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AUDUBON'S AVIARY, WWII & NYC and More Among April 2013 Exhibits at New-York Historical Society


The New-York Historical Society (170 Central Park West, NYC) has announced its exhibitions for April 2013. All exhibitions are presented at the New-York Historical Society unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (212) 873-3400 or visit Details below!

April 2013



March 8, 2013 - May 19, 2013

This spring, the New-York Historical Society will launch the first exhibition in a sweeping three-part series that celebrates the sesquicentennial purchase of its unparalleled collection of John James Audubon's preparatory watercolors for the sumptuous double-elephant-folio print edition of The Birds of America (1827-38), engraved by Robert Havell Jr. Over three years, Audubon's Aviary: The Complete Flock (Parts I-III), will feature all of its 474 stunning avian watercolors by Audubon, including all 435 models for The Birds of America, all but one acquired in 1863 from the artist's widow Lucy Bakewell Audubon. Engaging state-of-the-art media installations will provide a deeper understanding of the connection between art and nature, as well as Audubon's contributions to American art and history. Audubon's Aviary: The Complete Flock is a once-in-a-lifetime trilogy of exhibitions (2013-2015) that will explore the evolution of Audubon's dazzling watercolors in the order in which they were engraved. Visitors to New-York Historical will have the unique opportunity to view these National Treasures sequentially and in their entirety for the first time-the same way Audubon's original subscribers received the Havell prints. Audubon's Aviary: Part I of The Complete Flock will open with a look at the self-taught Audubon's development of his innovative signature depictions and experimental media. To elucidate this early chapter in his life, New-York Historical will supplement its own rich holdings (dating from 1808) with a selection of the artist's rare, earliest pastels borrowed from Houghton Library of Harvard University and from the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, La Rochelle (Collection Société des Sciences Naturelles de la Charente-Maritime) in France. The La Rochelle pastels were only discovered recently and have never been seen outside of that city. These "early birds" capture Audubon's youthful excitement about drawing birds while in France and during his first years in America. They also reveal important new discoveries about the renowned artist-naturalist's methods and his early career. Following his introduction of early pastels into which Audubon gradually introduced watercolor, the exhibition will feature over 220 of the artist's avian watercolors, including the first 175 models that Havell engraved for The Birds of America. Part I of TheComplete Flock also celebrates the release of the lavishly illustrated book Audubon's Aviary: The Original Watercolors for "The Birds of America" by the exhibition's curator Roberta J.M. Olson?published by the New-York Historical Society and Skira/Rizzoli.


Until May 27, 2013

When World War II broke out, New York was a cosmopolitan, heavily immigrant city, whose people had real stakes in the war and strongly held opinions.WWII & NYC explores how New York and its metropolitan region contributed to victory in the Second World War, and how New Yorkers experienced and confronted the challenges of "total war." The presence of troops, the inflow of refugees, the wartime industries, the dispatch of fleets, and the dissemination of news and propaganda from media outlets, changed New York, giving its customary commercial and creative bustle a military flavor. Likewise, the landscape of the city acquired a martial air, as defenses in the harbor were bolstered, old forts were updated, and the docks became high security zones. This grand consideration of the wartime metropolis features the compelling stories of those who experienced the war in a New York City context. The exhibition ranges from the mobilization of workers to the frenzy of shipbuilding, from the home front arts and entertainment industry to the dispatch of troops to the European theater, from the struggles over Civil Rights and segregation to the Times Square celebration of V-J Day. These were the times that saw raucous men in uniform celebrating their last stateside moments, tearful families embracing their sons, women with lunch pails off to work, celebrity-studded bond rallies and calls for justice at home and abroad from African-American patriots. The exhibition draws upon extensive collections at New-York Historical and on important loans from the US Navy, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of WWII-Boston, the Mariners' Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other institutions.


Civil Rights Gallery

Until May 5, 2013

MacArthur Fellow Camilo José Vergara has been traveling across the United States for more than thirty years photographing Martin Luther King murals. Continuing its commitment to recognizing the history of Civil Rights in this country, the New-York Historical Society will exhibit approximately forty of these photographs. The murals appeared on the walls of establishments such as car repair shops, barbershops, and fast food restaurants in city streets and alley ways. These folk art portraits of Dr. King have expressed how the inner-city residents saw the slain civil rights leader-at times a statesman, a hero, a visionary, or a martyr. Vergara also discovered that these images were often based on iconic photographs of King but that, depending upon the neighborhood where they were created, the portraits could take on the likeness of Latinos, Native Americans, or Asians. Martin Luther King can be seen depicted alone or accompanied by others including Malcolm X, Pancho Villa, or Cesar Chavez. Since 2008 King has also been coupled with Barack Obama, suggesting that Obama realized the potential and promise that the civil rights movement offered to minorities. Martin Luther King championed rights for everyone, and this exhibition evidences his influence reaching across cultural boundaries throughout the nation. Vergara remarked about his work that "most murals and street portraits of Dr. King are ephemeral. Paint fades, businesses change hands and neighborhood demographics shift. Gradually, images reflecting the culture and values of poor communities are lost....Often, my photographs are the only lasting record of these public works of art." Curated by: Camilo JoséVergara and coordinated at the N-YHS by Curator and Head, Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections.


DiMenna Children's History Museum

Explore 300 years of New York and American history through the eyes and lives of children of the past! The DiMenna Children's History Museum is a museum-within-a-museum and occupies the New-York Historical Society's entire lower level. It includes character-based pavilions, a children's library, a Whiz Bang Quiz Machine, and interactive exhibits and games. The DCHM encourages children to identify with the people whose enterprise and creativity changed the course of our history. All ages can enjoy and learn in DCHM, but the exhibits are targeted at age 8-13.

The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History

Dedicated to telling the story of America through the lens of New York, this new gallery features such works as a piece of ceiling from Keith Haring's "Pop Shop;" Here is New York, a rotating selection from the approximately 6,200 photographs taken by the people of New York City on September 11, 2001, and immediately afterward; History Under Your Feet, an educational scavenger hunt for visitors featuring our "history manholes;" and Liberty/Liberté, an installation by New York-based artist FrEd Wilson. This permanent installation provides an overview of New-York Historical's diverse collections and orients visitors to the experiences and exhibitions waiting deeper in the Museum.

Treasures of Shearith Israel

Objects and documents from the incomparable collection of Congregation Shearith Israel (established 1654), including manuscripts, maps, liturgical treasures, and historical artifacts, are featured in The Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.

The history of New York's Jewish presence began in 1654 with the arrival of twenty-three refugees of Sephardic ancestry from Recife, Brazil. Soon after their arrival the group established a congregation, the first in North America. This foundation was the beginning of a rich legacy that has culminated in the growth of what is now one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and, importantly, set the stage for the religious and ethnic diversity for which our city and nation are known.

Tuesday - Thursday: 10 am-6 pm
Friday: 10 am-8 pm (pay as you wish from 6 pm-8 pm
Saturday: 10 am-6 pm
Sunday: 11 am-5 pm

Adults - $15
Teachers and Seniors - $12
Students - $10
Children (5-13)- $5
Children (4 and under) -free

For more information, visit (212) 873-3400 or go to

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