Parties & Openings
March 16 - Williamstown
WCMA Season Celebration
March 3 - Lenox
Andrew DeVries Benefit Party
Feb. 23 - Pittsfield
Real Art Party
Wilderstein Celebrates Its White House Connections
Lisa Green reports from Rhinebeck. “Labor of love” was the refrain most often heard at the preview party for “Wilderstein and the White House” on Saturday, April 26. The historic site, originally built in 1852 as an Italianate villa and then transformed in 1888 into a Victorian mansion, was home to three generations of the Suckley family. (If you saw Hyde Park on Hudson, you’re familiar with Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, the last family member whose extraordinary friendship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been well chronicled.) The preservation labor has been lovingly supplied by volunteers and a small staff who have raised funds, preserved, archived and in general cared for the mansion as if it were their own homes. The current exhibit uses objects from Wilderstein’s collections to explore the connection between the estate and the Suckley family to U.S. presidents and historical events in Washington. And there are a lot of objects in the site’s trove to choose from. “We’ve been pulling things out of the attic and archives and our exhibits can go on and on,” said Board President Brian Lange (show above, left, with Tess Casey and Matthew Carnicelli). The enthusiasm generated by Wilderstein’s caretakers and the event guests assures that they will.
Gina Palmer, who does the illustrations for the Wilderstein’s promotional materials, with Gregory Sokaris, executive director of the historic site; Board member Paul Hallenbeck and Sally Hallenbeck flank Linda Stanley, a Wilderstein volunteer.
The dining room exhibit illustrates the Suckley family’s ties to the Revolutionary War and George Washington.
Valerie Dampeer, self-described “slave” to Wilderstein (her husband is treasurer of the board) made all of the food for the reception; Lorraine Murphy of Milan, a docent, and Christine Foreacre, a Wilderstein house supervisor from Red Hook.
Chelsea Relyea, Wilderstein’s administrative assistant; the exquisite Queen Anne mansion, regarded as the Hudson Valley’s most important example of Victorian architecture.
View of the Hudson River from Wilderstein’s wraparound porch.