Tag: Exploring Inwood and Washington Hieghts

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: The Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to Medieval Art                                                           99 Margaret Corbin Drive Fort Tryon               New York, NY 10040

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: The Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to Medieval Art 99 Margaret Corbin Drive Fort Tryon New York, NY 10040

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: A Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

99 Margaret Corbin Drive

Fort Tryon Park

New York, NY  10040

(212) 923-3700

Open: March-October 10:00am-5:15pm/November-February-10:00am-4:45pm

http://www.metmuseum.org

https://www.metmuseum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/met-cloisters

Fee: Adults $25.00/Seniors $17.00/Children $12.00/Members & Patrons and Children under 12 are free

Museum Hours:

Hours: Open 7 days a week

March-October 10:00am-5:15pm

November-February 10:00am- 4:45pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25th and January 1st.

*Some galleries may be closed for construction or maintenance.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106609-Reviews-The_Met_Cloisters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I go to The Cloisters on a pretty regular basis, and they have interesting walking tours and lectures especially in the warm months. If you like Medieval or religious art, this is a museum that is worth visiting. It is out of the way and be prepared to walk up a hill but in the summer months, the view of the Hudson River is spectacular, and the gardens are beautiful.

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The Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park

Don’t miss the walking tours and gallery talks at the museum. I have recently been to a series of walking gallery talks dealing with the history of Medieval arts. There were discussions on Medieval art between Christian and Muslim religions, Traveling the Silk Road and its influences on art in the regions and the collection and how it has improved and grown over the years. It seems there has been a up tick in this type of art.

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This section of the shine is on a permanent loan from Spain

The building is just beautiful as it was created from pieces of religious sites all over Europe. Many of the doorways, cloisters (archways), stone work and fountains and windows come from churches that had been destroyed by wars over the past 600 years. Bits and pieces of all of the these buildings are displayed in the architecture of the museum itself. Some are on permanent loan to the museum from foreign countries. Don’t miss the famous “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries that are on display here. They are quite a spectacular exhibit.

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The ‘Hunt of the Unicorn’ tapestries

Be sure to visit the outside terraces of the Cloisters to see the views of the Hudson River below and the beautiful gardens of Fort Tyron Park where the building is located. It is a sea of green lawns and woods and beautifully landscaped flowering paths.

There is a nice café on property but there is also a nice outdoor café in the park as well as a small restaurant row on Dyckman Avenue at the foot of the park right near the subway stop. There are also many terrific Spanish restaurants on Dyckman Street as you walk down the block towards Fort George Hill.

I recently went to the Cloisters for a very interesting walking tour called “Holly & Hawthorne: Decorating for a Medieval Christmas” and the use of plants like holly, mistletoe, pine and ivy were used in the winter months to decorate the churches and homes of the people until the Puritan influences took over.

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The Cloisters decorated for Medieval Christmas

The tour guide discussed by touring the paintings and tapestries where these symbolic plants took shape during this time. She even explained how ivy when it reaches sunlight that its shape goes from a  three leaf shape to a heart shape which was symbolic during the Middle Ages. The gardens were a good source of inspiration for the holidays.

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The Cloisters decorated for Christmas

Don’t miss walking the halls and cloisters to look at all the decorations for the holidays. The museum keeps them simple and elegant but it really does put you in the holiday spirit.

I visited again this Christmas holiday season in 2021 to see “Spain 1000-1200: Art at the Frontiers of Faith”, where the Catholic and Muslim Kingdoms of Spain influenced each other in the manner of decoration and art borrowing from each other. It was interesting to see how the two communities used each other’s art over time to develop an interesting hybrid of design that was both colorful and intricate.

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“Spain 1000-1200: Art at the Frontiers of Faith”

Another tour of the Cloisters that I attended was on the ‘Four Medieval Flowers: The Lily, Iris, Violet and Rose’. It was interesting how society of this era used the former Pagan and Roman/Greek symbols in their Christian religious art.

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You see the Rose in the stained glass to represent strength and honor

You will see the meanings in the tapestries, stained glass art and in the sculpture to represent purity, rebirth and sexual symbols of the time. It seemed that the artisans of the time used ancient meanings to convey something that they could not out and out talk about.

