State Museum to Host Russel Wright Exhibition

manitoga2An exhibition featuring the work and philosophy of renowned industrial designer Russel Wright will open May 4, 2013 at the New York State Museum. Russel Wright: The Nature of Design explores Wright’s career from the 1920s through the 1970s and features approximately 40 objects along with photographs and design sketches.

On display through December 31 in the Crossroads Gallery, the exhibit was first organized by and presented at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz from August 2012 to March 2013. The exhibit includes objects such as wood serving bowls and spun aluminum trays designed Pre-World War II as well as Wright’s more experimental and innovative Post-World War II designs, including earthenware plates, bowls, pitchers, and vases. Read more

Ulster County Architecture Focus of May 14th Event

Monday, May 14th the Gardiner Historical Society will host their annual meeting with the Historical Society of Shawangunk and Gardiner at 7 pm at the Gardiner Town Hall. The event is open to the public and is free of charge, refreshments will be served.

Author William B. Rhoads will share his book Ulster County, New York, The Architectural History & Guide, A Historical guide to 325 sites in all 20 Ulster County townships and the city of Kingston. The sites explored in the book show the variety and changing architectural styles that have appeared over nearly 300 years in the Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains, from 17th century Dutch limestone houses of the colonial era, through the Federal and Victorian periods, up to the Modernist architecture of the mid-1950’s.

The architecture reflects the history, tracing the evolution of one of the first regions in today’s New York State to be settled by Europeans. Dutch and French Huguenot villages and homesteads of the 1600s form the core of today’s Kingston, New Paltz, and Hurley, surrounded by the structures built by their descendants and later immigrants &#8211 the English, Irish, Italians and scores of other ethnic and national groups – as Ulster county rose from the American Revolution and became an important commercial center, with bustling ports on the Hudson River, the booming 19th century “Empire State’s” first superhighway. Everywhere one looks in Ulster County there are vestiges of the past – abandoned cement mines, locks of the old D&H Canal, idle railroad depots, the ghostly shell of a grand old hotel that never opened to the public. And there is the “living history” as well, the structures built by previous generations that are still vital today, like the Mohonk Mountain House and the hundreds of other historic buildings representing nearly every American architectural style from 1660 to 1950 that remain private homes, libraries, schools, houses of worship or have been converted into museums.

William B. Rhoads is a professor emeritus of art history at SUNY New Paltz, where he taught from 1970 to 2005. His publications include studies of Colonial Revival architecture and Franklin Roosevelt’s sponsorship of architecture and art. Rhoads’s Kingston, New York: The Architectural History & Guide was published by Black Dome Press in 2003.

Dorsky Museum to Feature Historic Textile Expert

Rabbit Goody, a leading expert in the study and manufacture of 18th and 19th century textiles, will be featured at a panel discussion at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz on Sunday, February 20th at 3pm.

The panel discussion is coincides with the exhibit currently on view at the Dorsky: Binary Visions: 19th Century Woven Coverlets from the Collection of Historic Huguenot Street. This exhibit features more than 20 coverlets woven from cotton and wool on water-powered looms in small factories across the mid-Hudson Valley during the first half of the 19th century. The exhibition is a particularly important opportunity for historians and scholars to conceive new ways of thinking about the visual power of these coverlets.

Rabbit Goody is owner of Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley, New York. For more than 20 years, Thistle Hill Weavers has been weaving luxurious custom fabrics, carpet, and trim for designers, home owners, museums, and the film industry. Goody specializes in creating accurate historic reproductions, working from surviving examples, documented patterns, and period weavers’ drafts. Goody was a consultant for the Binary Visions exhibit.

Joining Goody on the panel will be Leslie LeFevre-Stratton, Curator of Collections at Historic Huguenot Street and Jessica Poser, Assistant Professor of Art Education at SUNY New Paltz. Poser has used the textile collections at Historic Huguenot Street as the inspiration for some of her most recent works of art. The panel will be moderated by Brian Wallace, Curator at the Dorsky Museum.

The panel discussion will be held in the Student Union Building closest to the campus entrance off South Manheim Boulevard and is free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibit and the panel discussion, visit or

Archaeologist to Discuss Historic Huguenot St. Finds

Professor Joseph Diamond, head of the summer Archeological Field School sponsored by the State University of New York at New Paltz, will be the featured speaker at Historic Huguenot Street’s Second Saturday talk on Saturday, April 10th.

The Archeological Field School, which is administered by the Department of Anthropology, has been based at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz for the past several summers. Students working under the direction of Professor Diamond conduct archaeological digs on the six-acre site where a small group of French-speaking Huguenots founded New Paltz in 1678.

The project is an excellent example of “town-gown” collaboration. Students receive credit for their participation in the field school and Historic Huguenot Street gains valuable and new information about the community’s earliest years.

Work conducted most recently on the lawn opposite the DuBois Fort Visitor Center is revealing an interesting variety of European and Native American artifacts along with what may the foundation of at least one early home and a protective stockade fence. Nothing of these two features remains above ground. “While we are fortunate to have some very early documents in our archives,” says Eric Roth, executive director of Historic Huguenot Street, “These alone do not explain what this settlement looked like in the years before the stone houses were built. Professor Diamond’s work has dramatically expanded our understanding of these years and of Native American presence before the Huguenots arrived.”

