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Sarah Parker Goodhue: A Hidden Collection Comes to Light

Open to the public through August 31, 2016

Both Library members and nonmembers are welcome to visit the exhibition in The Assunta, Ignazio, Ada and Romano Peluso Exhibition Gallery any time the Library is open.

The treasures of the Goodhue Collection form the heart of this exciting new exhibition. Sarah Parker Goodhue (1828-1917) was a grande dame of Gilded Age New York City. 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.

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

On display in the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery are the imposing portrait of Mrs. Goodhue by American painter Samuel Worchester 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 a remarkable New York family. The Goodhue Collection also includes the Clarkson and Goodhue ancestral portraits lining the Library's main stairwell, and William Adolph Bouguereau's The Water Carrier, which hangs on the third floor.

The exhibition catalog 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.

About the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery

All Past Exhibitions