Linda Selman will join John Simko, Director of the Nutley Historical Society, on November 12th for the opening of “The World of H.C. Bunner: Changing the Tastes of America from New York to Nutley” at the Nutley Museum.
The exhibit was inspired by Bunner’s induction this fall into Nutley’s Hall of Fame and is an opportunity to resurrect this great American literary figure (and great-nephew of Alexander Hamilton!) and shine as bright a light as possible on him.
The show is designed to celebrate the sophisticated New York literary figure as well as our Nutley homeboy, so the exhibit is divided into two major elements.
The New York Bunner focuses on the poet, the author, the editor, and includes photographs and never-before-seen sketches of Bunner and others, original Bunner correspondence, hand-written poetry, vintage copies of Puck magazines, first-edition autographed Bunner books, and photographs of the Puck Building along with a just-procured crystal that hung from one of its Puck-era chandeliers.
An important section of the New York Bunner story is, of course, Linda Selman’s tale, which not only explains Bunner’s great influence on American literature but reveals the lineage and talent of the Bunner clan and his influence on author Edith Wharton. Ms. Selman’s narrative will include a copy of the Hamilton land grant, excerpts and artwork from her book The Inadvertent Researcher: A New York Story, a copy of her stage adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Bunner Sisters with theater program from her Off-Broadway production at the Metropolitan Playhouse, original artwork by his brother Rudolph F. Bunner, cousin Andrew F. Bunner, Puck artists Louis Glackens, A. B. Frost, C. J. Taylor and others, and The City of New York’s 2012 Proclamation of Henry Cuyler Bunner Day. A tribute which was marked at the 150th birthday of Edith Wharton at the National Arts Club in New York City where Ms. Selman’s stage adaptation of Bunner Sisters was performed.
Vintage urban Victorian garb from the museum’s extensive collection will help set the scene.
The museum itself is the top floor of a beautiful two-story 1875 brick schoolhouse—the only school building left from Bunner’s Nutley days, where the opening will take place on Sunday, November 12.
At the opening, Ms. Selman will talk about her journey of discovery from Wharton to Bunner, and about what Bunner has meant to American literature. The room will be decorated appropriately, referencing the exhibit upstairs. Food will be served, a flat screen available for a PowerPoint, etc. After her talk, the exhibit will open.
The show runs from Sunday, November 12, to Sunday, December 3. We are open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4:00 and Thursdays and Fridays from 6:00 to 9:00 (closed on Thanksgiving). We will also be open “by appointment” (call the number to arrange a tour).
On Sunday, November 19, Henry Cuyler Bunner will be one of seven people inducted into the Nutley Hall of Fame at the Nutley Free Public library. Ms. Selman will be accepting the honor for the Bunner family. The event is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased in advance.