In Profile: A Look at Silhouettes, Jan. 17 – April 5, 2020
Life Cut Short: Hamilton’s Hair and the Art of Mourning Jewelry, Dec. 20, 2019 – May 10, 2020
This winter, the New-York Historical Society presents an exhibition and a special installation that take a fresh look at traditions of remembrance. The exhibition In Profile: A Look at Silhouettes (January 17 – April 5, 2020) traces the development of the late 18th- and 19th-century art form and how artists are reinventing the silhouette today. The special installation Life Cut Short: Hamilton’s Hair and the Art of Mourning Jewelry (December 20, 2019 – May 10, 2020) displays jewelry featuring human hair that was used as tokens of affection or memorials to lost loved ones.
“New-York Historical is taking a deep dive into our expansive collection to explore 19th-century traditions of portraiture and remembrance,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “The art of silhouettes has long been popular, and this exhibition traces both its history and how gifted, contemporary artists are currently revitalizing the art form. Mourning jewelry may have fallen out of fashion, but this installation showcases how it was once the height of elegance.”
In Profile: A Look at Silhouettes
The art of silhouettes—usually black cut-paper or painted profiles—emerged as a popular form of portraiture in 19th-century America when there were few trained portrait painters. Drawn mostly from New-York Historical’s significant collection by Curator of Drawings Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson, In Profile traces the development of this popular art form and explores its contemporary revival through over 150 silhouettes of both famous and everyday people—from a depiction of Alexander Hamilton to full-length silhouettes of the students in a Gramercy Park girls’ school.
The exhibition showcases works by professional practitioners, such as master of the genre Augustin Édouart and Charles Willson Peale (who employed, among others, Moses Williams, an enslaved man who earned his freedom and produced silhouettes at the Peale Museum in Philadelphia). Édouart’s 1846 Philip Milledoler Beekman (1845–1846), which captures a domestic scene of a toddler playing with a jack-in-the-box in a grand drawing room, was created in memory of a child who died when he was just 14 months old.
Also on display is work from self-trained artists like Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, a gifted paper-cutting artist. Famous for his fairy tales, he also created imaginative, whimsical compositions like Acrobats (ca. 1835–60). Martha Anne Honeywell, a woman born without arms and only three toes, cut profiles for 60 years in America and Europe and managed her successful career. On view are two of her intricate cut-outs of the Lord’s Prayer, one featuring delicate needlework (1845).
Contemporary featured artists—who are expanding the size, subject matter, and media customarily associated with silhouettes—include Béatrice Coron, who captures the dynamic synergy of New York City; and Kara Walker, who harnesses the silhouette tradition to investigate the legacy of slavery. Coron’s Hi Five! Stories from the Five Boroughs (2019) are hand-cut, eight-foot-long panoramas that capture vignettes from the five boroughs. Walker’s maquette for The Katastwóf Karavan (2017), a public art project created in New Orleans, displays a calliope (steam organ) housed in a horse-drawn wagon, with laser-cut sides that recall cut-paper silhouettes and feature provocative imagery. Also on view is a wall piece by light sculptor Kumi Yamashita, who shapes colored origami papers to cast dramatic shadow portraits of specific individuals.
Visitors also have the opportunity to “silhouette themselves” as 19th-century practice meets 21st-century technology by projecting their profile onto a screen to create a silhouette that can then be captured by a cell phone camera.
New Fellows Welcomed for the 2019–2020 Academic Year
New-York Historical Society is now accepting applications for
its prestigious fellowship program for the 2020–2021 academic
year. Leveraging its rich collections that detail American
history through the lens of New York City, New-York Historical’s
fellowships are open to scholars at various times during their
academic careers and provides them with the resources and community
to develop new research and publications that illuminate complex
issues of the past. The available fellowships include:
W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Awards in Women’s History
two recipients of the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Awards in Women’s History should
have a strong interest in women’s and public history and the
applications of these fields outside the academy. Functioning as
research associates and providing programmatic support for New-York
Historical’s Center for Women’s History, pre-doctoral awardees
will assist in the development of content for the Women’s History
exhibitions, associated educational curriculum, and on-site
experiences for students, scholars, and visitors. They must be
currently enrolled students in good standing in a relevant Ph.D.
program in the humanities. The Predoctoral Awardees, whose work at
New-York Historical may not directly correspond with their
dissertation research, will be in residence part time at New-York
Historical for one academic year, between
September 9, 2020,
and will receive a stipend of $20,000 per year. This position is not
full time and will not receive full benefits.
and Robert Appel Fellowship in History and Technology
fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who has earned a Ph.D. no
later than 2019. Research projects should be based on New-York
Historical’s collections and explore the impact of technology on
history. The fellowship will carry a stipend of $60,000, plus
benefits. It begins September
and lasts through
June 30, 2021.
Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
fellowship for the length of an academic year is supported by the
National Endowment for the Humanities for the sake of research at
New-York Historical. The fellowship is available to individuals who
have completed their formal professional training and have received
their final degree or certificate by 2019. They should have a strong
record of accomplishment within their field. There is no restriction
relating to age or academic status of applicants. Foreign nationals
are eligible to apply if they meet visa requirements for working in
the U.S. The 10-month residency will carry a stipend of $42,000, plus
benefits. This fellowship will begin September
9, 2020 and
will end June
David Lion Gardiner Foundation—Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who has earned a Ph.D. no
later than 2019. Research projects should expand public understanding
of New York State and City history and include research based on the
collections and resources of New-York Historical. This 10-month
residency will carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits. It begins
and lasts through June
short term fellowships will be awarded to scholars at any academic
level working in the Library collections of New-York
Research is to be conducted for two to four weeks for a stipend of
between $2,000. The fellowship period will begin
July 1, 2020
and end June
at the New-York Historical Society are made possible through the
generous endowments of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Robert
David Lion Gardiner Foundation, and Helen and Robert Appel.
Major support for fellowships is provided by Bernard L. Schwartz
and the Lehrman Institute. All fellows receive research
stipends while in residency. Short term fellowships are made possible
by support from Helen Appel, Richard Brown and Mary Jo
Otsea, Causeries du Lundi, Patricia Klingenstein, Sid Lapidus,
Peck Stacpoole Foundation, Pine Tree Foundation of New York, Pam and
Scott Schafler, Society of Colonial Wars, and Society of
Daughters of Holland Dames.
instructions and application checklists for each fellowship. The
application deadline for all fellowships is
January 3, 2020.
Fellows at the New-York Historical Society
Historical is also pleased to announce fellows now in residence
during the 2019–2020 academic year. This year’s fellows are:
Nagaraja comes to New-York Historical from the Charles Warren
Center for American History at Harvard University. He is
working on a major book project, Soldiers of the American Dream:
War Work, Jim Crow and Freedom Movements in the Shadow of U. S.
Power. With a Ph.D. from NYU, Nagaraja will continue to work on
his project during his tenure at New-York Historical. Based on deep
archival research, oral histories, and interviews, Nagaraja’s
project documents the racism and discrimination that veterans and
others in the war industry faced after WW II. This is Nagaraja’s
“greatest generation,” disillusioned and angry black veterans who
turned their mounting discontent into the beginnings of the Civil
Rights movement of the 1950s. New York is the central node in
Nagaraja’s story, a hub of activists and activism, and while he is
here he will be using Library materials from the era to finish up his
Manevitz holds a Ph.D. from NYU, where he began work on
the project that brings him to New-York Historical: The Rise and
Fall of Seneca Village: Remaking Race and Space in 19th-Century New
York City. In the centuries old story of the manifold ways in
which New York City builds, demolishes, and rebuilds, Seneca Village
occupies a unique place. The compelling strength of Manevitz’s
project derives from its ability to recast the rise and fall of
Seneca Village in terms of gentrification projects today, projects
which have the effect of erasing neighborhoods and memories of those
neighborhoods. According to Manevitz, Seneca Village was a unique
experiment in which African Americans sought to build an experimental
community in the face of racism and class tensions. Looking at that
community provides a window onto African American attempts to create
their own brand of capitalism and urban planning.
Endowment for the Humanities Fellow
a Ph.D. from CUNY, Dr. Lauren Santangelo is an accomplished
scholar in the field of women’s studies. Her first book, Suffrage
and the City: New York Women Battle for the Ballot (Oxford), has
been recently published, and some of the research for that book was
done at New-York Historical, where Dr. Santangelo was a Schwartz
Fellow in 2013-14. Her current project, which will draw on
several recently acquired collections, focuses on Ladies Mile
and the gendered consumer culture it spawned. Ladies Mile flourished
during the Gilded Age, a time of retail innovation, electrification,
the introduction of elevators, etc.—all of which inflected the
experience of women as an important, new consumer class.
and Robert Appel Fellow in History and Technology Fellow
Kennedy comes out of the Harvard History of Science program,
where he worked with Professor Peter Galison. Kennedy’s area
of particular interest is the impact of technology on the operations
of Wall Street in the 1960s and ’70s. He sees Wall Street as a site
of continuous technological innovation and proposes to tell the story
of the machines, computer programs, cables, and satellites that
rewired Wall Street during that period. In particular, he will be
examining the partnership of the NYSE with the American
Stock Exchange to rewire lower Manhattan and the development by
the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) of an
automated quotation and dealer communication system called NASDAQ. He
will be making extensive use of New-York Historical’s important
oral history project, Remembering Wall Street, 1950-1980.
David Lion Gardiner Foundation—Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow
her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Sarah
Miller-Davenport is a Permanent Lecturer in 20th century U. S.
history at the University of Sheffield in the UK. Her project
seeks to address a crucial conundrum in the history of New York City:
with city teetering on the brink of financial and social collapse in
the 1970s how and why did New York embark on an ambitious globalist
agenda symbolized by the building of the Twin Towers in 1973.
Moreover, why was it so successful in this most unlikely of
undertakings? Professor Miller-Davenport does not see
globalization as an inevitable force with its own dynamic. Rather,
the pursuit of global capital by the city was the result of conscious
decisions made by politicians, business men, bureaucrats, and
analysts. Her work will focus on the actors, their motives, their
successes, and failures. Finally she will look at the impact of
globalization on the fabric of the city, its diverse peoples, and its
W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s History and Public History
K. Danziger Halperin completed her doctorate in history at
Columbia University in 2018, focusing on comparative social
policy, gender, and childhood. She has previously taught at Columbia
University and St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn. Her
dissertation, “Education or Welfare? American and British
Child Care Policy, 1965-2004,” analyzed child care policies
in the turn to neoliberalism in both the U.S. and Britain. As the
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, she will be in residence full-time
at New-York Historical through 2021, assisting in the programs of the
Center for Women’s History.
