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Exhibition: Craft in Focus: Stories in Stoneware

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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, and by appointment


Included with Gardens and Grounds Admission Tickets


Boscobel is on a mission to celebrate Hudson Valley beauty and history, and increasingly, celebrate their diversity.  This installation focuses on stoneware, an everyday material that can be functional, beautiful–and reveal surprising histories.

The Dyckman family, for whom Boscobel was first built, purchased the stoneware pitcher at left in London in 1803.  Its white body and allegorical themes reference ancient Greek and Roman architecture.  A silver foot and lid were applied and monogrammed ECD for Elizabeth Corné Dyckman.  The silver enhanced the jug’s aesthetic, emotional, and economic value. The monogram ensured that Elizabeth could own the jug in her own right at a time when women lacked equal rights of ownership and inheritance.

Stoneware was mass-produced in many forms throughout 18-19th-century New York.  Most of the stoneware at Boscobel, a working farm, would have been simple, locally made vessels for storing liquids and food.  Note the next two, utilitarian examples, whose potters had wildly different backgrounds.

This exhibition includes a piece from Boscobel’s collection by Thomas Commeraw. Commeraw immigrated to New York from Haiti after fighting for Haitian Independence in the 1790s, and trained at the Crolius factory before establishing his own.  An artist, entrepreneur, landowner, and community leader, Commeraw employed dozens of people and owned multiple properties at “Corlears Hook,” on Cherry Street along the East River. Commeraw left New York in 1820 to help establish an African American colony in Sierra Leon, then returned to New York.  

On display in Boscobel’s Visitor Center through October 31, 2022.

Exhibition panel designs by Randi Schlesinger of

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