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The Van Bergen Overmantel

The multiculturalism of life in the early Hudson River Valley is sometimes forgotten, even as it has extended its legacy into the twenty-first century in surprising and complex ways. Listen here for thoughts from Debra Bruno and Eleanor Mire, both descendants of the Van Bergens but of different racial backgrounds, who only recently discovered their shared heritage relating to the history of enslavement in New York.  

Van Bergen Overmantel, c. 1733, attributed to John Heaten, oil on Cherry wood boards, H: 16.25 x W: 88.75 in., Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Museum Purchase. N0366.1954. Photograph by Richard Walker.