This exhibit explores the role of some extraordinary women who lived in and around Bard College. These women stand out due to their involvement in business, politics, social relations, education, botany, horticulture, and architecture. They also all expressed individuality through their interests, as they were not customary for women in the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Each is remembered for different reasons, but they all circle back to breaking the confines of traditional feminine roles. The women you will be reading about are Alida Schuyler Livingston, Margaret Beekman Livingston, Janet Livingston Montgomery, Margaret Bard, Cora Barton Livingston, Violetta Delafield, Frances Hunter Zabriskie, the first women students of Bard College, and the early women faculty of Bard College.
These women stand out because they were unsatisfied by the preordained activities that women of their respective time periods and social statuses were supposed to take part in. Looking back, they overcame the roles that women of their same status played to discover and pursue their own interests. The women of the lands in and around Bard have not been as widely recognized for their roles as the men of this area have. This exhibit sheds light onto the boundary-breaking women of this area who moved beyond traditional roles and should be better remembered for their accomplishments.
Augusta Klein ('17)