Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Different Affair

Merchant's House Museum to Host Gala 19th-Century Dinner at Historic India House in Lower Manhattan Multi-course Dinner to Feature Haute Cuisine Evoking the Gilded Era of the Astors and the Vanderbilts.

January 5, 2006: The Merchant's House Museum announced today that Kitty Carlisle Hart, Mr. and Mrs. Schuyler Chapin, and Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Hardy are serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of a Gala Benefit for the Museum to be held in New York on Thursday, March 16, 2006.

Inspired by a passage from Edith Wharton's classic novel, The Age of Innocence, the Museum's A Different Affair Gala will feature a sumptuous 19th-century dinner recreating the atmosphere and enchantment of Old New York. As Wharton wrote:

"But a big dinner, with a hired chef and two borrowed footmen, with Roman punch, roses from Henderson's, and menus on gilt-edged cards, was a different affair, and not to be lightly undertaken. As Mrs. Archer remarked, the Roman punch made all the difference, not in itself but by its manifold implications--since it signified either canvas-backs or terrapin, two soups, a hot and a cold sweet, full décolletage with short sleeves, and guests of a proportionate importance."

The setting the dinner will be the magnificent 1924 ballroom at historic India House on Hanover Square, with its oval skylight designed by master architects Delano & Aldrich. Eberhard Müller, renowned chef at Bayard's, and former top toque at Lutèce, will create the historically correct and elegant multi-course menu for the occasion complete with Roman punch. Guests will be encouraged to attend the event in 19th-century dress.

Proceeds from A Different Affair will benefit the Merchant House Museum s Restoration, Collections Conservation, and Public Education Programs. Built in 1832, the Merchant s House is New York City s only family home preserved intact, inside and out, from the 19th century, and is the City's prime example of a Greek Revival townhouse.

Home to a prosperous merchant family for almost 100 years -- and complete with its original furniture, decorative arts, and personal memorabilia -- the Merchant s House offers an intimate and authentic glimpse of domestic life of a wealthy family during the period when New York was transforming from a colonial seaport to a thriving metropolis.

The Merchant's House is one of only 2,000 sites designated as a National Historic Landmark and has been given landmark status in New York City for its late-Federal brick exterior as well as for its Greek Revival interiors. The House is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tickets for this historic event range from $400 to $1,000 and can be reserved by telephoning the Museum at 212-777-1089. A portion of each ticket purchased is tax-deductible.

Merchant's House Museum
29 East Fourth Street
New York, NY 10003-7003

Telephone 212-777-1089
Fax 212-777-1104
Submitted by: Shay Pantano,

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