Rare Daguerrotypes of Jay Family Donated to Heritage Center

Daguerreotypes prior to cleaning and conservation

This month there is cause for celebration at the Jay Heritage Center, which received an exceptional collection of 19th-century daguerrotypes of Jay women and their family members who lived in Rye at the historic 1838 mansion. The highlight of the collection is a never-before-seen mother and daughter portrait, circa 1848, of Mrs. John Clarkson Jay and her eldest child Laura, age 16. Another charming vignette, dated 1850, shows two of the youngest daughters, Alice and Sarah, in gingham dresses at age 4 and 2.

These rare and luminous treasures were donated by architectural historian and preservationist Anne Andrus Grady of Lexington, Mass., in memory of her aunt, Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus, a direct descendant of John Jay.Anne Andrus Grady is an outstanding champion of historic preservation in Massachusetts. She has authored numerous Historic Structure Reports and National Historic Landmark nominations, advising on the preservation of many of that state’s most prominent buildings such as Boston’s Old South Meeting House.

She is delighted that the Jay daguerrotypes will be conserved and will have a permanent home in Rye, where they can be studied and interpreted.