Show Us Your Activism

On View June 11-26, 2022

Social activist art uses public spaces to address social issues and to encourage community and public participation. Some of the works reflect community activism at the hyper-local level while other works speak to national and global issues. These 18 pieces by 14 artists aim to effect social change, foster participation in dialogue, raise consciousness and empower individuals and communities. Curated by Mary Colby and Alison McKay. Photograph by Abigail Ekue, The Right Shot, (detail).

Home Is Where the Music Is

An Installation Guest Curated by Caroline Drabik, March 15-June 30, 2021

The mansion’s second floor parlor furnishings are accompanied by musical equipment representing the progression of technology that made possible the enjoyment of musical performance at home from the 19th century upright piano to 21st century digital streaming. The museum presents this during Women’s History Month to celebrate women’s rich contributions to making music despite restrictive societal norms. Audio of female artists from pivotal decades in music technology accompany the installation which begins with a kick-off livestreamed performance by musical artist dolltr!ck from the mansion’s formal parlors.

Sounding Box # 11 by MJ  Caseldon

On view August – October 2019

 Sounding Box #11 is the first piece to go public in a series of acoustic sculptures that allow viewers to make environment-specific music in real-time. This is an interactive sculpture that generates ambient tones in response to shadows. As viewers approach the sculpture and move to cast shadows in different places, the instrument responds by vibrating strings to make different sounds. The sculpture is intended to provide a creative, calming experience for participants. Viewers can improvise, producing ambient sounds for their surrounding environment. The structure of the piece is influenced by traditional stringed instruments. It uses electromagnets to vibrate strings and produce sound. We used littleBits to control the electromagnets.


On view July 27 through August 11, 2019

In his work, Jeremy Dennis explores indigenous identity, assimilation, and tradition from the photographic lens of a millennial. Inspired by North American indigenous stories, this Shinnecock Nation artist creates photorealistic yet supernatural images that transform myths and legends into depictions of photographic experiences. Dennis was awarded the Creative Bursary Award from Getty Images in 2018 for continued work on his Stories series.

Wholesome Eating

On view September 22, 2018- June 30, 2019

Curated by Caitlyn Sellar, this exhibition uses the historical concept of “wholesome eating” as a way to introduce visitors to dining practices of 19th-century New York country families, as well as to highlight wider American food trends. By exploring a handful of period recipes, brief excerpts from 19th-century novels, and relevant images, the exhibition enables viewers to make connections between dishes commonly served at the time and their relationship to wider American cultural, social, political, and economic trends.

A Feast for the Eyes

On view May 11, 2019- May 26, 2019

Curated by Mary Colby and Alison McKay, the focus of this exhibition was on the material culture of food and drink.  Exhibited artwork was not necessarily literal or traditional, but the theme of food and drink was used as a creative launching point. Food styles and influences, the ethnographic context of dining, cuisines of the world, family life, food gathering, cooking methods, kitchen technology, agriculture, nutrition, and sustainability were just a few ideas artists used to whet their appetite for inspiration.

Women of the Ramapough Lenape Nation

On view August 3, 2018- August 12, 2018

Lisa Levart has been creating alternative photographic portraits of women embodying poetic myths for well over a decade. This exhibition is a creative collaboration between the artist and women from the Ramapough Lenape Nation who uncovered long forgotten myths. Using these re-remembered sacred stories as a foundation, Lisa Levart uses a technique of collaging image layers – metal, wood, water and, concrete – into the images and then individually hand painting them with an encaustic medium of Beeswax and Damar Resin. The applied was alters the final images, blending contemporary and ancient portraiture across the expanse of time.

The Quiet Circle
September 1, 2017 – November 23, 2017

W.R. Hamilton, Portrait of Catherine Masterton, 1834
29 ¼ x 24 ¾ inches. Oil on canvas.

On loan from Mary Huber.

