Past Exhibits
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Carriage House, a New York historic estate located in the Bronx

Centennial Exhibition

Centennial Exhibition
Audrey Shachnow, The Golden Muse, 2016, Image courtesy of the artist.

Bartow-Pell is pleased to present an exhibition of outdoor sculpture celebrating one hundred years of its formal garden designed by Delano & Aldrich in 1916. Showcasing fifteen artists whose work draws on the site’s history, architecture, and surrounding natural environment , the exhibition encompasses artworks of steel, wood, fiberglass, ceramic, and recycled plastics, including augmented-reality interventions and kinetic art choreographed by elements of nature. Featured artists include Markus Holtby, Fitzhugh Karol, Wendy Klemperer, William Logan, Shannon Novak, Sarah Olson, Sui Park, Camilla Quinn, Audrey Shachnow, Aaron Suggs, Naomi Teppich and Martin Springhetti, Gregory Thielker, Beatrice Wolert, and Christopher Yockey.

Artists paint Bartow-Pell

Mary Colby, The Artist in the Garden
Mary Colby, The Artist in the Garden, 2016, oil on wood panel, oil sketch, 12 x 14 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Linda Sacewicz, Springtime at the Bartow
Linda Sacewicz, Springtime at the Bartow, 2016, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Sarah Olson, Peafowl, 2016,
Sarah Olson, Peafowl, 2016, oil on board, 12 x 12 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Greg Thielker, Remnant of the Oak
Greg Thielker, Remnant of the Oak, 2016, India ink on paper, 36 x 32 in. Image courtesy of artist.

Kim Power, Midnight in the Garden
Kim Power, Midnight in the Garden, 2016, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

Alice Elisabeth Waite, Afternoon Soirée
Alice Elisabeth Waite, Afternoon Soirée, 2016, pencil, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in. Image courtesy of the artist.

In celebration of the centennial of the formal garden, artists were invited to paint the gardens en plein air on June 9, in conjunction with the annual summer luncheon on the theme of French classical gardens. Paintings created outdoors capture the changing light and atmospheric mood of the historical landmarks and hidden treasures of the Bartow-Pell gardens and grounds. Featured artists include Michele Basora, Mary Colby, Sofya Dudnik, Elise Fechtmann, C'naan Hamburger, Thomas Legaspi, Sarah Olson, Julie Ortiz, Kim Power, Linda Sacewicz, Greg Thielker, Melanie Vote, and Alice Elisabeth Waite.


Wish You Were Here - Vintage Postcards of Pelham Bay and City Island

June 3 - August 18, 2016

Vintage Postcards of Pelham Bay and City Island

Before email and social media there were postcards! Tour bygone places and spaces of the east Bronx through postcards dating to the turn of the 19th century. Views of historic inns, beaches, street scenes, military camps, sports, and Prohibition-era speakeasies—all from the collection of local historian Thomas X. Casey - offer insight into changes in landscapes and lifestyles over the past century.

Thomas X. Casey’s collection includes more than 6,000 vintage Bronx postcards dating from the last 19th century through the mid-20th century. Casey is co-author of Northwest Bronx and Bronx Views, and a founding member of the East Bronx History Forum. He has lectured at the Bronx County Historical Society, Kingsbridge Historical Society, Westchester Genealogical Society, New York Public Library, City Island Historical Society and local public schools.


Gilded Age Glamour

February 13–April 30, 2016

Gilded Age Glamour

The Gilded Age in American history (c. 1870-1900) was associated with opulence and luxury, especially in clothing styles. This exhibition features highlights from the Museum’s fashion collection from these decades, including women’s, men's, and children’s garments as well as period fashion illustrations. Yet the fashions on display are more than just glamorous – they reveal the larger ideas about marriage and children, family life, and private and public space that shaped the United States at this time.

"Gilded Age Glamour" also explores connections between the collection and the history of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The fashions displayed link the Mansion’s beginnings as a grand country home in the mid-19th century with its development as a museum in the twentieth century.

Accomplished Women

School gril Art from the Female Academies of the 19th Century

March 1–June 21, 2015

Schoolgirl Art

Guest curated by William and Sally Gemmill, this exhibition is a rare opportunity to view some superb pieces from an important private collection.

In early days of the American republic few educational opportunities for young women existed outside the family. During the 1790s private female academies began to open in major cities and were patronized by wealthy families to improve their daughters' marriage prospects. Although a variety of subjects were taught, these schools are best remembered for the needlework and watercolor creations of their students. A finished needlework piece would be hung prominently in the home to demonstrate the daughter's accomplishments.

