The Museum’s holiday programs begin Friday, November 25, and that day Nybelwyck Hall, a dollhouse, its chandeliers lit, makes its first appearance in an exclusive gallery in Glenview, the Museum’s 1877 river home.
Dollhouse Reflects Hudson Valley Architecture
The new setting for the miniscule manse is fitting because its architecture evokes Hudson River homes still seen today. The 24-room, granite-and-mortar Glenview and Nybelwyck, the 24-room dollhouse, share architectural features — a Great Hall and a double staircase that curves from the top floor down to the Hall. Nybelwyck’s central facade is loosely based on the Hudson River estate, Staatsburg, the Ogden Mills House. The orange-and-green colors on its Victorian addition are reminiscent of Wilderstein, in Rhinebeck, the family home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s personal secretary.
900 Objects in 24 Rooms
Dollhouse enthusiast Mark O’Banks created Nybelwyck Hall, over the course of a decade and looked to the wisdom of a ouija board to name his creation. The house is furnished with found objects and rugs O’Banks designed. Among its 900 objects are minute musical instruments that play, doors with intricate locks that work, and a tiny dollhouse within, of course, the dollhouse’s nursery.
The Nybelwyck Family
Nybelwyck Hall does more than present Lilliputian life at its most luxurious. The Nybelwyck family, one of the oldest of Dutch ancestry in the Hudson River Valley, are having a “theatrical moment,” as they bustle to prepare an engagement party for Celestine Von Nybelwyck, daughter of the house, who does not love her intended. Like all families, each Nybelwick is a member, living, laughing, and scheming. Nybelwycks who occupy or visit the Hall include Dad, “Old” Bostwyck Van Nybelwyck; an elf, who watches over the family; eccentric Aunt Glencora, who lives in the attic; ghosts, a music teacher, a raft of nieces and nephews, and servants.
After O’Bank’s death, the house, in 2006, was gifted to the Museum. Director of Curatorial Affairs Bartholomew Bland said, “The house pleases so many of all ages, and we’re delighted, now, to show it throughout the year. Look for our family programs that focus on its craftsmanship and architecture and, of course, are fun too.”
Upcoming Nybelwick Programs:
Sunday, December 4, Westchester FREE Arts Day
FREE Museum and Planetarium Admission
Imagination Creation Workshop: Nybelwyck Hall 1 - 3 pm
24 Rooms and Counting : Design and create your own dollhouse-size room, with wallpaper, handmade furniture, artwork, and small figures.
Sunday, December 18 1 - 4 pm
Creative Connections Workshop: Visit the 24-room dollhouse that suggests 19th-century Hudson Valley homes. Design and create your own dollhouse-size room.