W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellows in Women’s History and Public History
Walker is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at
Rutgers University. She specializes in African American
History and Women and Gender History. She received a B.A. in
History and Journalism from the University of Tennessee at
Knoxville and an M.A. in History from the University of
New Orleans. Pamela’s dissertation, “‘Everyone Must
Think We Really Need Freedom’: Black and White Mothers, The
Mississippi Box Project, and the Civil Rights Movement,”
examines the relationship between motherhood, the black freedom
struggle, white benevolence, and political consciousness during the
Wiesner is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History
at Rutgers University, specializing in the history of women,
gender, and sexuality in the 20th century United States. She earned
her Bachelor of the Arts with Distinguished Honors in
History and Women’s & Gender Studies from the College of
New Jersey in 2015. Her forthcoming dissertation, “Controlling
Rape: Black Women, the Feminist Movement Against Sexual Violence, and
the State, 1974-1994,” explores how black women’s anti-rape
activity in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago evolved in
response to the state’s growing interest in punishing rape during
the War on Crime. In addition to the Mellon Fellowship at
New-York Historical, her research has been supported by the
Graduate School of New Brunswick, the Rutgers Center for
Historical Analysis, Rutgers Oral History Archives, Smith College
Libraries, and the P.E.O. International.
New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent
cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and
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 history of New York City and State and the
country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of
issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. Among the more
than 1.6 million works that comprise the museum’s art collections
are all 435 preparatory watercolors for John James Audubon’s Birds
of America; a preeminent collection of Hudson River School
landscapes; and an exceptional collection of decorative and fine arts
spanning four centuries.
Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical
Society is home to over 350,000 books, nearly 20,000 linear
feet of manuscripts and archives, and distinctive collections of
maps, photographs, and prints, as well as ephemera and family papers
documenting the history of the United States from a distinctly New
York perspective. The Library’s collections are particularly rich
in material pertaining to the American Revolution and the
early Republic, the Civil War, and the Gilded Age.
Significant holdings relate to Robert Livingston and the
Livingston family, Rufus King, Horatio Gates, Albert Gallatin,
Cadwallader Colden, Robert Fulton, Richard Varick, and many other
notable individuals. Also well documented within the Library’s
collections are major social movements in American history,
especially abolitionism, temperance, and social welfare. The
Library’s visual archives include some of the earliest photographs
of New York; a significant collection of Civil War images; and the
archives of major architectural firms of the later 19th century.
in Exile: The Visual Diary of Baroness Hyde de Neuville, November 1,
2019 – January 26, 2020
Artist in Exile: The Visual Diary of Baroness Hyde de Neuville sheds light on this fascinating artist, whose life reads like a compelling historical novel.
fall, the New-York
introduces visitors to a little-known artist whose work documented
the people and scenes of early America. Artist
in Exile: The Visual Diary of Baroness Hyde de Neuville,
on view November
1, 2019 – January 26, 2020
in the Joyce
B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery of the Center for Women’s
presents 114 watercolors and drawings by Anne
Marguérite Joséphine Henriette Rouillé de Marigny,
Hyde de Neuville (1771–1849).
Self-taught and ahead of her time, Neuville’s art celebrates the
young country’s history, culture, and diverse population, ranging
from Indigenous Americans to political leaders. Curated by Dr.
Roberta J.M. Olson,
curator of drawings at New-York Historical, this exhibition is the
first serious exploration of Neuville’s life and art—showcasing
many recently discovered works including rare depictions of European
scenes and people at work, a lifelong sociological interest—and is
accompanied by a scholarly catalogue.
Hyde de Neuville’s status as a woman, an outsider, and a refugee
shaped her view of America and Americans, making her a particularly
keen and sympathetic observer of individuals from a range of
socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds,”
said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical
could never have envisioned that her visual diary—created as a
personal record of her travels and observations of early
America—would become an invaluable historical document of the early
republic. Yet her drawings vividly evoke the national optimism and
rapid expansion of the young United States and capture the diversity
of its inhabitants.”
to an aristocratic family in Sancerre, France, Henriette married
ardent royalist Jean Guillaume Hyde de Neuville, who became
involved during the French Revolution in conspiracies to
reinstate the Bourbon monarchy and was accused of participating in a
plot to assassinate Napoleon. In an effort to disprove the charges
against her husband, the baroness took her cause directly to
Napoleon, who was impressed with her courage and allowed the couple
to go into exile. They arrived in New York in 1807 and stayed for
seven years. During their second American residency (1816–22), when
her husband served as French Minister Plenipotentiary in
Washington, D.C., Henriette became a celebrated hostess. John
Quincy Adams described her in his diary as “a woman of
excellent temper, amiable disposition… profuse charity, yet
judicious economy and sound discretion.” In 1818, she presciently
stated that she had but one wish “and that was to see an American
lady elected president.”
in Exile follows
Neuville’s life, reconstructing her artistic education and tracing
her artistic practice, which included portraiture, landscapes and
cityscapes, ethnographic studies, botanical art, and other genres.
