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Eureka & Flushing Remonstrance at Federal Hall, NY

Federal Hall
Federal Hall, Wall Street, New York, NY, USA

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Throughout the month of July, "Eureka" will be shown at Federal Hall, New York, NYa 40-foot-high sculptural Dutch façade that brings to mind "canal houses" of 18th century New York. From June 27th until July 2nd, the historical document "Flushing Remonstrance" will be displayed at Federal Hall as well. Both the installation and the petition embody the Dutch legacy in New York, so make sure to check it out!

Eureka

Eureka Invite

Artist Brian Tolle’s "Eureka" is reminiscent of the slender gabled canal houses of 18th century New York, that were the vestiges of 40 years of Dutch rule. Tolle named his 40-foot-high sculptural Dutch façade, for Archimedes, the brilliant Greek polymath. After discovering the upward pressure on a submerged object called buoyant force, Archimedes ran through the streets of Syracuse, Sicily, shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!” or “I found it! I found it!”

First exhibited in Jan Hoet’s "Over the Edges" exhibition in Ghent, Belgium, the sculpture does not recreate the façade of a canal house itself; rather it is the façade’s rippled reflection in the flowing waterway. Its display in Federal Hall is intended to evoke a reflecting hall of mirrors that suggests this site’s architectural and political history. Tolle envisioned "Eureka" as a metaphor for Archimedes' principle of leverage. With the right tools, Archimedes believed all was possible. "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to stand," he said, "and I shall move the world."

The Flushing Remonstrance

Flushing Remonstrance

"Eureka" is paired with a rarely displayed document of American freedom: the "Flushing Remonstrance"Displayed in Manhattan for the first time in three decades, the Remonstrance, a petition to the Dutch West India Company, for "liberty of conscience" was signed in 1657 by 31 residents of the town of Flushing — which became part of Queens, New York. While the petition’s eventual success hardly affected government policy at the time, it remains a transformational document in our history. Long before the United States was established, it reinforced the right to petition government and urged for tolerance not just for Christians, but for everyone. The "Flushing Remonstrance" was a unique petition among the American settlements, as it instilled the enduring values of religious freedom and free trade.

 

Learn more about the Remonstrance at The Flushing Remonstrance Revisited, an online exhibit from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.

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