This is The Bronx
Contrary to popular belief, the Bronx is more than hip hop and the Yankees. Just a few blocks north of Yankee Stadium you will find The Andrew Freedman Home. This four-story building and lush green grounds look like a bit out of place in New York City, but this is the Bronx. Over the last century the Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx has worn many hats. The most recent is a contemporary art space (and senior facility/day care).
When we visited the Andrew Freedman Home the Fabiola Jean-Louis exhibit was still on display. The beautiful paper dresses and imagery in the gallery felt like something you would see walking through a gallery in The Met. The attention to detail in the galleries is phenomenal. You almost feel as though you owe the artists your time because of all the work they have put into their exhibitions. If you are looking for something unique in New York City, hop on the B or D train and head to 167th Street in the Bronx. Admission is free so you really have no reason to skip this gem.
What is the Andrew Freedman Home?
Andrew Freedman, a self made millionaire, left part of his fortune to build a home on Grand Concourse for the formerly wealthy. In 1924 the home opened and welcomed those who fell upon hard time, losing their possessions. After the stock market crash in 1929 there was an uptick in residency. The four-story home was built, and expanded, to house 130 guests. Initially at no cost, guests were supplied with accommodations and butler staff. Eventually funds ran dry and the home and neighborhood fell upon hard time. In 1992 the home received New York City Landmark designation. A decade later the home was repurposed as a gallery, which serves as one of its primary uses to date.
Unique Works in A Unique Borough
The Andrew Freedman Home takes the time to highlight and showcase great works from local artists year round. The works are well worth the trip to the Bronx. If you decide to head to 1125 Grand Concourse you will be pleasantly surprised by the exhibits. You can’t make this stuff up, the work is amazing.
Jean-Louis’s works, Re-Writing History: A Black Ancestral Narrative pulls you back by centuries. Although the pieces were created recently they have feel that is centuries old. This was totally unexpected, but added to the allure of the exhibit.
A great way to support local artists and their work is to make sure that others also check it out. As I am writing this post I am hoping that we can find a little time to see the current exhibit, and every one of them after that.
Are You A Local Artist?
If you are a local artist, this is a great way to showcase your work. The Andrew Freedman Home regularly posts calls for submissions. Don’t let the opportunity to get your voice and image heard go unnoticed. Submit your ideas, volunteer your time and share in the amazing things that are happening on the Grand Concourse. You can find out more information about happenings at the Andrew Freedman Home here.
More Than Meets The Eye
While we’ve only visited for one exhibit, you can tell that the attention to detail and care taken by the staff that the works of artists are not just a regular day on the job. Visiting the Andrew Freedman Home is a blended feeling of visiting a family member and voyeuristic journey. You want to keep the treasures to yourself, but part of you wants to share the beauty with other. This is why we want others to venture out of their comfort zone and visit The Andrew Freedman Home.
While you’re in the Bronx exploring the Grand Concourse, you might want to also take a trip a bit further north. Wave Hill is also a destination that was once a home and now serves the public. Both the Andrew Freedman Home and Wave Hill offer free visits to the public.
You can find a virtual tour of the Andrew Freedman Home and Fabiola Jean-Louis exhibit here.