Douglas Hamilton, a fifth great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, has lent objects to be shown in The Schuyler Sisters & Their Circle exhibition at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
The objects, recently on view at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia as part of their “Year of Hamilton” display, include a Society of the Cincinnati Eagle insignia owned by Alexander Hamilton and a gold mourning ring belonging to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.
Two additional items belonging to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, a handkerchief embroidered with her name and a baby dress she is said to have made, will also be on view. They recently underwent conservation and this is only their second time on public display.
Catharine Schuyler was the great-great-granddaughter of Killian Van Rensselaer, the original founder of the Dutch colony of Rensselaerswyck. Catharine’s marriage to Philip Schuyler linked two of New York’s great landholding families. Philip Schuyler was known to care about the education of his daughters and paid for lessons in French, geography, history, writing, arithmetic, music, and dancing. Catharine Schuyler raised their daughters with an awareness of their colonial Dutch New York heritage and their connections to members of the prominent Ten Broeck, Livingston, Bayard, Van Rensselaer, and Van Cortlandt families.
The two new objects will be added to the Schuyler Sisters exhibition just after two other items have returned to Columbia University. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton’s wedding ring, on loan for exhibit from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University, and a miniature portrait of Alexander Hamilton surrounded by a mat believed to have been embroidered by Elizabeth, on loan from Art Properties. The Schuyler Sisters & Their Circle exhibition runs through December 29, 2019.
The exhibition discusses the wide-ranging interests of Catharine and her three eldest daughters Angelica, Elizabeth, and Margaret (Peggy) — sisters who witnessed history unfold in Albany, New York, Philadelphia, Paris, and London. As the wife of Alexander Hamilton, Eliza had a front row seat to events that shaped this country in the years immediately following the Revolution. For many years, Angelica lived abroad where she entertained royalty, diplomats, and artists in Paris and London. She maintained life-long friendships with the prominent figures she met, like Thomas Jefferson, and patronized artist John Trumbull. Peggy married Stephen Van Rensselaer III who ranks 10th on Business Insider’s list of wealthiest Americans of all time.
The Schuyler Sisters and Their Circle also explores the men the Schuyler sisters married, hosted, and befriended. Military, political, and intellectual luminaries of the day including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette visited the Schuyler home in Albany.
The exhibition uses clothing, decorative arts, portraits, and manuscripts from the Revolutionary Period to the Federal Period to tell the stories of the Schuyler women. Twenty-four public and private institutions and individuals have lent their treasures for display. A rarely exhibited John Trumbull portrait of Angelica Schuyler Church with her child and servant is on loan to the exhibition from a private collection, and there are additional significant loans from Columbia University (including Eliza Hamilton’s wedding ring from the Rare Book and Manuscripts Library), Fort Ticonderoga, Seth Kaller, Inc., New-York Historical Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of the City of New York among many others.
The Albany Institute of History & Art is located at 125 Washington Avenue in Albany.
The exhibition galleries and the Museum Shop are open Wednesday 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday noon to 5 pm.
Admission rates are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62+) and students with ID, $6 for children aged 6-12, and free for children under 6. Albany Institute members are admitted for free.
More information is avialable on the Albany Institute’s website, or by calling (518) 463-4478.
Photo of Exhibition curator Diane Shewchuk, Albany Institute Executive Director Tammis Groft, and Hamilton descendant Douglas Hamilton unpack Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton’s embroidered handkerchief provided.