PERMANENT COLLECTIONS and LONG-TERM LOANS

The interior of Gracie Mansion is filled with historically significant art, furniture, and decorative items making up its Permanent Collection and supplemented by many Long-Term Loans. The Conservancy gratefully acknowledges the museums and generous New Yorkers whose donations and loans have made this living landmark possible.

THE SUSAN E. WAGNER WING ENTRANCE HALL
THE PEACH ROOM
THE BLUE ROOM
THE BALLROOM
THE HYPHEN
THE DINING ROOM
THE LIBRARY
THE GRACIE FOYER
THE YELLOW PARLOR
MUSEUM ROOM
PORCH AND LAWNS


THE SUSAN E. WAGNER WING ENTRANCE HALL

English Georgian hexagonal glass and brass lantern with a brass smoke bell hanging above the entry stairs, ca. 1780

Image courtesy of Ryan Lahiff

29” height x 20” diameter
Glass and brass
18th-Century lighting

Six-sided hall lantern with six lights. Scrollwork volutes join lanterns to the canopy and smoke glass. One side of the lantern opens with hinges and a brass floral knob.

A gift to the Conservancy by Mrs. Lytle Hull during the Lindsay Administration.

English Federal-style demi-lune figured mahogany pier tables, New York, ca. 1810-1815

Image courtesy of Lydia-Rose Aigbedion

28 ¾”H x 46”W x 21” Diameter
Mahogany
New York City

Two half-moon-shaped tables made of mahogany. One is labeled by John Banks.

The D-shaped top sits above a cock-beaded frieze on ring-turned and serpentine legs with brass ferrule terminals.

A gift to the Conservancy from Margo C. Flannery during the Koch Administration.

American kylix-shaped bowls of milk glass and gilt-bronze, 20th century

Image courtesy of Lydia-Rose Aigbedion

7-⅛”H x 10-⅛” W

Glass and brass

Compote Dish: Brass-footed milk glass compote dishes with brass beaded trim and handles

A gift to the Conservancy by Mrs. Lytle Hull during the Koch Administration.

The Hudson River Portfolio: A Set of Six Prints of New York City, engraved by J. Hill, New York, 1821-1825

16 ½” H x 21 ¾ “W (each)
John Hill, engraver, 1770-1850
Henry I. Megarey, publisher

The six are entitled:
View from Jessups Landing
Palisades
View Near Hudson
View Near Sandy Hill
View Near Fort Montgomery
The Junction of Sacandaga and Hudson Rivers

The 19th century public took delight in an expanding world. Hardy souls—encouraged by the advances in transportation—scoured the globe in search of the beautiful and unusual. Thousands of others savored the thrill of discovery from the published accounts and printed images of artists such as John Hill, an English engraver, and his son John William Hill, a draftsman. Drawn to Americas vast so-called wilderness and to its bustling young cities, the Hills were among the first artists to document these aspects of the American Scene.” They also played a key role in the development of the topographical print in this country. Their work as seen in those six aquatints evokes a sense of time and places that remain as vivid as today as a century and a half ago.

Overall, the Hudson River Portfolio consists of 20 large aquatints of views of the Hudson after watercolors by the Irish artist William Guy (1792-1864). John Hill engraved 16 plates and completed four begun by another engraver, John Rubens Smith. He remained faithful to Guy’s amalgam of picturesque convention and topographical accuracy. Alterations from the watercolors are minor, made largely for the sake of clarity and greater definition. Hill’s seemingly effortless technique does much to impart the freshness and fluidity of the originals. The Hudson River Portfolio enjoyed an enthusiastic reception and stimulated the demand for topographical views while establishing a standard of artistic and technical achievement by which later work could be judged.

Links/ references:

Sparling, Tobin Andrews, ed. American Scenery: The Art of John and John William Hill. Exhibition catalog. New York Public Library, 1985.
John hill Wiki page

Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, drawing by Samuel Johnson Woolf, New York, ca. 1945

Image courtesy of Lydia-Rose Aigbedion

Samuel Johnson Woolf (1880-1948, portrait artist and printmaker)

26 ¾ ” x 20 “

Drawing
Charcoal and tempera/Chinese white on paper
Signed (with estate stamp at lower left) S.J. Woolf

Samuel J. Woolf was a preeminent American portrait draftsman working in the 1920s to 1930s up until his death in 1948. During this period, he drew from life many major American figures in politics, business, the arts and letters, medicine, and science. Woolf also portrayed many of the leading British and European personalities of his time.

This portrait of Mayor La Guardia was executed for use as an illustration in an article written by Woolf himself titled, The Mayor Talks About Our Town,” in which he states,New York is a fine town with fine people and Broadway is just like Main Street.” It appeared in the New York Times Magazine, September 30,1945. The drawing is illustrated as Drawn from life by S.J. Woolf” and La Guardia is, of course, shown working at his desk at City Hall.

Donated to the Conservancy by the Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc. during the Giuliani Administration.

links/references:
The Mayor Talks About Our Town; New York, he says, is a fine town with fine people and Broadway as just like Main Street

Portrait of Mayor William O’Dwyer a drawing by Samuel Johnson Woolf, New York, ca. 1947

Image courtesy of Lydia-Rose Aigbedion

Samuel Johnson Woolf (1880-1948, portrait artist and printmaker)

25 ⅝ “ x 19 ¾ “

Drawing
Charcoal and tempera/Chinese white on paper

Signed with estate stamp at lower left) S.J. Woolf

Signed (by subject, at lower right): William O’Dwyer

This drawing is autographed by the subject at the lower right, which is a practice that Woolf frequently used to further document the fact that almost all of his portraits were executed from life.

Born and raised in Bohola, Ireland, O’Dwyer (1890-1964) moved to the United States in 1910 after abandoning his studies for the priesthood. He worked as a laborer, then as an NYC policeman. He studied law at Fordham University Law school, receiving his degree in 1923. O’Dwyer built a successful law practice and served as a Kings County Court judge. He won the election as the Kings County District Attorney in 1939 and his prosecution of the organized crime syndicate, murder. Inc., made him a national celebrity in 1939 and his prosecution of the organized crime syndicate, Murder, Inc., made him a national celebrity as a tough crime fighter. After losing the election to LaGuardia in 1941, O’Dwyer enlisted in the army, achieving the rank of Brigadier General. In 1946, O’Dwyer was nominated by the Tammany Democrats and easily won the mayoral election. At his inauguration, O’Dwyer celebrated with the song “It’s A Great Day to be Irish,” and addressed the 700 people gathered in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

“It is our high purpose to devote our whole time, our whale energy, to do good work …” his speech would start.

During his mayoral administration, O’Dwyer established the Office of City Construction Coordinator, appointing Robert Moses to the post. O’Dwyer also worked to have the permanent home of the United Nations located in Manhattan, presided over the first billion-dollar New York City budget, created a traffic department, and raised the subway fare from 5 cents to 10 cents. Shortly after his reelection, O’Dwyer was confronted with a police scandal uncovered, ironically, by the Kings County District attorney. With his health steadily declining, he resigned on September 1, 1950. Soon after, President Harry S. Truman appointed him as ambassador to Mexico. He returned to New York City in 1951 to answer questions concerning his association with organized crime figures. The accusations followed him for the rest of his life. O’Dwyer resigned as ambassador on December 6, 1964 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Donated to the Conservancy by the Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc. during the Bloomberg Administration

Nelson Mandela and Mayor David N. Dinkins, June 22, 1990, unknown photographer working for the City of New York Creative Communications Office, New York, 1990

Image courtesy of Lydia-Rose Aigbedion

17”H x 21” W

Nelson Mandela and his then wife and fellow activist, Winnie Mandela, were guests of Mayor and First Lady Dinkins at Gracie Mansion just five months after his release after 27 years of imprisonment by the Apartheid government of the Republic of South Africa. Over the course of a three-day visit, two million New Yorkers turned out to greet the Mandelas across the city, including a ticker tape parade along lower Broadway in Manhattan. During that historic visit (before Mandela ran for office and received the Nobel Peace Prize), the future president of South Africa and the 106th Mayor of New York City signed documents commemorating the occasion. This photograph captures them doing so.

The two signed the commemorative documents under the entry staircase of Gracie Mansion on a Sheraton-style desk (ca. 1800), attributed to Duncan Phyfe, the renowned New York cabinetmaker. It had been a loan to the Conservancy from 1982 until 2015, when it was returned to the owner who in turn donated it to the Syracuse University Art Museum. In 2018, the desk returned to its former spot in Gracie Mansion for one year to mark the centennial of Mandelas birth.

Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn. New York by D. Alman, New York, 2013 Gelatin Silver

Print 17”H x 21W

 

Donor Honor Rolls: 1981-1989 Mayor Edward I Koch and 2002-2013 Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Framed donor rolls hanging above the stairs that descend from the entry foyer.

Donor plaques , ca 1966

On either side of the Wagner entry are figured brass plaques which credit and thank the donors to the Wagner Wing.


THE PEACH ROOM

Portrait of Susan Edwards Wagner, painting by Willy Pogany, ca. 1954, (a gift of Mayor Robert F. Wagner, 1966)

42”H x 36”W

Oil on Canvas 

Willy Pogany, portrait painter, 1882-1955

This portrait was given to Gracie Mansion on the day of the formal opening of the Wagner Wing, September 28, 1966. It was a gift from former Mayor Robert Wagner Jr. (1910-1991), in honor of his late wife, Susan Edwards Wagner (1909-1964). Mrs. Wagner was the memorial namesake of the public wing she had envisioned and realized before her early death from breast cancer. Pogany was also responsible for portraits of Mrs. La Guardia and Mrs. Impellitteri. 

Pogany was born in Hungary and became a prolific illustrator of books and film posters in the Art Nouveau style. He studied in Munich, Paris and London before coming to the U.S. in 1915. He authored three art instruction books and painted murals for the Ringling Mansion in Sarasota, Florida.

Gift of the Honorable Robert F. Wagner.

Willy Pogany Obituary
The Art of Willy Pogany

Federal inlaid figured mahogany demi-lune card table by Charles Courtwright, New York ca. 1800 (with its locally distinctive fifth movable leg)

29 ½H x 36” W x 17 ⅝”D

Mahogany, White Pine, and Cherry 

Woodwork furniture

A glass-topped circular table with five square, tapered legs, an oval inlay skirt, and string inlay on legs with cuff.

Note on its underside reads Made and sold by Charles Courtwright/at The Sign of the Four Stars/in Pine Street New York”

Federal figured mahogany demi-lune games table, New England, ca. 1800

29 ⅛” x 36”x 17 ¾”
Mahogany, Inlay
Woodwork furniture

Circular table with four squared, tapered legs with cuffs and inlay on edges, three panels of string inlay on the apron, and a double inlay band on edge of the top. The top is beveled-edge glass. The underside of the apron reads: This table belongs to Miss Carl Reed/White [  ]arsh”

Two Anglo-Irish cut glass vases, ca. 1910

Two vases in cut glass.

