Garden enthusiasts and flora lovers should put down their spades and head over to Boscobel (Garrison, NY) on Arbor Day, Friday, April 29 at 2pm for a presentation by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner, authors of the new coffee table book, Gardens of the Hudson Valley. Buy the book in the Gift Shop at Boscobel (optional), have it signed, and then tour Boscobel’s gardens lead by the authors themselves.
Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner live in Cold Spring and New York City where they are long-time volunteers at the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. They have lectured widely and are also authors of Garden Guide: New York City. The book’s photographers Steve Gross and Sue Daley selected twenty-five gardens between Yonkers and Hudson that included famous estates, like Boscobel, as well as private gardens that combine sweeping views and lush plantings. Susan and Nancy describe each of the gardens in full detail with focus on the history of the site and the strategies for design and plant materials.
In the book’s foreword, Gregory Long, president of the New York Botanical Garden, praises the book’s collaborators for assembling a monograph that depicts the Hudson River Valley as “a living museum of American domestic garden design . . . a fulsome survey of the styles that American landscape designers have created and promulgated from the early 1800s until today.”
This is a rain or shine garden tour, so dress accordingly. The presentation and tour are free with grounds admission: Adults $9, Seniors (62+ )$8, Children (6-14) $5, Children (under 6) Free, Family of Four $25 (additional $5 per person). No fee for Friends of Boscobel members. Though reservations are not necessary and walk-ins are welcome, indoor presentation space is limited.
Boscobel is located on Route 9D in Garrison New York just one mile south of Cold Spring and directly across the river from West Point. From April through October, hours are 9:30am to 5pm., the last tour at 4:00pm. The House Museum and distinctive Gift Shop at Boscobel are open every day except Tuesdays, May 15, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit Boscobel.org or call 845.265.3638.
Whether you crave chocolate or relish history, Boscobel has a special event just for you. The early 19th-century house museum on 45 acres in Garrison (Putnam County) swings its gate open for the 2011 season this April 1st, and the entire month promises a variety of unique offerings. New this year will be special Themed House Tours. In April, think quickly for the April Fool’s: What’s Wrong in This Room? house tours. Join in on the search for off-period items in Boscobel House. Would Elizabeth have one or two sugar cubes in her tea? Did Peter wear a wrist watch on his left or right arm? Careful – Boscobel is trying to fool you. Daily tours throughout the month of April will include a wrong-era object in each room. See the Boscobel website for special themed tours in July & November, too. There is no additional cost for themed tours. (Regular house admission rates apply.)
Eagerly anticipating chocolate from the Easter Bunny? No need to wait that long…come to Boscobel Saturday, April 2 for a luscious lecture and tasting: Wine & Chocolate Pairings with Oliver Kita. According to Chocolatier and Chef Oliver Kita, wine & chocolate are a natural combination. Both have complex flavors and notes, and both have similar components and nuances. Join us for this tasty lecture, and learn how to team up wine and chocolate together in a variety of delicious ways. A sampling of wines and chocolates will be offered. Unique chocolates will also be available for sale, as well as Oliver’s line of “Great Estate Chocolates” which include Boscobel. (Great gifts for Mother’s Day and Easter!) Wine & Chocolate Tasting Plus a Tour of Boscobel House: $35/person at 1pm. Wine & Chocolate Tasting Only: $25/person at 2:30pm. Space limited. Reservations Required. (21 years+) Tickets can be bought online at Boscobel.org. Look for a link on the April event page.
This year’s Seminar Series sponsored by the Friends of Boscobel is titled, “18th & 19th Century Industries in the Hudson Valley.” It all starts April 9 with Ms. Ina Griffin-Guilzon, Museum Teacher at Columbia County Historical Society who will present, “Whaling Industry Based in The Hudson.”
The series will continue on April 16 with Travis Bowman of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation who will give an illustrated talk on “Bobs’ Folly,” how Robert Fulton & Robert Livingston introduced the first steamboat service on the Hudson River.
Finally, on April 23 stop by for: Dr. Tom Carroll, Professor at RPI and associated with “Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway” who will give a modified version of “The Hudson as Silicon Valley of the 19th Century” with coverage of the West Point Foundry and Burden Mining near Linlithgo. All lectures are free and do not require reservations- space is limited. House tours are additional.
Are you a garden buff? Rest your spade, and come to Boscobel on Friday April 29 at 2pm for a Garden Tour & Book Signing by the authors of “Gardens of the Hudson Valley.” This stunning, new coffee table book focuses on the Valley’s historic landscape and how gardens have been integrated into it. Photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daly selected twenty-five gardens between Yonkers and Hudson that included famous estates, including Boscobel, as well as private gardens that combine sweeping views and lush plantings. Writers Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner describe each of the gardens in full detail with focus on the history of the site and the strategies for design and plant materials. Join us at Boscobel on Arbor Day where Ms. Lowry and Ms. Berner will lead visitors on a guided garden tour, discuss their book and sign copies purchased in the gift shop. Grounds admission applies.
