Springwood and Val-Kill
The main focus of our trip to the Hudson River Valley was to visit Springwood, the home of President Roosevelt, and Valkill, the home of Eleanor after the president’s death. Eleanor actually occupied the cottage while her husband was still in office and occasionally used it to entertained distinguished guests and diplomats. Above is the presidents library at Springwood, his desk and wheelchair by the window. And below, the newel post at Val-Kill, touched by so many statesmen and influential women during a troubled time in our history.
I’ve always been fascinated by history and love visiting historic sites. And I’m of course drawn to photographing interiors. That said, to fully appreciate these homes demands putting photography on the back burner. They are extremely challenging to shoot. Always very dark (Light is the enemy of antiques) and access is usually very limited (as is time). Handheld is the only option, very high ISO (3200 here) and usually shot with the lens wide open. You pretty much take what you can get on the tour. You have a choice, lament over not being able to shoot the way you want or appreciate the slice of history that has been preserved. You can only do justice to one.
Thanks for sharing these photos and thoughts. I’ve read books about Eleanor Roosevelt and am glad to see some photos of her and her husbands houses.
You really should visit sometime. If you enjoy history and art there’s lots to see in the Rhinebeck – Hyde Park region.