George III style etched-brass and iron serpentine fire grate, late 18th century

39”x 30”
Cast Iron and brass metalwork
English 

Serpentine front fire grate with four legs, two large vase-shaped finials, and two small vase-shaped finials. Cast iron back with relief design of shepherd and flock.

Directoire-style chandelier with seven lights and crystal sunbursts around a circular corona, France, ca. 1799

Approximately 41” H
Crystal and metal
French lighting

Directoire-style crystal chandelier with six candles, upper section with sunbursts and numerous festoons of crystal forming a large bowl form.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Knight Woolley during the Lindsay Administration.

Pair of converted celadon oil lamps with crystal fonts and bronze bases, English, ca. 1880

Pair of celadon oil lamps converted to electric lamps with crystal fonts and bronze bases.

Safavieh Rug in a Lavar Kerman pattern, Southeast Persia ca. early 20th century

An area rug of Persian-based design woven in various shades of brown and green and russet orange to echo the rooms overall interior design.

Pair of adjustable maple and walnut candle stand tables, origin unknown, 18th-century

This pair of small blond wood tables each has a single adjustable leg to allow a nearby sitter to place a candlelight at just the right height for varying illumination needs.

Chinese celadon-glazed carved vase, Lonquan style, early 20th -century

8 ½”
Glazed porcelain
Incised celadon vase with floral pattern

According to @kassiastclair in The Secret Lives of Color: Frenchman Honoré d’Urfé led a dramatic life. He was imprisoned for his political beliefs, lived much of his life in exile in Savoy, and married his brother’s beautiful widow in order to keep her fortune in the d’Urfé family. It was perhaps this surfeit of intrigue that led him to write the nostalgic, meandering book L’Astrée. Published between 1607 and 1627, the 5,399-page, 60 volume pastoral comedy recounts the futile quest of Céladon, a lovelorn shepherd, to win back his lover, Astrée, after a misunderstanding. Despite its prodigious length and unwieldy cast of characters, it was a hit with his contemporaries. The comedic novel was widely translated, circulated throughout Europe, and spawned a stage play and even a fashion for dressing in sylvan green ‘à la Céladon.’

So firmly linked was Céladon with this woodland-fog color that the word ‘celadon’ was soon used to refer to a similarly hued type of ceramics imported from Asia. The Chinese had been making celadon objects for centuries before d’Urfé’s hero sprang into being. Usually grayish green—although the colors can vary enormously, from blues to grays to ochres and even blacks—these ceramics are characterized by the presence of iron in the clay and iron oxide, manganese oxide, and quartz in the glaze.”

Late Regency style oval black lacquer tray table with faux burl walnut and border, circa 1820

19” x 38”
English

A band of faux burl walnut is bordered by a fine gold striping, ivory dots, and small fleur-de-lis on this black oval lacquer tray table.

Pair of French Charles X gilt bronze urn lamps, ca. 1830

35” H x 6” W x 5” D

A pair of Empire French bronze and gilt parcel urns now mounted as lamps. The bronze urns are enriched with chased and gilt foliate details including bands at the collar, neck, and pair of scroll form handles.

Pair of George III-style open armchairs, unknown origin, late 20th century reproductions

34 ¼ “x 24 ¼” x22”
Wood and upholstery
American

Fully upholstered armchair with square tapered wooden front legs and spade feet, rear legs are square, outward glaring. Nail head trim with blue velvet and self-welt. Sloping rounded back. 

Pair of two lolling chairs, origin unknown, 20th-century reproductions

44 ¾” x 24 ½” x 25”
Wood, inlay, upholstery
American

Upholstered back seat with slight camel-back. Straight tapered front legs with inlay, square outward flaring rear legs, and stretchers and rails. Outward curving armrests in what was once called Martha Washington” style chairs.

Note: tag under seat reads: Remade and renovated by William J. Hyena & Son, Inc. 155 63rd Avenue, New York City, March 16, 1970”

Four black and white Harlem Renaissance photographic prints of local residents by James Van Der Zee, ca-1920-1929

James Van Der Zee (1886-1983)

James Van Der Zee came from Lenox. Massachusetts and settled in New York City in 1908. Originally working as a waiter, elevator operator, and musician in NYC, Van Der Zee opened his photography studio in 1917 with the purpose of photographing his new home, Harlem. Harlem was changing during Van Der Zees time. What had first been a haven for upper-class Anglo Saxons had then become a haven for middle and working-class Irish, Italians and Jews and was fast becoming a haven for upper-, middle-, and working-class Blacks from the South, the West, and the Caribbean.   

Van Der Zees portraits were intended to adorn parlor mantle pieces and bedroom dressing tables, not museum walls. They revealed some essential truths about his subject that were unrecognizable to those who saw them. The scenarios he recreated in front of the camera would not be alien to his subjects. Without reservation, Van Der Zee altered his negatives and prints to arrive at the definition of beauty and elegance sought by clients. Eyes were brightened, wrinkles erased. Jewelry and other accessories were drawn on negatives to enhance style or mood. He used as many as four negatives to create a feeling of tranquility or honor surrounding his subjects. 

One-year Van Der Zee was the chronicler for Marcus Garvey, a black nationalism empire builder, while the next he was paying photographic homage to Edith Milburn and her friends. I wanted to make the camera take what I thought should be there,” Van Der Zee said. To that end, he made himself a resourceful sampler of photographic styles and a master of darkroom techniques. 

Linked and references
Harlems Face on its Own Terms 

Pair of Herend floral-painted porcelain double-handled vases, with gilt highlights, birds, and butterflies, Herend, Hungary, ca. 1985 (a gift in 1987 to Mayor Edward I. Koch from the Hungarian Ambassador to the United States

Herend floral-painted porcelain double-handled vases, with gilt highlights, birds, and butterflies.

Pair of “Old Paris” cachepots, France, ca. 1825-1850

Porcelain, painted and gilded
8 15/16” H x 7 ⅞” Diameter 

These cache-pots were produced in France in the second quarter of the 19th century, when such hard-paste porcelain ware was very popular, especially with the increasingly affluent middle-class. As opposed to being attributed to a specific manufacturer such as Sevres, this pair is part of the group of porcelain referred to as Old Paris,” and are unmarked, created by one of the many producers of porcelain in France that flourished during the 19th century. Cachepot can be translated as pot hide” referring to a common clay pot then thought too lowbrow to show.

Castle Garden, oil on canvas by an American artist once known, New York, ca. 1870

26”x 28”

Oil on Canvas 

Initials appear on a barrel floating in the water and lower right. 

Castle Garden, known today as Castle Clinton, was Americas first Immigration center. Due to an increased volume of immigrants arriving sick or having died in transit in the late 18th century, the U.S. Congress in 1819 passed legislation to limit the number of passengers on ships coming to America. The captain of each arriving ship documented the names of the immigrants aboard his ship and filed it with the collector of customs at the port of arrival. This would mark the commencement of the systematic collection of data on immigration to the United States. The image here depicts Castle Garden when it was an immigration center. 

Today all that physically remains of Castle Garden are its original brownstone walls, surrounding Battery Park landscape, and the original manifests recording the names of the immigrants held in archives.

Links/ references
Castle Garden

Cycle News, Tania Bruguera with Mujeres en Movimiento, New York, 2017

15 ¼” H x 20 ¼” W
Inkjet print

In the year 2014, Cuban-born interdisciplinary artist Tania Bruguera founded Immigrant Movement International in partnership with the Queens Museum and the public art organization, Creative Time. Later she joined forces with the Mayors Office of Immigrant Affairs to launch Cycle New,” a collective of woman activists spreading awareness about available immigrant services. 

Pair of George III tub-back armchairs chairs, provenance unknown, 20th century reproductions

Federal era neoclassical painted wood mantelpiece and fireplace surround salvaged from a demolished townhouse, New York, ca. 1780-1800

Carved pinewood


THE BLUE ROOM

Set of six Federal-style carved mahogany chairs made in New York City by Sypher & Co., ca. 1890

Livingston“ chairs; four side chairs and two arm chairs
Mahogany, reproduction c.1900 

Based on Sheraton design of 1794, and, in turn, the versions made by Federal-era New York chair-makers, Slover & Taylor of the Federal period, ca. 1800. These chairs are square-backed with four reeded balusters with five lotus capitals forming five Gothic arches, rectangular crest rail panel depicting half a stylized flower, and square reeded tapered legs with spade feet. Arms of the armchairs are fastened into the side seat rails. 

“Gracie Table” Gothic-Revival figured mahogany extension table, attributed to Joseph Meeks or Alexander Roux, New York City, ca. 1850. A gift of a Gracie family descendant in 1965.

29 ¾” H x 57” W (without leaves)
Mahogany with brass castors
Circular top table

Oval top table supported by four cluster-column Gothic supports and a central pedestal.  The skyward architecture of lofty cathedrals and stout castles built in Europe from the 12th to 16th centuries were later labeled Gothic” after the Goths, the Germanic tribes who sacked the Roman Empire. Initially the label was a critical backward-looking slight. Nonetheless, it endured as one of the most innovative styles in the Western world. The style lay moribund for 200 years until late in 18th-century England, when a Gothic revival began. It became fashionable to turn villas into Gothic castles using furnishings reminiscent of the era. As the style caught on in England and spread to America in the 1830s, architects, illustrators, and craftsmen created Gothic-inspired mansions, books, and furniture. 

A gift to the Conservancy from Gracie family descendant, Miss Margaret Ogden, during the Koch Administration. 

Pair of Federal figured mahogany games tables, Philadelphia ca. 1800

29 ½” Hx 35 ¼”W x 17 ⅜”D

Mahogany
Wooden furniture
Philadelphia 

Square tables with elliptic fronts and turning serpentine corners. They have banded reeding along the edge, plain apron with ring turnings over legs and four turned reeded legs with a bulb-shaped feet. 

Massive mahogany Federal lawyer’s cabinet with cases rather than shelves (holding books given to resident mayors since 1966,) ca. 1799-1820. Gift of Nathaniel Fish Esq. to the New-York Historical Society (on loan to the Conservancy since 1982)

10H x 12W
Mahogany and pine

This Federal-era library bookcase was once owned by Colonel Nicholas Fish of George Washingtons Continental Army and had been passed down through the generations. 

Regency part-ebonized, giltwood, two-light girandole convex mirror with surmounting eagle facing leftward, American/English, ca. 1810

46” Height x 27” Diameter 
Glass and gilt

Convex mirror surmounted with a carved eagle holding the torn-away ball and chain symbolizing the political liberty of the new American republic from the British empire. Single-arm candle holders with crystal prisms and bobeche. The carving below the mirror includes a shell, pinecone, and acanthus leaves. The inner ribbed lining is painted black.

A previous inventory states originally from the Gov. Pinchot estate.” This mirror is similar to the mirror in the Dining Room in the original Gracie home.

