Mrs. James Roosevelt, a spinning wheel and period apparel.

In the Research Room, you can search your family and friends’ history, look at local tools of trade and maps of Dutchess County in the 1700’s.

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Five Exploring the Historical sites of Fishkill, NY- A Local Journey                                             August 7th and 14th, 2022

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Five Exploring the Historical sites of Fishkill, NY- A Local Journey August 7th and 14th, 2022

Don’t miss touring the historical sites of the Fishkill, NY area and then touring the local downtowns for something to eat.

There is lots to do and see in Fishkill, NY

There’s lots to do and see in Wappinger Falls, NY as well

Don’t miss these two wonderful downtowns and all the historical sites, parks, farms and wonderful eating establishments in the surrounding area. It makes a wonderful afternoon.

mywalkinmanhattan

I love visiting the Hudson River Valley so any event or tour that I can go on is an excuse to come up here. I had visited all the sites that I wanted to see on a trip two weeks earlier but wanted to see them in more detail plus I wanted to take some pictures. The weather finally broke, and it was a much more pleasant 83 degrees as opposed to the 96 degrees the trip before. That makes the trip much nicer.

I asked my aunt along so that we could share in the experience, and I could use her phone to take pictures of the all the sites. It is a much nicer trip when you have someone along who enjoys these things. The one nice thing about traveling to the Fishkill, New York area is that it is only an hour away and a straight run…

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Hessel Museum of Art -Bard College Campus     33 Garden Road                                       Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

Hessel Museum of Art -Bard College Campus 33 Garden Road Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

Hessel Museum of Art-Bard College Campus

33 Garden Road

Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

https://ccs.bard.edu/museum

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday-Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29820-d1069234-Reviews-Hessel_Museum_of_Art_at_Bard_College-Annandale_on_Hudson_New_York.html

The Hessel Museum on the Bard Campus

When I was visiting Rhinebeck for the recent Sheep and Wool Festival (See day One Hundred and Forty-Nine on “MywalkinManhattan.com), I decided to visit Bard College and their contemporary art museum, the Hessel Museum. When approaching the museum, it almost appears to be a fortress with several large pieces of contemporary sculpture on the grounds outside the building.

Day One Hundred and Forty-Nine:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/10723

Once upon entering the museum, you are greeted by many welcoming volunteers who will check your vaccination card and ID and your mask and then you can enter the museum for viewing. At the time I was there, NY State still had a lot of their mandates.

There were a couple of interesting exhibitions going on when I visited. The first one I visited that afternoon was “Closer to Life: Drawings and Works on Paper in the Marieluise Hessel Collection”, which was many of the works of the founder of Bard’s private collection that had been donated to the school. I have to admit that the works were very contemporary with lots of squiggles and political themes.

The show piece from the exhibition

Many of the works you had to look at a second time to try to find the meaning in them. I was having a tough time relating the titles to the works. Reading the exhibits press release, the exhibition said “Hessel’s dedication to the depiction of the human figure as an essential act of examining the self and social relations. The exhibit focuses, with a few exceptions, on drawing as a discrete, stand-alone practice and preoccupation of artists rather than as a tool to create studies for works in other mediums. Drawing is a way of thinking and the intimacy of the act is echoed in much of the subject matter depicted in the exhibition (Museum website).

Ms. Hessel traveled extensively and had relationships with many artists along the way, who touched on the themes of the day. She traveled from Germany to Mexico City and then onto New York City at different phases of her life and it shows in the collection that she amassed. The collection twists and turns in its theme from room to room.

The opening exhibition room of the “Closer to Life” exhibition

The other exhibition I toured was the current “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985” which was an interesting exhibition of design of the home and space which seemed to be an art movement in the early to mid 1980’s that I never noticed when I was in high school and college. It seemed that home design went from the home furnishings to a form of art.

The “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985” logo

This I had seen the artist’s starting to design things like dishware and placemats for everyday use and in things like wallpaper from the dining room. There was a cross over in home design as artists became more commercialized and their work showed up on walls and floors. It is not too different today with people like Martha Stewart and her paint and home furnishing collections or Halston designing for JC Penny with the Halston II Collection.

Some of the art was quite colorful

The art in those galleries really looked something you would find in the average person’s home in the era. Some of the ‘over the top’ really looked like it belonged on a rug or on wallpaper. As the exhibition’s literature stated, “the exhibition examines the Pattern and Decorative movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental or craft based and thought to be patterns and arranging them in intricate, almost dizzying and sometimes purposefully gaudy designs” (Exhibition literature).

The Hessel Museum doesn’t offer just interesting art but it approaches it in a thought-provoking way, asking the patrons to see beyond not just what is on the walls but think about the exhibit from the era in which the art is from and ask ‘does this still ring true today’. The Hessel asks us to think ‘out of the box’ and look at their works from different perspectives.

Some I understood and some I didn’t but I still enjoyed wondering the galleries and exploring the art on its terms. I think that’s what contemporary or just art in general does. We need to think about it. The museum also has a nice little gift shop to explore.

The History of the Hessel Museum:

About CCS Bard:

Established in 1990, the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) is an incubator for experimentation in exhibition-making and the leading institution dedicated exclusively to curatorial studies-a discipline exploring the historical, intellectual and social conditions that inform curatorial practice.

