First Talk Focuses on Historic Collections of Staatsburgh, Olana 

Staatsburg, N.Y. - This winter, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, the former Hudson River estate of Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills, will offer an elegant and entertaining refuge from the cold by presenting its third Gilded Age Tea & Talk series of programs. The series this winter features a new lineup of speakers and topics.

On Sunday, January 29, at 1 p.m., the first talk in the series presents curators from the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, speaking on how the collections of Staatsburgh and Olana State Historic Sites were created. "What's Worth Collecting? Exploring the Collections of Staatsburgh and Olana," presented by Valerie Balint, Curator at Olana, and Amanda Massie, Curator for the Bureau of Historic Sites, will focus on why the families who lived in these exceptional 19th-century homes chose particular decorative objects and how they obtained the pieces that still grace these historic homes today. 

Guests enjoy scones, tea sandwiches and the site's unique and delicious tea, blended by renowned tea purveyors, Harney & Sons, while listening to a brief talk on a Gilded Age history theme, delivered by staff and guest presenters.  Each program in the Gilded Age Tea & Talk series begins at 1pm on a Sunday (in case of bad weather, the tea program will be postponed to the following Sunday).  Individual tea programs are $30 per person (or $25 per person for Friends of Mills Mansion members).  Reservations are required so please call 845-889-8851 or email staatsburghshs@parks.ny.gov to reserve. 

Future presentations in the Gilded Age Tea & Talk series at Staatsburgh are on Sundays at 1 p.m., with the following topics: 

February 12, "Famous Love Stories of the Gilded Age." Staatsburgh Curator, Maria Reynolds, will share tales and images of some of the great (or turbulent) romances and marriages of the era, along with a sweet treat to celebrate Valentine's Day. 

February 26, "Domestic Service in the Gilded Age." Vanderbilt Mansion Curator, Frank Futral, will discuss the organization of labor in the Vanderbilt household in Hyde Park. 

March 12, "Underwhere?" Learn about historic undergarments of the Gilded Age, along with a demonstration of all the required layers, presented by historic clothing seamstress and historian, Kjirsten Gustavson. 

March 26, "Votes for Women: Where Did New York's Upper Crust Fall?" Professor Susan Goodier of SUNY Oneonta will speak about how the wealthy women of Mrs. Mills' circle felt about the right to vote. 

April 2, "Elegance and Aspiration: Money, Taste & Jewelry in America's Gilded Age."   Newark Museum Curator, Ulysses Dietz, will speak about the increasingly extravagant jewelry seen during this era. 

April 9 & 23, "Fashion on the Titanic." What would you pack for your voyage on the Titanic? From fashionable 1st class to functional 3rd class, Staatsburgh educator Don Fraser will share some of the styles of 1912. 

Staatsburgh's beautiful museum shop is a favorite stop for many Hudson Valley shoppers. The shop features a wonderful selection of jewelry, books, scarves, keepsakes and gifts. The shop will be open during each program. Friends of Mills Mansion members always receive a 20% discount in the shop. 

The site and the Ogden Mills & Ruth Livingston Mills Memorial State Park are located on Old Post Road in Staatsburg, off Route 9 between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. The historic site is one of six sites and 15 parks administered by the Taconic Region of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. For more information please call 845-889-8851 or visit our websites at www.nysparks.com/historic-sites/25/details.aspx, www.facebook.com/StaatsburghSHS and www.staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com .

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Contact:

Donald Fraser | Donald.Fraser@parks.ny.gov | (845) 889-8851 ext. 338

Chris Steber | Christopher.Steber@parks.ny.gov | (845) 889-3880