February Free Friday Brooklyn Historical Society

Every Free Friday from 5pm to 9pm, enjoy browsing all of our exhibitions and our landmarked library, and sip on a Brooklyn Brewery beer while listening to live music!

February 10th: Mad, Dangerous Love
Love hurts. Lovesick. Love can drive you mad. Everyone knows that love ain't easy; that in fact, it can be quite messy. We begin Valentine's Weekend 2017 with a look at the more complicated side of love, from vengeful poisons to demonic lovesick raving, plus a special tasting of the deepest, darkest chocolate brownies from Baked!

Hysterically in LoveRomance and Revenge










The evening's schedule:
5:00pm-7:00pm Tommy Stathes curates cartoon shorts of love lost and avenged
5:00pm-9:00pm Arts & crafts! Design your own cupid's arrow.
5:45pm-9:00pm Special library collection items on display featuring lurid true-crime drama and forbidden love!
7:00pm-7:30pm Hysterically in Love: The Battle Between Medicine and Religion in a 19th Century Parisian Hysteria Ward, a talk by Asti Hustvedt
8:00pm-9:00pm Romance and Revenge: a talk by the Masters of Social Gastronomy

Baked Brownies Vintage Cartoon Reels





Lecture Topics
7pm: Hysterically in Love: The Battle Between Medicine and Religion in a 19th Century Parisian Hysteria Ward

Scholar Asti Hustvedt reveals the dramatic tale of Geneviève Basile Legrand, one of the medical celebrities in Dr. Charcot's hysteria ward in Paris during the late-19th century. Geneviève suffered from diabolical fits and ecstatic trances, convinced that her dead fiancé haunted her as a demon lover. This woman’s torment represented a battleground between a burgeoning mental health profession and the Catholic Church, both vying for the control of women’s bodies. Charcot, through his theories and diagnoses, transformed his hysteric Geneviève into something of a saint and something of a witch.

8pm: Romance and Revenge: A History of Aphrodisiacs and Poisons
Sarah and Soma, a.k.a. the Masters of Social Gastronomy, take on curious food topics and break down the history, science, and stories behind them.

Every culture has a long history of aphrodisiacs – love-inducing and libido-promoting foods, ranging from the commonplace to the esoteric. Is chocolate the rightful king of Valentine's Day, or could we do better with a tiger’s unmentionables? Let’s trace the history of these foxy foods and see what science has to say about their amorous assertions.

First comes loves, then comes marriage, then comes a little bit of rat poison in their coffee cup. When love goes wrong, out comes the Victorian obsession with female poisoners: delicate and seductive, these ladies made headlines in the age of yellow journalism for offing their lovers with poisoned food. Come hear their stories and…hey, does this taste like almonds to you?


Think you'll be able to make it on the 10th? Let us know on Facebook!


Winter/Spring 2017 Free Fridays:
February 10th
March 10th
April 14th
May 12th
Sponsored by: TD Bank and National Trust Insurance
Beer generously provided by: Brooklyn Brewery Free Fridays

Free Fridays are supported by the George Hannah Society, a committee of culturally engaged young professionals, including:

Michael Adams
Joseph Alexiou
Tal Bar-Zemer
Lucy Baumrind
Maude Delice
Ryan A. Donaldson
Naeem Douglass
Cathy Erway
Tara Fitzgerald
Inna Guzenfeld
Will Kuntz
Oriana Leckert
Joe Liebman
Sarah Lohman
Eugena Oh
Robby Pande
Emily Pinkowitz
Maeve Ryan
Ben Samuel
Sara Sarakanti
Nathan Storey
Marianne Ways
OthmerLibraryThe Lost Photographs of David Attie