Object of the Month


In this year-long series, Assistant Curator Ted Barrow presents original research and insights on a new object each month, selected from the Museum's robust permanent collection. Complementing this exhibition rotation, Barrow will give a public lecture and gallery talk focusing on the object on view.

January 2018

National Chicle Company
Sky Birds
Commercial color lithograph on paper
Collection of the Hudson River Museum

Between 1933 and 1934, the National Chicle Company produced the Sky Birds card collection. In a format previously reserved for baseball players, heroes of aviation took center stage, with their daring exploits listed on the back of each card. Distributed in one-cent packs (roughly 18 cents in today’s currency), a total of 144 different cards were produced. The first two dozen cards featured World War I pilots, many of whom were members of the Lafayette Escadrille, a notoriously reckless volunteer brigade of American pilots in support of the French. The National Chicle Sky Birds set was a uniquely dramatic and entertaining way to illustrate the recent history of aviation.

  © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial
  Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

February 2018

Joseph Cornell (American, 1903–1972)
Untitled (Hôtel de l’Etoil)
ca. 1953–62
Mixed media collage construction
Gift of the C & B Foundation, 1975 (75.22.2)

Joseph Cornell was born in Nyack, NY, and lived most of his life with his family in a small, wood-framed house on Utopia Parkway in Queens. In the early 1950s, Cornell began a series of works that explored the associations of grand hotels in Europe, a subject that proved quite potent for Cornell, who never owned a passport. Cornell’s practice of showcasing delicate vignettes in small, neat spaces that were suggestive, not explanatory, was influential to numerous future artists and filmmakers, from Robert Rauschenberg to Wes Anderson.

Lecture and Gallery Talk: Sat, Feb 3, 1:30pm


The New Yorker "Goings on About Town: Above & Beyond" (January 26, 2018)