Stacy Renee Morrison often forgets what century it is. She finds herself haunted by woman who lived their own lives well before her own. They will not let her go nor will she let herself go. These women of the past might be seen as an...
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Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled
stacy renee morrison
Jan 26, 2020
Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled Thursday, January 30 - Monday, May 4
The Merchant's House Museum announces a new exhibition of modern photography and 19th century ephemera by visual artist Stacy Renee Morrison.
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 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 photography and fashion.
Photo by Stacy Renee Morrison
This is the first time Sylvia’s trunk and its treasured contents will be exhibited in public. On display, an invitation in 1860 to a ball honoring the Prince of Wales, 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.