Historic Huguenot Street Acquires Assets
of New York’s Huguenot Heritage, Inc.
Including 17th-Century Huguenot Prints, Rare Books,
and Financial Assets for their Preservation
NEW PALTZ, NY (March 28, 2018) – Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) is pleased to announce that the New York State Attorney General and New York State Education Department (SED) have approved the transfer of all assets from nonprofit organization Huguenot Heritage, Inc. to HHS. The transfer includes the acquisition of the Huguenot Heritage collection, which is comprised of dozens of 17th century rare Huguenot prints, books, and other items relating to Huguenot history and culture, as well as the organization’s mailing list and financial assets of close to $1 million. Steven Miller, formerly associated with Huguenot Heritage will serve on the HHS board for three years.
Huguenot Heritage, Inc. was founded by John P. (Jack) Strang, a descendant of Huguenot refugees who in 1687 settled in what is today New Rochelle, NY. John Strang, or “Jack” to those who knew him, passed away in 2012. Jack led a life dedicated to the arts and to preserving the heritage and accomplishments of the Huguenots in the United States and abroad. In founding Huguenot Heritage, Strang set out to research, preserve, and share the unique contributions of Huguenot descendants across a wide spectrum of disciplines. These efforts were a major force in the restoration of the Chateau Chamerolles in Loiret, France.
“Historic Huguenot Street very much looks forward to preserving and sharing Jack Strang’s vision, and to protecting, preserving and sharing with the public the important collection of Huguenot Heritage,” said Mary Etta Schneider, HHS Chairman of the Board. “HHS was pleased to honor Jack’s legacy at a fundraising event last fall, and we hope to reach out to Huguenot Heritage supporters in New York and elsewhere later this year.” Schneider went on to say that “I met Jack over a decade ago, and we shared a vision to preserve the disappearing story of the many contributions of the Huguenots to American and European culture.” HHS also was a recent beneficiary of $400,000 from Strang’s personal trust.
“With no physical space to house the Huguenot Heritage library, prints, and records, access to these valuable resources was limited,” according to Kevin Tierney, Chairman of the Board of Huguenot Heritage. “After looking at several options, HHS became the logical choice for several reasons–it is the only remaining museum preserving an early 18th century Huguenot Village in America; the site is a National Historic Landmark District; the collections include an extensive library, artifacts, and archives; and HHS employs an enthusiastic and enterprising staff, now under the executive leadership of Liselle LaFrance.”
Huguenot Heritage’s remarkable collection is currently being evaluated by HHS’ Curatorial, Library and Archival team led by Josephine Bloodgood. The print collection includes works by artists and designers with Huguenot ancestry such as Abraham Bosse (1604-1676), Daniel Marot (16611752), and American born Asher B. Durand (1796-1886). Nearly half of the prints are late impressions of works by Frans Hogenberg, in particular scenes of combat and massacre under Kings Henry II, Charles IX, and Henry III in France and the Netherlands. The books include a bound compilation of 17th-century published edicts and declarations of various French kings.
This acquisition will set the stage for HHS to broaden its mission to become a center for the research and interpretation of Huguenot history beyond the New Paltz settlement. A strategic planning initiative will allow HHS to thoughtfully consider the needed resources and educational opportunities. An exhibition and catalogue of this fascinating collection is planned for 2019.
About Historic Huguenot Street
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres comprising the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses dating to the early eighteenth century. Historic Huguenot Street 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 Department of Education, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, preserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families from the seventeenth century to today.
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