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In the “Hunt of the Unicorn” Tapestries you can see flowers such as Lilly, Violet and Iris  woven into the work which may have meant it was a wedding present to the new owner. The tour guide said there was meaning in lots of the works which may have had a different purpose originally. It was a tour steeped in symbolism.

These walking tours at the Cloisters happen at 12:00pm and 2:0opm on the weekends.

Mission:

Welcome to The Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Set on a hilltop with commanding views of the Hudson River. The Cloisters is designed in a style evocative of medieval architecture specifically for the display of masterpiece created during that era. Arranged roughly chronologically and featuring works primarily from Western Europe, the collection includes sculpture, stained glass, tapestries, painting, manuscript illumination and metalwork. The extensive gardens feature medieval plantings, enhancing the evocative environment.

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The Gardens at the Cloisters in bloom

History of the Museum

John D. Rockefeller Jr. generously provided for the building, the setting in Fort Tryon Park and the acquisition of the notable George Grey Barnard Collection, the nucleus of The Cloisters collection. Barnard Collection, the nucleus of The Cloisters collection. Barnard, an American sculptor whose work can be seen in the American Wing of the Metropolitan, traveled extensively in France, where he purchased medieval sculpture and architectural elements often from descendants of citizens who had appropriated objects abandoned during the French Revolution. The architect Charles Collens incorporated these medieval elements into the fabric of The Cloisters, which opened to the public in 1938.

Romanesque Hall

Imposing stone portals from French churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries open onto a gallery that features rare Spanish frescoes and French sculpture.

Fuentiduena Chapel

The twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martin at Fuentiduena, Spain and the great contemporary fresco of Christ in Majesty from a church in the Pyrenees Mountains dominate the space. Sculpture from Italy and Spain enriches the chapel, which is the setting for a celebrated concert series.

Saint-Guilhem Cloister

The fine carving of this cloister from the monastery of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, near Montpellier, harmoniously and playfully adapts the forms of Roman sculpture in a medieval context. The plants depicted in the sculpture, acanthus and palm, are growing in pots near the small fountain. The gallery also features early sculpture from Italy, Islamic Spain and elsewhere in France.

Langon Chapel

Architectural elements from the twelfth-century church of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg at Langon near Bordeaux form the setting for the display of thirteenth-century French stained glass and important Burgundian sculpture in wood and stone.

Pontaut Chapter House

Monks from the Cistercian abbey at Pontaut in Aquitaine once gathered for daily meetings in this twelfth-century enclosure known as a chapter house. At the time of its purchase in the 1930’s by a Parisian dealer, the column supports were being used to tether farm animals.

Cuxa Cloister and Garden

The distinctive pink stone of this cloister, featuring capitals carved with wild and fanciful creatures, was quarried in the twelfth century near Canigou in the Pyrenees Mountains for the nearby Benedictine monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa. The typical cloister garden features crossed paths and a central fountain from the neighboring monastery of Saint-Genis-des-Fountaines. Both medieval and modern species of plants are grown in the garden. In winter, the arcades are enclosed and fragrant potted plants fill the walkways.

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Early Gothic Hall

With thirteenth-century windows overlooking the Hudson River, the gallery features stained glass from France’s great churches, including Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris. Sculptures and paintings from France, Italy and Spain evoke the great age of cathedrals.

Nine Heroes Tapestries Room

From an original series of nine hangings created about 1400 for a member of the Valois court, the tapestries portray fabled heroes of ancient, Hebrew and Christian history, including the legendary King Arthur. It is among the earliest sets of surviving medieval tapestries.

Unicorn Tapestries Room

With brilliant colors, beautiful landscapes and precise depictions of flora and fauna, these renowned tapestries depicting the hunt and capture of the mythical unicorn are among the most studied and beloved objects at The Cloisters. Probably designed in Paris and woven in Brussels about 1500 for an unknown patron, these hangings blend the secular and sacred worlds of the Middle Ages.

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Boppard Room

Stained glass from the fifteenth-century Camelite convent at Boppard-am-Rhein dominates one end of the room. Fifteenth-century panel paintings and sculpture from the Rhineland and northern Spain, a brass lectern, domestic furniture, Spanish lusterware, tapestries, metalwork and sculpture further evoke a sacred space.