Highlights of the exhibition include Neuville’s views of the Hudson
and Mohawk rivers, street scenes of her neighborhood (now known as
Tribeca), a watercolor documenting an “Indian War Dance”
performed for President
and portraits of subjects ranging from Indigenous Americans to
immigrant students at a Manhattan school founded by the Neuvilles.
The exhibition opens with Neuville’s miniature self-portrait (ca.
1800-1810) that was likely created for her husband to carry on his
travels. Pictured wearing a fashionable daytime empire-waist dress
over a chemisette, fingerless mitts, and hoop earrings, the baroness
looks away, not engaging the viewer as is customary with
self-portraits that are drawn using a mirror because she based it on
first reaching the United States, the Neuvilles journeyed up the
Hudson River and to Niagara Falls, where Henriette was one of the
first to record many early settlements, buildings, and rustic scenes.
In the watercolor Distant
View of Albany from the Hudson River, New York (1807),
she drew the panoramic view from the sloop Diana
it traveled downriver from Albany, chronicling the river long before
The atmospheric vista conveys the majestic sweep of the Hudson and
the reflections on its surface. In Break’s
Bridge, Palatine, New York(1808),
Neuville, who was intrigued by engineering and technology, depicts a
newly constructed Mohawk River bridge destroyed by rushing waters.
The couple in the foreground of the image is the Neuvilles, with
their pet spaniel, Volero.
also captured vivid views of New York City residents and
buildings—many of them long since demolished—bringing to life the
burgeoning urban center and its ethnically diverse population. Corner
of Greenwich Street (1810)
represents a scene at the intersection of Greenwich and Dey streets.
Near the cellar hatch of the brick house at the center stands an
Asian man, who may be the Chinese merchant Punqua Winchong, making
this work one of the earliest visual records of a Chinese person in
the United States.
Neuvilles contributed to the cultural life in New York as co-founders
of the École
School), incorporated in 1810 as the Society
of the Economical School of the City of New York.
Its mission was to educate the children of French émigrés and
fugitives from the French West Indies and to offer affordable
education to impoverished children. Henriette sketched the students
at the school, and many works from the “Economical School Series”
are on view in the exhibition, including the recently discovered life
size portrait, Pélagie
Drawing a Portrait(1808),
which demonstrates the school’s emphasis on drawing. Her series is
the only visual record of the school’s existence.
couple returned to France in 1814 after the fall of Napoleon and the
restoration of King Louis XVIII and the Bourbon monarchy. In
1816, Louis XVIII appointed the baron French Minister
Plenipotentiary, and the Neuvilles returned to the U.S., settling in
Washington, D.C. They became renowned for their lavish Saturday
evening parties and their friendships with President James Monroe
and James and Dolley Madison. Among the notable events the
Neuvilles attended was an “Indian War Dance,” performed by a
delegation of 16 leaders of the Plains Indian tribes in front of
President Monroe and 6,000 spectators at the White House on November
29, 1821. Neuville’s watercolor documenting the event includes
likenesses of half-chief Shaumonekusse (Prairie Wolf) and one of his
five wives, Hayne Hudjihini (Eagle of Delight). Later, the “War
Dance” was also performed at the Neuvilles’ house.
portraits of individuals celebrate the ethnic and cultural diversity
of the early American republic, and her portrayals are notable for
their ethnographic integrity and avoidance of stereotypes. In the
portrait of Peter
of Buffalo, Tonawanda, New York(1807),
the sitter has ear lobes pierced with earrings and bare feet,
traditional for Seneca tribesmen. Wearing an undershirt, a fur piece,
and leggings with garters, he carries a tomahawk, a knife, a powder
horn, and a string of wampum. In the portrait Martha
Church, Cook in “Ordinary” Costume(1808–10),
Neuville depicts a cook in her everyday attire, as part of the
artistic tradition of occupational portraits that originated in
Europe and appeared in New York in the early 19th century.
the exhibition is the scholarly publication Artist
in Exile: The Visual Diary of Baroness Hyde de Neuville,
published by GILES,
an imprint of D
Written by Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson with assistance by Alexandra
the publication also features an essay by Dr.
Charlene M. Boyer Lewis.
gallery tour of Artist
led by curator Roberta
takes place on January
In honor of the baroness’ heritage, several French movies will be
shown as part of New-York Historical’s Friday night Justice in Film
series: 1938’s The
Baker’s Wife on
and 1946’s Beauty
and the Beast on
On select weekends throughout the exhibition’s run, young visitors
can explore the baroness’ life and the art she created with touch
objects and Living Historians.
Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation
provided lead funding forArtist
in Exile: The Visual Diary of Baroness Hyde de Neuville,
with important support given by the
Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
Additional support provided by Furthermore,
a program of the J.M.
Hudson Heritage Network;
and Laura Grey;
and Adeline Hofer.
Midnight: Paul Revere On View Through January 12, 2020
fall, the New-York Historical Society explores the life and
accomplishments of Paul Revere (1735–1818), the
Revolutionary War patriot immortalized in Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow’s 1861 poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.” On view now
through January 12, 2020, Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere
separates fact from fiction, revealing Revere as a complex,
multifaceted figure at the intersection of America’s social,
economic, artistic, and political life in Revolutionary War-era
Boston as it re-examines his life as an artisan, activist, and
entrepreneur. The exhibition, featuring more than 140 objects,
highlights aspects of Revere’s versatile career as an artisan,
including engravings, such as his well-known depiction of the Boston
Massacre; glimmering silver tea services made for prominent clients;
everyday objects such as thimbles, tankards, and teapots; and
important public commissions, such as a bronze courthouse bell.
