About the Museum

The Alice Austen House honors the legacy of Alice Austen (1866-1952), a pioneer photographer and an inspiring ‘modern woman’ of the Victorian age, by offering ongoing exhibitions of her life and work and of contemporary photography; by delivering educational programs for New York City schoolchildren; and by hosting a range of public arts programs. The museum is located within Clear Comfort, the waterfront Victorian Gothic cottage where Austen spent all but the last few years of her life with her lifelong companion, Gertrude Tate. From this inspiring setting on Staten Island’s Northern shore, the Alice Austen House offers a unique opportunity to broaden perspectives of the world around us, gain inspiration from Austen’s life story, and engage in enriching cultural events. 

Austen is best known as a highly regarded and prolific photographer who documented important aspects of our history from the mid- 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Her 86-year life spanned many historic events that she captured visually. For today’s viewers, Austen’s groundbreaking photographs offer a unique view into the past and a connection to social issues we face in contemporary life.

The Alice Austen House and grounds are owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, operated by the Friends of Alice Austen House Inc 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and a member of Historic House Trust. The Alice Austen House is designated a New York City and National Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and a member of the distinguished Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.