Home of George Washington’s intelligence operative Robert Townsend, Raynham Hall is a time capsule of Long Island life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Purchased by Robert’s father Samuel around 1740 and expanded from a two-over-two farmhouse into a four-over-four town house whose land extended down to the bay and for acres all around, the Townsend family homestead was named Raynham Hall by Samuel’s grandson, Solomon, when he renovated it according to the Victorian taste of his own time, in the mid-19th century. Having shed most of its surrounding property around the turn of the twentieth century, the house’s final transformation came in the 1940s with the removal of the Victorian elements from the front part of the house, which was then restored back to its original Colonial appearance, but retaining the Victorian rear addition.


Event Information:

  • Thu

    For Friends and Family: Three Generations of Christmas Folk Art

    6:00 – 8:00 pmRaynham Hall Museum

    Come kick off the Christmas season with a reception for Raynham Hall Museum’s New Exhibition,
    For Friends and Family, the Folk Art Creations of Three Generations of the Family Of Cora Michalis
    Opening reception with music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres Thursday, December 4, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m.
    $25 per person
    Reservations required. Please call 516-922-6808.

    About the exhibit:

    The artworks that form this exhibition were created by Estella Shepherd Bush, her daughter Cora Michalis, and granddaughter Helen Bonebrake.

    Estella Shepherd Bush was a self-taught artist who grew up in Argentina and then moved to Santiago, Chile, where she raised her family, channeling her artistic talents into the domestic arts, including the creation of elaborate and fantastical Christmas artworks for her friends and family. Her daughter Cora graduated from Parsons School of Design before starting her own family, catching the Christmas baton from her mother, putting her own perfectionist twirl on it and passing it to her daughters, Helen Bonebrake and Cora Thomas. They, having mastered and reveled in the family craft, are proud in turn to witness its further flourishing in the works of Estella’s great-granddaughters, Cora C. Thomas and Mia Harlock.