In 1841 the influential educator Catharine Beecher (1800–1878) wrote that although American women of her time were confined to “the quiet circle” of domesticity, they had “a manly energy” and sometimes showed “the hearts and minds of men.” What was it like to be female in19th-century America?
Bartow-Pell’s 2017 fall exhibition explores the diverse lives of 19th-century women and girls, from household servants to society women. A fancy dress for a costume ball, a doll’s tea set, and an engraving of women working in a hoop-skirt factory are among the artwork, clothing, domestic items, books, ephemera, and decorative arts that tell   the story of female lives in the past. These objects will be on view throughout the fall in the library exhibition space as well as in the period rooms.
A highlight is a superb portrait of a young member of the Masterton family of Bronxville (owners of the Tuckahoe marble quarry). This exquisite 1834 painting of Catherine Jane Masterton by the Scottish-born artist William Hamilton (1795–1879) belongs to a private collector of Americana and has rarely been on public view.
By 1900, although many women still stayed within the domestic sphere, some had entered the professions or were advocates for social reform. And one hundred years ago, in 1917, women got the right to vote in New York State, making this a fitting time to recognize the critical era leading up to that landmark in women’s history.

September 24, 2016 – August 30, 2017

The Treaty Oak, attributed to Nanette Bolton (1815-1884). Oil on canvas.
On loan from the Huguenot & New Rochelle Historical Association.

An exhibition that explores the history of the Pelham Bay Park, including four centuries and four distinct periods of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum.

July 1 – September 23, 2016

Mary Colby, Artist in the Garden, 2016
acrylics on artist board
8 x 12 inches

In celebration of the centennial of the formal garden, artists were invited to paint the gardens en plein air on June 9, in conjunction with the annual summer luncheon on the theme of French classical gardens. Paintings created outdoors capture the changing light and atmospheric mood of the historical landmarks and hidden treasures of the Bartow-Pell gardens and grounds. Featured artists include Michele Basora, Mary Colby, Sofya Dudnik, Elise Fechtmann, C’naan Hamburger, Thomas Legaspi, Sarah Olson, Julie Ortiz, Kim Power, Linda Sacewicz, Greg Thielker, Melanie Vote, and Alice Elisabeth Waite.

September 2  – November 6, 2016

Fitzhugh Karol Pulse, 2013-14
carved white pine, tar (tar-coated wood sculptures)
12-13′ tall, steel X base

Bartow-Pell is pleased to present an exhibition of outdoor sculpture celebrating one hundred years of its formal garden designed by Delano & Aldrich in 1916. Showcasing fifteen artists whose work draws on the site’s history, architecture, and surrounding natural environment , the exhibition encompasses artworks of steel, wood, fiberglass, ceramic, and recycled plastics, including augmented-reality interventions and kinetic art choreographed by elements of nature. Featured artists include Markus Holtby, Fitzhugh Karol, Wendy Klemperer, William Logan, Shannon Novak, Sarah Olson, Sui Park, Camilla Quinn, Audrey Shachnow, Aaron Suggs, Naomi Teppich and Martin Springhetti, Gregory Thielker, Beatrice Wolert, and Christopher Yockey.

June 3  – August 18, 2016

Before email and social media there were postcards! Tour bygone places and spaces of the east Bronx through postcards dating to the turn of the 19th century. Views of historic inns, beaches, street scenes, military camps, sports, and Prohibition-era speakeasies—all from the collection of local historian Thomas X. Casey-offer insight into changes in landscapes and lifestyles over the past century.
Thomas X. Casey’s collection includes more than 6,000 vintage Bronx postcards dating from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Casey is co-author of Northwest Bronx and Bronx Views, and a founding member of the East Bronx History Forum. He has lectured at the Bronx County Historical Society, Kingsbridge Historical Society, Westchester Genealogical Society, New York Public Library, City Island Historical Society and local public schools.

February 13 – April 30, 2016

The Gilded Age in American history (ca. 1870-1900) was associated with opulence and luxury, especially in clothing styles. This exhibition features highlights from the museum’s fashion collection from these decades, including women’s, men’s, and children’s garments as well as period fashion illustrations. Yet the fashions on display are more than just glamorous, they reveal the larger ideas about marriage and children, family life, and private and public space that shaped the United States at this time.
“Gilded Age Glamour” also explores connections between the collection and the history of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The fashions displayed link the mansion’s beginnings as a grand country home in the mid-19th century with its development as a museum in the twentieth century.