William IV eight-light gilt-bronze and cut-glass chandelier, ca. 1820

Approx. 46”
Gilt, metal, and paint

Eight-light Regency chandelier ornamented with carved and gilded eagle and lion heads, surmounted by crystal cups bearing pendant crystals. 

Gifted to the Conservancy during the Lindsay Administration from Mrs. Lytle Hull.

George III cast-iron and brass serpentine fire grate, ca. 1770-1790

30” W
English

Pierced serpentine fender with a motif of stylized dragons, on tapered legs surmounted by shaped urns.

Gift of Mr. Javier Serra, Les Parfums de Dana, Inc.

Pair of Chinese Export-style parcel-gilt pistol-grip urns by Mottahedeh, ca.1970

Chinese export porcelain urns decorated with the coat-of-arms of the United States, blue and gold swags, and other patriotic motifs.

With the entrance into the global economy, colonial Americans made it a priority to establish trade with China. Once New York opened such direct trade, most of the porcelain imported was specially made for the American market—in some cases by direct commission. The American eagle, the municipal coat of arms, and other patriotic symbols were adapted by expert Chinese artists from ship-born documents and imported coins.

Links/References
Chinese Porcelain Platter and Flower Vase: New York and the China Trade

Portrait of William Archibald Gracie by Samuel Lovett Waldo and William Jewett ca.1840

35” H x 31” W
Oil on Canvas 

Samuel Lovett Waldo (1783-1861) and William Jewett (dates unknown) 

Canvas stencil on reverse Prepared/by/Edw Decchaux/New York”

Inscription on reverse W. Wm R Gracie/ William III? June?/ painted by WaldoJewett/ New York 1850/16 Warren St”

Archibald Gracies eldest son, William, became business partners with his father in 1808 when he turned 21. William married Elizabeth Wolcott Gracie, whose portrait also hangs in the Blue Room of the Wagner Wing. 

Samuel Lovett Waldo was born in Windham, Connecticut, received art instruction in his native state and painted in Charleston, South Carolina. He went to London in 1806, bearing letters of introduction to Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley, and studied at the Royal Academy. Three years later, he opened a studio in New York, where he remained until his death. He was successful as a portrait -painter and was elected an associate of the National Academy in 1847. In about 1812, William Jewett came to him for instruction but proved so useful that they formed a partnership for 18 years. Waldo died in New York City in 1861.

Links/References

A Portrait Found in the Trash and The Hopes It Aroused 

Mrs. William Gracie (née Elizabeth Wolcott, New York, ca. 1816. On loan from the New-York Historical Society

John Trumbull (1756-1843,)
30”H x 24” W
Oil on canvas

John Trumbull (1756-1843)
Inscribed on back: Mrs. Elizabeth Wolcott Gracie/Great-aunt/John Trumbull

Elizabeth Stoughton Wolcott was the daughter of Oliver Wolcott, Jr., governor of Connecticut and important business partner of Archibald Gracie in the China Trade. Elizabeth was married on July 2, 1813 to William Gracie, eldest son of Archibald Gracie, builder of Gracie Mansion. It is likely that John Trumbull—a friend of the family—painted Mrs. Wolcott from life sometime between his return to New York from England in 1816 and her death in 1819. The portrait was a gift to the New-York Historical Society from her grandnephew. 

Links/references
Elizabeth Wolcott Gracie by John Trumbull by Mina Weiner, Docent, researcher, and writer for the Gracie Mansion Conservancy

Pair of double Argand lamps with crystals rings, Birmingham, and London, England, ca 1827-1830

21 ¼” H x 20 ½” W x 8 ¼” D

Gilt bronze and brass, with lamp mechanism, and with glass shades, frosted and wheel-cut, and glass chimneys

Attributed to Messenger & Sons, Birmingham and London, England; retailed by Baldwin Gardiner (1791-1869; active in NY, 1727-1747), New York
Embossed on plates below each of the two burners:  B. GARDINER/ N. York.”

These lamps were made in England, attributed to the metalworking center of Birmingham, at the height of the Regency period. Stylistically, they are closely related to the work of Messenger & Sons and were intended for the important New York retailer Baldwin Gardiner; the brass labels that identify Gardiner as the retailer attached by the manufacturer. Gardiner worked at 149 Broadway in New York, where he remained until 1836. He relocated to 39 Nassau Street in the fall of that year, and then to California. Baldwin Gardiner was one of the most important retailers in New York, supplying lighting fixtures, porcelain, glass, and miscellaneous items to wealthy clients in New York and elsewhere.

Shades and chimneys are modern replacements of period replicas.

Sarouk rug, Iran, early 20th century

While such area rugs are now common in many homes, they were not in the Federal era when there was still not a trade market.

View of the Harlem River, Hudson River, and the Palisades at Spuyten Duyvill by an unknown artist, New York, mid-19th century

20 ¼” H x 23 ½” W

Oil on canvas

Unknown artist 

Spuyten Duyvil Creek (Bronx) 

Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Stuart P. Feld.

Federal-style mahogany double-chair-back settee, manufactured by Sypher & Co., ca 1900

35” H x 43” W x 20” D
Mahogany 

The crest set with two sunburst carved tablets, above reeded spindles with fan-shaped capitals, over an upholstered seat, raised on square tapering reeded legs. 

Oliver Hazard Perry, Samuel Lovett Waldo, New York, 1811

32” H x 27” W

Oil on canvas

The artist in this instance did not work with his studio partner, William Jewett.

Oliver Perry (1785-1819) was an American naval commander best known for his victorious service in the War of 1812, especially in the pivotal Battle of Lake Erie. Perry is linked to the War of 1812 trade strife that precipitated Archibald Gracies financial reversals—leading ultimately to the sale of his now namesake country mansion.

Federal-era neoclassical painted wood mantelpiece and fireplace surround salvaged from a demolished townhouse, New York, ca. 1780-1800

Carved pinewood 


THE BALLROOM

George III-style cut and molded-glass eight-light crystal chandelier from County Tyrone, Ireland, ca. 1785

Anglo Irish metal and crystal chandelier with eight candle arms, eight uprights with tall spears, urn center, large top hood, and two others, large bottom drop, and festoons of crystal. Previously recorded as being from the 18th-century townhouse of Senhor Diojo Amado, on rue Monte Olivette, Lisbon, Portugal. Remade with 20th-century replacement parts as needed.

Gifted to the Conservancy by Mr/Mrs. Charles M. Grace in memory of former mayor William Russell Grace during the Lindsay administration in 1966. W.R. Grace was a native of Ireland who immigrated to America and was elected as New York Citys first Catholic mayor in 1881. He was elected to a second two-year term (the length of service at that period in New York history), in 1885.

Regency giltwood, part-ebonized convex mirror, probably American, ca. 1820

56” H x 47” W
Glass, wood, and gilt
18th Century American looking glass mirror

Circular convex mirror surmounted by a carved eagle, festoons, and balls with chains. The frame is decorated with acanthus leaves on edges and in a cove with rosettes and balls. Inner beaded edges. Liner ebonized wood and reeded. 

Set of eight George III-style, cut-glass gilt-bronze and brass five-light wall lights with acorn finials, ca 1790-1810

41 ½ “H x 36” W x 20” D
Metal and crystal
English sconce

Adam-style crystal wall lights with five candle arms. A tall central spear bears a large canopy with crystals and terminates in a carved pineapple, a symbol of hospitality. All arms and the spike are finely notched and connected with festoons of crystal.

Gift of the Colonial Dames of America.

George III steel fire grate, circa 1790

43”x 35”
Steel and Iron
English metalwork

Serpentine front polished steel fire grate consisting of six legs, four urn-shaped finials, a crenelated apron with beaded edge and repeating oval design, an iron backplate, and a loose summer front, set in place to retain air-conditioned comfort during hot weather spells. 

Pair of Derbyshire blue john feldspar urns on associated pedestals, ca. 1785-1795 
Large George III Devonshire blue john feldspar urn on stand. Ca, 1790

Two Derbyshire-spar urns on pedestals flank a Devonshire blue john feldspar urn on a stand. All three urns consist of great quality stone marked with veins of amethyst, topaz, and carnelian. 

Previous entry: Part of the furnishings of Chesterfield House, London, circa 1785-1795”

Gift from Mrs. Vincent Astor during the Lindsay Administration.

Set of sixteen George III-style mahogany armchairs, late 20th-century, reproductions

35” H x 25 ½ W x 23” D
Walnut and upholstery
American woodwork armchair 

Upholstered tight seat and back open armchairs with serpentine front and seat, with upholstered armrests and scroll shape wood ends. The front legs are square, tapered, and fluted. Rear legs slant outward in a tapered square. The fabric is off-white with woven floral design, primarily blue, nail bead trim, and self-welting.

Federal carved and figured mahogany demi-lune commode, Salem, Massachusetts, ca. 1810

41” H x 61 ¼” W x 24” D
Mahogany 

Early 19th century demi-lune four-door commode with center drawer and two central curved, hinged door panels opening to an interior compartment. There are two curved faux (false) drawers and two faux curved panels. It features beaded ovals outlining each door panel and drawer, veneer mitered corners, a scalloped apron, and four plain keyholes for every drawer and door panel both functioning and faux.   

Inside the upper left compartment reads mahogany sideboard/ Bought by J. Elliot Cabot/in Salem 1861”

Gifted to the Conservancy by Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Grace during the Lindsay administration.

Steinway black lacquer grand piano and matching bench, New York ca. 1967

510½” H
Steinway Model M in Rosewood with an Ebony Satin Finish
Stenciled above keyboard Steinway & Sons”

Made in 1885, this Steinway & Sons grand piano was crafted with a case of carved rosewood. Research reveals that this piano was initially purchased by financier, Jay Gould, for his house in Irvington-on-Hudson.

Federal era neoclassical painted wood mantelpiece and fire surround, New York, ca. 1780-1790

Carved pinewood 

This surround and mantelpiece is thought by some to have been salvaged from the Bayard family farm, which was located near what is today 82 Jane Street in Manhattans West Greenwich Village. William Bayard (for whom today’s downtown street is named), was a friend of Archibald Gracie and Alexander Hamilton. After his duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken, New Jersey, the wounded Hamilton was ferried back to New York across the Hudson and taken to the fireside of the Bayards nearby country house. There he succumbed on July 12, 1804, nearly 31 hours later, after receiving family and friends (including Mr. Gracie), as well as last rites from the rector of Trinity Church.  

Even if this is not the exact same mantelpiece, the accurate historical narrative endures at Gracie Mansion thanks to the Susan E. Wagner Wings architect, Mott B. Schmidt. He found the artifact languishing in a downtown warehouse and reinstalled it in his 1963-1965 extension of Gracie Mansion. 

