News & Announcements

Boscobel Thanks Garden Club with Donation

The Philipstown Garden Club, a member of the Garden Club of America, has been lovingly tending to Boscobel’s Herb Garden since the 1960s. To show appreciation for all of their efforts and contributions to the Hudson Valley environment and most specifically to the maintenance and upkeep of Boscobel’s Herb Garden –one of its most appealing visitor attractions– Executive Director Steve Miller presented the PGC with a check for $2,000 this week.

Miller Endler PGC

Boscobel Executive Director, Steven Miller presents a check to Anne Endler, President, Philipstown Garden Club amid the beds of flax, sage, lemon verbena and more — all tenderly tended by the PGC for the past 50+ years.

Miller stated, “Our partnership with the Philipstown Garden Club is deeply valued. Every Tuesday when I look out my office window, I see their members diligently tending what is certainly an endearing part of Boscobel’s outdoor ‘exhibits.’ Our visitors find the Herb Garden a special treat as there are few, if any, like it in the area. The Philipstown Garden Club is a leading contributor to what makes Boscobel so unique and inviting, so we thank them for all their hard work and dedication to our garden’s health and beauty.”

Military Families get FREE Admission this Summer

Active duty military and their families can enjoy free admission at Boscobel House & Gardens, plus more than 2,000 other museums nationwide, from Memorial Day until Labor Day 2015 through the Blue Star Museums program.

Blue Star Museums is collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Monday, May 25 through Monday, September 7, 2015.

The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.

Thank you for your service!

Boscobel Donates Painting to West Point Museum

By unanimous action of the Boscobel Board of Directors, a painting of West Point and the Hudson River has been deaccessioned at Boscobel and is being presented to the West Point Museum. The oil on canvas titled, View of West Point, dates to 1856, but is unsigned. The quality of the imagery and execution suggests it was painted by a highly competent, self-taught artist of the period. While many members of the Hudson River School are well known today, this picture by an unknown painter clearly illustrates the Hudson River’s enduring appeal for artists. The Hudson Highlands, which appear in the background of the picture, were featured frequently and prominently in 19th-century prints, paintings, drawings and eventually photography.

Boscobel Donation 2 (3)

Left to Right: Marlana L. Cook, Curator of Art, West Point Museum; Barnabas McHenry, Chair, Boscobel Board of Directors; Steven Miller, Boscobel Executive Director; David Reel, Executive Director, West Point Museum; Col., Dr. James Johnson, Boscobel Board of Directors, graduate United States Military Academy at West Point.

As with most museums, Boscobel periodically reviews its collections for relevancy, content, condition and mission focus. The most recent such survey touched on a limited number of objects that were deemed inappropriate for the mission of the organization. The date of the View of West Point is well outside Boscobel’s focus on the 1805-1820 Federal period of America’s history. While the landscape falls outside of Boscobel’s collecting interests, it is particularly appropriate for the West Point Museum. The United State Military Academy is nestled along the shoreline of the highlands and has long been a popular site with tourists and military personnel alike.

Speaking of the gift, Boscobel Executive Director Steven Miller noted, “We are pleased to donate the View of West Point to the West Point Museum. It will be preserved and remain in this area in a public collection and thus be appreciated for years to come.”

Marlana L. Cook, Curator of Art at the West Point Museum responds, “The West Point Museum is delighted to receive this wonderful painting into its collections. It is a lovely piece that will enhance our collection of Hudson River School paintings and help to educate the Cadets at the Military Academy about the history and landscape of West Point. We are grateful to our friends at Boscobel for donating this artwork to the West Point Museum.”

Boscobel House & Gardens Appoints New Curator

100_7235Boscobel continues to support its experienced and knowledgeable staff with the addition of Jennifer Carlquist as its new Curator (effective February 4, 2015). Ms. Carlquist will research, oversee and celebrate the museum’s nationally renowned collection of New York furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period. She will also organize annual exhibitions that highlight the museum’s strengths and the rich artistic traditions of the Hudson Valley.

