The Hyde Collection
Charlotte Pruyn Hyde (1867-1963) was born in Glens Falls, NY, into one of the leading industrialist families of the Adirondack region. Her father, Samuel Pruyn, founded Finch, Pruyn & Company, Inc. – a paper manufacturing business – with Jeremiah Finch in 1865. Eventually, Pruyn became the sole owner, thus establishing the foundation of the Pruyn family’s wealth.
Charlotte Pruyn married Louis Fiske Hyde (1866-1934) in 1901, and in 1906 Charlotte’s father asked his son-in-law to leave his law practice in Massachusetts and join the family business in Glens Falls. As a result, the couple returned to Charlotte’s hometown in 1907 and Louis became vice president of the family mill.
Between 1904 and 1912 Charlotte and her sisters built three homes on the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River and the family mill. The Boston architect Henry Forbes Bigelow of the architectural firm Bigelow and Wadsworth was commissioned to design all three residences. Each followed the American Renaissance tradition of adapting European architectural traditions to American taste.
Hyde House was completed in 1912. Influenced by contemporary movements regarding interior design, they purchased furnishings and decorative arts that best suited the scale and environment of their home. The Hydes continued to acquire pieces during subsequent summer sojourns to Europe and, more often, from their favorite New York City dealers during their winter stays in New York.
By 1930 their collection had garnered its hallmark – a combination of quality, intimacy, and elegance without excess. When Louis passed away in 1934, approximately one-third of the core collection was assembled. In 1952, eighteen years after her husband’s death, Charlotte established the Trust Agreement that would establish the future museum. Mrs. Hyde died on August 28, 1963. Three months later, The Hyde Collection opened to the general public.
In the spring of 1964, the new museum held its first special exhibition, a significant selection of drawings and sculpture by David Smith. In 1984, Hyde House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One year later, The Hyde Collection was first accredited by the American Association of Museums.
As the Museum’s role in the region grew, the trustees began to consider the issues of managing the art collection and its increasing educational responsibilities solely within the confines of a historic house. In 1985, the Museum acquired nearby Cunningham House for its administrative offices and proposed a major expansion to connect it with Hyde House. Designated the Education Wing, this addition was considered the optimum solution for preserving the Hydes' legacy, enabling the expansion of the collection, and fulfilling the educational objectives of the Trust Agreement.
The Education Wing was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes and opened in celebration of the Museum’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 1989. With this addition of four exhibition galleries, an auditorium, art storage, classrooms, and a museum shop, The Hyde consciously broadened its scope of purpose. From an active special exhibition schedule, to concerts, lectures, and family and school programs, the new wing greatly enhanced the Museum’s involvement within its community and region.
By 1999, significant growth had combined with compelling preservation needs to necessitate the creation of a new strategic plan. Following three years of planning and preparation, the Museum publicly outlined their objectives by unveiling Preserving the Legacy: a Comprehensive Plan for the Future. Eighteen months of expansion, restoration, and renovation followed and the plan was successfully completed in May 2004.
The Hyde is now a dynamic institution with an active education department, on-going temporary exhibitions by major world-renowned artists, concerts, and lectures, much of which is supported by an enthusiastic membership base.
By preserving our founders’ legacy and addressing our most pressing logistical needs, we have effectively and proactively prepared the Museum for future service to the entire region.
Season And Hours Open
2013: Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm; Sunday: 12 noon - 5pm Closed Monday & most national holidays
Hyde House and the Museum's modern Education Wing are the center of the property and are flanked by two additional historic houses, built by the sisters of the Museum's founder, Charlotte Pruyn Hyde. The homes of the three women and their families overlook the original family paper-manufacturnig business. Though no longer owned by the family's descendants, it still operates today as Finch Paper LLC.
There is not a room in Hyde House that does not hold a treasure for the eyes. Old Masters works by artists such as El Greco, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Ingres are juxtaposed with modern works by Degas and Picasso.
The Hyde Collection operates as a non-profit under The Hyde Trust.
A Shared LIfe: A History of The Hyde Collection's Founding Family
2013 Summer Exhibitions:
June 15 - September 15: Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George: This exhibition combines two themes that reflect its potential as an extraordinary exhibition: a world-famous, instantly recognizable artist coupled with a well-known, beloved geographical location.
Curated by Hyde Chief Curator Erin Coe and organized in partnership with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Modern Nature will be the first exhibition ever to explore the significant body of artistic work created by O’Keeffe at Lake George, New York. The exhibition will premiere at The Hyde Collection from June 15 – September 15, 2013, and will then travel to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 4 – January 26, 2013; and on to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum, February 15 – May 11, 2014.
From 1918 through the mid-1930’s, O’Keeffe lived for part of the year at Alfred Stieglitz’s family estate on the shores of Lake George. This 36-acre property was situated just north of Lake George village along the western shore. During this highly productive decade, O’Keeffe created more than 200 paintings on canvas and paper in addition to sketches and pastels, making the Lake George years among her most prolific and transformative of her seven-decade career. This period also coincided with her first critical success and emergence as a professional artist; yet Lake George is often portrayed as an annoyance from which she tried to escape.
Modern Nature will demonstrate that Lake George served as a rural retreat for O’Keeffe, providing the basic material for her art while evoking the spirit of place essential to her modernist approach to the natural world. In its scope and importance, The Hyde Collection expects this exhibition to be an enduring contribution to the artist ‘s legacy and the cultural history of our region.
June 15 - September 15, 2013: Family Album: Arthur Stieglitz and Lake George : In connection with Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George, The Hyde Collection is organizing this companion exhibition in Hoopes Gallery.
During the years1918 to 1934, Georgia O’Keeffe left the bustle and heat of New York City and headed for the pristine, mountain-rimmed waters of Lake George where her companion, and later husband, Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), and his family kept a summer home. Comprised of thirty-six bucolic acres located a mile north of Lake George village on the western shoreline, their country retreat known as “the Hill” was a former farm and ontained a large farmhouse and a number of barns and outbuildings. Today, the property is a residential subdivisio and identified with a historic marker at the foot of the hill.
Through a selection of approximately thirty photographs by the influential photographer, critic, and dealer Alfred Stieglitz, A Family Album will take an intimate look at the people who resided on the property while O’Keeffe was in residence there, including members of the Stieglitz family, and the special place that bound them together.
Lenders to the exhibition include The Adirondack Museum and Alfred Stieglitz’s grandniece Sue Davidson Lowe. The exhibition is curated by Erin B. Coe, Chief Curator, The Hyde Collection and Caroline Welsh, Senior Art Historian and Director Emerita, The Adirondack Museum.
Support for Family Album: Alfred Stieglitz and Lake George has been provided for, in part, by Karl E. Seitz, Managing Director-Investment Officer, PIM Portfolio Manager, Wells Fargo Advisors.