September 18, 2009 - January 24, 2010
Timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's sail into the New York bay, The World of Margrieta van Varick explores the life and times of a fascinating woman, her family and possessions. Born in the Netherlands, Margrieta spent the better part of her life at the extremes of the Dutch colonial world: in Malacca (now Malaysia) and Flatbush (now Brooklyn). Arriving in Flatbush with her minister husband Rudolphus in 1686, she set up a textile shop, bringing with her an astonishing array of Asian and European goods. We know about the wealth of objects thanks to an inventory, taken after her death in 1696—and recently rediscovered in the archives of the New-York Historical Society library—documenting her personal belongings and shop goods.
Bedcover or wall hanging (palampore), ca. 1720-1740. Cotton, linen, paint. New- York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, 1938.1