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Historical And Cultural Centers

Katonah Village Library

The Katonah Museum Of Art

The Katonah Historical Museum

John Jay Homestead

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Katonah Village Library (232-3508)

For over 100 years, the Katonah Village Library, located in the Historic District, has been the center for cultural activity in Northern Westchester. It serves over 10,000 people per year as a reference center for this part of the country.

The collection contains over 60,000 items. Special Services include a meeting room for use by community groups, large print books, over 20-0 periodicals with backfiles of five years, microfilms of the New York Times form 1960, and local papers from 1900. There is a collection of over 1500 recordings, a photocopy machine, business reference tools, the complete CLS New York State Statues, and a microcomputer for public use.

The library sponsors an annual winter concert and poetry series as well as public lectures. There is a book discussion group and a special collection of art and nutrition books. Services to the homebound are provided. The Children's Room has a full calendar of programs for ages 2 through 12, with story hours, craft programs, visiting guests, and films.

The library is open every day but Sunday. Telephone reference service is available.

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The Katonah Museum of Art, Rt. 22 at Jay Street, (232-9555)

It is rare for a small suburban town to house a nationally recognized art museum, especially one like Katonah Museum of Art, whose reputation for quality and innovation is well known. Since its founding in 1953, the Museum has offered rare and otherwise unavailable artistic programs through its exhibitions and educational services. Educational programs for area schools include on-site tours, traveling, exhibitions and classroom demonstrations by visiting artists.

The Museum has no permanent collection, allowing it to originate six to ten shows a year which address a wide variety of art periods and styles. Recent exhibitions have focused on Buddhist art and ritual, posters from Poland and American interiors. In the near future, Museum exhibitions will feature American and European folk art, American crafts, architectural toys, and works by Eli Nadelman, Pavel Tchelitchew and Marie Laurencin, among others.

A special feature of the Museum is its beautiful outdoor Sculpture Garden, situated among 80-foot Norway spruce trees. This site is host to jazz concerts in the summer, community festivals, and other special events. Picnicking is encouraged.

The Museum is open year round. Tours are give at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends. There is a Museum Shop. The Museum is accessible to the handicapped. Admissions is $2. Closed Mondays.

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The Katonah Historical Museum (232-9457,232-4320)

The Katonah Historical Museum is located in the Katonah Village Library, in the White Room beneath the Library's cupola. The Museum unveiled it first exhibit, a display of photographs which make up the Katonah Historical District, on October 13, 1985, during the hamlet-wide celebration of the listing of the District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since this first exhibit, the Museum has continued its mission of stimulating interest in local history. Through memorabilia, gravestone rubbings, fine needlework, and old photographs, the Museum has broadened the awareness of people to the many facets of Katonah's history and that of the wider world around us all. At the same time, Museum volunteers have made considerable progress towards cataloging the Museum's holdings in an effort to make them available to residents and scholars alike. The Museum staff has initiated plans to provide a permanent exhibit on Katonah's move.

The Katonah Historical Museum presents two major exhibits a year. It is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 5 PM from October through June. An independent organization, the Museum is administered and staffed entirely by volunteers and supported solely by the generosity of its members.

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John Jay Homestead State Historic Site,P.O. Box 832, 400 Route 22, Katonah, NY 10536, 914-232-5651

In the early part of the nineteenth century, retired statesman John Jay and his family lived in a 'modest mansion' on a large estate set a month the Bedford hills in northern Westchester County, New York. Tours of the Homestead focus on John Jay's 27 years of diplomatic, legislative and judicial service to his state and country and the subsequent years in retirement at Bedford with his family. During the year several different vignettes are created in the rooms of the house showing 'moments in time' of family celebrations, pastimes and servants busy at household chores. Today this gracious home, surrounded by 54 acres of woodland, meadows and gardens, is a New York State Historic Site and is open for tours Wednesday through Sunday from mid-April to the end of October. Public programs and activities are also offered throughout the year and a calendar of events is available by sending a self-addressed, sealed envelope to the site at the address above. Group and school tours are by reservation only.

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Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, Box Office: 232-1252 General Information: 232-5035 and www.caramoor.com

This Katonah landmark is home to the Caramoor International Music Festival, which is metropolitan New York's largest annual outdoor summer music festival. Every summer amidst its 100 acres of fragrant gardens, sparkling fountains and towering trees, Caramoor's tow outdoor theaters resonate with magnificent sounds created by the world's finest classical and jazz musicians. Pre-concert picnics are encouraged.

There are other treats in store for visitors. Caramoor is the repository of a extraordinary collection of Renaissance and Easter Art that is housed in its House Museum, a large rambling Mediterranean-style palazzo, which was the summer home of its founders, financier Walter Rosen and his wife, Lucie Bigelow Dodge Rosen. The couple furnished the house with treasures from abroad, sometimes importing entire rooms from European palaces. Today, twenty rooms are open to the public. This is one of the last important private art collections that remains intact.

The House Museum is built around a large stone courtyard known as the Spanish Courtyard-which features small perennial gardens, cloistered walkways, and an old baptismal font. For 50 years, this splendid spot has resounded with the music of the greatest artists of our time. Alicia de Larrocha, Frederica von Stade, Beverly Sills, Garrick Ohlsson, Kenny Barron, Geri Allen and the St.Luke's Chamber Ensemble, to name a few. It is also the site of pre-concert lectures, Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m during the summer festival season.

Tours of the House Museum generally run for 45 minutes and are offered May through November (and other times by special appointment) Wednesdays-Fridays, and Sundays.1-4 p.m., with the last tour at 3 p.m. Saturdays, tours are from 1-5 p.m. with the last tour at 3 p.m. Saturdays, tours are from 1-5 p.m. with the last tour at 4 p.m. Some highlights include: a bedroom containing the bed of Pope Urban VIII; an eight-fold, forty paneled screen carved out of green jade, one of two in the world; a palatial Music Room that contains Renaissance tapestries from France, Belgium, and Germany; Ming sculpture; 16th century stained glass; several Russian icons; and a ceiling from a 16th -century inn. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Caramoor's gardens are also worth a visit. Six unusual gardens -the Cedar Walk, Marjorie Carr Sense Circle (for sight-imparied individuals), Cloister Walk, Butterfly Garden, Tapestry Hedge, and Sunken Garden/Medieval Mount, are an unusual combination of native North American fauna and Mediterranean style. Guided tours of the grounds are by appointment in the spring and fall months, and every weekend during the Festival at 2:30 p.m.

Visitors may purchase individual or combination tickets. Group tours are available.

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