Federal Inlaid and figured mahogany and maple chest of drawers, Michael Alison, New York, ca. 1810

A label in the upper right drawer reads:

M. ALLISON/CABINET MAKER/NO. 42 VESEY STREET/ (NEAR THE BEAR MARKER)/ NEW-YORK/Who has a generous amount of warranted/ ready made (sic) furniture on hand.

The label lends rare precision to its provenance.

Classical pier mirror, New York, ca. 1810-1820

45” H x 26 ½ “W

Gilded wood and glass

Classical pier mirror, American, ca. 1840

5H x 26” W
Glass and gilded wood and gesso frame with foliate scroll corners


THE HYPHEN

Carved mahogany cake board depicting the seal of New York City, Conger and Watkins, New York, ca. 1830

A fine carved mahogany cookie board, stamped in all four corners J.V. Watkins, N.Y.” and on its vertical sides J. Conger,” early 19th century. The square form board is carved in deep relief with the arms of the State of New York with its motto Excelsior.

Gifted to the Conservancy during the Bloomberg administration.

Link/References
Cake Boards by William Woys Weaver

Federal fancy paint-decorated arrow-back bench, probably New York, ca. 1800

37 ¼ H x 7W x 26”D

A very long wooden bench, allowing as many as five people to sit side by side in the era of its creation.

Pair of columnar floor cabinets, provenance unknown, early 19th century

28 ½” H x 15 ¼ Diameter 

Mahogany veneer with circular black marble tops

Bank draft No. 75 for $4,197.50 payable to Richard Hughes by the order of the Bank of New York, signed by Archibald Gracie on March 29, 1797

10” H x 12” W

Ink on paper

A letter from Washington Irving to Archibald Gracie Jr., Greenburgh, New York, January 12, 1839

Ink on paper 

The note reads:  Mr dear [illegible}, If you can give your good word in favor of my nephew P [illegible] Irving as notary to your bank you will greatly oblige. Yours very truly,  s/Washington Irving

Archibald Gracie, Esq.

Greenburg is a town in Westchester County, New York, near Tarrytown, where the famous New York author Washington Irving lived in his country estate, Sunnyside. The landmark stands today as a historic house museum.   

As governmental borders shift, sometimes the original address loses its currency. Today Sunnyside is in Irvington, New York.

Much of the iconic mythology about 17th century New Netherland descends from the romantic prose of Americas Founding Father of Literature,” Washington Irving. In the 21st century such narrative is better understood as historic fiction.

The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, Christo and Jean-Claude, unknown photographer, New York, 2005

15” H x 19 ½” W 

Color photograph 

Includes an inscription below an image of the art installation shown throughout Central Park in February 2005.

The 26-year interlude of the formal title refers to the length of time it took from initial proposal to Mayor Edward I. Koch until ultimate approval under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Three woodcuts by the New York artist Isabel Banks Markell (1891-1980)

Gracie Mansion”.  

25” H x 20” W

First in an edition of six; woodcut on paper. The quotation marks are the artists. Isabel Banks Markell (1891-1980) is best recalled today for her views of and evident fascination with the East River.

East River 

22 H x 23 W

From an edition of six; woodcut on paper.

Untitled (depicting Hellgate and the northern end of Carl Schurz Park) 

2”H x 23” W

From an edition of six; woodcut on paper.

Alexander Hamilton, engraving by George Graham “for James Rivington, New-York” after a portrait by Walter Robertson, ca. 1870

15” H x 18” W

Engraving on paper with a wreath of oak leaves, ribbons with Camillus” flags and armaments surrounding a well-known and beloved portrait of Alexander Hamilton by the miniaturist painter Walter Robertson (ca. 1750-1801).

James Rivington (1724-1801), the printer for whom George Graham then worked, immigrated to New York from London as the officially appointed Royal Printer of New-York during the period of the American Revolution and founding of the United States. He published His Royal Gazette, considered by most historians as North Americas first daily newspaper yet one written for a readership of Tory Loyalists. It was posthumously discovered, however, that beginning in 1780, he served as a spy for General Washington as he led the final victorious years of the Revolutionary War.     

Hamilton shared pride in Scottish ancestry with his politically like-minded neighbor and friend, Archibald Gracie, and lived in a similar Federal-era countryside homestead in upper Manhattan. Hamilton’s home still stands today as a historic house museum called The Hamilton Grange National Memorial,” a federal landmark under the care of the National Parks Service located at 414 West 141st Street in Harlem.

Donor honor rolls, 2014-2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio


THE DINING ROOM

Suite of Zuber & Cie woodblock Jardins de Paris aka Gardens of Paris wallpaper, Rixheim, France, ca. 1836

79” H x approx. 21” W (each roll)
Hand blocked canvas with some hand painting infill
Zuber & Cie

The elaborate panoramic scenes in Zuber wallpaper designs such as Les Jardins de Paris are made with wood blocks and hand mixed paints, using techniques dating back to the companys origin in 1790. Since 1995, these blocks have been designated as French national treasures. 

This wallpaper was originally in the home of the architect William Lawrence Bottomley. Upon his death, his widow Harriet Townsend Bottomley donated some of the wallpaper to the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, with the remaining panel rolls coming to Gracie Mansion during the 1984 renovation.

Links/References
Les Jardins de Paris: The Wallpaper of the Dining Room at Gracie Mansion

Empire patinated and gilt-bronze twelve-light colza chandelier, France, ca. 1810

42” H x 42” W x 30” Diameter
Patinated and gilt bronze light fixture

Converted from oil to electric light

Regency part-ebonized, giltwood, two-light girandole convex mirror with surmounting eagle facing leftward, American/English, ca. 1810

46” Height x 27” Diameter 
Glass and gilt

Convex mirror surmounted with a carved eagle holding the torn-away ball and chain symbolizing the political liberty of the new American republic from the British empire. Single-arm candle holders with crystal prisms and bobeche. The carving below the mirror includes a shell, pinecone, and acanthus leaves. The inner ribbed lining is painted black.

A previous inventory states originally from the Gov. Pinchot estate.” This mirror is similar to the mirror in the Blue Room in the Wagner Wing.

Pair of Pennsylvania classical brass and iron andirons, ca. 1820

George III-style Sheffield silver-plated tea urn, probably English, 19th century

21” H

Silver and ebony

Silver plated tea urn with a stylized band of foliage, a rams head mask at each side with ring handles.

“Higginson” sideboard, New York, ca. 1815-1820

51 ½” H x 68 ¾” W x 24 ½” D

Federal carved and figured mahogany bow front sideboard, attributed to Duncan Phyfe after a design by Charles-Honoré Lannuier. Lannuier was a French citizen who later called New York City home.

Mirrored gallery with small white marble column. Veneers pierced with bronze banded inlay. Black marble top. Three drawers in the apron with a Grecian” ormolu appliqué on center drawer; floral appliqués on canted corners of apron; white marble columns with anthemion ormolu rings at top of front columns; engaged white columns in rear, flanking mirrored backdrop; bun feet on casters. It belonged to the Archibald Gracie family and was donated to Gracie Mansion by a descendant. 

Classical New York marble gilt-bronze and rosewood veneer pier table attributed to Charles-Honoré Lannuier, ca. 1815

As high as most able-bodied adult waists, this fine work is attributed to the French-born cabinetmaker, Charles-Honoré Lannuier, New York City competitor and design influencer of the Scottish immigrant furniture maker, Duncan Phyfe. Unlike the proud Phyfe, Lannuier labeled most of his fine-grained creations making it easier to attribute two centuries on.  

Federal carved and figured mahogany bow front serving table, maker unknown, New York ,ca. 1815

36” H x 43” W x 21” D

A small sideboard with square corners and bowed mid-section. Center drawer with two pulls above the arched center section and a small drawer opening from each side with a single pull. All four legs are turned, reeded and carved with acanthus. On the front of the drawer’s veneer is cross-grained with astragal design and the top has a ¾” cross grain border. Similar design at side corners. Plain, bead molding defines the edges of drawers, arch, and tabletop. 

Label on back reads Mable Garvan/123 W 64th St./ New York 23 NY.” Mabel Brady Garvan was a renowned collector of fine early American furniture, much of which is displayed at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Federal-style satinwood cross-branded mahogany extension dining table and chairs, 20th-century and 21st-century respectively

A. A set of four armchairs and 20 side chairs, all reproductions from a New York ca. 1800 period piece

Maker: Cherry Brook Woodworks, Peter Alaska

This room and subsequently these chairs inform a place where history has unfolded at important gatherings as continues today. Archibald Gracie dined here with Alexander Hamilton, Rufus King, and Washington Irving, among others. Since 1942, when Gracie Mansion became the official residence of the New Yorks mayors, the dining room has been used for official meals and meetings. Guests have included First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, President John F. Kennedy, Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Saint Teresa of Kolkata and several State governors. 

B. Satin Wood Cross-Banded Mahogany extension dining table, 20th century, reproduction

29” H x 4” W x 10D 

Mahogany, satinwood, and brass

Kittenger, Pattern 01601 serial 26” 

The table consists of three sections each with its own pedestal; two are drop leaves, which can be raised or lowered as need dictates. Rectangular top with curved corners and cross grain 2” border and ebony inlay at inner edge. Bases are quadrupled flared legs with brass feet on casters and turned upper portions. 

Four brass American classical gilded stamped tin curtain valances, 1840

Brass American classical gilded stamped tin curtain valances.

Glazed pottery soup tureen with underplate, Mottahedeh Porcelain Works, ca. 1965

Glazed pottery

11 ½” H; tray is 16 ¼” W

Marked: Lowestoft reproduction created by Mottahedeh”

Lowestoft-type porcelain with pale blue background, center eagle motif with bands of blue and guilt and gilding on handles.

Pair of Candlesticks in neoclassical taste, ca.1815

12 ⅝” H
French ormolu

The elegant form of these candlesticks features acanthus leaves rising from the base, similar to the ormolu on the legs of the Gracie family sideboard

Pair of three-part gilt-bronze and glass mantel-shelf candle-stand garniture, American, ca. 1840

25” H x 201/4” W; Base 6” D
Metalwork-Lighting
Brass, crystal, and marble

Pair of brass and crystal girandoles on white marble base, three arms with long, flat, beveled crystal prisms and decoration on side arms with two-tiered bobeche rosettes

There is a hole in the back of the base which may indicate they were originally used for gas illumination.


THE LIBRARY

Bronze Argand chandelier by Johnston Brooks & Co., ca. 1820

36 ¼’ H x 25” D
English 

Patinated and gilt bronze, with blown, frosted, and well-cut glass shades and glass chimneys

Three light argand chandelier attributed to the Johnston Brooks & Company

Two plaster maquettes by American sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward for cast bronzes of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, 1882

John Quincy Adams Ward (1830-1910) was a New York-based sculptor working in the figurative neoclassical style during the early years of the American republic. Together with Henry Kirke Brown (1814-1886, sculptor), he won the commission for the 1856 equestrian monument of George Washington located at the southern terrace of Manhattans Union Square. Together they defined what became an American school of public neoclassical sculpture, the stylistic root of some of the monuments now under critical scrutiny.

