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Grant number: PG-52501-15

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Old Merchants House of New York, Inc. (New York, NY 10003-7003)
Margaret Halsey Gardiner (Project Director: May 2014 to present)

Collections Preservation with Light Protection at Merchant's House Museum

The purchase and installation of ultraviolet light filtering shades to protect the furnishings of the Merchant’s House Museum, built in 1832 and purchased by wealthy merchant Seabury Tredwell (1780-1865) in 1835.  The museum’s 3,000-object collection contains furnishings dating from 1830 to 1860, including 12 side chairs attributed to designer Duncan Phyfe; a textile collection of over 800 items including dresses, unfinished quilts, needlework panels, dress alterations, and sewing accessories; a circa 1845 Pianoforte made by Nuns and Fischer of New York; and a fine art collection of engravings, paintings, and photographs of the Tredwell family and friends.  The museum also holds the Tredwell Family archives, including correspondence, legal documents, albums, scrapbooks, and schoolbooks created by the Tredwell family and their relatives and friends.  The collections are used for educational programs, including lectures in the 19th-Century Lifeways series on topics related to 19th-century New York, such as the Yellow Fever epidemic, the Irish immigrant experience, and the New York Draft Riots.

As the only family home in NYC to survive virtually intact from the 19th century and filled with a collection of materials of direct Tredwell provenance, the Merchant’s House Museum offers a rare glimpse into the domestic life of the mercantile class in mid-19th century New York that is unparalleled in its authenticity. The furnishings, decorative arts, fine arts, textiles, books and documents allow the Museum to present many humanities-rich topics through educational programs, exhibitions, publications, and period room interpretation. The Museum is seeking a grant of $5,228 for the purchase and installation of UV shades. The goals of the project are to guarantee the long-term preservation of this important collection and further along our preservation efforts.

Project fields:
History, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,228 (approved)
$5,228 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016