Merode Room

One of the most celebrated early Netherlandish paintings in the world, the Merode Altarpiece, painted in Tournai about 1425-30, forms the centerpiece of this gallery. The altarpiece, intended for the private prayers of its owners, represents the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary taking place in a fifteenth-century household. Details of the scene are echoed in the late medieval furnishings of the room in which other works made for private devotion are also exhibited.

Late Gothic Hall

Large fifteenth-century limestone windows from the refectory of the former Dominican monastery in Sens, France, illuminate the hall, which showcases sculpture and altarpieces from Germany, Italy and Spain as well as a great tapestry from Burgos Cathedral.

Gothic Chapel

Beneath richly colored stained-glass windows from fourteenth-century Austria carved images from royal and noble tombs of France and Spain fill the chapel-like setting.

Glass Gallery

Silver-stained glass roundels decorate the windows of the Glass Gallery, complementing small works of art, many made for secular use, with their lively, sometimes worldly subjects. Carved woodwork from a house in Abbeville, in northern France, forms a backdrop for paintings and sculpture.

“Bonnefont” Cloister and Garden

Long thought to be part of the abbey at Bonnefont-en-Comminges, the elements of this cloister come instead from other monasteries in the region including a destroyed monastery in Tarbes. The herb garden contains more than 250 species cultivated in the Middle Ages. Its raised beds, wattle fences and central wellhead are characteristic of a medieval monastic garden.

Trie Cloister and Garden

The stone cloister elements were created primarily for the Carmelite convert at Trie-sur-Baise in the Pyrenees. The garden is planted with medieval species to evoke the millefleurs background of medieval tapestries, such as the Unicorn series.

Treasury

An array of precious objects in gold, silver, ivory and silk reflects the wealth of medieval churches. Illuminated manuscripts testify to the piety and taste of royal patrons such as Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen of France; jewelry and a complete set of fifteenth-century playing cards suggest more worldly pastimes.

*Disclaimer: This information is taken right from the Cloisters pamphlet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Please call the museum before visiting to see if anything has changed with the hours or days open. It is well worth the trip uptown to visit The Cloisters. Take the A subway up to 190th Street and take the elevator up to Fort Tryon Park and walk across the park.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion                                    65 Jumel Terrace                                                 New York, New York 10032

The Morris-Jumel Mansion 65 Jumel Terrace New York, New York 10032

The Morris-Jumel Mansion

65 Jumel Terrance

New York, NY  10032

(212) 923-8008

http://www.morrisjumel.org/

Fee: Adults:  $10/Seniors/Students: $8/Children under 12: Free/Members: Free

Open: Monday:  Closed to general public; visitation by advanced appointment only/Tuesday-Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm/Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am to 5:00pm

The museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d103500-Reviews-Morris_Jumel_Mansion-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I came across the Morris-Jumel Mansion on my walk around Manhattan and noted it on my blog site “MywalkinManhattan.com”. This is the only remaining Colonial residence left on the island of Manhattan and is worth the time to take the tour of the house for its significance in the American Revolutionary War and in it’s later history.

When touring the house, you get to see most of the rooms furnished with period furniture and some with the family belongings. The house had other uses over the years and the curators are trying bringing it back to the period of time when Madame Jumel lived there. The tour guides have some interesting stories on the colorful history of the house.

In the summer months, don’t miss the beautiful if somewhat rustic gardens that surround the house. It is very beautiful during the summer months. Check out their website for special events.

The History of the Morris-Jumel Mansion:

The Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s only remaining Colonial era residence is unique in its combination of architectural and historical significance. Built as a summer ‘villa’ in 1765 by the British Colonel Roger Morris and his American wife, Mary Philipse.

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Colonel Roger Morris

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Morris_(British_Army_officer)

It originally commanded extensive views in all directions: of New York harbor and Staten Island to the south; of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers to the west and east and of Westchester county to the north. The estate named “Mount Morris” stretched over 130 acres from the Harlem to Hudson Rivers and the working farm grew fruit trees, and raised cows and sheep.

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Mary Philipse

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

Colonel Morris was the son of the famous architect Roger Morris, a fact which may explain the extremely innovative features of the Mansion such as the gigantic portico, unprecedented in American architecture and the rear wing which was the first octagon built in the Colonies.

