New York Historical Society

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Events, Features, History, holidays

How to celebrate Black History Month 2022 in New York City

By Aaron Ginsburg, Mon, February 7, 2022

“Renaming Project” Exhibition, Photo Credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks

In the United States, February is a month dedicated to the celebration of African American history and culture. Ahead find a variety of events to commemorate Black History Month in New York City, ranging from community service and walking tours to jazz concerts and live performances.

Full list ahead

History, Museums

Left: Carte-de-visite of Frederick Douglass, late 19th century. Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, New-York Historical Society. Right: Douglass scrapbook, Beinecke Library, New-York Historical Society

The work of one of America’s most influential advocates for liberty and equality will be on view in New York City this Black History Month. On February 11, the New-York Historical Society will open Our Composite Nation: Frederick Douglass’ America, a special installation that honors the legacy of one of America’s most prolific freedom fighters. Named after one of Frederick Douglass’ most iconic speeches written at the end of the Civil War, the installation aims to paint a picture of Douglass’ optimistic vision of a new America during the era of Reconstruction.

Details here

Policy

Photo by Glenn Castellano. Courtesy of NYC Public Design Commission

A 7-foot-tall statue of Thomas Jefferson will be removed from the New York City Council’s legislative chambers after residing there for nearly 100 years. The city’s Public Design Commission voted on Monday to take down the statue from the chambers but did not decide where it should be relocated. Calls to remove the statue of Jefferson, who owned more than 600 slaves, first came about two decades ago but intensified in recent years as more attention was paid to memorials and monuments honoring racists and racist symbols.

Details here

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Museums, Upper West Side 

View along West 76th Street looking northeast. Rendering by Alden Studios for Robert A.M. Stern Architects, courtesy of the New-York Historical Society and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The New-York Historical Society, the oldest museum in the city, recently unveiled to the Landmarks Preservation Commission plans to expand by more than 70,000 square feet with a five-story extension at the rear of its Upper West Side lot. The $140 million expansion will be designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern and include additional classrooms and gallery space, as well as a permanent home for the American L.G.B.T.Q.+ Museum, the city’s first museum dedicated to L.G.B.T.Q. history and culture, as the New York Times first reported.

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Museums

Chief Justice William Rehnquist Administers the Oath of Office to Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Associate Supreme Court Justice at the White House (1993); Courtesy of the National Archives

A special exhibit dedicated to Ruth Bader Ginsburg will open at the New-York Historical Society next fall. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on view from October 1, 2021, to January 23, 2022, will include archival photos and documents, a robe from Ginsburg’s Supreme Court dress, and three-dimensional “reimaginations” of significant places of her life, including her childhood home in Midwood, Brooklyn. Ginsburg passed away at her home in D.C. on September 18.

Get the details

Art, Roosevelt Island

Courtesy of FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

A massive field of sunflowers has been installed at the monumental staircase at FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. The park’s new exhibit, which was created together with the New-York Historical Society and the League of Women Voters, comes ahead of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification and aims to symbolize the continued push for full equality today. The installation measures 12 feet by 100 feet and features text from the amendment, which was ratified on August 18, 1920: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

More this way

Museums

Business sign 3.20.20, photo by Stephen Harmon, courtesy of New-York Historical

The New-York Historical Society is asking New Yorkers to donate any materials related to the coronavirus pandemic as a way to preserve this moment in the city’s history. First created during September 11, the museum’s History Responds initiative has collected objects related to movements like Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, marriage equality, and others.

Find out more

Events, History, Museums

Photo by Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society

This Presidents’ Day, visit Washington, D.C. without leaving New York City. The New-York Historical Society on Friday opened a special permanent gallery that features a detailed replica of the White House Oval Office. The “Meet the Presidents” exhibit allows visitors to play POTUS for a day, with the classic Resolute Desk set up for photo ops.

See the exhibit

Events, Upper West Side 

Photo courtesy of Dandy Wellington

The New-York Historical Society is calling all “fabulous flappers and dapper dandies” for a Roaring 20s-themed fete this Saturday. The Jazz Age soiree will come to life with music from Dandy Wellington and encouragement for attendees to wear their most festive costumes. There will also be an open bar, snacks, and a photo booth.

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Art, Events

Mort Gerberg, “No, not a ‘D’ – it’s a ‘B’! You know, like in Beowulf…Botticelli…Brahams…”, cartoon for the Saturday Review, 1965 Courtesy of the New York Historical Society

Sometimes, the daily grind of  New York City life – from waiting for the subway, to getting hit with unidentified “New York Drip,” to sharing an apartment with God-knows-how-many people, can be overwhelming. Other times, you just have to laugh. Beloved cartoonist Mort Gerberg has been helping New Yorkers laugh about the various predicaments of city life, current events, politics, and even sports for more than 50 years. Now through May 5th, the New-York Historical Society is hosting “Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorker’s Perspective,” a retrospective of his work that offers over 120 cartoons, drawings, and pieces of sketch reportage spanning the whole of Gerberg’s career.

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