December 2011 Exhibitions Announced At N-Y Historical Society

December 2011 Exhibitions Announced At N-Y Historical Society

The New-York Historical Society, one of America's pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society; Grant and Lee in War and Peace; and the 2009 exhibition Lincoln and New York. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs are one of the world's greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.

TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS:

REVOLUTION! THE ATLANTIC WORLD REBORN

November 11, 2011 - April 15, 2012

The path-breaking exhibition Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn, is the first exhibition to relate the American, French and Haitian struggles as a single global narrative. Spanning decades of enormous political and cultural changes, from the triumph of British imperial power in 1763 to the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815, Revolution! traces how an ideal of popular sovereignty, introduced through the American fight for independence, soon sparked more radical calls for a recognition of universal human rights, and set off attacks on both sides of the Atlantic against hereditary privilege and slavery. Texts and audio guides are in English, French and Haitian Krèyol. Highlights on view:

the original Stamp Act as it was passed by Parliament in 1765, setting off the riots that led to the American Revolution, on loan from the Parliamentary Archives, London, displayed for the first time outside the U.K.

the only known surviving copy of the first printing of the Haitian Declaration of Independence (1804, National Archives, London), recently discovered and exhibited here to the public for the first time

Napoleon's authorization to French negotiators to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States (1803, New-York Historical Society), as a direct consequence of the Haitian rebellion

MAKING AMERICAN TASTE: NARRATIVE ART FOR A NEW DEMOCRACY

November 11, 2011 - April 1, 2012

Featuring 55 works from the New-York Historical's great collection, Making American Taste will cast new light on both the history of American art and the formation of American cultural ideals during a crucial period from roughly the 1830s to the late 1860s. The exhibition includes the long-awaited debut after conservation of Louis Lang's famed monumental history painting of 1862: Return of the 69th (Irish Regiment) from the Sea of War. The painting is a centerpiece of our commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

FREEDOM NOW: PHOTOGRAPHS BY PLATON

November 11, 2011 - April 15, 2012

This installation of large-scale images by the celebrated photographer Platon, gives the historic struggle of the 1950s and 1960s a stirring contemporary presence. Julian Bond-statesman, professor, writer and a leader in the Civil Rights movement-has written a personal introduction to the exhibition. Among the subjects of the photographs are the Little Rock Nine, whose attempt to enter Little Rock Central High School in 1957 became a national cause celebre; Joseph A. McNeil and Franklin E. McCain, participants in the 1960 Greensboro lunch-counter sit-in; Southern Christian Leadership Conference members Joseph Lowery, Fred Shuttlesworth, C.T. Vivian and Andrew Young; Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee leaders James Lawson, Robert Moses and Diane Nash; Chris and Maxine McNair, parents of Denise McNair, murdered in the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church; Black Panthers Kathleen Cleaver, Emory Douglas and Bobby Rush; Muhammad Ali; Harry Belafonte; Congressman John Lewis; and Jesse Jackson, Sr.

Treasures of Shearith Israel

November 11, 2011 - ongoing

In the midst of the American Revolution, two British soldiers broke into the Mill Street Synagogue and desecrated two Torah Scrolls. The place of worship was home to Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, founded by a group of Sephardic Jews in 1654. Remarkably, the Torah scrolls survived the act of vandalism. One of them is displayed at the New-York Historical Society, on loan from Congregation Shearith Israel in the City of New York-The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.

Other objects and documents from the incomparable collection of Congregation Shearith Israel (established 1654), including manuscripts, maps, liturgical treasures, and historical artifacts, will be featured in the 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.

A NEW YORK HANUKKAH

November 25, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Hanukkah lamps, or Hannukiot, are candelabra characterized by nine candle branches and used in the ritual candle-lighting associated with the celebration of Hanukkah, the festival that commemorates the 165 B.C.E. liberation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah lamps were made up of eight oil wells or candle-holders, separated from a ninth traditionally used as a shamash, or server, to light the others. These lamps remain distinct from menorahs, which generally have seven candle branches and are not associated with a specific use or holiday. Hanukkah lamps were present in European synagogues by about the 13th century, and often designed in the form of menorahs or as standing table lamps.

IT HAPPENED HERE: THE INVENTION OF SANTA CLAUS

November 25, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Though legend has it that Santa Claus hails from the North Pole, he was actually a New Yorker who came into the world on West 23rd Street in what is now the trendy Chelsea neighborhood. The modern Santa was born in the imagination of Clement Clarke Moore, a scholar who penned a whimsical poem about St. Nicholas, the patron of old Dutch New York, for the amusement of his six children at Christmastime. Soon after the publication of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"-popularly known today by its opening line, "Twas the night before Christmas..."-St. Nicholas became a popular feature of American Christmas celebrations. Moore's poem permanently connected St. Nicholas to Christmas, and led to our idea of Santa Claus. Santa's popularity, appearance and many of the holiday traditions that surround him owe much to the imaginative work of two other New Yorkers: Washington Irving, the creator of Knickerbocker's History of New York, and Thomas Nast, an artist whose drawings of Santa were reproduced all over the country in the years following the Civil War. To celebrate the winter season, the New-York Historical Society is presenting It Happened Here: The Invention of Santa Claus, an installation tracing the modern image of Santa Claus, the red-suited, pot-bellied descendant of the medieval bishop St. Nicholas of Myra, which emerged only decades after the first Congress met in 1788 in Federal Hall in New York. The exhibition features Robert Weir's 1837 painting of a rather sly St. Nicholas and Thomas Nast's Harper's Weekly cartoons of Santa. Clement Clarke Moore's desk is on display in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.

PERMANENT INSTALLATIONS

DiMenna Children's History Museum

The DiMenna Children's History Museum is the first museum dedicated to bringing American history to life through the eyes of children.

Kids of all ages can become History Detectives and:

• deliver a presidential address at the First President kiosk

• use the Historical Viewfinder display to see how sites in New York City have changed over time

• go to the polls at the Cast Your Vote pavilion

• add their voices to the DiMenna Children's History Museum at the installation You Are An American Dreamer, Too.

A series of biography-based pavilions and interactive elements are a major component of the Children's History Museum. These stories of young New Yorkers from different historical periods offer a way for today's children to make a compelling connection to the past and develop an understanding of the history of New York City and the nation.

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 will provide an overview of New-York Historical's diverse collections and orient visitors to the experiences and exhibitions waiting deeper in the Museum.

TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS:

The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision

Columbia Museum, Columbia, SC
November 17, 2011 - April 1, 2012

Curated by Linda S. Ferber, Senior Art Historian, the New-York Historical Society has organized an exhibition drawn from the rich collections of 19th-century American landscape painting. Nature and the American Vision: Masterpieces of the Hudson River School will include 45 iconic works including Thomas Cole's five-part series: The Course of Empire and other masterworks by Cole, John F. Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper F. Cropsey, Asher B. Durand and many others.

INFORMATION HOTLINE:

(212) 873-3400

ONLINE INFORMATION:
www.nyhistory.org

MUSEUM AND STORE HOURS:

Tuesday, Wednesday, 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

ADMISSION:

Adults - $15
Teachers and Seniors - $12
Students - $10
Children (7-13)- $5
Children (under 7) -free

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