The house’s situation and large size made it ideal as military headquarters during the Revolution and it was occupied successively by Washington, General Henry Clinton and the Hessian General Baron von Knyphausen. As the Morris’s were loyal to Britain during the Revolution, so their property was seized and sold after its conclusion. In 1790, Washington returned for a cabinet dinner at which he entertained Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Hamilton and Colonel Knox among others.

The later history of the house centers on the Jumel’s. Stephen Jumel was a wealthy French émigré, who married in 1804, his beautiful and brilliant mistress, Eliza Bowen. They bought the mansion in 1810. In 1815, they sailed to France and offered Napoleon safe passage to New York after Waterloo. Although he eventually declined the offer, they did acquire from his family many important Napoleonic relics-some of which can be seen in the blue bedroom on the second floor.

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Eliza Jumel and her family

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

Favorable tariffs and faster sailing technology made Atlantic trade in raw materials in raw materials and luxury goods and luxury products highly lucrative.  Stephen made his fortune  as a merchant. Later as his business floundered, Eliza applied herself to the real estate trade, buying and selling land and renting properties downtown.

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Morris-Jumel Mansion bedroom

Her success made large profits for her husband and herself  at a time when it was very unusual for a woman to be so active in business. Stephen died in 1832 and Eliza married the ex-Vice-President Aaron Burr in the front parlor one year later.

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The Reception Room at the Morris-Jumel Mansion

https://www.morrisjumel.org/history

Eliza filed for divorce in 1833, a lengthy process which was not finalized until 1836 at the time of Burr’s death.  Eliza lived in the house until her death at age 90 in 1865, exactly 100 years after the mansion was built. On her death , she was considered one of the wealthiest women in America.  In 1904, the city of New York purchased the house and turned it into a museum.

Today, the mansion is the oldest remaining house in Manhattan and is a museum highlighting over 200 years of New York history, art and culture. The neighborhood surrounding the mansion is known as the Jumel Terrace Historic District. The hill that Roger Morris once called “Mount Morris” in the 18th century became better known as “Sugar Hill” during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s.

*The buildings in this district are protected by the New York Landmarks Commission and must be maintained as if they were new, so this is why the area has changed little over time. The Morris-Jumel Mansion is a proud member of the Historic House Trust of New York City and partner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

*This information is taken from the Morris-Jumel Mansion press release and pamphlet and from the New York City Parks Department. Please call or email the mansion in case times have changed or events planned.

The Hispanic Society of America                          613 West 155th Street                                        New York, NY 10032

The Hispanic Society of America 613 West 155th Street New York, NY 10032

The Hispanic Society of America

613 West 155th Street

New York, NY  10032

(212) 926-2234

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday-10:00am-4:30pm/Sunday-1:00pm-4:00pm

museum@hispanicsociety.org

Hours: Current Closed for renovation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d110237-Reviews-Hispanic_Society_of_America-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

**I discovered this little gem of a museum on my walk around Washington Heights. This can be seen on my blog site “MywalkinManhattan”. Don’t this miss hidden gem tucked off 155th Street. Check their website for corrections in times open.

The Hispanic Society of America was founded as a free museum and research library in 1904 by the American Scholar and philanthropist Archer Milton Huntington (1870-1955). Over the past century, the Hispanic Society has promoted the study of the rich artistic and cultural traditions of Spain and Portugal and their areas of influence in the Americas and throughout the world. The Museum and Library constitute the most extensive collection of Hispanic art and literature outside of Spain and Latin America.

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The Hispanic Society of America at 613 West 155th Street

Archer Huntington’s fascination with Spanish culture started at the age of twelve; by fourteen he had begun to study the Spanish language and by nineteen he revealed his aspiration to found a “Spanish Museum”. As Huntington’s enthusiasm grew he became increasingly committed to the creation of an institution that would encompass all facets of Hispanic culture. Working toward this goal, Huntington began his collection with Spanish rare books and manuscripts; then decorative arts; followed by paintings and sculpture-all of which now fill the galleries of The Hispanic Society of America.

Today the Hispanic Society Museum and Library builds upon the legacy of Huntington through an active acquisitions program as well as public programs that reach out to new audiences through collaborative exhibitions, educations, and publications.

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The courtyard of the Hispanic Society

Paintings:

The Museum offers a panoramic survey of Spanish painting and drawing dating from the Middle Ages up to the early 20th century with particular strengths in the Golden Age (1550-1700) and the 19th century.

