Allure of the East: Orientalism in New York, 1850–1930



Allure of the East: Orientalism in New York, 1850–1930

This Orientalist Exhibit is running from April 11, 2008 - August 17, 2008.
New York Historical Society


To provide a historical context for the upcoming exhibition on oriental rugs of the Hajji Baba club, the Historical Society is organizing a multi-faceted installation examining the fashion for Orientalism in New York during the late 19th century. Through paintings, prints, photographs and books as well as silver, lighting, and metalwork, the display will explore New Yorkers' fascination with the "Orient"-defined for this purpose as the Middle East, as well as North Africa and Moorish Spain. The installation will include paintings of Orientalist artists that hung in New York salons, including Jean-Léon Gérôme, Edwin L. Weeks, and Ernst Koerner, as well as depictions of New Yorkers sporting traditional Middle Eastern dress, including the dramatic portrait of Orientalist William C. Prime in Arab costume and the group portrait of the exotically-attired Gerard Stuyvesant family. By the 1860s, New Yorkers were also incorporating facets of Eastern design, as well as a plethora of imported exotic objects, in domestic interiors influenced by Islamic art and also by impressions of an alluring and sensuous Orient gained from popular translations of works such as The Arabian Nights. Photographs of New York interiors, from George Kemp's Fifth Avenue mansion and Louis C. Tiffany's personal Studio to the Moorish Ottendorfer pavilion on Riverside Drive, will reveal the opulent luxury of these interiors. In addition, the installation will include decorative arts inspired by the East, including Islamic-style silver made by Tiffany & Co. and Moorish-style chandeliers and lighting from Tiffany Studios.
Source: New York Historical Society


From the exhibit:




Oswald Ottendorfer Pavilion, from Artistic Houses: being a series of interior views of a number of the most beautiful and celebrated homes in the United States
New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1883-1884
The New-York Historical Society Library

The fanciful Moorish-style Ottendorfer pavilion was built in 1879, high on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River. Located on Riverside Drive between 135th and 136th Streets, the building was demolished in 1904 to make way for the extension of Riverside Drive.



Raimondo de Madrazo y Garreta (Spanish, 1841-1920)
Moorish Interior
Oil on canvas

My Thanks to James Gurney for making me aware of this exhibit.
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