Organized by the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, and curated by Nan Wolverton and Lauren Hewes, Beyond Midnight debuts at New-York Historical before traveling to the Worcester Art Museum and the Concord Museum in Massachusetts for a two-venue display (February 13 – June 7, 2020) and to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (July 4 – October 11, 2020). At New-York Historical, Beyond Midnight is coordinated by Debra Schmidt Bach, New-York Historical’s curator of decorative arts.
many of us think of Paul Revere, we instantly think of Longfellow’s
lines ‘One if by land, and two if by sea’, but there is much more
to Revere’s story,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO
of the New-York Historical Society. “This exhibition looks
beyond the myth of Paul Revere to better understand the man as a
revolutionary, an artisan, and an entrepreneur, who would go on to
become a legend. We are proud to partner with the American
Antiquarian Society to debut this exhibition in New York.”
arrival, visitors are welcomed by a nine-foot-tall re-creation of the
grand obelisk made for a 1766 Boston Common celebration of the
repeal of the Stamp Act, the first tax levied on the American
colonies by England. Originally made of wood and oiled paper, and
decorated with painted scenes, portraits, and text praising King
George while also mocking British legislators, the obelisk was
illuminated from inside and eventually consumed by flames at the
Boston event. The only remaining visual evidence is Revere’s 1766
engraving of the design, also on view.
Revolutionary activist, Paul Revere was a member of the Sons of
Liberty, a secret group opposed to British colonial policy
including taxation that kept track of British troop movements and war
ships in the harbor. The exhibition displays Revere’s 1770
engraving of the landing of British forces at Boston’s Long Wharf.
Four versions of Revere’s provocative engraving of the 1770
Boston Massacre are also reunited in the exhibition. The
engravings capture the moment when British soldiers fired upon a
crowd of unruly colonists in front of the Custom House. The print
inflamed anti-British sentiment, and different versions of it were
widely disseminated as Patriot propaganda. Revere also helped plan
and execute the Boston Tea Party in 1773, hurling tea into
Boston Harbor. When war erupted in 1775, he delivered messages from
the Continental Army to New York, Philadelphia, and Connecticut.
Revere was a master craftsman specializing in metalwork, including
copperplate engravings and fashionable and functional objects made
from silver, gold, brass, bronze, and copper. An innovative
businessman, Revere expanded his successful silver shop in the years
after the war to produce goods that took advantage of new machinery.
His fluted oval teapot, made from machine-rolled sheet silver, became
an icon of American Federal silver design. Among the silver objects
on view are two rare wine goblets possibly used as Kiddush cups made
by Revere for Moses Michael Hays—his only known Jewish
client—as well as grand tea services, teapots, tankards, teaspoons,
and toy whistles created in Revere’s shop. Also featured is a 1796
cast-bronze courthouse bell made for the Norfolk County Courthouse in
Dedham, Massachusetts. The exhibition also explores how Revere’s
trade networks reached well beyond Boston. He frequently bought and
sold raw and finished copper from New Yorker Harmon Hendricks and
supplied copper for Robert Fulton’s famous steamship.
son of a French Huguenot immigrant artisan, Revere belonged to an
economic class called “mechanics,” ranked below merchants,
lawyers, and clergymen. However, Revere was a savvy networker, and
what he lacked in social status, he made up for by cultivating
influential connections. Membership in the Sons of Liberty led to
commissions from fellow Patriots, but he also welcomed Loyalist
clients, setting aside politics for profit. On view are nine elements
from a grand, 45-piece beverage service that Revere created in 1773
for prominent Loyalist Dr. William Paine—the largest commission of
his career—just two months before the Boston Tea Party.
Revere died in 1818, but his fame endured, initially for his
metalwork and then for his patriotism. In the 1830s, Revere’s
engravings were rediscovered as Americans explored their
Revolutionary past, and his view of the Boston Massacre appeared in
children’s history books. In 1860, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
was inspired to write “Paul Revere’s Ride,” romanticizing (and
somewhat embellishing) the story of Revere’s journey to Lexington.
The poem first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in January
1861—an original copy of the magazine is on view in the exhibition.
Artist Grant Wood’s painting Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
(1931), also on display, depicts a dramatic scene of Revere riding
past Boston’s Old North Church. This is also an embellishment: In
reality, Revere was on foot until he crossed the Charles River to
Cambridge and then rode a borrowed horse to Lexington. He was also
one of three riders and was stopped briefly by British officers and
then released. A map of the actual ride is on display. These works
and others enshrined Paul Revere at the heart of the nation’s
founding story. By the turn of the 20th century, the tale of Paul
Revere and his midnight ride was firmly established in the nation’s
psyche as truth, not fiction, and Revere’s contributions as a
metalsmith and artisan were overshadowed.
