The Loves of Aaron Burr:
Portraits in Corsetry & Binding
Theodosia Burr Alston (1783-1813)
In 1783, Theodosia Burr Alston was born to Theodosia Prevost and Aaron Burr. Steeped in a liberation theology few understood, the couple raised
their daughter to exemplify the feminist ideals and educational precepts of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures
on Political and Moral Subjects. Once widowed, Burr’s near obsessive parenting was reciprocated by the love and devotion of his daughter for
her father, evidenced in their surviving correspondence.
“Mr. Burr has introduced me to his daughter, whom he has educated
with uncommon care; for she is elegant without ostentation, and learned
without pedantry. At the same time she dances with more grace than any
young lady of New York, Miss Theodosia Burr speaks French and Italian
with facility, is perfectly conversant with the writers of the Augustan age
and not unacquainted with the language of the father of poetry.”
John Doris, 1798, cited in Nancy Isenberg’s Fallen Founder.
Theodosia Burr Alston's corset is a light pale pink silk bound about pages
that are strewn into book binder's signatures as a book would be constructed. The silk binder's thread is sewn through the corset along the front of the bodice visibly binding her. The paper, equivalent to what we know her to have written in letters and journals still extant is her "volume" of work bound within a corset.
Reference: Burr, Aaron and Theodosia. The Correspondence of Aaron Burr and His Daughter Theodosia. Edited and with a Preface by Mark Van Doren. New York: Covici-Friede Inc., 1929. Cote, Richard. Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy, Corinthian Books, 2002.
The Loves Of Aaron Burr:
Portraits in Corsetry & Binding
Drawing connections between her own interpretive work
and the historic corsets exhibited in
Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette,
Camilla Huey will speak on the changing architectural, structural, and functional forms
of corsets, corset-making, materials, and methodologies. The artist employs these
forms in her unique approach to analyzing portraits of nine 18th- and 19th-century women. Through ephemera, fetishism, material culture, and texts, the artist
invites the audience to follow both design and historic research as she explores biographical narrative. She will bring selected works from her exhibition,
The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry & Binding
Preview May 7, 6pm Bard Graduate Center
38 West 86th Street, New York City 10024
$25 RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
The Premiere of
The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry & Binding Film
with select works from the exhibition at the Morris-Jumel Mansion. Manhattan's oldest house the very place where the lives of these women, filming and exhibition took place.
A reception and screening with discussion to follow.
View the works of Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Colonial Arrangements before.
Premiere May 14, 6pm Morris-Jumel Mansion
65 Jumel Terrace, New York City 10032
$25 RSVP email@example.com
Camilla Huey (artist/couturière) has exhibited artwork at the Bard Graduate Center
and the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York City. Her exhibit, The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry & Binding, paid homage to the women who surrounded and influenced this controversial founding father.