Due to popular request, Costumed House Tours at Boscobel have been expanded are being offered all day long on the last Friday of every month. Step back in time when Boscobel’s docents dress in period costumes and guide visitors through Boscobel House on an interactive, interpretive tour. They will explain life and times of the 1800s and perhaps share “inside stories” of the Dyckman family. There is no additional cost for costumed tours- regular house admission rates apply.
Live in Orange County? Be sure to visit Boscobel on Sunday, April 17 when it’s Orange County Day. Simply show your proof of Orange residence and your grounds admission is free. It’s a terrific way to discover Boscobel and take in some breathtaking views. Check Boscobel’s website calendar for your free county day.
For a fabulous spring opening sale on many unique home & gift items in the Gift Shop at Boscobel, stop by the first two weeks in April. There’s even a 50% off table sure to please the bargain shopper in you.
For further details on all events and programs, including rain dates & pricing, visit Boscobel.org or call 845.265.3638 after April 1. Boscobel is located on scenic Route 9D in Garrison New York just one mile south of Cold Spring. From April through October, hours are 9:30am to 5pm., the last tour at 4:00pm. The house museum and distinctive Gift Shop at Boscobel are open every day except Tuesdays, May 15, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, New York (www.boscobel.org) has opened a new exhibition, Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes, 1825-1875. This is the second major exhibition in the new state-of-the-art exhibition gallery on the lower floor of the historic Boscobel House. The exhibit, open to all visitors to Boscobel, will be on display through September 7. The term “Hudson River School” is in wide circulation. It references a group of landscape artists who painted the scenery in and around the Hudson Valley in the years from about the 1825 through 1875, and established themselves as America’s first native school of art. Their artistic careers correspond to an historic moment when New York City was emerging as the economic capital of the country and its center for the arts. Although there have been many books and exhibitions about the Hudson River School, this focused exhibition and its accompanying publication promises a fresh perspective integrating the fine and popular arts of the time.
The curator has taken a two-pronged strategy to the exhibit. First, the focus is shifted away from New York City to the homes of the artists and their patrons up the river- maps their country residences, and links them with their local scenery. Second, Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes, 1825-1875, expands the canon to include women such as Eliza Pratt Greatorex, Julie Hart Beers, and Julia McEntee Dillon, who are generally excluded from consideration.
The objects and materials featured in the exhibition are specimens of work these artists did in the vicinity of their residences. Included are watercolors, prints, and photographs to complement the spectacular and in some cases little seen oil paintings. Hanging side by side, they demonstrate the kinship that existed among the artists. Even when they shared a subject, however, we discover that the pictures have different looks, as each artist gave their own individual stamp of style and approach.
Home on the Hudson includes a map of the river that pinpoints where the artists lived and the motifs they painted from New York City to Albany. A display case and a website offer a look at illustrated guide books that instructed painters in the importance of particular sites, along with 19th century ferry and train schedules. Prints add another important dimension to the exhibit. They were less expensive and therefore more commonly owned by 19th century Americans: art for the middle class. Selections are included from The Hudson River Portfolio which consists of twenty hand-colored aquatints. Such portfolios established the canon of places that the painters followed in their work. The exhibit also features Fanny Palmer, the woman who made more prints for Currier & Ives than any other artist in the firm.
“Home on the Hudson” refers not only to the dwellings of the artists but also to the domestic settings where these landscapes hung and how the paintings functioned within interior spaces. A folding screen is decorated with a view of the river at Albany, a variation on the theme of landscape pictures as decorative objects. Painted china and a range of domestic objects that carried Hudson River imagery from fine arts into the domestic arts are also showcased.
Most exhibitions of Hudson River art are held far from the landscape that gave rise to it, and therefore lack specificity of place. Situated directly on the river just opposite West Point, a frequently painted view, Boscobel gives visitors the opportunity to move from the natural belvedere on the grounds into the galleries to see the scenery portrayed. This is an important opportunity for viewers to compare and contrast physical motif with paintings and prints inspired by the landscape.
The run of Home on the Hudson is perfectly timed to coincide with the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery – while sailing in his ship the Half Moon – of the river that bears his name. Some of the material in the exhibition will manifest this historical event.
The Exhibition Gallery at Boscobel, over 1200 square feet in size, will be open during regular Boscobel hours, Wednesday – Monday, 9:30am-5pm. Admission for House tour, Grounds and the Exhibition Gallery is $16 for adults- $12 for seniors- and $7 for children. Admission for the Grounds and the Exhibition Gallery only is $12, children (6-14) $5. From June 16-September 6 the Exhibition Gallery will remain open until a half hour before curtain time to accommodate attendees at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival performances, at a special fee of $5.
Home On The Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes 1825-1875 runs from June 6 through Sept. 7, 2009 at Boscobel House & Gardens, 1601 Route 9D, Garrison, NY. For more information please call 845-265-3638 or visit www.boscobel.org.
Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes, 1825-1875 has been organized by guest curator Katherine Manthorne, Prof. of Art History, Graduate Center, City University of New York, and students from her Art History Seminar.
Photo: Julie Hart Beers, Hudson River at Croton Point, 1869- Oil on canvas-
Courtesy Hawthorne Fine Art, Collection of Nick Bulzacchelli