New Morris-Jumel Mansion photo exhibit preserves the faces of historic Washington Heights

February 7, 2022

“Children on 162nd Street.” Gliclée print on archival fiber paper, 1901 (re-print 2021), Courtesy of the descendants of the Ettlinger Family.

One of New York City’s most historically significant neighborhoods is getting the attention it deserves in a new museum exhibition. The landmarked museum Morris-Jumel Mansion last month opened History Now, a collection of photographs by local artist Rose Deler that features large-format, black and white film portraits depicting the residents and architecture from the Jumel Terrace Historic District in Washington Heights. The exhibition will be open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 3.

“433 W. 162nd Street.” Giclée print on archival fiber paper, 2021, Courtesy of the Morris-Jumel Mansion

The exhibition features 20 photographs, 15 contemporary digitally-printed portraits taken using 4″ x 5″ and Rolleiflex medium format film cameras, and photographs dating from 1901 from the Ettlinger family’s photo album, who lived on 162nd Street.

Deler states that her inspiration came from the neighborhood’s rich history, which led her to reflect on many of the families who have lived in the area since the time of the Ettlinger’s. “History Now is my preservationist effort,” Deler said. “In one hundred years, we will be the faces of our neighborhood’s past.”

“431 W 162.” Giclée print on archival fiber paper 17″ x 22″. 2021. Courtesy of the Morris-Jumel Mansion

History Now is part of Surroundings: A Pop-Up Exhibition Series. This series features the work of artists who reside within the former boundaries of the Morris and Jumel family estates. The series aims to use the work of Washington Heights artists like Deler to connect the neighborhood’s present to its historic past.

The photo exhibition series is hosted within the Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum, the oldest surviving residence in Manhattan. Constructed in 1765, the mansion is one of the most prominent house museums in the country.


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