Notable among 16th century paintings are the Portrait of the Duke of Alba by Antonis Mor (1516/19-1576) and the Holy Family by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, 1541-1614). Three portraits by Spain’s preeminent  master, Diego Vaelazquez (1599-1660), represent the heights of Spanish painting in the 17th century: Gaspar de Guzman, COnde-Duque de Olivares; Portrait  of a Little Girl and Camillo Astalli, Cardinal Pamphili. The collection also includes works by other acknowledged masters of the period, such as Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652), Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664) and Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682).

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The Paintings here are very interesting

The Hispanic Society is especially rich in paintings, drawings and prints by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), one of the most inventive artists of his time. Goya’s iconic 1797 Portrait of the Duchess of Alba dressed in black as a Spanish maja, is the most renowned painting in the collection.

Among the most popular works at the Hispanic Society are those by Spain’s “painter of light” Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1919), present a celebration of regional costumes and cultures that surround the visitor with the artist’s “vision of Spain”. The Museum also possesses an outstanding selection of works by late 19th and early 20th century artists.

Decorative Arts:

The Hispanic Society is renowned for its decorative arts from Spain, Portugal, Latin America, the Philippines and Portuguese India. Ceramics represent one of the most significant facets of the collection, ranging from  three-thousand-year old Bell-Beaker pottery to contemporary works. The collection of Spanish lusterware, numbering over 150 pieces, is considered the finest in the United States. This distinctly Spanish style of ceramics flourished between the 15th and 17th centuries as artisans combined Islamic and Western traditions to produce objects of incomparable beauty. Important examples of decorative and utilitarian earthenware and soft-paste porcelain from various workshops complete the collection-including works from Talavera de la Reina, Alcora and Buen Retiro in Spain and Puebla de lost Angeles and Tonala in Mexico.

Other decorative arts include silver, glassware, secular and ecclesiastical furniture, decorative ironwork and textiles dating from between the 15th and 19thy centuries. The processional custodia by Cristobal Beceril (1533-1585) is one of the highlights of the magnificent collection of Spanish and Latin American gold and silver ars sacra and jewelry. Textiles in the collection range from luxurious silks of medieval Islamic Spain to domestic needlework of the early 20th century. Hispano-Muslim textiles include fine gold, silk, and satin brocades from the 13th through the 15th century. An exquisite ‘Alhambra silk” (ca. 1400) from Granada recalls the repeating geometrical pattern and Kufic inscriptions which decorate the famous Alhambra palace.

Archaeology:

Huntington’s fascination with the ancient past of the Hispanic world led him to sponsor significant archaeological expeditions and excavations in Spain and the Americas. He conducted excavations in 1898 near Seville at the site of the Roman City of Italica, birthplace of the emperors Hadrian and Trajan. Through these excavations and subsequent acquisitions, the Hispanic Society has been able to assemble the most important collection of Spanish antiquities outside Spain. This wealth of objects from Spain’s Bronze Age to the period of Roman rule features works from Ibero-Phoenician, Greek and Celtiberian cultures in addition to the extensive collection of Roman ceramics, glass, metalwork, mosaics and statuary.

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The Painting Rooms are lined with usual art

Sculpture:

In addition to Ancient and Classical sculpture, the Hispanic Society collection contains extraordinary Islamic and Christian works dating from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. A cylindrical ivory box signed by the Islamic master Khalaf (ca. 966) at the Umayyad court at Madinat al-Zahra stands out for the beauty of its intricate carving. Supreme examples of the heights which Spanish sculpture reached in the 16th century are found in the Gothic and Renaissance tombs of the Bishop of Palencia and the Duchess of Albuquerque from the monastery of San Francisco de Cuellar, along with the two magnificent effigies of Suero de Quinones and Elvria de Zuniga by Leone and Pompeo Leoni.

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The Hispanic Society of America has some interesting pieces of art

Pedro de Mena’s haunting representation of the young Saint Acisclus, patron saint of Cordoba, stands out as one of the finest examples of 17th century Spanish polychrome sculpture of her era, are rich in exquisite detail. An impressive ensemble of monumental sculpture also graces Audubon Terrace with the iconic equestrian statute of El Cid and limestone reliefs of Don Quixote and Boabdil, all by noted American sculptor, Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973).

