Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Alice Austen House
Women: Art & Literature
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Art, at a fundamental level, transmits the artists ideas about the world or their experience of the world. For thousands of years, women have been telling their stories through word, song, dance, and images, giving voice to individual female experiences and enriching the tapestry of the human story. Below you will find just a few examples of New York women leaving their creative mark on the world.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site: Ruth Livingston Mills, scion of the wealthy Hudson Valley Livingston family, was a dominating presence in the upper-class social circles of the Gilded Age, entertaining from her grand Staatsburgh home. New information regarding the mysterious artist who painted the portrait of Ruth Livingston Mills and a connection to the suffrage movement has recently been discovered, which you can read about in the following blog posts.



State & National Registers of Historic Place Listed Sites:

Alice Austen House, Staten Island

The Alice Austen House, operated today as a museum in Staten Island, NY, was the home of nationally significant photographer Alice Austen. Austen shared the house with her same-sex partner, Gertrude Tate. Her relationship with Tate and her exploration of gender and societal norms were illustrated in her photographs, creating a unique group of images of LGBTQ life that was out of the ordinary for its time. Alice Austen HouseLeaving New York State Parks

Louise Bethune, Hotel Lafayette, Buffalo

The Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo, New York, is nationally significant as the most important extant design of Louise Bethune, the first woman in the United States to be officially recognized as a professional architect by the American Institute of Architects. Bethune's greatest impact was opening the doors in professional circles for other women to enter the field of architecture, leading by way of her commitment to the development of professional standards in the profession and the promotion of "Equal Remuneration for Equal Services" for women. Hotel LafayetteLeaving New York State Parks

Lucille Ball, Lucy & Desi Museum, National Comedy Center Museum, Lake View Cemetery, Jamestown Born in Jamestown, NY, Lucille Ball would go on to become one of the most famous comedians in America. She is buried in the National Register listed Lake View Cemetery. The Lucy-Desi Museum and the National Comedy Center Museum together preserve Ball's legacy and the history and craft of comedy. You can plan your visit to both through their dual admission program:

Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Wilder Homestead, Malone

The Wilder Homestead, established in the 1840s by James Mason Wilder, was the setting for Laura Ingalls Wilder's 1933 historical novel Farmer Boy. Based on her husband Almanzo Wilder's childhood, Farmer Boy tells the story of a year in the life of nine-year old Almanzo at his family farm in upstate New York. The original Greek-Revival home was restored, and many of the outbuildings reconstructed, and today the site is operated as a museum, visitor center, research library and archives. The Wilder HomesteadLeaving New York State Parks

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Austerlitz

Edna St. Vincent Millay was a renowned figure of the Greenwich Village bohemian artist scene who rocketed to prominence in her twenties, known for her subversive poetry as well as her unconventional and openly bisexual lifestyle. She was a social and political activist and the first woman ever to the receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She spent the last 25 years of her life at Steepletop, her home in Austerlitz, NY which has been converted into a museum to her work and life. Learn more about Millay's life at The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at SteepletopLeaving New York State Parks