Historic site, international and hub destination for cultural programming Elisabet Ney Museum has been named a finalist for the 2019 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets grant by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. The nationwide campaign showcases the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, by engaging the public in preserving historic places.
Fittingly, the grants will be awarded by the sites that receives the most votes at http://voteyourmainstreet.org/Austin from the public through October 29. The Friends of the Ney support group has announced “Through These Doors” as the campaign’s theme, focusing on access, inclusion, women’s rights, immigration and voters rights. The Museum will host “Polkapocalypse: Through These Doors” on October 27.
The only site in the southwest to be selected, the Ney celebrates the life and work of Elisabet Ney (1833-1907) a famed sculptor, intellectual, a gender non-conformist, and democracy activist who rocketed to fame in 19th century Berlin before fleeing persecution in 1871 to Texas.
“We seek to honor those who walked ‘Through These Doors’ by restoring all 18 exterior doors of Formosa, an iconic 19th century woman artist’s home and studio in Austin. Worn and fragile, plain but grand, they welcome the outsider graciously, as they did a century ago,” said Oliver Franklin, Museum Site Coordinator. “Important artwork was made here, but so was Elisabet’s brilliant legacy: the birth of Austin’s independent spirit.”
Through These Doors: Women, Artists, Immigrants and Outsiders
Today, The Elisabet Ney Museum, at Formosa, provides both an anchor and a laboratory for progressive identity and art. A seminal Texas Suffragist who didn’t survive to vote, Ney’s story resonates with respect for women, artists, immigrants and outsiders. In 1892, after farming and raising a son, she built Formosa, a rugged but majestic limestone homestead/studio, relaunching her career. The site was made into a museum in 1911 following her passing.
"'Through These Doors’ is both a nod to the original doors to the home, which are in need of repair as well as to a more universal theme of who walks through the door of a home and the doors through which women are allowed and disallowed to pass in their lives," commented Jack Nokes, chair of the Friends of Elisabet Ney Museum.
Partners in Preservation: Main Streets
This national grant program is back for its third year in a row with all of this year’s 20 sites having a special emphasis on historic places that celebrate the contributions of women in Main Street communities across America in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Participants will compete for a share of $2M in grants from American Express, where the top Main Streets will receive funds to preserve their historic site.
Over the past 13 years, the program has provided more than $25 million in support of more than 250 historic sites across the United States, and has engaged more than a million people.
Beginning Sept. 24 through Oct. 29, anyone can vote for their favorite Partners in Preservation: Main Street, hosted by media partner, National Geographic. Up to five votes may be cast each day per person, leading up to announcement day on Oct. 30.
Polkapocalypse: Get Your Dot On
The Ney’s open house event “Polkapocalypse: Through These Doors” will take place on October 27, 2019. The event will feature multiple polka bands (showcasing Tejano, Czech, German, Honky Tonk, Gypsy and Norteño cultures), costume contest, dancing, food trucks, custom t-shirt printing, and a participatory art installation commemorating the 19th Amendment/National Trust as well as on-site voter registration. The theme of the day is polka-dots, manifested in costume contests, “I voted” stickers and other eye-popping installations.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crew has trained over 750 youth participants in the preservation trades, recruited 3,500 volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities, and completed 170 projects. For more information, visit: savingplaces.org | @savingplaces
About the Elisabet Ney Museum
The Elisabet Ney Museum is the historic Austin, Texas studio of European-born portrait sculptor Elisabet Ney (1833-1907). See portraits from life by Ney of 19th-century European intellectuals, statesmen and kings as well as Texas heroes, together with photographs and memorabilia of Elisabet Ney. The former studio, including its 2.5 acres, was designed by Elisabet Ney. The former studio is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a member of Historic Artists Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Elisabet Ney Museum is a property of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, visit: elisabetneymuseum.org | @ElisabetNeyATX
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