Library:

With more than 600,000 books, manuscripts, documents and letters dating from the 10th century to the present day, the Library of the Hispanic Society offers unparalleled resources for researchers interested in the history and culture of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds. The manuscripts and rare books section comprises over 15,000 books printed before 1701 including some 250 incunabula (books printed before 1500) as well as first editions of the most significant literary works in the Spanish language such as Tirant lo Blanc, Celestina and Don Quixote.

The collection of Hispanic manuscripts, extraordinary rich in material and scope is the most extensive outside Spain. It encompasses medieval charters, holograph royal letters, sailing charts, illuminated bibles and books of hours as well as historical and literary manuscripts from the 10th to the 20th century.

The library’s invaluable holdings from the America’s include some of the earliest  books printed in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. First editions of works by many of Latin America’s greatest writers, such as Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, form an integral part of the collection. The library also conserves one of the largest and most important collections in the United States of historical  manuscripts and documents pertaining to Latin America and the Philippines from the 16th through 19th century.

Prints & Photographs:

Over 15,000 prints afford a unique glimpse of the graphic arts in Spain. The collection contains incomparable engravings by 17th-century artists such as Ribera, yet its greatest strengths are in the 18th and 19th centuries including almost all of Goya’s prints, many in multiple editions. The department also has an extraordinary assemblage of illustrations of Don Quixote, totaling more than 4000 engravings, etchings and lithographs.

The section of photographs holds over 176,000 black and white images documenting life and customs in the Hispanic world. Many of these images now preserve a way of life irrevocably lost. Among the most notable and rarest are those from the 19th century but the department also features more than 15,000 photographs made by Hispanic Society curators and staff who traveled throughout Spain and Latin America in the 1920’s.

Publications, Group Visits & Education:

For over a century, the Hispanic Society has maintained an active publication program. Books and other publications relating to the collections as well as postcards, note cards and posters are available from the Museum bookstore.

The Hispanic Society is dedicated to educational programs for students of all ages. The education department provides gallery talks, group tours and activities and materials for educators.

For further information on current programs, group tours, special events and on becoming a member of The Friends of the Hispanic Society visit our website, hispanicsociety.org or call (212) 926-2234.

The Hispanic Society is located on Broadway between 155th and 156th Streets in Manhattan.

*This information is taken from the Hispanic Society of America’ brochure.

 

The Hamilton Grange National Memorial          414 West 141st Street                                         New York, NY 10031

The Hamilton Grange National Memorial 414 West 141st Street New York, NY 10031

The Hamilton Grange

414 West 141st Street

New York, NY  10031

(646) 548-2310

http://www.nps.gov/hagr

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday-9:00am-5:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday

Fee: Donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d105813-Reviews-Hamilton_Grange_National_Memorial-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Alexander Hamilton’s Summer Home

In the late 1700’s, well-to-do dwellers moved to Harlem Heights in the summer, seeking its cool breezes. They also wanted to avoid yellow fever, a summer threat in lower Manhattan, Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth  (of the influential Schuyler family) often visited friends here and decided to build their own retreat.

In 1802, they moved in and Hamilton began commuting to his downtown law office, a 90 minute carriage trip. He and Elizabeth also began to entertain friends, colleagues and leader in their elegant home and gardens. Little did Hamilton know that his time at The Grange would be brief.

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Hamilton Grange home

Witness to Slavery:

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) grew up on Nevis and St. Croix, islands in the Caribbean, where thousands of enslaved Africans labored in sugar cane fields. As a clerk for a shipping company, young Hamilton worked directly with ship captains bringing in their human cargo. This experience haunted him and lead to his lifelong opposition to slavery.

Saved by a Hurricane:

Hamilton’s mother, Rachel, raised him and his brother along. A shop owner, she died of yellow fever when Hamilton was in his early teens. That’s when he started working at the shipping company. He impressed his boss with his energy, ambition and intelligence. Then the local newspaper published his letter describing a devastating hurricane. Townspeople were so taken by his writing that hey helped pay his way to America to further his education. In the letter, he wrote: …’the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels’.

In America:

Hamilton plunged into American life. He enrolled in King’s College (now Colombia University) in New York. He wrote passionately about the revolutionary ideas of American rebels. When the fighting began, young Hamilton joined them. By the time he married at 25, he was a published writer, seasoned military leader and a close friend of George Washington.