The maquette of George Washington shows him taking the oath of office as the first President of the United States. The bronze sculpture is placed on the steps of New Yorks Federal Hall. The bronze sculpture of the Marquis de Lafayette is now on the campus of the University of Vermont.

Links/References
John Quincy Adams Ward Maquettes

Tall mahogany bookcase and mahogany-veneered Empire desk featuring period glass pull and elaborate gilt acanthus leaf stenciling, ca. 1820. (On loan from the Merchant’s House Museum since 2002)

99” H x 47” W x 22 ¼” D at base; 17 ¼” at projecting cornice

A. Federal stenciled mahogany secretary cabinet bookcase, New York, ca. 1815

The bookcase was a gift to the Merchant House Museum by the Clarence Michalis family. The piece descended to Clarence Michalis Jr. (A trustee of MHM), from the family of Samuel S. Day (b. 1799), of 28 Charlton Street, NYC where the piece was originally located. 

The bookcase is mahogany with a pair of gilded Corinthian capitals as pivot points of glazed and mullioned doors with a keyhole on the right door. interior upper door frames have pin holes. Stenciled leaf design in shades of gold surround glass panels. Overdoor panel decoration of fruit and leaves framed by acanthus. Three adjustable shelves.

B. Federal mahogany desk, New York, ca. 1815

Mahogany with pull-out drop-front drawer, with lock and key over two hinged door compartments with one loose shelf and lock and key. Desk compartment has pigeon holes and two drawers on the left and right sides. Glass knobs appear to be replacements with evidence of four holes surrounding each knob. Unsuitable red felt currently covers the desktop. Secretary sits on paw feet.

Brass fire fender, Boston, ca. 1830

8 ⅝” H x 48 ⅝” L x 14” W
Brass metalwork 

Crenelated brass fender with three paw feet, rounded corners, and diagonal ribbing in the center section

Brass andirons, Boston, ca. 1800

17 ⅜” H

Ball topped turned post on two modified hoof feet

Pair of Federal mahogany card tables, New York, ca. 1810

30 ½” H x 36 ¼” W x 18” D
John T. Dolan (cabinetmaker)

Five turned and reeded legs, treble elliptical shaped table. Legs have brass bulb feet on casters and the apron follows the shape of the table and has an inlaid wood panel. Beveled glass top. 

A label behind center apron reads, Property of Florence Van Rensselaer.” 

Blue and white export china tea set, China (likely Canton; Guangzhou), ca. late 18th - early 19th century

Tea Set: Blue and white scenic pattern with gold trim and gold filigree pattern border. Located in the Federal stenciled mahogany secretary cabinet. 

A tea pot with straight sides and gadrooning, straight spout, double twisted ribbon handle with pomegranate on lid for handle.

A boat-shaped creamer with scalloped edge

Service bowl 8 ½” diameter

Seven  cups with handles, 2 ⅜” H

Seven saucers-bowl shape, 5” diameter

Two cups without handles, 2”H

Although very little is known about this particular blue and white Chinese export set, it resembles the entry found in “Chinese Export Porcelain for the American Trade, 1785-1835” by Jean McClure Mudge. “A little more than a month after the ‘Empress’ docked, the New York Gazetteer and the Country Journal carried the following advertisement: Maria S. Morton Has on hand a neat assortment of Dry Goods, suitable to the season….China arrived from Canton, in the ship Empress of China. Table and tea table sets complete, blue and white enameled half pint basons and saucers. Blue and white and enameled bowls of different sizes.”

The next season the tiny sloop ‘Experiment’ with Captain Stewart Dean returned with twenty-six chests of teacups and saucers and five sets of breakfast china. Surviving records show that New York imported the same kinds of porcelain as did the New England ports The extent of Ms. Mortons trade no doubt meant that much more chinaware entered here than at other cities. Overseas traders supplied both personal requests and large consignments. 

In 1788, Samuel Flemming wrote to Captain Randall of the ‘Jay’ in Canton: I gave you a small memorandum at New York 26th Dec last which I now repeat with some addition. Be so good as to purchase for me at Canton a complete set of table china, with the desert: white ground and violet colored border, as p the small specimen of Silk, affixed with ware to the border. The desert set ought to have four dozen plates. Sometimes they only send two. Purchase also a child’s tea set for my daughter, and a piece of best Nankeen black Sattin (sic) for Men’s wear: one china jar of preserved Ginger: one ditto to match it; filled with Cassia buds: and charge to my account.”

Newspapers periodically announced the sales of common blue and white and painted wares which came into retail stores. Merchants like Oliver Wolcott helped keep them in stock. A shipment originally purchased from Houqua was brought by the ‘Trident’ in 1808 and was bought by Oliver Wolcott, Thomas Chrystie, Thomas Watterman, Isaac Bell, and others for a total of more than $9,000. Two years later, the ‘Trident’ again brought back boxes of Houqua’s wares for Archibald Gracie (one of Wolcott’s associates), Nehemiah Rogers, and Rufus King.

Pair of Fauteuils in Restoration taste, France, ca. 1820

36” H x 23” W x 22 ⅝” D
Mahogany

Caned armchairs with a simple, comfortable seat cushion

Restoration-style mahogany marble-top library table attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York ca. 1830-1840

29 ¼” Hx 36 ½” W x 21 ¾” D

Restoration-style mahogany marble-top library table attributed to Duncan Phyfe

Neo-classical sofa by an unknown furniture maker, New York ,ca. 1815

96” L x 34 ¼” H x 26” D
Mahogany with secondary woods: Ash, mahogany, and pine; iron castors 

Mahogany with gesso paint and gilt, with secondary woods veneers, brass line inlay, gilt-brass and iron castors, and die-stamped gilt-brass mounts.

Pair of loveseats, Jamie Drake, New York, 2002

The two dark blue modern loveseats framing the Library fireplace, with coffee table in between, were designed by the 2002 Gracie renovation architect, Jamie Drake. These loveseats are unique and made to his specifications precisely for this placement.

Empire-style pier table of figured rosewood with a glass mirror, attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York, ca. 1820

36 ¾” H x 42 ¼” W x 20 ⅛” D
Attributed to Duncan Phyfe

The tables an oblong white marble top with reeded edge above knife edge molding on a conforming rosewood case, a frieze with foliate gilt-bronze appliqués at each end and a central gilt-bronze mount and inlaid brass banding at the bottom edge of the case. Above veneered pillars at the two front corners are gilt-bronze capitals and bases. At the back are pilasters centering a mirror plaster on a shaped shelf with a brass inlaid arabesque and stringing on its leading edge, raised on four carved animal paw feet with gilt and vert-antique paint decoration.

Gift of Susan and Stuart Feld in honor of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Fifth Avenue at 60th Street, oil on canvas, by Stokely Webster, 1987

30” x 36” framed
Oil on canvas

This colorful view by an American Impressionist artist depicts the Pulitzer Fountain at Grand Army Plaza at the southeastern corner of Central Park. It was the first work of art collected from a living artist for Gracie Mansion thanks to First Lady Joyce Dinkins, who accepted the artists gift just a few years after completed. 

In 1922, at the age of ten, Stokely Webster and his family moved from Evanston, Illinois to Paris. There the young Stokely saw Monets paintings and even the master himself at work in his Giverny garden. He decided to become a painter. Under the tutelage of Lawton Parker, a friend of the Webster family and an American painter, Webster was given classical academic training yet ultimately deployed the techniques of Impressionist and Fauvist painters.

Stokely Webster is considered a significant transitional figure who worked with the rich and varied tapestry of contemporary American art. His work reflects many of the major traditions in the historic development of figurative painting. 

Portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette, unknown artist, ca. 1859

36” H x 25W 

Oil on board 

On loan from the New-York Historical Society 

It is likely that the Gracie family knew and entertained this renowned French soldier and statesman, who contributed to the American victory in the Revolutionary War.

Architectural drawing, inscribed on paper, “The Seal of Jacob Walton Esq, at Horn’s Hook near the City of New York, North America,” 1774

14”H x 20” W   

Elevation drawing of the Palladian-style Jacob Walton Family house named Belview, which stood at this site until it fell to the Revolutionary War forces under General George Washington in 1776. The Walton family remained loyal to the Crown and fled Manhattan for Long Island, which remained under armed colonial occupation until the final British evacuation in 1783.

The Yellow Parlor cannonball testifies to the bombardment of Revolutionary forces before they retreated northward from this site and all of what today constitutes New York City into todays Westchester County in 1776. 

Todays landmark Gracie Mansion was built by Archibald Gracie in 1799 on the foundation of Belviews ruins.

This elevation drawing was donated by Walton descendants in the late 20th century.

Original mantel, New York, 1799

Neoclassical Robert Adams-style painted wood fireplace surround from the original construction by builder Ezra Weeks likely relying in part on skilled enslaved carpenters. 

This is the only original fireplace surround surviving on the parlor level of Gracie Mansion. Some were replaced by later owners, while others were installed in the 20th century by the Citys Department of Parks & Recreation, as its forceful commissioner, Robert Moses, pushed to restore the Federal-era landmark.

Curule Bench, New York , ca. 1815

15 ¾” H x 20 ¾” W x 16 ¼” D

Such a curule or curved form was favored in the Neoclassical style of the 19th century. It took its name from the folding chairs used by magistrates in ancient Rome. The fabric was woven to imitate a surviving piece. 

Portrait of Paul Robeson, Edward Steichen, New York, 1933

Inkjet print 

Published originally in Vanity Fair magazine

Here the great bass baritone, concert artist, actor, and civil and labor rights activist, Paul Robeson (1898-1976), is captured in his stagecraft by the pioneering photographer and curator, Edward Steichen (1879-1973). Robeson is celebrated for his contributions to both American culture and politics. Steichen remains one of the most important photographers in the medium even as it exploded in so many new image-making ways across the 20th century as continues digitally in the 21st. 

Pair of celadon green art converted pottery oil lamps, France, ca. 1880

Created to use oil as fuel, these lamps were long ago converted to electricity. The tapering ceramic leads to a hollow cast brass lozenge from which the shade harp emerges.

Incised window panes, created in situ, ca. 1966-2021

Several of the window panes above and below the mullions in the two nine-over-nine windows on the front of the mansion overlooking Hellgate feature the diamond etched  names (and, in some cases, the dates) of Gracie residents. The left window is dedicated to mayoral offspring, while on the right to mayoral spouses who, to date, have been women only.

Some are hard to spot whether by eye or touch. Others were carved more deeply and are thus more legible. 


THE GRACIE FOYER

Faux Marbre floor painting, ca. 1984

Stephan Gemberling (1947- , decorative floor painter)
Based on design from trade card of John Carwaithan, floor cloth painter

The Alpha Workshop in New York created this false marble” or faux marbre floor based on a printed trade card of decorative painter John Carwaithan. In that Federal era, affluent homeowners rarely left the wood floors uncovered or undecorated. This solution evokes marble tiling. Other times they used painted floor cloths made from heavy canvas.

