N-Y Historical Society Announces January 2013 Exhibits

N-Y Historical Society Announces January 2013 Exhibits

All exhibitions are presented at the New-York Historical Society unless otherwise noted.


Until February 18, 2013

Following the Landmarks of New York exhibition mounted in the spring of 2009, the New-York Historical Society will again be exhibiting ninety photographs of significant New York buildings and outer spaces, including thirty which have not been previously shown. These photographs remain as critical documents of the structure and character of New York. After the completion of a state-wide tour of fourteen venues, these photographs will be donated to the N-YHS by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.

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 will explore 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 will feature the compelling stories of those who experienced the war in a New York City context. The exhibition will range 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.

Until February 21, 2013

After a national tour, the forty-five 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 others will once again be on display at the New-York Historical Society. "There is no better illustration of the life cycle of a great power than The Course of Empire...[Cole] beautifully captured a theory of imperial rise and fall to which most people remain in thrall to this day," said Niall Ferguson in Foreign Affairs.

Until January 6, 2013

Magnificent model trains, train stations, bridges, carousels and Ferris wheels—all populated with toy figurines in colorful nineteenth-century dress, will be on view this holiday season at the New-York Historical Society, in the first museum exhibition of selections from the renowned Jerni Collection. The vintage European toys, chosen from a collection that is widely acknowledged as the world best, will be installed from November 23, 2012 through January 6, 2013, welcoming holiday visitors to the 77th Street entrance of New-York Historical and the institution’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum.

Until January 13, 2013

In honor of the installation of the ceiling from Keith Haring’s famous Pop Shop above the new admissions area in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History, the New-York Historical Society, in collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation, has created a rotating display devoted to the Pop Shop in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture. The ceiling is a gift from the Haring Foundation, and all items in the Luce Center display are on loan from Foundation. The latest of these displays to be installed, on view from September 18, 2012 through January 13, 2013, reflects on Keith Haring’s contributions to education, in particular his work in encouraging young people to read. On view will be posters, drawings and T-shirt designs by Haring, photographs by Adam Scull and Tseng Kwong Chi documenting the official launch of a Haring-designed campaign of public service advertisements, newspaper articles, a television interview with Haring, and one of the artist’s journals. In 1986, with the encouragement of his friend and mentor Andy Warhol (1928–1987), internationally known New York artist Keith Haring (1958–1990) caused controversy by opening the Pop Shop in downtown Manhattan. Among Haring’s, and the Pop Shop’s, biggest fans were children: “There is nothing that makes me happier than making a child smile,” noted Haring in a 1988 journal entry. “The reason the “baby” has become my logo or signature is that it is the purest and most positive experience of human existence.” Throughout the 1980s Haring offered his services for education projects. In 1985 he created the poster for New York is Book Country, the famous annual book fair held on Fifth Avenue in support of the Children’s Services Division of the New York Public Library. Many of the best-known children’s authors including Charles Schulz, Maurice Sendak, and William Steig also donated their artwork for fair posters over the years—even as a fine artist, Haring’s work naturally paralleled theirs.

Until February 18, 2013

John Rogers (1829–1904) was unquestionably the most popular sculptor of the 19th century. In his lifetime he sold over 80,000 works and earned the epithet “the people’s sculptor.” His plasters, known as “Rogers groups,” carried on a deeply rooted American genre tradition that was popularized by painters such as William Sidney Mount and George Caleb BinghaM. Rogers’ wide range of subjects included the Civil War, domestic life, popular theater and literary themes from Longfellow, Irving and Shakespeare. Rogers wished to make his sculptures available and affordable to the widest possible audience. He advertised extensively, established a factory for large-scale production, and took great pains to ship the finished pieces intact to locations all over the country. In an era when most Americans had little access to works of art, or even serviceable reproductions, Rogers groups were a commonplace in the homes of the middle and upper class. More than any other artist of his era, Rogers reached Americans en masse, addressing issues that shaped their lives and that defined the American experience. In addition to 40 plasters and master bronzes that he used to create the plasters, ephemeral materials from the New-York Historical Society Library and Print Room such as mail order catalogues, advertisements and stereograph views will vividly illustrate how his works were presented and promoted to the public. The exhibition will be enriched with a selection of paintings from the Historical Society’s acclaimed collection to show how Rogers carried on the American genre tradition.

January 18, 2013 - May 5, 2013

Since the 1970s Camilo Vergara has been traveling across the United States photographing and thus documenting hand-painted murals of DR. Martin Luther King Jr. as they appeared on the walls of establishments such as car repair shops, barbershops, and fast food restaurants in city streets and alley ways. The folk art portraits 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 Dr. King but that, depending upon the neighborhood where they were created, the portraits could take on the likeness of Latinos, Native Americans, or Asians. 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.” This exhibition offers the opportunity to study the manner in which Martin Luther King, Jr. has reached into the hearts of artists from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Detroit, and how the artists’s images have depicted the soul of the great civil rights leader in a manner that reaches out to communities nation-wide. Camilo Vergara will donate all of the works in The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara to the New-York Historical Society after the close of the exhibition.


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.