May 26 Thu 5.45pm Clinton Castle Battery Park exhibition ‘Via Antwerp. The Road to Ellis Island’ with Sven Gatz (Flemish Minister of Culture), Philip Heylen (Vice Mayor of Antwerp), Marc Van Peel (President Antwerp Port Authority)

One of New York City’s great occasions in the vast post Katrina spiffed up Ellis Island main building hall even though no one could hear the speeches which went on far too long, keeping the well dressed crowd some of whom were in long flowing dresses and others in elegant suits from Paris and Belgium as they waited to sup on “mussles” (the spelling on the table notice written by the staff of the catering service In Time managed by Virdeg Gikliane) most of which had left their shells for the bottom of the serving dish or the Shake Shack miniburgers to be served only after the interminable but often apparently personal and heartfelt speeches projected from two huge speakers which obliterated the words with massive echos resounding round the hall further obscured by a resounding storm of conversation that arose among those who couldn’t hear the official presentations, but with everyone calmed by the boat trip through the minimal evening waves past the great statue of Liberty towards sunset patience ruled even though when the last address was over an hour later than scheduled there was only time after more than one helping of the empty shell ‘mussles’ and a quick visit to the table of exquisite Barry Callebaut chocolates from Belgium under the command of Bruno Casabon where the red half balls constructed from white chocolate were exquisitely sweet there was only about five minutes to rush through the exhibit up on the balcony floor showing in large photos, text and listening stations on big poster stands in each room the difficulties survived by the flow of immigrants through Antwerp to New York City fleeing the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe and the incipient Nazi led Holocaust of the Second World War, a portion of the much bigger display in Antwerp on=f which details were available in the gift bag material and music CD borne off by guests on the return trip past the brilliant crystal palace of the fine view of south Manhattan on a calm warm night.

Immigrate in style on the Red Star Line from Belgium

The story of “Via Antwerp. The Road to Ellis Island” begins in the heart of continental Europe, from where it journeys to Antwerp by train, where it briefly dwells on the medical and administrative inspections in the historic buildings of the Red Star Line shipping company after which it crosses the Atlantic and ends in Ellis Island. For decades, immigrants to the United States had to undergo a medical examination and be interviewed in Ellis Island before being admitted to the country.
Friday 27 May 2016 – Sunday 04 September 2016 from 09:30 to 17:00
The processing buildings on Ellis Island are the mirror image of the buildings in Rijnkaai, Antwerp where the Red Star Line Museum is located. The “Via Antwerp” exhibition will run throughout the summer of 2016 in the temporary exhibition space on the first floor next to the Great Hall of Ellis Island, where immigrants waited to be interviewed.

If the walls of Ellis Island could talk, we would be astounded by the stories they could tell. This is where the final decision was made: who was admitted into the country, who was turned back (provisionally). The exhibition recounts the stories of passengers who underwent examinations in Rijnkaai and in the Great Hall in Ellis Island. It also examines the role the Red Star Line played in the lives of such famous passengers as Albert Einstein and Irving Berlin. You will also be able to see a model of S/S Vaderland, the Red Star Line’s first ship and an amazing selection of posters designs by Henri Cassiers and drawings by Eugeen Van Mieghem and several other artists.

The exhibition is part of the official programme of the Centennial Year 2016, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service, which provides support to and protects the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.

Antwerp’s Red Star Line Museum hosted at Ellis Island Immigration Museum

MAY 26th 2016 @ 5.45PM

Clinton Castle – Battery Park, NYC

Sven Gatz (Flemish Minister of Culture), Philip Heylen (Vice Mayor of Antwerp), Marc Van Peel (President Antwerp Port Authority).

The opening of the exhibition is part of the program of celebrations organized by the National Park Service to mark its 100th anniversary. This summer, the acclaimed Red Star Line Museum of Antwerp, Belgium, will be hosted at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York City. The exhibition ‘Via Antwerp. The Road to Ellis Island’ tells the story of the nearly two million men, women and children who left their homes, passing through the port of Antwerp and travelling on the ships of the Red Star Line, as they journeyed towards a new future in the USA. Among them was 12-year old Israel Beilin, who would later gain fame worldwide as songwriter Irving Berlin.

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