Ms. Carlquist is an art historian specializing in American interiors and 17th- to 21st-century decorative arts and designs made, collected and/or retailed in America. Her 15-year career as a museum professional includes curatorial and fundraising positions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Museum, and Glensheen Historic Estate and a fellowship at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

Ms. Carlquist teaches at SUNY New Paltz and has guest lectured at Parsons New School for Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Victorian Society in America Summer Schools, Newport Symposium, Decorative Arts Forum and museums across the country. Ms. Carlquist earned her B.F.A. in Art History at the University of Minnesota and her M.A. in the Parsons/Cooper-Hewett Program in the History of Decorative Arts & Design.

Ms. Carlquist’s first order of business at Boscobel will be researching the permanent collection and organizing its upcoming exhibition, Every Kind of a Painter: The Art of Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1818-1871).

Steven Miller, Executive Director of Boscobel states, “We are delighted to welcome Jennifer to Boscobel. Her extensive experience and expertise in the historic focus of our mission will be of tremendous value, especially as we continue to enhance our exhibition programming and the interpretation of the iconic period rooms in our splendid mansion.”

2015 Season – Events, Exhibitions & More

Programming is well underway for Boscobel’s calendar of events… Many signature programs will return in 2015, such as the Boscobel Style Lecture Series, Turtle Walk, Yoga with a View, the Big Band Concert & Sunset Picnic, Family Bonfire Night and Ghost Tours. Sparkle will also be back in December to offer the community an elegant and entertaining family event for the holidays.

Some new events are being developed, as well, including a historic tasting and music in the mansion with an 1800s chamber concert. All events revolve around Boscobel’s main attraction, of course, which are the house tours. Step back in time for a guided visit of Boscobel, and learn how it came to be the lavishly decorated mansion that it is today. Take in the spectacular view of the Hudson River and be inspired.

Opening in the Exhibition Gallery on August 2 will be, Every Kind of a Painter: The Art of Thomas Prichard Rossiter (1818-1871). View the acclaimed works of the man who spent the last 11 years of his life living in a house he built next door to what is today Boscobel. Details coming soon.

The Cold Spring Farmer’s Market opens May 9, and The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival returns to its legendary, outdoor stage for season 29.

Reminder: Friends of Boscobel members always receive free admittance to the house and grounds, as well as discounts on event tickets and in the gift shop. Support your favorite not-for-profit historic site; memberships start at just $40.

Please watch the Calendar of Events at Boscobel.org for more details and to purchase tickets. See you when we reopen Wednesday, April 1!

Boscobel Salutes Veterans in November

To honor all former U.S. military personnel, Boscobel is offering free house & grounds admission to veterans who show their military ID (or even a photo of themselves wearing their uniform!) at the front desk during the month of November, 2014. The Boscobel Salutes Veterans Program also includes half-price admission for up to five family members per visiting veteran.

Playgroups Expanded Through Fall 2014

Due to the popularity of its spring playgroup series, Rhyme Time by the Hudson, Boscobel is now offering three more sessions for young children in 2014. The interactive, educator-led playgroups are designed for children ages 1 through 5 with their parents, grandparents or caregivers and take place in Boscobel’s spacious pavilion tent off the west meadow, as well as its inspirational Hudson River scenic overlook.

Children will hear about the history and hidden messages in popular nursery rhymes like “Humpty Dumpty” and “Twinkle Little Star” while uncovering the lore of the mighty Hudson. This engaging playgroup is focused on toddler fun from days gone by and uses interactive songs, storytelling and games to spark your little one’s curiosity and imagination. All playgroups take place Fridays, 10:00-10:45am.Class size is limited and fill quickly; advance registration required. See Playgroups under Education tab for session dates and registration info.

Military Families get FREE Admission this Summer

Active duty military and their families can enjoy free admission at Boscobel House & Gardens, plus more than 2,000 other museums nationwide, from Memorial Day until Labor Day 2014 through the Blue Star Museums program.

Blue Star Museums is collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Monday, May 26, 2014 through Monday, September 1, 2014.

The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members.

Boscobel Offers Spring Playgroups for Tots

There’s Friday morning fun in store at Boscobel this spring! A new series of interactive, educator-led playgroups is designed for children ages 1 through 5 with their parents, grandparents or caregivers and takes place in Boscobel’s spacious pavilion tent, as well as its inspirational Hudson River scenic overlook. Children will hear about the history and hidden messages in popular nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty and Twinkle Little Star while uncovering the lore of the mighty Hudson. This engaging playgroup focuses on toddler fun from days gone by and uses interactive songs, storytelling and games to spark your little one’s curiosity and imagination.

