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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Amaranth Dance Card

Dance cards, which originated in 18th-century Vienna, were immensely popular in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At formal balls, women would tie the often elaborate cards to their wrists or gowns. Each card listed the order of dances, along with spaces for the signatures of intended dance partners.

This dance card comes from a ball for the Amaranth Society held at the Academy on January 19, 1876. Founded in 1873, the Amaranth Society is a Masonic-affiliated women’s association. This card, along with many other treasures from the BAM Hamm Archives, is currently on view in From Brooklyn to the World, the archival exhibition celebrating BAM's 150th anniversary, which is located in the lobby and Natman Room at BAM. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

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