NY400: A Yearlong Celebration


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A trip to NYC has always been an adventure—perhaps even more so back in 1609, when Henry Hudson and his crew aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen explored what became New Amsterdam (and later New York). Four hundred years later, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange and Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima made the trip themselves to celebrate NY400 Week, but festivities celebrating Hudson's arrival will continue throughout the year. Highlights include the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Johannes Vermeer exhibit, the New Island Festival and the unveiling of the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion at Battery Park.

May 7–December 23
Dutch Treats: Highlights from the Collection of George Way
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

When you think of a Dutch treat, chocolate may come to mind, but this exhibition—put together by George Way (a native Staten Islander and a renowned collector of vintage items)—doesn’t deal with sugary snacks. The one-of-a-kind collection on display at Snug Harbor Cultural Center features 16th- and 17th-century Dutch paintings, drawings, furniture and etchings. As NYC celebrates the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of the Dutch, the exhibition is one way to get in touch with the City’s roots.

May 19–Ongoing
New York Dutch Room
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

See the latest addition to the Met's impressive American Wing period room collection. It comes from a house constructed by Daniel Peter Winne in 1751. Though a thousand or more wood-framed houses may have been built in the distinctive Dutch style, only about a dozen or so still survive. The room will display furniture, silver, painted glass and early portraiture made and used in Dutch colonial New York.

May 26–December 31
New Amsterdam Trail
Henry Hudson 400 Foundation

Henry Hudson 400, the Dutch National Archives and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy at Federal Hall have joined forces to create the self-guided walking tour titled "The New Amsterdam Trail." Entertaining and informative narration is provided by Russell Shorto, author of the bestselling history The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America. The history walk illuminates the presence of the Dutch in the landmarks, architecture, monuments and street names of lower Manhattan.

June 6–January 3, 2010
Pages of the Past: The Breukelen Adventures of Jasper Danckaerts
Brooklyn Historical Society

Get back to Breukelen's roots through Pages of the Past. The exhibition at the Brooklyn Historical Society displays the diaries and drawings of Jasper Danckaerts, discovered in an Amsterdam bookstore over a century ago. Danckaerts, who came to New York in 1679, is considered the first published author to write about Brooklyn. Even more, the exhibit has been curated by a group of 19 local high-school students as part of an educational program called "Exhibition Laboratory."

June 18–January 10, 2010
Staten Island Museum

This exhibition features the work of seven contemporary artists reinterpreting the first contact between Native Americans and Europeans. In addition, the museum will also showcase 16th-century Dutch ceramic objects.

September 1–December 31
Dutch Culinary Traditions in America
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

With a nod to Henry Hudson and New York’s formative years as New Amsterdam, the Mt. Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden is transforming its classic 19th-century kitchen into an exhibition of the early and continuing influence of Dutch culinary arts on American society. It's an opportunity for kids and grown-ups alike to see the impact of centuries-old recipes on what we eat today.

September 7–January 3, 2010
Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta Van Varick
Bard Graduate Center

This exhibition features a re-creation of the inventory of a Flatbush-based merchant named Margrieta Van Varick, who lived in Brooklyn in the 17th century. Through exotic goods from the East, precious metal and stone objects, paintings, textiles and furniture, visitors can see into the everyday lives, roles and opportunities available to the young women in the colony of New Amsterdam.

September 12–January 7, 2010
National Archives of the Netherlands Henry Hudson 400 Foundation
New Amsterdam: The Island at the Center of the World
South Street Seaport Museum

Take a look back at a time when New Amsterdam was, well, new. Presented by the Dutch National Archives, the exhibit includes the 1626 letter that notes one of the best real estate deals of all time—the purchase of Manhattan for goods worth 60 guilders. Also, examine rare maps, plans and watercolors of what would become New York City, many of which have never before been seen in the United States (such as Johannes Vingboons' original illustrations of the City).

September 25–June 26, 2010
Mapping New York's Shoreline, 1609–2009
New York Public Library, D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall
Henry Hudson and his crew gathered important geographic information about the Hudson Valley—alerting the Dutch to its tremendous value. Drawing upon the New York Public Library's collection of historical maps, atlases, books, journals and manuscripts, the exhibition celebrates the vital Dutch contributions in mapping New York's once-unknown shores. It includes materials ranging from early maps reflecting Giovanni da Verrazano's brief visit to the most recent, technologically advanced efforts to understand humankind's environmental impact on the City's waterways.

November 11–January 2, 2010
Faster Than Fiction by Jenny Marketou
Chelsea Art Museum

This sound and video installation showcases the Hudson River's considerable industrial, cultural and natural influence. Innovative elements include a feed of video streams and images triggered by the river's flow and mobile phone–based eavesdropping from the waterway. The project explores landscape, identity, memory, imagination and, fittingly, the intersection of technology and art.

Dutch Masters
The Frick Collection

Art in Frick's permanent collection includes works by Frans Hals, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Anthony van Dyck and many more.

Dutch Masterworks
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met's permanent collection contains more than 200 outstanding Dutch paintings—rich in landscapes, portraits and genre scenes—including 20 by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 18 by Vincent van Gogh, 11 by Frans Hals, five of the 35 known paintings by Johannes Vermeer and other masterworks. This anniversary is the perfect time to see them for yourself.

The Jan Martense Schenck House
The Brooklyn Museum

The Jan Martense Schenck House, built in 1676, is a two-room structure that originally stood on Mill Island—known today as Mill Basin. It's Brooklyn's second-oldest example of Dutch-American architecture, a must-see for history buffs.

1690–1810: Buildings and Dutch Influence
Historic Richmond Town

New York's living history and museum complex features buildings constructed by Dutch settlers in the 1700s. During the 5 Dutch Days 5 Boroughs event in November, Historic Richmond Town will provide a hands-on opportunity for visitors to experience the types of domestic and commercial activities that supported families and communities three centuries ago.

Celebrations at the Farm House
Lefferts Historic House

Lefferts Historic House is one of a small number of farmhouses surviving from Brooklyn's Dutch settlement period. Today it serves as a museum, documenting Brooklyn family life during the 1820s. Period rooms are furnished to reflect the era, while craft activities and demonstration gardens and fields help visitors understand the changes in the borough's landscape since the 19th century.

Exhibits in Permanent Collection
American Museum of Natural History

Exhibits in the permanent collection include dioramas of the Hudson River waterway, the Dutch purchase of the island of Mannahatta from Native Americans and animals that the Dutch would have encountered 400 years ago.

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum

You might not know it from looking at the island's iconic skyline, but Manhattan is still home to one Dutch colonial farmhouse; it was built around 1784 and opened as a museum in 1916. This anniversary is the perfect time to visit the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum and learn what life was like on a farm in what later became the big city.

Old Stone House

This reconstruction of a 1699 Dutch farmhouse is a vital educational resource for New Yorkers and visitors alike. It's a terrific place to learn about early American history. Subjects include the country's birth (the Revolutionary War's Battle of Brooklyn) and the early days of its national pastime (the Old Stone House's role as the field house for the future Brooklyn Dodgers).

Queens County Farm Museum

The Queens County Farm Museum—a working historical farm—is NYC's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. The complex's centerpiece: the restored Adriance farmhouse, built in 1772 by the farm's Dutch owners. Learn about the site from its Dutch origins to today, and enjoy a tour of the farmhouse or a hayride.

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

The original portion of the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House was built around 1652, making it the oldest building in New York City. Come see demonstrations of household and farm activities and learn about the lives of NYC's early Dutch and English settlers.

For more information on NY400 Week events, visit ny400.org.

For information on celebratory events taking place across New York State, visit exploreny400.com.


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