"Madame Jumel Collects: the Pioneering Art Collection of Rags-to-riches New Yorker Eliza Jumel" Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the Ballroom of Hostelling International NYC A presentation by art historian Margaret Oppenheimer. Ms. Oppenheimer, author of The Remarkable Rise of Eliza Jumel: A Story of Marriage and Money in the Early Republic, discussed Mme. Jumel’s art collection--over 240 paintings acquired in Paris at the beginning of the 19th century.
The amazing Eliza Jumel--raised in a brothel, indentured as a servant, and confined to a workhouse while her mother was in jail--rose to become one of the richest women in New York. Along the way, she turned herself into an art connoisseur, acquiring more than 240 paintings while living in Paris between 1815 and 1817. The largest assemblage of European art to reach these shores up to that time, the collection, soon dispersed, remains virtually unknown today. In this richly illustrated lecture, Ms. Oppenheimer brought Jumel’s pioneering collection back to life, discussing the paintings, their owner, and the early nineteenth-century art scene in New York and Paris.
Sculptures in the Bloomingdale Neighborhood: The Artists Who Made Them, the People Who Posed for Them and the Stories They Tell Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Ballroom of Hostelling International NYC A presentation by local historian Jim Mackin
Well-known for his NYC walking tours, https://www.weekdaywalks.com/, Mr Mackin spoke about the sculptures that grace the Upper West Side’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, sharing stories about the artists and their models and explaining the history that surrounds each work. He called particular attention to the significance of Audrey Munson who modeled for over a hundred statues in the city, as well as the "Walking Liberty" half dollar. Jim also pointed out the contributions of the Piccirilli Brothers, marble carvers who produced sculpture works throughout New York City, as well as French's statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Read Marjorie Cohen's BNHG blog about Audrey Munson at The Rise and Tragic Fall of a Model Who Broke the Rules
Founded by a group of affluent white women in 1836, the Asylum sheltered and educated thousands of African-American children. After its original building was destroyed by a white mob in the 1863 Draft Riots, a new one was built at 143rd street and Amsterdam Avenue. Dr. Seraile talked about how the organization's history sheds light on the changing conditions of African Americans in NY from the abolition of slavery in 1827 through the mid 20th century. Read Dr. Seraile's summary of his presentation at New York's Colored Orphan Asylum
Author Daniel J. Wakin Book Talk: The Man with the Sawed-off Leg and Other Tales of a New York City Block Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at Hostelling International NYC In The Man with the Sawed-off Leg and Other Tales of a New York City BlockDaniel J. Wakin tells the fascinating history of seven Beaux Art townhouses on Riverside Drive between 105th and 106th Streets – an "only if the walls could talk" kind of tale. Residents of the homes were among the most famous New Yorkers of their time: Marian Davies; Duke Ellington; the Fabers of pencil factory fame; Lucretia Davis, heir to the baking powder fortune; two mayors; lots of gangsters and more. The title refers to the unfortunate fate of a gangster who was shot in the leg in the course of an armored car robbery and died in one of the townhouses that his gang was using as a safe house. Mr. Wakin talked about the history of the seven townhouses and reflected on what their stories tell us about New York City and especially the Upper West Side. Read an excerpt from this presentation at The Man with the Sawed-off Leg
"Northern Exposure: Central Park above 96th Street" A Presentation by Sara Cedar Miller, Historian and Photographer, Central Park Conservancy November 28, 2017 at Hostelling International NYC Ms. Miller spoke about the Park's topography and history – its connection to the Dutch and English occupation, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, including the fascinating story of the Park cannon's true identity. Read Pam Wise's blog on this presentation at Northern Exposure
"HISTORY OF HOSTELLING INTERNATIONAL NYC" October 4, 2017 at Hostelling International NYC Featured presentations by HI NYC’s Community Engagement staff: Manager Emily Gallagher and Coordinators Ben Puterbaugh and Indigo Goodson. Pam Tice, former Executive Director of HI NYC, and volunteer historian, provided a history of the building from the days when it served as the "Association Residence for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females." Read Pam Tice's blog on the history of the Hostel's building and how it became a landmark at The Story of 891 Amsterdam.
"Figures in Stone: The Wonderful (and often unnoticed) Building Sculptures of the Upper West Side" June 6, 2017 at Hostelling International-NY, 891 Amsterdam Ave. This program featured a presentation by architect Robert Arthur King, FAIA, a passionate observer and photographer of NYC building sculpture. Mr. King put the program together especially for an Upper West Side audience featuring sculptures on buildings from West 72nd to West 110th Street. His talk was preceded by Stonefaced, an excellent short film by Vivian Ducat that focused on Mr. King’s decades-long fascination with the subject. A Q&A with Mr. King and Ms. Ducal followed the presentation. Mr King is author of Figures in Stone: Architectural Sculpture in New York City
"Trinity School from 1709 to 2017" May 16, 2017 at Trinity School, 101 West 91st Street “Behind the Scenes” Event sponsored by The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group The history of the Trinity School, founded at downtown Trinity Church in 1709 and now one of the oldest schools in the US. In 1895, the school moved uptown, building on a series of lots on West 91st Street in the midst of rows of townhouses in turn-of-the-century Upper West Side. The school evolved from church-sponsored to ecumenical, from a charity school to a private school, from all-boys to co-educational and to a school that prides itself on its diverse student body.
"Movies Filmed in Bloomingdale: Why Hollywood Likes Our Neighborhood" April 17, 2017 at Hostelling International-NY, 891 Amsterdam Avenue Featured Gary Dennis--former actor, owner of the Upper West Side's beloved "Movie Place", tour guide and, according to the NY Times, "film scholar without portfolio" --along with Jim Mackin, local historian and frequent BNHG program presenter Films included: Trading Places/Little Murders/Seven-Ups/Bullets Over Broadway/Who's That Girl/Warriors
"From House to School: The History of Bloomingdale School of Music: Building Community Through the Power of Music for 52 Years" March 1, 2017 at Hostelling International-NY, 891 Amsterdam Avenue A Presentation by Erika Floreska, Executive Director Memories and Historical Photos With a Musical Presentation by Current Students
"Sculptures in the Bloomingdale Neighborhood: The Artists Who Made Them, The People Who Posed for Them, and the Stories They Tell" January 23, 2017 at Hostelling International-NY, 891 Amsterdam Avenue A Presentation by Local Historian Jim Mackin Presented by the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group and the Columbus Amsterdam BID and HI-NY
Jim Mackin, well-known for his walking tours http://www.weekdaywalks.com/ that cover just about every neighborhood in NYC, shared little known details about the various sculptures that grace the Upper West Side's Bloomingdale neighborhood. He shared stories about the sculptors who made them--some of the most famous artists of their time-- and the models who posed for them – including Audrey Munson, of whom Daniel Chester French wrote: “I know of no other model with the particular style that Miss Munson possesses. There is a certain ethereal atmosphere about her that is rare.” Mr. Mackin explained the history that surrounds the sculptures and how they came to be located on the Upper West Side. His presentation included statues in Riverside Park and Straus Park; some that adorn the interiors of Riverside Church and St. John the Divine; and one that stands as the centerpiece of Frederick Douglass Circle.