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New Public Exhibition: Sarah Parker Goodhue: A Hidden Collection Comes to Light


WHAT: A new exhibition, Sarah Parker Goodhue: A Hidden Collection Comes to Light

WHEN: Open to the public daily, excepting major holidays October 6, 2015-August 31, 2016
Monday/Friday 9 AM-5 PM; Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 9 AM-8 PM; Saturday/Sunday 11 AM-5 PM

WHERE: The Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery, The New York Society Library, 53 East 79th Street (just east of Madison Avenue; 6 train to 77th Street)

This exciting new exhibition shines a light on the treasures of the Goodhue Collection. Sarah Parker Goodhue (1828-1917) was a grande dame of Gilded Age New York City and a remarkable collector. Prior to her marriage, she was presented at the court of King Louis-Philippe and had an audience with Pope Pius IX. She and her husband, Charles Clarkson Goodhue, were passionate travelers who gathered art treasures around Europe and the United States.

On display in the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery are the imposing portrait of Mrs. Goodhue by American painter Samuel Worcester Rowse; letters to Clarkson and Goodhue ancestors from George Washington and John Jay; and journals, photographs, books, and nineteenth-century silhouettes giving an intimate glimpse of an eminent New York family. Lining the gallery staircase are Clarkson and Goodhue ancestral portraits and marble statues by the 19th-century Italian sculptor Vincenzo Luccardi.

This exhibition is the first showing of many of these materials since 1917. In that year, Mrs. Goodhue left the New York Society Library its largest-ever bequest, which made headlines in the New York Times. It included china, art, books, furniture, and historic autographed letters, along with $600,000 toward the purchase of the Library’s building. The bequest was named in honor of Mr. Goodhue and “the good and distinguished men of his name and ancestry in this country.”

The exhibition catalog, on sale for $10, includes contributions by Head Librarian Carolyn Waters, historian Olivier Bernier, and Head of Exhibitions Harriet Shapiro.

This exhibition is funded in part by The Bodman Foundation, the Felicia Fund, and the Judy & Warren Tenney Foundation, and by a gift in memory of Susan Goodstein Lerner.

The New York Society Library was founded in 1754 and is the city’s oldest library. In the eighteenth century, an organization labeled "Society" meant that it was open to all—available to everyone throughout society. The Library today is open to all for reading, reference, and selected events, with circulation and other services by subscription. The beautiful landmark building dates from 1917 and includes reading rooms, spaces for study, stacks, and the Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery. The Library has approximately 300,000 volumes and hosts a variety of special events, reading groups, and workshops, as well as the New York City Book Awards. General information about the Library can be found at www.nysoclib.org.

For more information:
Sara Holliday at The New York Society Library
212-288-6900 x222