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Passport to Dutch New York A Guide for Kids

Welcome to Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick.

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Have fun exploring and searching for the answers to each question. After your travels, stop by the Gallery Desk to have your exhibition passport stamped.

Margrieta’s Treasures On the first floor, find Margrieta van Varick’s inventory.

This inventory lists the treasured belongings of Margrieta van Varick, a Dutch woman living in seventeenth-century Flatbush (Brooklyn). Why do you think Margrieta van Varick had an inventory?

Why are there numbers after some of the items?

A Different World Find the old globe.

This copper globe was made in Italy almost 500 years ago! It shows a view of North America before the United States existed. Back then, cartographers (mapmakers) charted a very different world. Why do today’s maps and globes look different from this sixteenth-century one?

The globe is attached to a fancy carved stand. Look closely at the carving. Make a sketch of your favorite details of this object.

Worldly Materials

Look around the exhibition for things made from ivory, silver, porcelain, paper, wool, or wood. Margrieta’s inventory lists things from around the world made from each of these materials. Sketch your favorite things and identify their countries of origin (where they came from). Hint: Look at the label near each object!



Country of origin

Country of origin



Country of origin

Country of origin



Country of origin

Country of origin

Baby’s Jacket On the third floor, find the red jacket.

This colorful jacket was made for a young boy. During the seventeenth century, Indian cottons like this were often used for children’s clothing in the Netherlands and Dutch New York. The fabric may have been recycled from another textile called a palampore. Peek into the red gallery (on your left) and you’ll see a palampore on the wall, covered with flowering trees. What is similar about the baby’s jacket and the palampore on the wall in the next gallery?

Draw some of the visual elements that the two objects have in common.

Miniature Rattle

In the red gallery, find the miniature rattle. Some children living in Dutch New York played with silver toys like the ones you see in this case. This rattle has a whistle, bells, and a teething stick. A metal loop, near the whistle, attached to a chain allowing it to dangle at a safe distance from a baby’s neck. What does this toy remind you of?

Make a drawing of a rattle that an infant might play with today.

Infant in a Kinderstool

In the same gallery, find a very small white figure in a chair with wheels. This ceramic figure is in the shape of a kinderstoel or infant’s high chair. Do we have similar chairs for children today?

Why is it useful for a young child?

What do you think this baby is reaching toward on the tray?

Imagining Margrieta Even though we know about the things that Margrieta van Varick owned, we don’t know what she actually looked like! Imagine that you are an artist sketching a portrait of Margrieta. Before making your portrait, think about these questions: What do you think she might have looked like? What did she wear? Is there something special she might hold in her hand? What would you place in the background to reveal more about Margrieta’s world?

Draw your portrait of Margrieta above.

C o n g r at u You’ve completed your travels through Margrieta’s world and Dutch New York. Stop by the Gallery Desk and have your passport stamped!

l a t i o n s!

18 West 86 Street New York, NY 10024 P 212 501 3000 W

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