Tea & Talk – “Archer Milton Huntington & the Hispanic Society of America Museum”

August 13, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
$28 with advance reservation; $32 day of

Considered one of the ten richest men in America during the Gilded Age, Archer Milton Huntington “was so intensely private that to this day very little is known about him,” according to historian Francis Morrone.  Based on material that he has uncovered, Morrone will present his findings here at the mansion followed by a Victorian tea.

The speaker discovered a wealth of information about the elusive Huntington in the process of writing a detailed report on the family’s mansion at 1083 Fifth Avenue in New York City.  Huntington, among other extraordinary endeavors, was the founder of the Hispanic Society of America Museum located in the Audubon Terrace complex in Upper Manhattan.

Morrone’s report dovetails with the reopening this fall of the museum, considered a major event under the dynamic leadership of Philippe de Montebello.  He is the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Hispanic Society of America Museum contains more than 18,000 works in almost every medium, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, decorative arts and useful arts dating from the Paleolithic to the 20th century from Spain, Portugal and Latin America.  Spanish paintings alone include works by Valesquez, El Greco and Goya with his famous “Duchess of Alba.”  Fourteen large-scale paintings depicting “Vision of Spain” are by Joaquin Soralla y Bastida.

Huntington was the stepson of railroad magnate and industrialist Collis P. Huntington, whose nephew, Henry E. Huntington, founded the Huntington Library at San Marino, CA. Archer’s wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, was considered one of the leading sculptors of their day, whose works still grace the Hispanic Society of America Museum.

Morrone will be returning for his seventh summer at Ventfort Hall. He is also the author of eleven books, including architectural guide books.  His writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, City Journal and the New York Sun, where he was an art and architecture critic.  He teaches architectural and urban history at New York University, and is the recipient of the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.  Travel + Leisure magazine named him as one of the 13 best tour guides in the world.  He has also received an Arthur Ross Award from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

The summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks presented every Tuesday until September 10 are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Tickets for the Jerome talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call usl at 413-637-3206.