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Organization name: Alice Austen

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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BR-254081-17Public Programs: Historic Places: ImplementationAlice Austen House MuseumNew Eyes on Alice Austen: Redesigning the Museum's Permanent Installation5/1/2017 - 7/31/2019$250,000.00Victoria Munro   Alice Austen House MuseumStaten IslandNY10305-2002USA2017Public HistoryHistoric Places: ImplementationPublic Programs25000002500000

Implementation of a new onsite interpretation and expanded website content for Clear Comfort, the home of early American photographer Alice Austen (1866–1952).

The Alice Austen House (AAH), the only museum dedicated to a woman photographer in the United States, requests $400,000 for a Historic Places implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the project New Eyes on Alice Austen: Redesigning the Museum’s Permanent Installation to better contextualize, expand, and update the presentation of the core story of early American photographer, Alice Austen (1866-1952). Guided by a team of five prominent scholars, AAH will engage a professional exhibition designer to incorporate current scholarship into re-envisioning the permanent installation at the historic house museum to more comprehensively demonstrate Austen’s contributions to photographic, immigration, women’s and LGBTQ history. The new permanent installation would be unveiled to the public in March 2019 during Women’s History Month.

GA-274046-20Public Programs: Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Public Programs)Alice Austen House MuseumAlice Austen House: Expanding Access to Public Programming in 20206/15/2020 - 12/31/2020$63,000.00Victoria Munro   Alice Austen House MuseumStaten IslandNY10305-2002USA2020U.S. HistoryCooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Public Programs)Public Programs630000630000

The retention of five staff members to implement a virtual tour and related resources.

Friends of Alice Austen House (AAH) requests support from NEH to support a project to make our permanent installation, contemporary art exhibitions, and education programs accessible to a virtual audience as New York City deals with the on-going novel coronavirus pandemic. In expectation of continued need for social distancing and limited access for tour groups and school trips, AAH will leverage the new permanent installation, New Eyes on Alice Austen, as well as the content in our contemporary galleries, to create an immersive online tour, digitize and make available supporting components of our collection, and develop a hard copy guide to the installation, to be used in-house and as part of off-site education programming.

GE-230775-15Public Programs: America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning GrantsAlice Austen House MuseumPlanning for New Eyes on Alice Austen: Redefining the Museum's Interpretation9/1/2015 - 5/31/2016$35,000.00Janice Monger   Alice Austen House MuseumStaten IslandNY10305-2002USA2015Women's HistoryAmerica's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning GrantsPublic Programs350000350000

Planning for the reinterpretation of the Staten Island home of early twentieth-century photographer Alice Austen (1866–1952), an expanded website, and related educational programming.

The Alice Austen House seeks to create a more inclusive and expansive interpretation of Alice Austen's compelling personal story that is grounded more solidly in scholarly analysis and that will frame her story within several relevant contexts: New York City history and urban development; immigration history; women's and feminist issues; LGBT and gender studies; and photographic and art history. Five scholars have been selected to provide expertise from this variety of perspectives. The museum's goals are threefold: 1) For scholars to inform the interpretation for the museum's permanent installation; 2) To communicate the broader significance of the photographs, life story, and historic home of Alice Austen and her contributions to New York City and United States history; and 3) To update, and bring to the forefront, the story of the relationship between Alice Austen and her life-long companion, Gertrude Tate, to align with current approaches to LGBT interpretation.

PG-271776-20Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance GrantsAlice Austen House MuseumImproving Storage Capacity for Collections Preservation9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$9,145.00Victoria Munro   Alice Austen House MuseumStaten IslandNY10305-2002USA2020U.S. HistoryPreservation Assistance GrantsPreservation and Access9145091450

The purchase of equipment to improve climate control in the upstairs storage room, creation of additional space for storage, Preservation 101 training for staff provided by the Northeast Document Conservation Center, and implementation of inventory management practices identified in consultation with the Historic House Trust. The Alice Austen House holds a collection of objects, letters, photographs, and audio recordings related to the life and work of Alice Austen, part of the first generation of women photographers in America; Gertrude Tate, her partner of 53 years; and their friends and family. The collection consists of correspondence, objects, photographs, and oral history recordings: 15 archival boxes of letters, one binder of calling cards, household objects, photographs, and 25 cassette tapes of oral history recordings. These offer a unique window into Victorian social norms, New York City history, LGBTQ history, and early twentieth-century life.

Friends of Alice Austen House requests funding to support improvements to storage capacity in its second floor collections room in order to house more objects, prioritizing accessioned items found in the inventory of our basement collections room. To ensure that collections best practices are in effect as the project is implemented and after, this proposal includes training in preservation basics for the Alice Austen House Collections Associate.