3-Week Session
Fridays, 10:30-11:15am
May 2, 9, 16
For more information, contact Lisa DiMarzo: ldimarzo@boscobel.org or 845.265.3638 x140

Boscobel Begins Historical Upgrade

Steven Miller, Executive Director of Boscobel House & Gardens, announced the commencement of sweeping historical upgrades for the entry hall of its iconic c.1808 Federal style mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The project heralds long-term future changes for the house reflecting new interpretive programming.

One of America’s Great Historic Homes    

Built by States and Elizabeth Dyckman in the first decade of the 19th century, Boscobel was dramatically saved from demolition, dismantled and moved to its present site in the late 1950s. It was first restored and opened to the public in 1961 with support from Lila Acheson Wallace who, together with her husband DeWitt Wallace, founded Reader’s Digest. Boscobel has long been recognized as one of America’s premier historic homes of the Federal Period. It boasts beautiful rooms reflecting the style, design and living standards aspired to by the new and established gentry of the early Republic, especially landowners of the Hudson River Valley.

In 1977, the mansion was reopened to the public following a year-long complete decorative renovation by Berry B. Tracy, then a curator with the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Tracy’s perspective was based on the results of an 1807 estate inventory of States Morris Dyckman and surviving original Dyckman manuscripts.

A Complete Transformation   

Subsequent research is now resulting in additional changes for Boscobel. The first and perhaps most visually significant will take place in its grand entry hall. This architecturally classic space with its high ceiling, signature sweeping staircase, columned center arches and dramatic Palladian window will be completely transformed. The walls are receiving a new period-appropriate wallpaper, the floor will showcase a new historic floorcovering, and the painted woodwork trim will receive a new color.

Decisions regarding the wallpaper, floorcovering and paint were all based on extensive research performed by Boscobel’s Curator and Collection Manager, Judith Pavelock. For many years, Ms. Pavelock examined regional, American domestic interiors during the period of Boscobel’s construction. Richard and Jane Nylander are the historic consultants to Boscobel’s upgrade project.

With the exception of the paint color and estate inventory of Boscobel furnishings dated April 27, 1824, comparative historical references will be used where there is no documented information about original decorative elements. Because canvas floorcoverings were common in large entry halls and elsewhere in early American homes, and Boscobel had installed one when it reopened in 1977, that tradition will continue. The new canvas floorcovering replicates the appearance of an off-white marble floor with a scrolling foliage border. It is being handmade and installed by Gwenith Jones and Kenneth Forcier of Gracewood Design in Portland, Oregon.

The ochre-hued wallpaper has an alternating pattern of narrow vertical sheaves bound with tightly cascading swags, flanked by articulated grapevines. It will be meticulously reproduced based on an original documented paper selected from the collection of Historic New England.

Original Paint Samples Uncovered

The updated paint color for the original wood trim of Boscobel’s entry hall was revealed through a scientific study conducted by Dr. Susan L. Buck, a conservator in private practice who specializes in the analysis and conservation of painted surfaces on wooden objects and architectural materials. It will be a cream-colored paint, with a light sheen. In addition to presenting historic upgrades in the Boscobel hall, the process of installation follows precedent.

The wallpaper is being made by Steve Larson at Adelphi Paper Hangings, LLC, in Sharon Springs, NY, a small, artisanal producer of historically accurate block printed wallpapers. It will be installed by Jim Yates, master paperhanger of Historic Wallpaper Specialties, Johnson City, Tennessee, as it would have been two hundred years ago using joined, overlapping sheets and scissor-trimmed ends. The linseed oil-based paint has been handmade as it would have been at the time of Boscobel’s building and applied in a similarly traditional fashion using historic materials by historic paint artisan, Erika Sanchez Goodwillie.

Sneak Peek in March with Completion Set for Spring 2014

The Boscobel project for the grand entry hall is scheduled to be completed this spring, when the mansion typically reopens to the public. However, a sneak peek of the hall for volunteers and members of Boscobel, will take place at the end of March.