on the American Antiquarian Society’s unparalleled collection of
prints and books, a catalogue accompanies the exhibition, Beyond
Midnight: Paul Revere, transforming readers’ understanding of
the iconic colonial patriot. Essays examine Revere as a patriot, a
manufacturer, a precious metalsmith, a printer, and an engraver. His
legacy as a polymath is documented in the book’s complete
illustrated checklist of the exhibition’s artifacts. The book is
available exclusively from the NYHistory Store.
robust line-up of engaging programs and family activities take place
throughout the exhibition’s run that delve into Revere and his
contemporaries. On October 17, historians Annette
Gordon-Reed and Philip Bobbitt discuss Thomas
Jefferson. On November 13, Nina Zannieri, Robert Shimp,
and Carol Berkin explore the truth behind Revere’s famous
ride. On December 12, George Washington is the topic of
conversation between scholars Denver Brunsman and Carol
Berkin. Also in the fall, architectural historian Barry Lewis
traces the history of the colonial and federal style on a date to be
weekends during Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere, Living
Historians are stationed at the Museum, bringing Paul Revere’s
world to life for young visitors. Kids can interact with skilled
tradespeople, like a milliner, apothecary, and bookbinder (October
5-6). Spies from the Continental Army’s intelligence system are
on hand to teach their secretive methods (November 2-3) while
hands-on explorations into historical tooth extraction, filings, and
tooth replacement may give visitors a new appreciation for their
dentists (November 23-24). On select Saturdays (October 19,
November 16, and December 7), families can discover the
history of colonial drinks, the global chocolate trade, and colonial
silver-smithing in a multi-sensory program supported by American
Heritage Chocolate. On October 20, aspiring young writers ages
12 and up can take part in a narrative poetry workshop with Writopia
Lab and develop original narrative poems that reveal inspiring
stories of key figures from the recent and distant past.
support for Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere was provided by the
Richard C. von Hess Foundation
and the Henry Luce Foundation. The exhibition at New-York
Historical is made possible by the May and Samuel Rudin Family
Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by Richard Brown
and Mary Jo Otsea. Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made
possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust
for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York
City Department of Cultural Affairs in
partnership with the City Council, and the New York
State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew
Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the
in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas,
the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is both a national
learned society and a major independent research library located in
Worcester, Massachusetts. The AAS library today houses the largest
and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides,
newspapers, periodicals, music, and graphic arts material printed
through 1876 in what is now the United States, as well as manuscripts
and a substantial collection of secondary texts, bibliographies, and
digital resources and reference works related to all aspects of
American history and culture before the 20th century. The Society
sponsors a broad range of programs—visiting research fellowships,
workshops, seminars, conferences, publications, lectures and
performances—for constituencies ranging from school children and
their teachers, through undergraduate and graduate students,
postdoctoral scholars, creative and performing artists and writers
and the general public. AAS was presented with the 2013 National
Humanities Medal by President Obama in a ceremony at the White
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and 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 history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. New-York Historical is also home to the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, one of the oldest, most distinguished libraries in the nation—and one of only 20 in the United States qualified to be a member of the Independent Research Libraries Association—which contains more than three million books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.
Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown On View
November 1, 2019 – February 23, 2020
Celebrating Richard Scarry and Busytown with Special Guest, Huck Scarry, Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15
A holiday favorite returns to the New-York Historical Society170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024, Phone (212) 873-3400) this season—reimagined to celebrate the 100th birthday of Busytown series author and illustrator Richard Scarry. Holiday Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown (November 1, 2019 – February 23, 2020) showcases artwork and graphics of Scarry’s characters like Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm from publisher Random House Children’s Books alongside more than 300 objects from the Jerni Collection’s antique toy trains, stations, and accessories. Using Busytown stories and characters, dynamic displays explore the workings of the railroad, the services it provides, and the jobs required to keep people and goods moving. An assortment of kid-friendly activities, story times, and crafts accompany the exhibition throughout its run, welcoming families into the world of classic toys and trains.
“Huck” Scarry Jr., the son of Richard Scarry, will make a
special appearance on December 14 and 15. Holiday
Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown is
supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies*. Additional support
provided by Random House Children’s Books.
its acquisition by the New-York Historical Society in 2014, the Jerni
Collection has become a highlight of the Museum’s
holdings. Assembled over the course of five decades by U.S.
collectors Jerry and Nina Greene,
the Jerni Collection is considered one of the world’s leading
collections of antique model trains and toys and includes unique,
handcrafted, and hand-painted pieces dating from approximately 1850
to 1940, and features prime examples by the leading manufacturers
that set the standard for the Golden Age of Toy Trains, including the
German firms of Märklin and Bing,
as well as the American firms Lionel
(* Bloomberg Philanthropies has sponsored the annual Holiday
Express exhibition at the New-York Historical Society since 2014.)
