May 3rd, 2013 - September 12th, 2013

The Loves of Aaron Burr

This series of corset portraits represents nine women from the life of Aaron Burr, the Founding Father who “haunts” not only the Morris-Jumel Mansion, but also American history.  His ghostly legacy, coupled with that of Madame Eliza Jumel, sits atop the crossroads above it all in the house Duke Ellington called, “The Crown of Sugar Hill.”

The Mansion was where the Founding Fathers met the Founding Brothers in struggles against colonialism & for self-determination; a crossroads where George Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois find common ground, where Hamilton’s meeting Burr ends on the dueling grounds, and where Burr and Jumel found their common grounds for divorce.

A strident equalitarian, Burr stood opposed to the vested interests of most of our republican Founding Fathers. His democratic stance credits him among the first politicians in America to introduce anti-slavery legislation and one of its first feminists, sentiments that did not make him popular with Jeffersonian democrats. These sentiments did win the women depicted here, those who mentored him and those he mentored.