Thursday, February 19, 2009

Delft tiles in the Hudson Valley

A Quad-related talk about Dutch tiles takes place from 1-3 p.m. this Sunday (Feb. 22) in the DuBois Fort Visitor Center on Huguenot Street in New Paltz. While donations are appreciated, there is no fee for this program. For more information, visit or call (845) 255-1660.

Here is the press release:

On Sunday, February 22nd, the Dutch Culture Group at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz will host “Once Adorned With Quaint Dutch Tiles…,” a discussion about Delft Tiles found in Archeological Context and Historical Collections in the Upper Hudson Valley.

Delft Tiles are the iconic Dutch ceramic tiles known to many. These tiles, most commonly blue and white, are made in and around Delft in the Netherlands. While they continue to be made today, the most coveted tiles date back to the eighteenth century. They were an important decorative item not only in the Netherlands, but also in colonial New Netherlands and New York as well.

Archeological excavations undertaken in the upper Hudson Valley region, particularly in the vicinity of Albany during the past 40 years, have yielded a number of fragments of decorative Delft tiles of various patterns. While several of these have been published and analyzed, to date no systematic assessment of this collection has been made. This paper will present a preliminary analysis of this body of material and compare it with examples possessing clear provenance from local historical collections and with references from documentary resources. A comparison of this group of tiles with examples known to have been contemporaneously available in the Netherlands will add depth to an analysis of the aesthetic choices and cultural meanings represented by these artifacts.

Walter R. Wheeler, the Senior Architectural Historian at Hartgen Archeological Associates, is the featured speaker. Hartgen Archeological Associates is a cultural resource management firm headquartered in Rensselaer, New York, and with offices in Albany and Putney, Vermont.

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