Loyal to the Crown: British Art from the George Way CollectionOct 14, 2017, 2:00 PM to Oct 14, 2018, 4:00 PM Location: 196 Chief Bill Harris Way, Orangeburg, NY 10962
To collect means to connect with the past. It is a way of not only placing yourself within the historical continuum, but of assuming temporary ownership of something that once belonged to someone else. It can be seen as an act of humility or a quest; a journey ripe with adventure. Connoisseurship cares nothing of novelty – it cares about preserving history – and with introducing the beauty of the past to a new generation. George Way’s collection of British art is unique on many levels. Culled from years of stalwart searching – it represents a cumulative view of majesty. There are miniatures of Queen Mary and Charles I, chests and chairs from the Charles II period and beautiful paintings, such as the portrait of Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyck. The collection recalls a royal point of view from the centuries preceding our American Revolution. It is precisely this tradition of loyalty and deference to the Crown that we want to call attention to. In Orangetown’s Tappan the Revolutionary War’s most infamous British spy, Maj. John Andre, was tried and hanged after his thwarted collusion with Major General Benedict Arnold. For many, the power and wealth of England was indisputable; colonial loyalists viewed the patriots quest to break from the crown as an untenable breach. It was a clash of sensibilities that would explode into the formation of a new nation. George Way is a steward of the past. His collection on view at the Orangetown Historical Museum & Archives personifies a past glorifying a monarchy that our founding fathers rejected. It offers a rare opportunity to be taken to a place – loyal to the crown.
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