Marabou recently went to Staten Island to visit the historic house of Alice Austen (1866-1952). Alice was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers. A contemporary of Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis, she took documentary photos of 19th century New York City, but isn’t celebrated as much as her male peers. Upon arrival, Marabou found out the house is closed for renovations until March 16, 2019. The changes made to the house museum will be structural, but are also expected to be seen in the content.
The house was recently made a LGBTQ historic site by the National Parks Service in 2017. Alice shared the house with her partner Gertrude Tate for 53 years. When it re-opens in March, Gertrude will be more prominent, acknowledged, and discussed, as will Alice’s sexuality. The house’s executive director, Janice Monger, has been working on updating and reconsidering the way Alice’s life should be shared with visitors. According to Artsy, Monger has assembled an advisory team of LGBTQ scholars that will inform the way Alice and Gertrude’s relationship can and should be explained. Look out for a post about Alice Austen House in the late spring. Until then, enjoy the view from right in front of Alice’s House!
Video Description: Along the Staten Island shore the camera pans right to left showing the Verrazano Bridge, Bay Ridge Brooklyn, Manhattan Skyline with Marabou in the foreground, ending with a tug boat docked near Alice’s House.