Richard Scarry is one of the world’s most beloved children’s authors. In his extraordinary career, Scarry illustrated over 150 books, many of which have never been out of print. His books have sold over 100 million copies around the world and are currently published in over 20 languages.
like his father, Huck Scarry was always drawing and would often
assist his dad in coloring his drawings. After his father’s passing
in 1994, Huck took up the mantle of creating new books about Richard
Scarry’s charming and funny characters. “My father would be so
thrilled with the Holiday Express exhibition at the New-York
Historical Society,” said Huck Scarry. “We would often
visit New York City, and when we did, we always took the train. So
much to see and do! Like our many Busytown friends, we enjoyed our
trip because a train ride is always a bit of an adventure!”
delighted to celebrate Richard Scarry’s centennial by bringing
Busytown to life at the New-York Historical Society this holiday
season,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York
Historical. “Pairing iconic characters like Huckle Cat with
historic toys and trains from our incomparable Jerni Collection is
the perfect way for visitors of all ages to explore the history of
transportation in a whimsical way.”
is the inspiration for a special installation that uses three Scarry
stories and objects from the Jerni Collection to illustrate
rail travel in 1919, the year of Scarry’s birth. In Waiting
at the Station, characters Huckle Cat and Sally Cat eagerly
await the arrival of a train, as miniature figures of porters and
other workers bustle around the station. In Betsy Bear’s
Letter to Grandma, toy trains demonstrate how post offices
and railroads worked together to keep people in touch. And in Coal
Makes Electricity Work for Us, a miniature underground mine,
elevators, and hoppers show how coal was turned into power.
than two dozen never-before-displayed objects from the Jerni
Collection are on view for the first time this year, including
Märklin’s rare “Garden Station,” manufactured in 1900.
Other highlights include a toy textile factory from 1910 by Ernst
Planck and Gebrüder Bing’s English market “Charles
Dickens” locomotive with tender and coaches, produced in 1905.
Also on view: a Bing Steam Toy Train from 1912, which was once
powered by a real, working steam engine, making it an exceedingly
risky plaything in its day. To top it all off, eight sets of running
trains encircle the displays overhead and are sure to delight
children (and adults!) of all ages.
cutouts of Scarry’s iconic characters are displayed throughout the
museum, and interactive elements, including a crawl-through space
leading to a pop-up observation bubble, allow children to get an
up-close view of the displays, harking back to the feel of early 20th
century toy departments.
Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown Family
train-related activities for kids of all ages take place through the
with Museum Admission.
Richard Scarry and Busytown!
Saturday, December 14 and Sunday,
December 15; 1–3 pm
this year with a special new addition—scenes from Richard
On this weekend, families will join Huck Scarry in a draw-along of
beloved Busytown characters and chat about his father. Children will
decorate their own Busytown vehicles, create finger puppets, listen
to Busytown tales, and go on a pretend train journey with our
favorite Conductor Abe!
School Vacation Week, Thursday, December 26 – Wednesday, January
by New-York Historical during our annual, train-filled Vacation Week.
Take part in an “I Spy” scavenger hunt, play at our train table,
listen to a classic train story, and make a rail-themed craft to take
Express “I Spy” Scavenger Hunt, All day (Recommended
for ages 4 and up) I
SPY, WITH MY LITTLE EYE, A DOG, A SHIP, AND EVEN A FLYING MACHINE!
up an “I Spy” scavenger hunt and get the whole family involved on
an adventure through Holiday
Kids and adults alike will delight in discovering surprises among all
the toys and trains.
Tales and Crafts, Daily, 2 pm, All Ages COME
FOR THE CLASSIC TRAIN STORY AND STAY FOR THE CRAFTS! Rail-themed
books for December School Vacation Week include The
Little Engine That Could by
Watty Piper; Steam
Train, Dream Train written
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; Shark
vs. Train written
by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; and more.
Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown is curated
by Mike Thornton, associate curator of material culture at the
New-York Historical Society. The original Holiday Express display was
designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership
(LHSA+DP), an integrated architecture and exhibit design firm
that also designed New-York Historical’s DiMenna
Children’s History Museum. Other consultants for Holiday
Express include T W TrainWorx, a nationally recognized model
train specialist and designer of custom toy train layouts; and
exhibition media producers Batwin + Robin, renowned “media
storytellers” with more than 20 years of experience in the theater,
museums, and other venues.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.
Mark Twain and the Holy Land On View October 25, 2019 – February 2, 2020
Historical Society celebrates
the 150th anniversary of one of the best-selling travelogues of all
time with Mark Twain and the Holy Land, on view October
25, 2019 – February 2, 2020. This new exhibition traces the
legendary American humorist’s 1867 voyage to the Mediterranean and
his subsequent 1869 book—The Innocents Abroad, or The New
Pilgrims’ Progress—through original documents, photographs,
artwork, and costumes, as well as an interactive media experience.
Organized by New-York Historical in partnership with the Shapell
Manuscript Foundation, it is curated by Michael Ryan, vice
president and director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library,
and Cristian Petru Panaite, associate curator of exhibitions.
sail from New York for a great adventure abroad, Mark Twain captured
the feelings and reactions of many Americans exploring beyond their
borders, inspiring generations of travelers to document their
voyages,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of
the New-York Historical Society. “We are pleased to partner with
the Shapell Manuscript Foundation to present the history behind this
influential book by Twain, a uniquely American writer whose work
helped to define American culture in the postbellum era.”