Four French lamps, late 19th-century

A pair of French lamps 19th century

A pair of 19th Century bronze French oil lamps, ca. 1840

Two are placed on the dismantled dining table, presently serving as two glass topped console tables on both sides of the landmarks entry from 1810, when Gracie enlarged the 1799 house and moved the front door from the East River façade to its present access overlooking Hellgate. 

“Wheaton Family Sofa” neoclassical mahogany veneered sofa, New York, ca. 1840 (donated by Wheaton descendants to Mayor Lindsay in 1966)

37 ¾” H x 7W x 23” D

The sofa was donated to the house in 1966 during the Lindsay administration. It was said to have belonged to the Wheaton family, who resided in this Federal landmark late in the 19th century. However, a 1980 inventory asserted that the sofa was a gift from a Brewster, New York resident, who merely conjectured that the piece had been at Gracie Mansion decades before. Apocryphal or not, it remains part of an unfolding narrative. All the legs rise from casters.

“Sheraton Looking Glass” Federal carved and gilded mirror with églomisé panel with flower finial flanked by a pair of urns with wheat, New York, ca. 1795-1810

62” H x 27” W
Wood, gilt, gesso, and glass

Rectangular frame with églomisé panel on a white field. The center tablet depicts a house and landscape scene of white and gold with oval medallions on either side. The superstructure contains two carved and gilded urns with wheat sprigs flanking a carved and gilded urn with leaf draperies containing sprigs of wheat and flowers. 

Painted bellows, England, a. 1820

17 ½” H x 6 ½” W x 3” D
Wood, metal, and leather

This brick red painted bellows features a fruit and leaf gilded decoration and stylized border. Rather than use a stencil, the designs were hand painted.

English George III brass and wire fireplace fender, ca. 1800

18” Height x 53 ½” Width x 17” Depth
Brass and wire

Round corners, brass top rail and base, undulating decorative wires and vertical wires; surmounted by diamond-pattern wires 

Pair of “knife blade” andirons, American, ca. 1820

24” H x 9” W x 19 ¾” D
Brass and iron

Ball finials of brass and iron shaft in form of a slender vase plus slender bracket feet.

Continental Toleware parcel-gilt four-light chandelier, probably English, mid to late 19th century

20” H x 23” W

Four forest green branches with gilded stenciling

Set of six various metal and glass single-arm sconces, origin unknown, ca. early 19th century

13 ½” H (with shade) x 8 ½” D

Patinated brass, embellished with glass globes. Glass globes are English replacements from the 1930s.

Pair of late Regency tôle peinte navette-form chestnut urns with lion-mask and ring handles, ca. early 19th Century

11 ½”H x 8” W

Mounted on an oval spreading circular foot. Each urn has a shaped lid, lion mask, and ring handles. These urns are decorated with a landscape painted on a yellowed ground within a border of leaves. Impressed seals are located underneath. 

Important William and Mary grisaille-painted kas chest, New York, ca. 1690-1720

61”H x 7W x 26” D

A magnificent painted wood New York cupboard made in vernacular evocation of an original Dutch kas as found in New Netherland and its English colonial aftermath. Such large hall cupboards held cloth, linens, and woolen items precious to household management.

This storage cupboard is painted in illusionistic grisaille decoration imitating the elaborate molding and carving of Dutch hardwood prototypes. Swags of fruit, birds and drapery are painted. The drawer in the cornice is opened with a ring pull. There are two hinged doors and shelves in the interior above bracketed feet. 

This kas (pronounced: kahs or kahz) in the Anglo-Dutch tradition, was made in the Hudson River Valley between 1700 and 1740. It is an excellent example of a colonial New York craft worked in a New Netherland style. It is one of the most important pieces of furniture in the collection as there are only ten such examples in various museums and private collections. The kas was formerly in the collection of City Hall, suggesting it was commissioned for the municipal government of the era. The kas is made of tulip poplar wood with grisaille” (grey) decoration in the Dutch Renaissance style. 

Historically, a kas was often presented to a couple at the time of their wedding as a very special, ceremonial piece of furniture. Note the decoration symbolic of love, marriage and family: the rose and cherubs on the cornice (which is a secret drawer), the red birds, and the cluster of pomegranates (an ancient symbol of fecundity). A kas held linens and clothes by functioning as a clothes press. The English word case” derives from the Dutch word “kas.”

Tripod tilt-top table, attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York, ca. 1815 on loan from the Museum of the City of New York

20” H x 29 ” x 19 ¾” W
Mahogany primary and secondary woods, gilt brass sleeping lion” toe-caps, casters and brass fittings

A necessity of the neoclassical period, tilt-top tables served a variety of purposes from a small tea service to a place for a lamp. They were therefore popular during the later 18th century through the 19th century. The present table is attributed to Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854), because of its superior workmanship and similarities to other Phyfe attributed tables. Indeed, a comparison of its vertically reeded pedestal to those of the drop leaf table and the card table documented as having been made by Phyfe for James Brinkerhoff, a local Revolutionary War veteran, suggest more than a generic relationship. 

Federal figured and inlaid mahogany tall-case clock, Nathaniel Hawkhurst, New York, ca. 1820

81” H x 20 ½” W x 10 ¼” D
Mahogany and satinwood inlay 

Tall case clock with center brass finial and painted rose decoration, fluted freestanding column supporting pediment, and inlaid case with satin wood triglyphs motifs and a lozenge form. This clock is thought to have be the only surviving collection item from the era of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses’s attempt to open a museum at Gracie Mansion in 1934, following the departure of the Museum of the City of New York. Inside of the case door a brass plaque states, In Memory of Francis P. Garvan.”

Federal-style pedestal table, maple top, ca. 1810-1815

29” H x 23” W x 16 ⅞” D
Mahogany and maple

Rectangular maple top with two drawers and brass lion-head pulls; vase turned pedestal carved with acanthus leaves; arched tripled legs, reeded and leaf-carved

Two-part Federal-era Empire-style library table, mahogany, maple, cherry, and brass alloy inlay, probably New York, ca. 1810-1820

29 ¼” x 42 ⅝”x 21 ½” D  (closed)
Mahogany, maple, cherry, and brass alloy inlay

The two ends have rounded corners that line up as rectangular when assembled. There are ten turned and twisted rope legs on casters. Plain apron with brass inlay on bottom edge. Brass hardware on underside to connect the table. This dining table is presently dismantled and serves as a pair of glass topped console tables framing the historic front door overlooking Hellgate. 

Awaiting the Arrival of the British Queen, oil on canvas by James Fulton Pringle, ca. 1839, on loan from the New York Public Library

 40”H x 82” W

Oil Painting on Canvas

HMS British Queen was the first steamship built exclusively for transoceanic service between America and England. The massive ship arrived in New York on her maiden voyage on July 28, 1839, and attracted a tumultuous crowd. In marine painter James F. Pringles version of the scene, the British Queen sails downriver at the center right—British and American flags flying—having just passed a ferry house at the Battery, where throngs of people salute her. In the center background—with smokestack belching—appears the domestic steam packet, Arrow, and at the extreme right is the tall ship Sun. Brooklyn Heights informs the background landscape as it appeared before riverfront development transformed its prospect from Manhattan and New Jersey.

Gracie Mansions exterior was repainted in 1984 to match the coloring of the Federal-era boathouse at left.

James Fulton Pringle was born in 1788 in England and arrived in America in his early forties. In the early 1830s, he exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design until three years before his death in 1847.

Archibald Gracie Jr. oil on canvas by an unknown artist, ca. 1820-1825 on loan from the New-York Historical Society

26” H x 21” W
Oil on canvas

Born in New York, the subject was the son of Archibald Gracie (1755-1829) and Ester (Rogers) Gracie. He became a merchant in Mobile, Alabama, and married Elizabeth Davidson Bethune of North Carolina. When the Civil War broke out, he remained loyal to the North, while his son Archibald III (b. 1832), served as a Confederate soldier before being killed at the Battle of Petersburg.

Gift of John Fiske in memory of his mother, Margaret Gracie Fiske.

Two photographs by Perla de Leon

Going to Work, Perla de Leon, New York, 1980
Inkjet Print

My Playground, Perla de Leon, New York, 1980

Inkjet print

In the late 1970s, while in graduate studies at Columbia Universitys Film Directors Program, de Leon was assigned to photograph the South Bronx. She witnessed not only the neighborhoods world-renowned decline, but (unlike so many others), she discovered the enduring resilience of those still living, working, and playing there. Her photographs belie the depressed urban environment. These two works from her South Bronx Spirit 1979-1980” series concentrate on the residents rather than the rubble, which too many others mistook as lifeless.

Mayor La Guardia, Ben Shahn, ca. 1946

Inkjet print from a gouache on paper

Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, which first made the loan in 2017 as part of the special exhibition, New York, 1942

Victorian mantelpiece, New York, ca. 1885

This detail was likely placed here by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in the 1930s with funds from the WPA  either to replace an existing mantelpiece or to reopen a chimney plastered over at some juncture. It is neither colonial” nor colonial revival;” instead it falls in between. 

Faux boix doors, 1984

Fake wood” or faux boix refers to all of the decorative painted wooden door surfaces of  the landmarks original section. It was done as an imitation of veneers that were hard to purchase in 1799 America. 


THE YELLOW PARLOR

English paper mâché lacquer tray table with serpentine legs, ca. 1840

Chinoiserie toleware tray table

Two Anglo-Irish cut glass vessels, late 19th-century

10 ⅝” H
Cut Glass

Bowl/wine cooler; eight-sided base for circular bowl with five bands of patterning separated by triangular incisions. 

Steinway & Sons Chippendale Style Carved Model “M” Grand Piano and upholstered wood piano bench, New York, ca. 1960

Stenciled above keyboard Steinway & Sons”

This Chippendale style 1967 walnut piano was manufactured at the Steinway factory in Long Island City, Queens. The fabled piano company was founded in Manhattan in 1853 by immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinwig, whose rapid success led to factories in both Queens and in his native Hamburg, Germany. His distinguished namesake instruments still endure as a global standard of musical excellence.

In 1942 with its German production suspended and its factories nearly destroyed, Steinway & Sons was ordered by the Allied Armies under local command to convert its Long Island City piano manufacturing to the building of wooden gliders to convey troops silently behind enemy lines. Like so many New York manufacturers, wartime urgencies and mobilization took instant precedence. Shared sacrifice meant victory. While its normal instrument building was thus suspended, Steinway did fulfill one additional Army order: 2,436 special Victory Vertical” or G.I. Pianos.” Built from 1942 to 1945 as small, economical, and portable instruments, they could be disguised by painted camouflage and taken aboard outgoing troop ships or even dropped by parachute behind enemy lines to bring music to soldiers at a time when they often needed to make it themselves.

