Published: June 17, 2008
In connection with the 2008 Glens Falls centennial, The Hyde Collection celebrates “A Glens Falls Legacy: The Pruyn Family” in the Charles R. Wood Gallery. Under this singular heading, there are two related exhibitions on view through August 24, one focusing on the Pruyn family of Finch Pruyn and Co. fame and the second highlighting images of the picturesque gardens that graced the Pruyn descendants’ Warren Street properties.
The first exhibition, “A Shared Life: Selections from the Pruyn Family Collection,” highlights objects associated with the Pruyn family, including family patriarch Samuel Pruyn (1820‱908), his wife Eliza Jane (1834‱915), and their three daughters: Charlotte Hyde (1867‱963), founder of The Hyde Collection, Mary Eliza Hoopes (1870‱951) and Nell Cunningham (1876‱962).
A range of personal artifacts and archival materials associated with the Pruyn family is featured, along with paintings, prints, photographs, porcelain, silver, pewter, clothing and accessories.
The objects from the Pruyn Family Collection selected for this exhibition address the tastes and reveal the lifestyle of this close-knit family.
A portion of the museum’s permanent collection is assigned the title “Pruyn Family Collection” to designate and distinguish objects that are directly related with the museum’s founder, her husband Louis Hyde, and their extended family, including Mrs Hyde’s sisters. Today the Pruyn Family Collection includes approximately 1,000 objects and continues to grow with gifts from the descendants of the founder.
The second exhibition, “A Landscape Revealed: Photographs of the Pruyn Sisters’ Gardens,” feature 30, never-before-exhibited historic photographs of the well landscaped seven-acre property that once adjoined the homes of the three Pruyn sisters.
The photographs, dating from the early 1900s to the 1930s, are documents of the original landscape plan designed by the Boston landscape architectural firm Brett and Hall. The garden photographs from The Hyde’s photo archive depict the sweeping vistas, large lawns and mix of English- and Italian-style gardens that existed on the family estate. Although the original gardens that surrounded the residences are no longer in existence, the photographs preserve and reveal this once magnificent landscape.
In most cases, the photographs are the only surviving documentation of these unique gardens, destroyed by the ravages of time and shifting economic realities. Although designed as an integrated landscape plan that treated the three residences as one property, the gardens surrounding the houses reflected the individual interests, tastes and lifestyle of each sister.
The exhibitions are organized by the chief curator of The Hyde Collection, Erin Coe. Throughout the summer, The Hyde will also hold a number of lectures associate with the Legacy exhibition. The Hyde is at 161 Warren Street. For information, www.hydecollection.org or 518-792-1761.
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