Search our Calendar of Events

Find The Fun

Everything NYC
Be in the know with City Guide

Event Details

This event has already taken place. View the Latest Events

Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled

Jan 30 Through May 04 | Thu |


Due to the coronavirus, please call to ensure this event is still happening before you leave home.

Buy Tickets
View Website

In 2002, a small, timeworn leather trunk was discarded for garbage on a sidewalk in Lower Manhattan; it was found replete with the cherished keepsakes of a 19th century New York City woman. Thus began visual artist Stacy Renee Morrison’s self-proclaimed love affair with Sylvia DeWolf Ostrander, whose early life parallels that of Gertrude Tredwell, who lived at 29 East 4th Street.

For almost two decades, Ms. Morrison has been on an obsessive quest to weave together Sylvia’s life in the 19th century through the personal belongings she left behind — and to re-imagine it in today’s world through art and fashion.

This is the first time Sylvia’s trunk and its treasured contents will be exhibited in public. On display, an invitation to a ball honoring the Prince of Wales in 1860, letters from the Civil War, Sylvia’s journals, mourning jewelry made of human hair, paper dolls, and other ephemera. Photographs and screen-printed clothing illustrate Sylvia’s life in the present as the artist’s muse.

Stacy Renee Morrison is a visual artist who often forgets what century it is. She finds herself haunted by women who lived their lives well before her own and creates visual biographies of their pasts. When Stacy is fully present in the 21st century she teaches in the BFA Photography and Video Department and MFA Visual Narrative Departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Venue: Merchants House Museum

29 E. 4th St. Map
212-777-1089