The Center for Curatorial Studies has several interconnected parts:

The Hessel Museum of Art, built in 2006, presents experimental group exhibitions and monographic shows and also draws from the Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art, comprised of more than 3,000 objects collected contemporaneously from the 1960’s to the present day. The Hessel Museum is open and free to the public. Public sculptures by Franz West, Cosima von Bonin and other artists surround the Museum. Please see the museum page for more details.

CCS Bard hosts a range of public events throughout the year. All events are free and open to the public. Please see upcoming events on the website.

The CCS Bard Archive provides access to a wide range of primary materials documenting the history of the contemporary visuals arts and the institutions and practices of exhibition-making since the 1960’s. Please see our research center page for further details.

The Graduate program in Curatorial Studies is an intensive course of study in the history of contemporary art, the institutions and practices of exhibition making and the theory and criticism of contemporary art since the 1960’s. Throughout its over thirty-year history, the program has actively recruited perspectives underrepresented in contemporary art and cultivated a student body representing a diverse spectrum of backgrounds in a board effort to transform the curatorial field. Please see the school page for further details.

The Center for Curatorial Studies is part of Bard College and located on their Annandale-on-Hudson campus. Bard acts at the intersection of education and civil society, extending liberal arts and sciences education to communities in which it has been undeveloped, inaccessible or absent. Through its undergraduate college, distinctive graduate programs, commitment to the fine and performing arts, civic and public engagement programs and network of international dual-degree partnerships, early colleges and prison education initiatives, Bard offers unique opportunities for students and faculty to study, experience and realize the principle that higher-education institutions can and should operate in the public interest. For more details on the Bard College, please see their website.

Montgomery Place-Bard College                          26 Gardener Way & River Road                          Red Hook, NY 12571

Montgomery Place-Bard College 26 Gardener Way & River Road Red Hook, NY 12571

Montgomery Place-Bard College

26 Gardener Way & River Road

Red Hook, NY 12571

https://www.bard.edu/montgomeryplace/

Open: Sunday-Saturday From Dawn to Dusk/Mansion is closed

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29820-d209648-Reviews-Montgomery_Place-Annandale_on_Hudson_New_York.html

On a recent trip to the Hudson River Valley for Fall events I took a tour of Bard Campus to visit their campus and tour Montgomery Place which the college bought from the Hudson River Historical Society in 2016. It is now part of the campus and you can tour the grounds but not the inside of the house.

Montgomery Place on the Bard College Campus

Before 2016 when the house was owned by the Hudson River Historical Society who used to have tours of the mansion. When the family sold the mansion and all its contents to the Society, they left the house untouched when they moved out you got to see how the Livingston family lived not just in current times but with all the historical furniture that came with the house. The former tour used to take you through each room that had antique furniture and decorations but much of the house had been modernized over the years. Older furnishings had either been conserved or slipcovered because of age. Since the house has been sold to Bard College, you can only tour the house by appointment only through the college.

The grounds are still impressive. During the Spring, the formal gardens next to the house are in full bloom and the last time I had taken a tour there, the gardens were being maintained by a local garden club. There were flower beds, herb gardens and cutting gardens on top of the flowing lawns from the house to the river.

The Montgomery Place Gardens are changing from Summer to Fall

In the Fall on a recent visit, most of the gardens had been cut back with a few seasonal flowering bushes still showing color. The trees surrounding the house were turning a gold hue while the lawn that had been freshly cut was still emerald green. The house while a little worn from the outside still looked like it was ready to receive guests for the Fall season in the Hudson River Valley. The views from the back of the house are breathtaking from the window views of the Hudson River and the paths leading to it.

There are all sorts of hiking trails to the Sawkill River and through the forests, a trail down to the Hudson River and tours of the property. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk and there is plenty of parking by the Visitor’s Center along with a history of the estate.

The History of the Estate:

(Taken from Wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Place

The property had been home Native Americans for at least 5,000 years as a seasonal hunting ground. The Dutch settled in the area in the late 18th century using the Saw Kill River for various mills.

In the late 1770’s, Janet Livingston Montgomery purchased from Abraham Van Benthuysen 242 acres of land on the Hudson River after the death of her husband General Richard Montgomery at the Battle of Quebec. She moved into the home they built after the Revolutionary War. She later had plans made for a Federal style mansion on the riverfront property she bough and moved into her new home, Chateau de Montgomery, in 1805. She established a working farm with the help of friends who gave her tree samples (Wiki).

Upon her death in 1828, the mansion was inherited by her brother, Edward Livingston. He had spent his summers vacationing here with his wife, Louise. They renamed the estate ‘Montgomery Place’. He died the next year and his wife, Louise hired Alexander Jackson Davis to convert the mansion into a more ornate villa. Two wings and exterior decoration were added at this time of the renovation. With the help of Andrew Jackson Downing, a friend of Louise’s and mentor to Davis, she developing the landscapes. Her daughter, Cora Barton worked with the architect on designing garden and conservatory (Wiki).

Upon Louise’s death in 1860, Cora and her husband hired Davis again to build some the earlier outbuildings including Coach House, Swiss Cottage and farmhouse and then extended the landscaping to turn the estate into more ‘pleasure grounds’ and have a separation from the farming operations. The house then passed on to another relative in 1921, John Ross Delafield who added heating and modern plumbing to the house. He and his wife also extended the gardens on the estate as well (Wiki).

Upon his death, his son John White Delafield inherited the house and they opened two corporations to own and operate the property. In 1981, the estate was sold to the Historic Hudson Valley, the historical society. After an extensive renovation, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992 and it was bought by Bard College in 2016 who is its current owner (Wiki).