Voices in the Landscape
This online exhibition highlights the work of two neighbors: Madam C. J. Walker, an African-American entrepreneur and the first self-made female millionaire in the United States, and Helen Gould, the daughter of Railroad Baron Jay Gould and heir to one of the largest fortunes in the country. In 1918, these women lived down the street from each other on Millionaire’s Row in Irvington-on-Hudson and used their respective estates, Madam Walker’s home Villa Lewaro and Gould’s Lyndhurst, to give women the chance to be outdoors while learning an economically viable skill at a time when many women were stuck inside with daily household chores.
This exhibition explores the idea that even 100 years ago, there was a diversity of voices in elite suburban Westchester County and that a variety of people used the landscape for inspiration and respite. The online exhibition includes reminiscences from Helen Gould’s great-granddaughter, Madam Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, and reflections on the lasting legacy of Madam Walker by Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker of the New York State Senate, Kenneth Jenkins Westchester County Deputy Director, and others. Voices in the Landscape is a celebration of the Hudson River landscape. It was this landscape that inspired Lyndhurst’s creation and is now influencing the diverse voices that have been part of this community for over 150 years. We hope you’ll visit to hear these voices for yourselves.