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Community Spotlight

Storyteller Series | Stacy Renee Morrison’s ‘Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled’

We’re delighted to welcome Stacy Renee Morrison to the 2022 Storyteller Series. Stacy will discuss her enthralling project ‘Sylvia:  A 19th Century Life Unveiled’ on July 13th at 6PM at SVA Library West, 133 W. 21st Street.

Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled

In 2002, a small leather trunk containing the preserved keepsakes of a 19th woman was discarded on a sidewalk in Lower Manhattan. Thus began visual artist Stacy Renee Morrison’s self-proclaimed love affair with Sylvia DeWolf Ostrander (1841-1925).

For almost two decades, Morrison has been on a quest to weave together Sylvia’s life in the 19th century and re-imagine it in the world today through photography, silkscreen and writing.

About the storyteller: Stacy Renee Morrison often forgets what century it is.  As fate would have it, she met her 19th century best friend in the form of a trunk abandoned on a New York City street. These two women, who were born 133 years apart, began a collaboration called The Girl of My Dreams.

Morrison received a grant from the Rhode Island Council of the Humanities to research and make photographs about the trunk’s owner, Sylvia DeWolf Ostrander.  She has exhibited her photographs nationally and internationally including New York City, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Parma, Italy, Cordoba, Argentina and Jeonju, South Korea. Her photographs have been published in The Creative Independent, Harper’s Magazine, Dear Dave, Feature Shoot, and Photography Quarterly.  Most recently in 2020, Morrison exhibited Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled at the Merchant’s House Museum in New York City.

Stacy has lectured as a visiting artist at The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society of America, Greenwich Village Historical Preservation Society, Penumbra Foundation, The Society for Photographic Education, The New York Public Library and Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, and Rhode Island Historical Society.

Morrison is currently working on an illustrated narrative non-fiction book about The Girl of My Dreams.  She also just launched a clothing line named Sylvia, in honor of her 19th century, made of upcycled vintage clothing and accessories that are all hand screen-printed.

Morrison teaches in the MFA Visual Narrative Department and the BFA Photography and Video Department at the School of Visual Arts.  She is a still-life photographer who makes quiet, polite, and sometimes-macabre photographs.  She never misses an opportunity to dress up as a 19th century woman.

Reservations to this in-person free event are required, Sign up here.

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