Aaron Burr, the third Vice President of the United States, lived in Washington Heights' Morris-Jumel Mansion from 1832 to 1835. Although he was a proponent of gender equality (in 1800 he submitted a bill to allow women to vote), Burr was a notorious lothario. Designer and costumer Camilla Huey spent ten years researching the influential women in Burr’s life; this exhibit focuses on eight of them, including his second wife, Eliza Jumel; his daughter, Theodosia Burr Alston; and his first love, Margaret Moncrieffe. To represent them, Huey has created eight corsets based on each of their heights and measurements, displayed in the second-floor period rooms and down the main staircase. Look closely and you’ll see the dames’ handwritten letters woven into each piece.
“The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry and Binding”
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Jane McManus Cazneau" (April 6, 1807-December 12, 1878). Cotton and leather corset, cane boned with trapunto and coffee dyed books.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Esther Edwards Burr" (February 13, 1732-April 1758). Silk and velvet corset with steel boning and lace, mourning envelopes.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Leonora Sansay" (December 11, 1773 - unkown). Leather cane boned corset with 100% cotton rag and onionskin paper. Armature by Lucia Del Sanchez.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Loss" (1813). Cast resin, cotton lawn, cotton onionskin paper.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Eliza Jumel" (April 7, 1775-July 16, 1865). Silk boned bodice, cane boning, silk, paper, books, coffee and dried plant matter. Base by Lucia Del Sanchez.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Margaret Moncrieffe" (1763-unknown). Boned corset with signatures of 100% cotton rag and vintage onionskin paper.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Mary Emmons" (1760-1835). Leather and quills.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "A Secret History" (Hayti, 1803). 100% cotton onion skin paper, hand transcribed letters, dried blood and sugar. First hand account by Leonora Sansay of the Haytian Revolution addressed to Vice President Aaron Burr in thirty-two letters.
Photograph: Seth Tillett "Theodosia Burr Alston" (1763-1813). Silk corset, steel coil boning, signatures of 100% cotton paper stitched in silk.