The talk will be held on Saturday, April 10th at 7pm at Deyo Hall, located at 6 Broadhead Avenue between North Chestnut and Huguenot Streets in downtown New Paltz. Because street work on Broadhead Avenue may be underway during this time, those attending are advised to enter on North Front Street and following the signs to Deyo Hall. More information or directions can be found by visiting or by calling (845) 255-1889

Photo: Pit Showing Possible Stockade Fence Post Holes (Courtesy HHS).

New Paltz Talk: Early Hearths of the Hudson Valley

Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz is known for its unique architecture and for the preservation of the houses built by the community’s founding families. On Saturday, Huguenot Street continues its Second Saturday’s Lecture Series with a lecture by Rob Sweeney, local historian and old house enthusiast, titled &#8220Early Hearths of the Hudson Valley.&#8221

The talk will begin at 7pm on Saturday, February 13th in Deyo Hall, which is located on Broadhead Avenue between Chestnut and Huguenot Streets in downtown New Paltz. There is a $7 charge per person ($5 for Friends of Historic Huguenot Street). Refreshments will follow Sweeney’s talk. In the case of inclement weather, the talk will be postponed to February 20th.

Rob Sweeney is a board member of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture, the historian for the Town of Ulster and the owner of the Benjamin Ten Broeck House, a stone house built in 1751. His presentation will trace the evolution of the &#8220jambless fireplace,&#8221 a style that dates to medieval Europe and which can be found in the houses of Historic Huguenot Street, to the popularity of the &#8220Rumford Fireplace&#8221 of the early 19th century. Sweeney will also explore the role of tradition over comfort among the residents within the region.

Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), located on the banks of the Wallkill River, is where small group of French-speaking Huguenots settled in 1678. Today, just steps from downtown New Paltz, the site features seven stone houses dating to 1705, a burying ground and a reconstructed 1717 stone church – all in their original village setting. HHS offers six acres of landscaped green space and public programming to the local community and visitors from around the world.

Henry Hudson, New Netherland, and Atlantic History

Dr. L.H. Roper, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz and a scholar of international reputation in the field of Atlantic History has announced a symposium, &#8216-Henry Hudson, New Netherland, and Atlantic History&#8216-, at SUNY New Paltz the weekend of 25-26 September, 2009. This host two-day international symposium on “The Worlds of Henry Hudson” is expected to be the premier intellectual event held in conjunction with the celebration of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River. Leading historians from the Netherlands, France, and Germany, as well as the United States will present papers on a series of topics related to Hudson and his times.

The program will include panel discussions, teaching workshops, and two luncheon addresses over two days to be held on the campus of SUNY New Paltz., as set forth below. At each session, two-to-three presenters will give talks on topics closely related to the character of the European exploration and colonization of the Hudson Valley, which arose from Hudson’s voyage, and the historical significance of the issues generated by these phenomena.

The emergence of the transatlantic perspective during the last two decades is a major development in the study of the history of Europe, Africa and the Americas during the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The scholars invited to this conference are among the major figures in advancing this perspective. The conference program is designed to provide an opportunity for the further integration of their work, and its advancement through publication of the papers it generates and by providing a means for secondary and elementary school teachers to incorporate this scholarship into their own classrooms.

A second goal, equally important, is to further the integration of the African, American Indian, and European contexts (“the transatlantic perspective” or “Atlantic history”) into teaching and learning about exploration and “colonial America” in our schools. The conference structure provides for interaction in each session among leading scholars of early modern Africa and Europe and of American Indian societies and current and future elementary and secondary school teachers.

The cost of registering for this conference will be $20/day and $15 per luncheon session. Teachers who wish to attend, with the exception of those in Ulster, Dutchess, and Orange Counties, should register through the Center for Regional Research, Education, and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz. The costs for attending the symposium will be payable directly to CRREO.

Teachers in Ulster, Dutchess, and Orange Counties who wish to attend one or both days should register via MyLearningPlan. Teachers in other counties should register through the Center for Regional Research, Education, and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz. Professional development hours are available for approval. The first fifty teachers who sign up and who have been participants in the Ulster BOCES Teaching American History Summer Institute for at least one week will have their registration fee paid by the TAH grant. Ulster BOCES will notify those registrants that their fee has been paid.

For further information, please contact Lou Roper of the Department of History at [email protected].

Laurence M. Hauptman to Speak at Iroquois Museum

The Iroquois Indian Museum will present “More than Games: Iroquois Indians and Other Native American Athletes at Carlisle Indian School”, a lecture by Dr. Laurence M. Hauptman on Sunday, October 5th at 1PM. The Iroquois Indian Museum is located 35 miles west of Albany, New York, near the intersection of highways 7 and 145. Take exit 22 from Interstate 88 and follow signs. For information and detailed directions call the Museum at (518) 296-8949 or visit our website at

For Native people, sports are an important part of traditional society. Athletic prowess, sportsmanship, competitiveness, and spirituality are intertwined with various sporting activities. “Ball” games were always extremely popular among Native Americans. Team sports such as lacrosse, Shinny Ball, Double Ball, and Long Ball emphasize the importance of strength of both the body and mind and of leadership and responsibility to others. Baseball became yet another venue for enhancing and demonstrating skill and dexterity.

Dr. Hauptman is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz where he has taught for the past 35 years. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 14 books on the Iroquois and other Native Americans. Dr. Hauptman has served as an historical consultant for the Wisconsin Oneidas, the Cayugas, the Mashantucket Pequots, the Senecas, and the Seneca-Cayugas.