Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from U-Z

Van Rensselaer, Mariana Alley Griswold (1851–1934) - Popular History

american city york poetry

Mariana Van Rensselaer was born in New York City to George and Lydia (Alley) Griswold. Her paternal grandfather and uncle founded the shipping firm of N. L. & G. Griswold in order to enter the Canton tea trade. Mariana was educated by tutors and at schools in Dresden, where the family spent several years. She married Schuyler Van Rensselaer, a mining and metallurgical engineer, in Dresden on April 14, 1873. The two resided in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and traveled frequently. Mariana also began writing poetry and articles on art and published Book of American Figure Painters in 1886.

Schuyler Van Rensselaer died in 1884, and Mariana subsequently returned to New York City, where she lived with her mother. She began concentrating on architectural criticism and wrote English Cathedrals (1892) and Henry Hobson Richardson and His Works (1888). In 1889 she began Garden and Forest , which studied gardening from earliest times to the Middle Ages. After her son’s death in 1894, Van Rensselaer became interested in social problems, especially school reform. She also became interested in New York’s colonial past and published a two-volume History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century (1909); however, she then returned to poetry and put her historical work aside. Columbia University made her an honorary doctor of literature in 1910, and she received a gold medal “for distinction in literature” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1923. Van Rensselaer was an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (1890) and the Society of Landscape Architects. She died January 20, 1934.

Van Runkle, Theadora [next] [back] Van Peebles, Melvin (1932–)

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or