In July 1890, the Clemens family journeyed to the Catskills to spend the summer at an exclusive new resort, Onteora. They came at the invitation of Candace Wheeler, founder of the design firm Associated Artists, who had helped Mrs. Clemens decorate her Hartford home. Onteora was Mrs. Wheeler’s brainchild: a rustic retreat for her family and friends, founded in 1888. This fresh summer spot attracted no Vanderbilts: but it became the summer home of many professional writers and painters who enjoyed a scenic break from the heat of New York. Of course Clemens was the lion of the season in this den of literary talent. Onteora’s historian Jane Curley will describe the summer’s entertainments, from dress up and charades to portrait sittings with absinthe and cigars.
Jane Curley is an independent curator living in New York City. She earned her PhD at Yale University, where she worked in the print rooms of the Yale Art Gallery and The British Art Center. Her passion for artwork that combines word and image led her to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. She serves on the board there and has organized numerous exhibitions, including a recent retrospective of Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline and a 60th anniversary show of Kay Thompson’s Eloise. For many years she has been the historian of the Onteora Club in Tannersville, NY, where her family has a house close to where Mark Twain’s cottage, Balsam, once stood.
Reception with light refreshments 5 p.m., lecture 5:30 p.m. While this event is free, pre-registration is required. Register here.