N-Y Historical Society Announces June Exhibitions


The N-Y Historical Society has announced the following exhibitions for June: 




Until September 2, 2012

To consider the fascinating yet largely anonymous legacy of beer brewing in New York City, the New-York Historical Society examines the city’s long relationship to this age-old drink in Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History, on display through September 2, 2012. This exhibit surveys the social, economic, political, and technological history of the production and consumption of beer, ale, and porter in the city from the seventeenth century to the present. Exhibit sections explore such topics as: the nutritional properties of colonial beer and early New York brewers in the age of revolution; infrastructure innovations and the importance of access to clean water; large-scale brewing in nineteenth-century New York and the influence of immigration; the influence of temperance and impact of prohibition; bottling, canning, refrigeration and other technological advances; and the state of the city’s breweries in the age of mass production. Featured artifacts and documents include: a 1779 account book from a New York City brewer who sold beer and ale to both the British and patriot sides; sections of early nineteenth-century wooden pipes from one of the city’s first water systems; a bronze medal that commemorates an 1855 New York State temperance law; beer trays from a variety of late nineteenth-century brewers; sign from the campaign to repeal prohibition; and a selection of advertisements from Piels, Rheingold and Schaefer, beloved hometown brewers. The exhibit concludes with a small beer hall that features a selection of favorite New York City and State artisanal beers.




Until September 23, 2012

Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York highlights the histories of 150 notable examples of silver from its collection. Made across the span of four centuries, the objects in the exhibition tell a diversity of stories: many speak to individual accomplishment and family pride, while a few have unsettling ties or backgrounds. The silver, ranging from simple spoons to extravagant trophies, culled from a trove of over 3,000 objects, includes powerful eyewitness artifacts linked to significant moments in the history of New York and the United States.



Until September 2, 2012

“Get Vaccinated!"—part of a slogan from an incredibly successful 1947 campaign requesting voluntary vaccination (when five million New Yorkers were vaccinated in two weeks)— will trace the history of smallpox and efforts to manage it in the crowded environs of the nation’s largest city. The exhibition begins with the use of inoculation (the introduction of matter from a pustule on the body of smallpox sufferer), in the eighteenth century, and George Washington’s dramatic decision to inoculate his troops during the Revolutionary War, amid rumors that the British were intentionally infecting rebel populations. Themes emphasized in Get Vaccinated! include the history of vaccination itself, the painful conflict between the need to manage disease in an urban environment and the rights of individuals to resist government interference in their private lives, the growing effectiveness of public relations campaigns in promoting public health initiatives, bioterrorism and the political and economic impact of all epidemics in the city, including cholera, typhus, yellow fever and AIDS. 




Until September 9, 2012.

Featuring fifty-five works from New-York Historical’s great collection, Making American Taste casts 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 Seat of War. The painting is a centerpiece of our commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.




Until September 9, 2012

Rotation Two: March 13, 2012 – July 8, 2012

Rotation Three: July 10, 2012 – September 9, 2012

Between 1889 and 1903, New York socialite Peter Marié (1825–1903) commissioned portrait miniatures of women whom he believed epitomized female beauty. His collection of nearly 300 watercolor-on-ivory miniatures stands today as a vivid document of New York’s Gilded Age aristocracy. Beauties of the Gilded Age presents likenesses of many prominent women of the era, including legendary socialite Edith Minturn, athlete Edith Hope Goddard, and social activist Emeline Winthrop. The fragile and rarely exhibited portraits are displayed in four-month rotations in a special new gallery designed for intimate viewing.



Until September 16, 2012

2nd rotation: Wednesday, June 13 – Sunday, September 16

This exhibition of photographs by Camilo José Vergara is shown in two rotations: Harlem: ThePeople and Harlem: The Place. Vergara’s images serve as powerful and poignant witness to the changes that have occurred over the past four decades in one of the most famous neighborhoods of New York City. Known as the capital of black AmericaHarlem is a place that has been home to many in the civil rights movement. However, this dynamic part of the city north of Central Park is defined by not only its residents, but also by the physical environment; buildings, which, viewed repeatedly over time, have an organic quality of their own. The second cycle focuses upon the bricks and mortar of Harlem; those building that tell their own stories.





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 DiMennaChildren’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

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 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 RecifeBrazil. 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.

For more information, visit www.nyhistory.org.