Read the press release about the exhibition »

Read the Gemmills' article on the Charlestown Academy in Antiques & Fine Art

Grand Dames and Grand Plans
100 Years of History at Bartow-Pell
March 1–November 16, 2014

Grand Dames and Grand Plans: 100 Years of History at Bartow-Pell

Sydney Percy Kendrick (British, 1874–1955). Mrs. Charles Frederick Hoffman, ca. 1930. Oil on canvas. Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Gift of Mrs. Aymar Johnson 1978.02

Ellen Biddle Shipman (American 1869–1950). Garden plan for the International Garden Club (unexecuted). 1920s. Blueprint. Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

A Gardener's Library
Vintage Books from the Bartow-Pell Collection
September 6 – November 17, 2013

A Gardener's Library - Vintage Books from the Bartow-Pell Collection

A Gardener's Library presents a selection of books from the library of the International Garden Club (now known as the Bartow-Pell Conservancy), which established its headquarters in March 1914 at the Bartow-Pell Mansion. The IGC library remains intact, a recognition of the central role books play in the history, creation, and maintenance of gardens in general and the Bartow-Pell gardens in particular. Although few of these books are rare, they are valuable for their contents and for their role as a working collection that provides reading pleasure, practical information, and aesthetic guidance.

A Gardener's Library
Vintage Books from the Bartow-Pell Collection

More images from A Gardener's Library.
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A Gardener's Library A Gardener's Library A Gardener's Library

Handwritten Copy of Deed from Native Americans Granting Ownership of Land to Thomas Pell, June 27, 1654 (Julian Calendar)

This is the only known copy of the June 27, 1654, deed by which local Native Americans granted to Thomas Pell ownership of the lands that became known as the Manor of Pelham. The tract is estimated by some to have encompassed nearly 50,000 acres including much of today's Bronx, Pelham, New Rochelle, and Eastchester. This copy is believed to be in Thomas Pell’s handwriting. It probably is a 1655 copy referenced in a 1666 letter from Pell to John Winthrop, Jr., the Royal Governor of the Colony of Connecticut, as part of Pell's lobbying efforts to obtain a royal patent confirming his land purchase. (That royal patent was issued on October 8, 1666.) Tradition has long held that Pell, various witnesses, and Native Americans gathered beneath the spreading branches of a massive oak tree that once stood on the grounds of today’s Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum to sign the deed. That tree became known as the "Pell Treaty Oak." A fire destroyed the tree in 1906, although pieces are still held in the collections of several local institutions, including the one on display here. The whereabouts of the original Pell deed are unknown. Period handwriting on the reverse of this copy suggests that it may have been sent to Thomas Pell's brother, John Pell, in England for safekeeping some time before September 20, 1660. This theory is further bolstered by the fact that Thomas Pell, who had no children of his own, bequeathed the land to his brother's son (Thomas Pell's nephew), also named John Pell. The younger John Pell left England to live on the land after his uncle's death and is the ancestor of many, many Pells throughout North America.

Pell Treaty

Thomas Pell (1612/13–1669). Ink on paper; on verso, among other things, a handwritten shorthand "code" derived from John Willis' 1602 "Stenographie" states: "September 20 1660 Roger Ludlow Esquire examined this paper for me John Pell" Collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum



Illustrations from Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London, 1805–1829

The Age of Botanical Wonders
Illustrations from Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London, 1805–1829

The proceedings of the Horticultural Society of London (renamed the Royal Horticultural Society in 1861), were collected in publications entitled Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London appearing periodically from 1812 to1842. The Transactions were devoted to the subject of horticulture and the improvement of its practice. The Society's innovative leadership attracted the most eminent scholars, scientists, artists, and engravers of the day to contribute to the content and production of the Transactions. This exhibition features exquisite, hand-colored engraving on steel by botanical masters such as William Hooker, John Lindley, and William Say. The volumes in the Museum's Library Collection were acquired in the early 20th century by the newly formed International Garden Club which modeled itself after the Royal Horticultural Society.


Shade and Shadow: A Selection of British and American Silhouettes
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, September 7 – November 18, 2012

This exhibition presents a small selection of 19th-century British and American silhouettes from Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and four private collections. Before photography became widely available, silhouette portraits were quick, easy, and affordable. Elegant ladies, family scenes, charming children, and more reveal a compelling slice of life from the golden age of this art form.

Shade and Shadow: A Selection of British and American Silhouettes
Shade and Shadow: A Selection of British and American Silhouettes

Dibbles and Daisy Grubbers
The Art of the Garden Tool

On view at BPMM from April 1 to July 1, 2012 was an exhibition of antique garden tools collected by landscape architect Mark Morrison. These beautifully crafted and exceptionally useful objects provided a fascinating glimpse into the art of gardening as was practiced in Europe and America from the 17th century on. Specialized tools such as clod crushers, cucumber straighteners, and wasp catchers were displayed alongside more familiar objects such as dibbles (for planting bulbs) and watering cans, each handmade in practical yet elegant forms.

a collection of antique garden tools
A collection of antique garden tools from the exhibit