Nearly a generation passed before Steinway & Sons could fully regain its pre-war momentum. It was at this resurgent time in both Hamburg and New York that this fine example arrived at Gracie Mansion from Long Island City in Queens.

Classical marble fireplace surrounded with Greek key motif, installed by the Foulke family, ca. 1830

46 ½” H x 12 ½” W

This elegant fireplace—featuring as it does the motif of the Greek key or Greek fret design (also called a meander from the Greek word meandros)—was installed as a fashionable interior upgrade by the Foulke family, who inhabited the house after purchasing it from Archibald Gracie in 1823. They resided there until 1853, when selling to the Wheaton family, the last private owners of the 1799 structure. 

Cast iron British cannonball excavated from the front lawn from attack on the Revolutionary American fort built here on the site of the Walton family house in 1776

The cannonball that holds pride of place on the mantle of Gracies Yellow Parlor was one of those found during an archeological dig undertaken in the early 1980s, when resident Mayor Koch created the Conservancy partnership. This deceptively heavy cast iron ball serves as a silent tribute to the American Revolution, the 6,800 fighters who gave their lives to free a new nation, and the millions who have made this ultimate sacrifice ever since.

Links/References
Gracies British Cannonball from the Revolutionary War

Pair of mahogany curule-form side chairs, attributed to Duncan Phyfe ca, 1815 


32 ¼” Height (16 ¼” seat Height) x 18” Width x 17 ⅞” Depth 

New York

Duncan Phyfe curule chairs with laurel and seaweed motif on crest rail.

Carved mahogany armchair and two side chairs with brass paw feet attributed to Ernest Hagen, New York, ca. 1880 after 1810-period examples of Duncan Phyfe

Carved mahogany armchair and two side chairs with soft seat cushions of yellow upholstery echoing the warm daffodil wall color.

Double argand lamp, English, ca. 1830

Famille rose Chinese export porcelain bowl, ca. 1840

6” H x 14 ¾” Diameter

“Famille rose,” French for “rose family,” porcelain is a cultural-crossover not uncommon in the arts. This instance is the result of the 1685 introduction of European materials to a Chinese tradition of ceramics that dates to the Neolithic era. This explains why the colors were referred to in China as yangcai,foreign colors.”

More opaque than “famille verte” glazes, these bold colors were favored in the reign of Yongzheng, 1722-35.

Egyptian-revival-style pier table, New York, ca. 1815. Belonged to the Gracie family and currently on loan from the New-York Historical Society

48”H x 39” W x 21” D
Attributed to Charles Honoré Lannuier
Mahogany, mahogany veneer, tulip poplar, and white pine

The pier table features a treble beaded, gray-veined white marble top, a mahogany veneered apron ornamented gilt bronze mounts, and fluted verdigris columnar supports. The columns are topped with carved and gilded Egyptian-style mummy” heads, and at the base, gilded sandaled feet rest on the mahogany plinth/ base of the table. Wood analysis has confirmed that the secondary woods are American white pine and tulip poplar.

This pier table was used by Archibald Gracie, Sr. in Gracie Mansion or one of his New York city townhouses. It descended to James King Gracie, Margaret Gracie Higginson, and then to Margaret Gracie Fiske.

Gift of Mrs. Clarence S. Fiske.

Classical figured mahogany accordion dining table, New York, ca. 1815

Classical figured smooth glassy finish of this expandable dining table, whose many legs describe how it can open out to many increasing sizes.

Large Elkington and Company silver-plate oval tray, early 20th century with Continental Rococo-style large silver octagonal presentation basket, Dutch, 1938

Large Elkington and Company silver-plate oval tray.

Federal églomisé painted and gilt wood plinth banjo clock, probably New York, ca. 1815 


Brass fire fender, American or English, ca. 1830

11 ½” H x 50 ½ W x14” D

Brass

American metal work

Rounded corners and pierced foliate border and panel, pierced beads and oval panel, three matching feet.

Pair of sinumbra lamps in Restoration style, French ca. 1825-35 


29 ⅜” H (to tops of chimneys)

Spelter, painted, with gilt brass and gilt bronze, lamp mechanism and glass shades frosted, and wheel cut and glass chimneys

Neoclassical carved and figured mahogany Pembroke table, New York, ca. 1825 


28” H x 25 ¼” W(closed) 55” W open) x 27 ½” D

Mahogany

Attributed to Charles H. Lannuier

Double elliptical drop leaves with top supported by four acanthus carved and turned colonettes resting on lower shelf. Four carved splayed legs with hairy paw feet with casters.

Federal figured mahogany breakfront bookcase, New York, ca, 1800-1810

8’ ½” H x 65” W 18 ½” dep.

Research for a previous entry placed ownership in the Van Rensselaer-Crosby families, Four door bookcase with secretary drawer (compartmented desk section), paneled cupboards, and drawers with brass oval handles. Glass fronted upper portion with wooden mullions ending in pointed gothic arch. 

Besides books, this magnificent case holds a set of Spode porcelain that once belonged to the Gracie family.

Mantel clock, probably France, ca. 1815-1825 on loan from the New-York Historical Society


22” x 12” x 8”

Brass, glass, wood

Inscription on plaque: “Clock bought and used by Francis Adrian Van der Kemp
1752-1829 from funds paid to him in 1822 by the State of New York on completing his translations of the Dutch Records of the State to do which he was engaged by Governor De Witt.”

Brass mantel clock: rectangular body surmounted by decorative urn; circular clock face in upper half; supported by rectangular pedestal (with engraved plaque) on circular feet; bell jar cover.

Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Fairchild to the New-York Historical Society, 1922.

Gilded metal gasolier by Cornelius & Co., Philadelphia, ca. 1835-1840 


67” H
Cut glass, bronze, and ormolu

The six-arm brass glass fixture is of early American manufacturing. It is attributed to the initial manufacturing phase of Cornelius & Co in Philadelphia. This fixture was originally outfitted with a gas argand jet. Since the globe chimney holder uses the same component part found on oil argand lamps, this would indicate the use of a globe and chimney, necessary for the function of a gas argand burner. Argand was the superior gas burner of its time. The chimney increased the brilliance of the flame since oxygen came through the middle of the burner. The burner is a hollow and perforated ring like an old lawn sprinkler. Gas would go through the ring and be released through the series of holes drilled in the top surface. Two hollow tubes support and supply the ring with gas from the central screw fitting at the end of each arm. The gas was controlled by the petcocks on each arm hidden behind the outer ornamental ring.

The components are largely from sand castings. Sheet metal tubing with spun metal fittings at each end surround the iron pipe center that supplies the gas. During the ensuing decade, Americas lighting industry developed many labor-saving methods of rapid fabrication. This resulted in reduced production costs. 

Two gilt-stenciled and painted mahogany card tables and round marble-top center table by Deming & Buckley, New York, ca. 1825.

Two gilt-stenciled and painted mahogany card tables and round marble-top center table.

Convex girandole mirror by Charles D. Vecchio, New York ca. 1820-1821

411” H x 42” W x 11” D
Charles del Vecchio is full name
Frame: white pine back of the mirror: spruce 

Label on back of mirror: Charles D. Vecchio /138 Broadway/1820-1821

The frame is eastern white pine, while the backing is a mixture of American and English spruce. It is likely that the convex mirror was imported from England. It is a popular theory that delicate plates from abroad were packed in spruce and that a thrifty American frame maker could have reused such packing material as to make items like this. 

Set of Spode Imari tableware (plates, sauceboat. vegetable dish, compote), Staffordshire, England (belonged to the Gracie family), ca. 1800-1820. On loan from the New-York Historical Society.

Spode porcelain

Plates, compote dish, tureen; gravy boat, and saucer for gravy boat 

These boldly decorated plates, sauceboat, vegetable dish, and compote were made by the Staffordshire porcelain manufacturer Spode in the 1810s. Today this style is referred to as Imari” after the southern Japanese port from where similarly decorated wares were shipped beginning in the 17th century. Early trade as well as territorial invasions facilitated webs of cross-cultural exchange: the earliest Imari wares were made by Korean potters in Japan after designs inspired by porcelain manufactured in southern China. Dutch and Chinese merchants brought Imari wares to Europe, where they were admired, collected, and copied. Spodes version, a distant cousin to the originals, was likely modeled after other European knockoffs.

Archibald Gracie imported porcelain from Canton (now Guangzhou). In a multicultural blend worthy of its final home in New York City, however, Gracie’s porcelain was made by that legendary British institution Spode. It is pattern number 967, an Imari (Arita) design which was first introduced by Spode in 1807 and extremely popular for many years. Pattern 967 was based on a Japanese Kakiemon original and, given the considerable cultural dialogue between Japan and China, it should come as no surprise that the style has a fair amount of overlap with Chinese “Famille Verte,” or that its popularity prompted both European and Chinese producers to copy it. One might suppose at a time when distances were vast and information remote, Gracie might not have been able to differentiate the cultural nuance recognized today. 

Links/References
Archibald Gracies Spode Dinnerware: Imitation, Admiration, or Appropriation?

An Act of the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, facsimile of ink on paper, 1799. Courtesy of the New York State Archives of New York State Education Department, Albany, New York.


An Act of the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, facsimile of ink on paper. A copy of the cursive statute leading the way to full New York State abolition in 1827.

Empire sofa, unknown origin, ca. 1835-1850. On loan from the New-York Historical Society.

31” x 27”
Mahogany

Columnar sofa, with a round crest rail supported on pillar-shaped arm supports. Enclosed upholstered arms, plain veneered seat rail, rail on ring-turned legs on bun feet.

This sofa belonged to Mrs. Robert C. Smith (Esther Boorman, 1781-1868), great-grandmother of the donor, who lived at 1 Fifth Avenue. It passed from Mrs. Robert C. Smith to her daughter Anna L. Smith, then her daughter Julia Anna Toler who married Johnston Livingston de Peyster, father of the donor.

Gift of Mrs. Estelle de Peyster Hosmer to the New York- Historical Society.

Panorama of Manhattan Island, City of New York and Environs, published in Paris by Goupil & Co., ca. 1860

37” H x 49 ½ “W

A large colored lithograph by an esteemed French printer and later art dealer, Jean-Baptiste Adophe Goupil, working in Paris in the Civil War and post-war era, prior to the five-borough consolidation of Greater New York in 1898. At the time of creation, City of New York” applied only to Manhattan Island. Brooklyn at the time, for example, was an independent city ranked third in the nation with more than half million residents. Manhattan had nearly four times that number calling it home.

A View of Hellgate, unknown artist, New York, ca 1960

Gouache on paper
27” H x 29” W

A high perspective view from some spot above Gracie Mansions site overlooking Hellgate, where the tides of the Atlantic Ocean meet those of Long Island Sound in a tumultuous collision in the East River looking northeasterly towards Throgs Neck.

