NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street Welcomes Renowned Curator and Author Dr. Tessa Murdoch
NEW PALTZ, NY (May 1, 2015) – Historic Huguenot Street is pleased to announce an upcoming lecture with renowned museum curator Dr. Tessa Murdoch, co-author of The French Hospital in England: Its Huguenot History and Collections (John Adamson Books, 2009) and author of The Quiet Conquest: The Huguenots 1685-1985 (Museum of London, 1985).
On Saturday, May 16, Dr. Murdoch will be speaking at Deyo Hall (6 Broadhead Avenue) about the history of the French Hospital, or La Providence. Founded nearly 300 years ago in St. Luke's, Finsbury, as a charity offering sanctuary to Huguenot refugees in need, the Hospital still flourishes today in Rochester, Kent, where it has been since 1965. It is home to a highly regarded collection of artwork, furniture, silverware, books, archival records, and other items illustrating the material culture of the Huguenots.
Dr. Murdoch will also discuss the development of the new Huguenot Museum, the first museum in Britain to be dedicated to the history of the Huguenots. Made possible by a £1.2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the museum adjacent to the French Hospital is scheduled to open May 13.
“We are thrilled to have such a prestigious speaker as Dr. Murdoch at Historic Huguenot Street,” said Mary Etta Schneider, Board President and Chair. “This is an amazing opportunity for the public to hear from an expert on Huguenot material culture and its history in England.”
Following the lecture, Dr. Murdoch will be signing copies of The French Hospital in England: Its Huguenot History and Collections. Copies of the book will be available for purchase ($85.00 + tax).
A director of the French Hospital since 1999, Dr. Murdoch has over 30 years of experience as a museum curator. She is Deputy Keeper of the Department of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and an external examiner for the Smithsonian MA degree program in the History of Decorative Arts at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. She worked on the 1985 Museum of London exhibition “The Quiet Conquest: The Huguenots 1685-1985” marking the tricentennial of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. She was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1988.
Saturday, May 16, at 5:30 pm in Deyo Hall. Members $10; seniors and military $12; general admission $15.
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century. It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.
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