More images from Dibbles and Daisy Grubbers: The Art of the Garden Tool.
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The Art of the Garden Tool The Art of the Garden Tool The Art of the Garden Tool The Art of the Garden Tool The Art of the Garden Tool

The Boltons of Pelham Priory
A Cultural Legacy from England to America

September 3 - November 21, 2010

This exhibition celebrates the achievements of the Reverend Robert (1788-1857) and Anne Jay (1793-1859) Bolton and their children, a fascinating and vibrant Anglo-American family whose life on two continents emphasized religious, intellectual, and artistic pursuits in a warm and lively family setting.
Robert Bolton left the sultry, moss-draped squares of Savannah, where he was born, for the elegance of Regency England. In the 1830s, he brought his family to the woods and farmland of Westchester County, New York. Bolton was at times a wealthy cotton merchant, a gentleman farmer, a devout clergyman, antiquarian, and teacher, and a close friend of Washington Irving (1783-1859). Robert's English wife, Anne Jay Bolton, was the daughter of the Reverend William Jay (1769-1853) of Bath, the influential dissenter. Robert and Anne were the parents of thirteen children (all but one born in England), most of whom were extremely gifted artists, writers, clergymen, and educators.
The family became neighbors of the Bartows when they moved to Pelham, New York, in 1838. Here, inspired by English medievalism, they designed and built the Priory, one of the earliest Gothic Revival houses in this country, filling it with collections of rare volumes, paintings, suits of armor, antiques, and curiosities. In 1843, the Reverend Bolton built Christ Church, which houses the earliest figurative stained glass window made in America, designed and crafted by his son William Jay (1816-1884).
The Boltons of Pelham Priory is the first exhibition to study the impressive legacy left by this family in the areas of religion, education, and the arts. It features historic references and memorabilia that span the nineteenth century, including contemporaneous documents, artwork, rare books, and period furniture.


Boltons of Pelham Priory Lecture Series:

Pelham Town Historian Blake Bell on The Boltons of Pelham Priory
Sunday, September 26 at 4 p.m.

Author Willene B. Clark on The Stained Glass Art of William Jay and John Bolton
Sunday, October 3 at 4 p.m.
(lecture held at Christ Church with a reception to follow at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum)

Local Architectural Historian Arthur Scinta on The Reverend Robert Bolton: A Gothic Revival Missionary and his Influence on American Architecture
Sunday, October 17 at 4 p.m.

Tour of the Bolton windows at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church
in Brooklyn Heights with Director of Music and Church Historian Gregory Eaton
Saturday, November 13, 11 a.m.
(departure from Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum at 10 a.m.)

Pelham Priory, William Rickarby Miller (1818–1893)
Pelham Priory, William Rickarby Miller (1818–1893)
Watercolor on paper; 1856, Collection of Catherine Boericke

HOME | LAND Centuries Collide: Contemporary Dutch Design @ Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Centuries Collide: Contemporary Dutch Design
@ Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

5 Dutch Days 5 Boroughs
September 4 - November 22, 2009

As part of the 2009 5 Dutch Days 5 Boroughs celebration, an exhibition of contemporary Dutch design was on display at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. Curated by Jo-Anneke van der Molen, the show intermingled contemporary Dutch design objects with the museum's 19th-century furnishings and decorative arts in a glorious Greek Revival interior.

The area surrounding Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum was known to Dutch settlers in the early 17th century as Vriedelandt – Land of Peace – although in fact it was far from peaceful (Anne Hutchinson, who was killed by Indians, lived in the area). Beautiful and serene today, the 19th-century mansion, tucked away in the northeast corner of Pelham Bay Park, is the only extant great country house of close to two dozen that once dotted the area. To celebrate the area's Dutch heritage, decorative arts by prominent Dutch designers as well as graduates of the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven are showcased side-by-side the museum's collection, providing a provocative contrast between the 21st and the 19th centuries.

HOME | LAND Centuries Collide: Contemporary Dutch Design @ Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

The objects on view were either inspired by forms and materials found in nature, an attempt to bring the outside in, or clever re-imaginings of traditional decorative arts. Many pieces illustrated the Dutch relationship to its environment in our mechanized age. Others were inspired by traditional forms but were given a contemporary twist. All were original in concept and especially striking juxtaposed with the museum's pieces.

During 5 Dutch Days, the museum was open Thursday, November 12, through Monday, November 16, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Friday, November 13. A free bus from the Museum of Arts and Design was available on Thursday, November 12, through Sunday, November 15.

Lectures: Friday, November 13, 7 p.m., Vriedelandt – Land of Peace? Vriedelandt was the Dutch name for a vast area of the Bronx that included Pelham Bay Park. Museum guide Tom Vasti gives a fascinating glimpse into its Dutch heritage and connection to Anne Hutchinson.

On Sunday, November 15, 2 p.m., Contemporary Dutch Design by Alissia Melka-Teichroew, one of the designers featured in the show, now living and working in New York.