MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at MCNY.org

Search Results for: Gilded Age

Festivities of the Gilded Age “Season”

The morning after returning from visiting family for Thanksgiving, I awoke with the thought, “The ball season has again returned, and already the ‘busy hum of preparation’ for its festivities … Continue reading

December 17, 2013 · 2 Comments

A Dinner on Horseback

We have written about quite a few dinners and parties of the Gilded Age on this blog but I don’t think many top C.K.G. Billings’s Horseback Dinner held at Sherry’s Hotel and … Continue reading

June 21, 2016 · 1 Comment

Folded and Feathered: bringing hand fans to the Collections Portal

Long before air conditioning was a common amenity in most residences and buildings, high society New York women established their “cool” with an opulent, yet useful accessory: the hand fan.  … Continue reading

January 26, 2016 · 2 Comments

Members only: Private clubs in New York City

Clubs have been a part of New York City for centuries. How else are you expected to find like-minded people in such a bustling metropolis? In the early 19th century, the … Continue reading

March 3, 2015 · 2 Comments

Mysteries in the Costume Collection

The City Museum’s Costume Collection offers a unique lens not just on New York’s history and aesthetics, but its personalities, too. Our most fascinating acquisitions come from those who’ve lived in … Continue reading

November 5, 2014 · 3 Comments

Victoria and Tennessee Claflin, the sisters’ tale continues….

In the previous installation about the life of the Claflin sisters here, we saw the meteoric rise of Victoria and Tennessee “Tennie” Claflin, who shocked Gilded Age New Yorkers by … Continue reading

September 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

Revolutionary sisters: Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin

If you’ve never heard of Victoria Woodhull or her younger sister Tennessee “Tennie” Claflin, you’re not alone. When I first came across them in the Museum’s Portrait Archive, I was … Continue reading

June 24, 2014 · 6 Comments

The Great Bygone Museum Tour

Ladies and Gentleman! Step this way! My dear blog readers, please accompany me on a tour to discover the unique and marvelous history of museums in New York City.  Be … Continue reading

December 3, 2013 · 6 Comments

Harry Harkness Flagler House Chandelier

Object conservation presents an opportunity to learn about aspects of an object’s history that cannot always be revealed by researching secondary sources.  Conservation done for the re-installation of a chandelier … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

Diana, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

The gilded statue of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, adorned the tower of Madison Square Garden and held watch over New York City for over three decades. She is arguably … Continue reading

October 22, 2013 · 2 Comments

Vanderbilt Ball – how a costume ball changed New York elite society

In the spring of 1883, the solemnity of Lent didn’t stand a chance against the social event on the mind of all of New York’s elite society:  Mrs. W. K. … Continue reading

August 6, 2013 · 32 Comments

Mora – Photographer of the Rich and Famous

What do rich Gilded Age socialites, stuffed bears, and elaborate costumes have in common? They’re all features in these very atypical Gilded Age portraits. As I was cataloging the Museum’s … Continue reading

July 9, 2013 · 4 Comments

Dollar Princesses, or how the American heiress saved Downton Abbey and other estates like it

Perhaps it goes without saying that among the Collections crew here at the Museum there are a number of huge fans of the Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey.   In the … Continue reading

March 26, 2013 · 7 Comments

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