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58th Winter Antiques Show celebrates the Rockefeller family patronage of historic Hudson Valley
John Henry Hill (1839-1922), Sunnyside with Picnickers, New York, 1878, Watercolor on paper, Gift in memory of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., by her children.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Winter Antiques Show’s 2012 loan exhibition, Celebrating Historic Hudson Valley 60: Rockefeller Patronage in Sleepy Hollow Country highlights more than 25 objects from Historic Hudson Valley’s five National Landmarks and marks the 60th anniversary of John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s founding of Sleepy Hollow Restorations, now Historic Hudson Valley. The exhibition showcases fine and decorative art objects from Philipsburg Manor, Van Cortlandt Manor, Washington Irving's Sunnyside, Montgomery Place, and the Union Church of Pocantico Hills in Hudson Valley. Historic Hudson Valley was established in 1951 as a museum and educational non-profit dedicated to the preservation of buildings, landscapes, and collections within Hudson Valley.

The pieces selected for this year’s loan exhibition exemplify the multi-generational Rockefeller legacy of research-based collecting, preservation, and interpretation of history. The fine and decorative arts objects chosen speak to the organization’s three-part collecting scope: the possessions of the New York families who once owned these river estates; historical resources which provide context for the people of the past who lived and worked on these properties; and emblematic objects representing key events in Hudson River Valley history.

Prominently reflected in the loan exhibition is Historic Hudson Valley’s spiritual father, Washington Irving (1783-1859), whose efforts as a writer and amateur architect thrust the concept of “Sleepy Hollow Country” upon the international stage during the 1800s. Beginning in the early 19th century, the Sleepy Hollow area was recognized the world over as quintessentially American. Washington Irving, chief among the writers and artists referred to as the “Kindred Spirits,” immortalized this and other locales in the Hudson River Valley as otherworldly places steeped in deep traditions, folklore, magical power, and scenic beauty.

Irving gave the area even greater fame in 1835 when he purchased a cottage in Tarrytown and remodeled it into his fancifully romantic dwelling, Sunnyside. Within a few years of its creation, Sunnyside achieved icon status, its image widely depicted in fine and commercial art as an idyllic symbol of American home life. The whole of America consumed goods and services with such names as Sleepy Hollow, Sunnyside, Knickerbocker, Gotham, and Rip Van Winkle—all catch phrases derived from Washington Irving’s creative spirit.

Jeff Daly, formerly the Chief Designer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will design the loan exhibition. The exhibition is sponsored by Chubb Personal Insurance for the 16th consecutive year.

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