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Alexander Hamilton

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

Family Man:

Hamilton and Elizabeth loved children. They had eight of their own and took in others. Hamilton’s work as a lawyer helped pay bills while he served the county with little if any pay.

The Duel:

After years of differences, Aaron Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel in 1804. Burr, now the country’s vice-president, felt he had to defend his honor. Friends tried to soothe both men but failed. Facing possible death, Hamilton wrote letters to his friends and family. After he died from Burr’s bullet, Elizabeth read his letter and these final words: ‘Adieu, best of wives and best of women. Embrace all my darling children for me’.

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Rooms at the Hamilton Grange have period furniture

Elizabeth Carries On:

Family friends made sure Elizabeth had enough money to live with her children at The Grange. She preserved Hamilton’s thousands of letters, essays and other writings. She also started an orphanage and was its director into her 80’s. At age 91, she went to live with a daughter in Washington DC. She charmed presidents and other dignitaries until she died in 1854 at age 97.

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Elizabeth Schuyler

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

Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Founder and Philosopher:

Revolutionary War Days:

By age 21, Alexander Hamilton identified  himself with the revolutionary cause. He organized an artillery unit that defended New York City and fought in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. George Washington noticed Hamilton’s daring and intelligence and appointed him as a personal aide.

Hamilton’s new job required him to be writer, diplomat and advisor to Washington. Even so, Hamilton ached to return to battle. Eventually, Washington appointed him Colonel of an infantry brigade. Hamilton led a major attack in the battle of Yorktown in 1781.

Bold Ideas for New Times:

As a lawyer after the war, Hamilton defended New York citizens who had been loyal to Britain. He argued the new treaties and laws protecting all citizens and that loyalists would help rebuild the city. He also led the New York Manumission Society, which protected and educated free and enslaved African-Americans.

At the 1787 Constitution Convention, Hamilton argued for a strong central government. With James Madison and John Jay, he wrote essays explaining the new Constitution and urging citizens to vote for its ratification. Politicians and judges still consult “The Federalist Papers” about the meaning of the US Constitution.

In the New Government:

As first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton recommended the federal government pay off states debts, tax imported goods, establish a national bank and promote manufacturing. His ideas worried Sectary of State Thomas Jefferson, who believed the federal government did not have powers. Hamilton argued the Constitution supported flexible ‘implied powers.’ Congress and the Supreme Court agreed. By the end of Hamilton’s term, the country had excellent credit and a strong economy.

A Controversial Citizen:

Hamilton resumed his law practice in 1795 after leaving federal service. His clients included free and enslaved African-Americans whom he helped for no pay. He also defended a newspaper editor sued for slander by Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton argued journalists had the same rights as citizens to freedom of speech. His victory strengthened United States citizens’ First Amendment rights.

Hamilton often criticized President Jefferson’s government and his vice-president, Aaron Burr. His harsh words about Burr lead to the duel that ended Hamilton’s life. Alexander Hamilton’s short and controversial life left the United States poised to become a powerful nation something he dreamed of but did not see.

Visiting the site:

Planning your visit:

Hamilton Grange is on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues, its third location. In 1889, the city began building new streets across the estate. A church bought The Grange and moved it to safety two blocks away. In 2008, the National Park Service moved it to its current location, still on the original estate.

Hamilton Grange is open year-round, 9:00am to 5:00pm, Wednesday through Sunday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Exhibits and a film highlight Hamilton’s major achievements. Guided tours are first-come, first-serve and limited to 15 visitors. Enjoy quiet activities on the grounds.

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Hamilton Grange Display

We strive to make our facilities, services and programs accessible to all. Call or visit our website.

Hamilton Grange is near bus routes and subway stations; see maps at right. Visit http://www.mta.info for routes and schedules. All applicable federal, state and city laws and regulations apply here.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit http://www.rips.gov.

*This information was taken off the pamphlet available at the site put out by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior: National Memorial New York and I give them full credit for the information.

*Bloggers Note: Because of the Musical on Broadway presently, the site has gotten very busy during the summer months but don’t let that deter you from visiting. The house and the tour are very interesting.

I mentioned this on my blog “MywalkinManhattan” when visiting this part of Harlem. There are a lot of nice restaurants close by and the SUNY campus is right there to relax in. The neighborhood is save but still you have to watch yourself anytime you walk around NYC.