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Colonial Dutch “She-Merchants” as Collectors
March 21 at 12:15 pm

The women of New Netherland and their New York descendants who had the right to buy, sell, and trade any kind of goods of their own accord. Women who took advantage of this freedom were even referred to as “she-merchants.” Louisa Wood Ruby (BGC visiting fellow) presents on the collecting habits of Dutch seventeenth-century she-merchants using inventories along with extant documents and letters, illuminating the lives of these women.

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This symposium features speakers from New York City museums who will discuss how their institution responded to the pandemic, how it shaped and redefined their work, and the new pathways and connections it created for the future of their institutions. Organized by BGC’s director of digital humanities and exhibitions Jesse Merandy, featuring Sofie Andersen (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Rachel Eve Ginsberg and Jessica Walthew (Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum), Leslie Hayes (New-York Historical Society), Jamie Lawyer (Rubin Museum of Art).

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Next Week:

How Can a Gathering of Things Be Transformed into a Scientific Collection?
March 28 at 12:15 pm

Lisa Regazzoni (BGC spring visiting fellow) will give insight into their experimentation with objects from the study of Reinhart Koselleck, to transform these objects into a scientific collection with epistemic value. Regazzoni uses the guiding questions; How can new meanings be attributed to these objects, beyond their auratic value, which some might suspect of being the product of a personality cult? What answers can these objects provide to specific research questions? What is the role of material witnesses and, more generally, of the sensorial in accessing the past?

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Heavenly Pearls: Nature, Religion, and Politics in Habsburg Spain
March 29 at 6 pm
Zoom / 38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

Mónica Domínguez Torres (University of Delaware) explores the connotations and functions that pearls acquired in Spain under Habsburg rule, using the image of Our Lady of the Sagrario that was placed at Toledo Cathedral in 1616. The Virgin is splendidly covered with various pearl-studded garments, including a cloak embroidered with 78,000 natural pearls, coinciding with the “pearl rush” that occurred in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Cental America throughout the sixteenth and early seventeenth century.

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Opening this Friday!
Conserving Active Matter
March 25 — July 10 Conserving Active Matter explores the activity of matter through objects that span five continents and range in time from the Paleolithic to the present. From the things that clothe us to those that shelter us, and from sacred objects to the profane, this exhibition envisions the work of conservation as essential for the lives of the things that sustain us. Learn More Button
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Richard Tuttle: What Is the Object?
March 25. — July 10 Part exhibition, part artwork, Richard Tuttle: What Is the Object? invites visitors to view, pick up, and hold 75 items drawn from Tuttle’s own collection, ranging from ceramic teacups and decorative sculptures to vintage fabrics and antique curios. Learn More Button
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