King Manor Museum gets funding for first-ever exhibition catalogue

House and Park
Courtesy of King Manor Museum

King Manor Museum in Jamaica has received funding from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to create its first-ever exhibition catalog.

The $13,750 grant will go toward the production of the catalog for their 120th-anniversary show, “Queens of King Manor,” dedicated to exploring the history and legacy of women in historic preservation using King Manor’s founding as a case study.

The confluence of this historic anniversary, along with the women’s suffrage centennial, and recent social activism movements like #MeToo or activism against voter suppression, provides an incredibly unique opportunity to reach audiences and use history to make a difference today.

The support of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation will make King Manor Museum the first small historic house museum in New York City to have a professionally published academic catalog and assist in their vision of raising the profile of historic home museums.

The “Queens of King Manor” exhibition, scheduled to open to the public in September, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, while acknowledging that these rights did not include all women.

Due to the social distancing requirements given the current health crisis, the museum will also produce a robust online experience, with related public programs exploring women’s citizenship and voting rights in the early Republic and corresponding educational materials for teachers and students, but looks forward doing a book tour following its release. 

“King Manor Museum offers modern Jamaica an oasis,” Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation Executive Director Kathryn M. Curran said. “The legacy of Rufus King (1755-1827) as a framer and signer of the United States Constitution, a U.S. Senator, and a passionate anti-slavery advocate is exceptional. King owned 160 acres of land and developed it as a successful working farm without slave labor at a time when his contemporaries relied on that workforce. The house museum is moving forward to embrace the diversity of its neighborhood with educational and cultural offerings.”

The richly illustrated catalog will feature a selection of key objects from the museum’s collection and archives, which delves into the history of the women who founded King Manor, their world, and the impact work like theirs still has on the field today. Catalog articles will be dynamic in their critical examinations of several of the exhibition’s objects, which explore how material culture aligns with the issues of early feminism, preservation, domestic practices, race and class.

The project was executed to put forth a greater understanding of women’s historic involvement in preserving early American history and how it relates to the social and political issues facing America today.

King Manor Museum is located in King Park at 130-03 Jamaica Ave. near the E train terminus at Jamaica Center, the LIRR to Jamaica, the F train to Parsons, and many bus lines. The museum was the farm of founding father Rufus King from 1805 to 1827.

King Manor has been a museum since 1900. Detailed information about King Manor events, history and other programs can be found here.

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