A View of the Brooklyn Bridge, artist “Lowengrund,” New York, 1946

Acrylic on paper

16”H x 31“ W  

AIDS, by Kay Rosen, 1994

16 ½ “H x 17” W

Inkjet print

Trained in linguistics, the artist realized that what most interested her most about languages was the way it could be expressed visually. Rosen created AIDS at a time when medical advances were starting to contain the once fatal disease, offering hope for those infected. The words she deploys in English, Spanish and French convey this budding sense of benevolent resistance. Emergence from the Covid pandemic of 2020-2022 summoned comparable hope.

Silence = Death, The Silence = Death Project, Avram Finkelstein Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Lione, and Jorge Soccarràs, New York, 1997

34 H x 17” W

Archival print on paper, Courtesy of Avram Finkelstein 

This iconic poster lent enduring identity to the battle against AIDS and the concurrent lack of public action in combating the virus. It spoke out alike for both victims and those charged with their care. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2022 brought renewed significance to such collective threats to public health and the underlying social contract. 

The Red Ribbon, Visual AIDS Artists’ Caucus, New York, 1991

The red ribbon: 2” H x 1 ½ “ W

With frame and text: 15”H x 12 ½” W

The folded red ribbon (a cross grain and satin ribbon clasped by a safety pin), symbolizes solidarity with those living with and fighting against the global AIDS pandemic. Thirty years later, there is still no vaccine against this virus. However, since 1996, a three-drug highly active antiretroviral therapy” or HAART has allowed those infected to survive and thrive.

Pair of Charles X gilt bronze urns, France, ca. 1830

12”H x 8” Diameter 

The two urns are figured with a winged insect boldly splayed across the curving fronts. 

Portrait of Louis Armstrong, Anton Bruehl, New York, November 1, 1935

In 1943, this legendary jazz composer and musician (known best as a trumpeter), bought a home in Corona, Queens which survives today as the Louis Armstrong House Museum. 

Classical carved astragal-end worktable, School of Duncan Phyfe, ca. 1815

30 ¾” H 25 12” W x 13” D

Astragal-end worktables were popular in early 19th century New York. This fine mahogany example features tambour sections, fitted interior compartments and drawers, ebonized paw feet grounding the legs as they spread down from a pedestal sphere.


MUSEUM ROOM

Coal fire grate

Federal inlaid figured mahogany serpentine-front sideboard, artist unknown, New York, ca. 1805

39 ¼” H x 77 ¼” L x 28 W
Mahogany, satinwood inlay, and brass

A beautiful, curved end, serpentine front sideboard with six turned legs with rectangular, reeded panels above and two curved doors below. Inlay fans in corners of panels and inlay hears around keyholes. Diamond and string inlay delineating panels, doors, and drawers. Oval hardware has a swan design. 

A gift of Mr. Fenton L.B. Brown during the Lindsay Administration.

Links/References: Where we live; Extreme vintage makeover

Fiorello La Guardia at his Desk at City Hall a drawing by Samuel Johnson Woolf, New York, ca. 1935

32 ½” H x 26 1/2W

Charcoal and tempura drawing on paper

Fiorello La Guardia is shown here working at his City Hall desk with grit and concentration early in his twelve years of service. La Guardia served as mayor from 1934 until 1945. He became the first official mayoral resident of Gracie Mansion in 1942 at the start of his third (and final) term.

Portrait of Mayor James John aka Jimmy Walker, a drawing by Samuel Johnson Woolf, New York ca. 1930

26”H x 26” W

Charcoal and tempura drawing on paper

This drawing was reproduced in an article written by Woolf himself, titled  Our Genial Mayor Can be Grave Enough,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine for June 1928.

Jimmy Walker served as New York Citys mayor from 1926 to 1932 before New York City had an official mayoral residence. He was the last mayor not to have the option of Gracie Mansion residency since that opportunity only arose a decade later with the La Guardia familys arrival in 1942. 

An aspiring actor and talented musician, James Jimmy” Walker masterfully combined theatrics with politics to become one of the Citys most colorful mayors. He composed many sentimental ballads, including Will you love me in December as you do in May.He quickly rose through the ranks of Tammany Hall, entering the assembly in 1910 and serving in the state senate from 1923 to 1925. Succeeding John Hylan as mayor in 1926, Walker faithfully served the interests of Tammany Hall through political appointments and the awarding of contracts. At his inauguration, Walker hoped the people of this city would not look upon their public servants as antagonistic, but…as their servants and friends.” His penchant for frequenting nightclubs and enjoying the company of celebrities, including actress Betty Compton, earned him the nickname Beau Jamesand the Night Mayor.” 

In the first two year of his administration, walker indulged himself with several vacations overseas, spending 143 days out of the office, and was fond of saying, I refuse to live by the clock,” Despite rumors of widespread corruption, New Yorkers largely overlooked Walkers transgressions, electing him handily to a second term over Fiorello LaGuardia. But with the outbreak of the Depression, Walkers neglect of essential city services became more readily apparent. In 1931, the state legislature initiated an investigation that uncovered rampant corruption in the New York City government. In 1932, Walker was charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in money from individuals with business ties to the city. Called before then Governor Franklin Roosevelt to answer the charges, Walker resigned from the middle of the hearings, on September 1, 1932, and moved to Europe. 

While besmirched by political corruption, during the walker administration the Department of Sanitation was created. Construction began on the Triborough Bridge, the West Side Highway, and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Walker returned to New York City in 1935 and was appointed Municipal Arbiter of the garment industry by his one-time political nemesis, Fiorello LaGuardia.

Painting above fireplace TBD

Five-panel folding screen depicting landmarks in each borough; collaboration between muralist Carl Lella, 14 women from the American Embroidery association and Mrs. Rosetta Larsen (donated for the 1966 opening of the Susan E. Wagner Wing) New York, 1965

81” H; each needlework panel 76” H x 19” W

A needle point screen conceived by muralist Carl Lella for Gracie Mansion to represent a graphic history of New York City, initiated by 14 women who were a part of the American branch of the Embroiderers Guild under the guidance of Mrs. Rosetta Larsen. The screen was fabricated over the span of one year. It has five panels animated by the history and scenes of New York City and presented in 1966 during the Lindsay administration. The design presents A Graphic History of New York” with various landmarks for each borough. Sixty city landmarks are depicted over the space of these five panels. Each panel bears the emblem of its respective borough.

Letter to the World (The Kick), Barbara Morgan, 1940

20” H x 24” W

Digital photograph

Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

This iconic image of modern dance pioneer Martha Graham was featured in artist Barbara Morgans 1941 book Sixteen Dances in Photos. It shows Graham performing in the piece she also choreographed entitled Letter to the World inspired by the poems of Emily Dickinson. It was first shown at Gracie Mansion in 2017 as part of the 75th anniversary show, New York 1942.

Portrait of Carl H. Schurz, unknown artist, New York, ca. 1860

Graphite on paper

The New York City Park surrounding Gracie Mansion is named after this German immigrant who arrived in America to escape political prosecution. As a new American citizen, he served as a general for the Union in the Civil War, advised President Grant about post-victory southern Reconstruction, wrote as journalist, and emerged as a pioneer for environmental conservation.

Portrait of Mayor William O’Dwyer, a drawing by Samuel Johnson Woolf, New York, ca. 1947

25 ⅝” x 19 ¾”

Drawing
Charcoal and tempera/Chinese white on paper

Samuel Johnson Woolf, portrait artist and printmaker, 1880-1948
Signed with estate stamp at lower left: S.J. Woolf

Signed by subject at lower right: William ODwyer

This drawing is autographed by the subject at the lower right, which is a practice that Woolf frequently used to further document the fact that almost all of his portraits were executed from life.

Born and raised in Bohola, Ireland, ODwyer (1890-1964) moved to the United States in 1910 after abandoning his studies for the priesthood. He worked as a laborer, then as an NYC policeman. He studied law at Fordham University Law school, receiving his degree in 1923. O’Dwyer built a successful law practice and served as a Kings County Court judge. He won the election as the Kings County District Attorney in 1939 and his prosecution of the organized crime syndicate, known as Murder. Inc., made him a national celebrity as a tough crime fighter. After losing the election to La Guardia in 1941, ODwyer enlisted in the army, achieving the rank of Brigadier General. In 1946, ODwyer was nominated by the Tammany Democrats and easily won the mayoral election. At his inauguration, O’Dwyer celebrated with the song “It’s A Great Day to be Irish,” and addressed the 700 people gathered in the Council Chambers at City Hall. His speech started, It is our high purpose to devote our whole time, our whole energy, to do good work …”

During his mayoral administration, ODwyer established the Office of City Construction Coordinator, appointing Robert Moses to the post. ODwyer also worked to have the permanent home of the United Nations located in Manhattan, presided over the first billion-dollar New York City budget, created a traffic department, and raised the subway fare from 5 cents to 10 cents. Shortly after his reelection, ODwyer was confronted with a police scandal uncovered, ironically, by the Kings County District attorney. With his health steadily declining, he resigned on September 1, 1950. Soon after, President Harry S. Truman appointed him as ambassador to Mexico. He returned to New York City in 1951 to answer questions concerning his association with organized crime figures. The accusations followed him for the rest of his life and ODwyer later resigned as ambassador. 

Donated to the Conservancy by the Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc. during the Bloomberg Administration.


PORCH AND LAWNS

Eight ebonized pine sack-back Windsor chairs, probably American, 18th-century

These Windsor chairs feature hand-shaped seats made from single pieces of wide pine.

Food: Farm Garden and Greenhouse, conceived by Linda Goode Bryant and Project EATS: Active Citizen Project, New York, 2020

Linda Goode Bryant (1949-) and Project EATS, Active Citizen Project (2014-) Greenhouse

Courtesy of the Artist and the Artists, Farmers, Health Professionals, and Citizen Activists of Project EATS

The Food Initiative brings together gardeners, farmers, food preparers, community wellness staff, and artists to teach local students, young mothers, and guardians how fresh foods advance healthy living. Such educational outreach allows participants to take these new skills back to their home communities, spawning sustainable, citizen-operated food initiatives that will improve public health, provide employment, and stimulate local economies.

Linda Goode Bryant is working in partnership with Gracie Mansion to provide content for the Greenhouse, including seasonal grade tours, student camps, and onsite training for communities on healthy cooking, eating, and lifestyles. Garden programs will be accompanied by select artist projects and workshops.

Victory Garden (signaling World War-era home vegetable gardening begun in 1942), 2017

A World War II Victory Garden was planted on the front lawn of Gracie Mansion as part of its 75th anniversary art installation: New York 1942. At the time that Mayor La Guardia moved in as the first official mayoral resident of the 1799 landmark, there were 20 million such homegrown gardens in lawns and parks across the nation yielding 41% of overall produce consumption. These home Victory Gardens left more commercial crops for the frontline troops. The Victory Garden at Gracie Mansion serves as a model for todays renewed interest in a local, organic, and nutritious food supply in a way that builds community and helps educate young future growers including city dwellers.

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