style: Social Realismtype of art: Photography

Alice Austen House

Alice Austen, b 1866- d 1952
2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305 - view on Google Maps
“I am happy that what was once so much pleasure for me turns out now to be a pleasure for other people.”
—Alice Austen, October 9, 1951
A vibrant cultural center, the Alice Austen House honors the legacy and daring spirit of Alice Austen, a pioneering photographer and an inspiring ‘modern woman’ of the Victorian age. The Austen family home, a Victorian Gothic cottage known as Clear Comfort, serves as the museum.


Clear Comfort, the waterfront Victorian Gothic cottage where Austen spent all but the last few years of her life with her lifelong partner, Gertrude Tate, dates back to a circa 1700 one-room Dutch farmhouse. From this inspiring setting on Staten Island’s north shore, the Alice Austen House offers its visitors a unique opportunity to broaden their perspective of the world around them, gain inspiration from Austen’s life story, and engage in enriching cultural events.

Alice Austen is 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 with her camera. 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 including immigration, feminism, LGBT interests, and urban development. In addition to being a pioneering photographer, Alice Austen was also a master tennis player, an avid bicyclist, a banjo player, a gardener (she founded the Staten Island Garden Club that still exists today) and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car.

Today, we continue the legacy of Alice Austen. We have swung open the doors of Clear Comfort as a museum, education and cultural center where everyone can reflect on Austen’s work, the art of photography, and the history of our city. We present 2-3 exhibitions per year of Austen's work and of contemporary photography. Education programs include in-school programs, school tours to the museum, and summer camps. We develop and host a wide range of public programs including photography workshops and festivals, walking tours, concerts, and arts and crafts fairs.

Did you know...?

Alice Austen could see the Statue of Liberty being built from the lawn of Clear Comfort.


Artworks and archives by Alice Austen are housed at this site. Many of Austen’s photographs can be viewed on the site's website.

Virtual Tours of the Alice Austen House, Grounds, and Special Exhibitions


  • House tours
  • Rotating exhibitions
  • Photography workshops
  • School programs
  • Rentals
  • Picnics
  • Concerts