1867, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910)—known
professionally as Mark Twain—departed New York harbor on the
steamship Quaker City for a five-and-a-half-month excursion, with
stops in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Holy Land. Known at that
point for his biting satire and humorous short pieces on California
and the West, Clemens had serendipitously discovered a “pleasure
cruise” to Europe and the Near East, and successfully inveigled his
way onto the journey with an assignment from the San Francisco
newspaper Alta California. Twain was to supply the paper with
weekly columns about the trip and his fellow passengers. When he
returned to New York and then to Washington, D.C., he began reshaping
those columns and other notes made during the trip into a book, The
Innocents Abroad (1869). It was this work that catapulted Twain
to national fame, selling more copies during his lifetime than any
other book he ever wrote.
about the voyage in a passage later published in Innocents Abroad,
Twain so aptly noted: ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and
narrow-mindedness,’” said Benjamin Shapell, President
of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. “That his travelogue
espoused such a liberal sentiment while at the very same time also
exposing the deep closed-mindedness of his fellow shipmates is the
very reason why Twain’s biting perspective comes across as so fresh
to us even today. We are pleased that the New-York Historical Society
has brought together these rare manuscripts and artifacts, bringing
Twain’s lively, influential, and singular experience to life.”
Protestants approached the Holy Land in awe and reverence, their
visions of it having been shaped by romantic travel literature that
described Palestine as majestic and grand. Examples of this
literature are on display along with contemporary illustrations of
the Holy Land, such as Hubert Sattler’s View of Jerusalem
from the Mount of Olives (1847), on loan from the Dahesh
Museum of Art. In reality, the Holy Land in the 19th century was
a remote and neglected outpost of the Ottoman Empire.
Quaker City cruise was the first organized tourism trip in American
history; the steamship was opulently outfitted with a library,
printing press, piano, and pipe organ. A Quaker City passenger list,
receipt for voyage, and an oil painting of the steamship are on
display, as well as a journal entry from April 1867, in which Twain
announces his plan to embark on the voyage. Photographer William
E. James was also on board and documented many of the sights in
stereoscopic images; James’ camera and a selection of seemingly
three-dimensional stereoscopic images are on view on an interactive
stops in Europe, the travelers were greeted in Beirut by a grand
caravan of horses and mules for a journey of 155 miles to “Baalbec,
Damascus, the Sea of Tiberias, and thence southward by the way of the
scene of Jacob’s Dream and other notable Bible localities to
Jerusalem.” But the pomp was in glaring contrast to the reality
of a small, barren land, which was not the vast and monumental
landscape suggested by the Bible. Twain was disappointed that “a
fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely
around the city in an hour,” and a manuscript leaf on view
features Twain’s withering satirical soliloquy about the Tomb of
Adam at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: “The tomb of Adam!
How touching it was here in a land of strangers, far away from home,
and friends, and all who cared for me, thus to discover the grave of
a blood relation.”
caustic view of the Holy Land, with its nomads, beggars, and ruins
was the author’s way of proclaiming the arrival of the new American
traveler, someone who saw the world for what it was, without the
distorting lenses of tradition and received authority. Twain had
sampled the guides and travel volumes and found them all without
voyage of the Quaker City was well documented, and the exhibit
presents not only the photographs by James, but manuscripts and
letters by Twain, a Dragoman costume, and Turkish slippers worn by
Twain’s future bride, Olivia Langdon.
took Twain and his publisher a good two years to bring Innocents
to fruition in 1869, but once in print, its success was immediate.
Twain’s scabrous humor found an eager and receptive audience, well
documented in contemporary reviews on display in the show. Innocents
undoubtedly contributed to the vogue for traveling to the Holy Land,
and the exhibit features letters by such notables as President
Ulysses Grant, Gen. William T. Sherman, and Theodore
Roosevelt, each of whom journeyed to Palestine.
Twain and the Holy Land introduces visitors both to a young Mark
Twain on the eve of celebrity and to Palestine in the 19th century,
captured by artists, writers, and photographers.
October 24, Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor and the
Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History
at Brandeis University, and Gil Troy, Professor of History at
McGill University, will discuss Mark Twain and the Holy Land: A
at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and
Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the
Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor
Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is
the media sponsor.
New Fellows Welcomed for the 2018-2019 Academic Year
The New-York Historical Society is now accepting applications for its prestigious fellowship program for the 2019–2020 academic year. Leveraging its rich collections of documents, artifacts, and works of art detailing American history from the perspective of New York City, New-York Historical’s fellowships—open to scholars at various times during their academic careers—provide scholars with material resources and an intellectual community to develop new research and publications that illuminate complex issues of the past.
New-York Historical Society logo
The available fellowships include:
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships in Women’s History
The two recipients of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship in Women’s History should have a strong interest in the fields of women’s and public history. This unusual part-time fellowship introduces young scholars to work outside the academy in public history and may not directly correspond with their dissertation research. They must be currently enrolled students in good standing in a relevant Ph.D. program in the humanities. The Predoctoral Fellows will be in residence part-time at the New-York Historical Society for one academic year, between September 5, 2019, and June 29, 2020, with a stipend of $15,000 per year. This position is not full time and will not receive full benefits.
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
One fellowship for the length of a single academic year is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship is available to individuals who have completed their formal professional training and have a strong record of accomplishment within their field. There is no restriction relating to age or academic status of applicants. Foreign nationals are eligible to apply if they have lived in the United States for at least three years immediately preceding the application deadline. The ten-month residency will carry a stipend of $42,000, plus benefits. This fellowship will begin September 5, 2019, and will end June 29, 2020.
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellowships
Offered jointly with the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School, two Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellowships are open to scholars who will have completed their Ph.D. in History or American Studies before the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. Fellows will teach one course per semester at Eugene Lang College in addition to conducting focused research in residence at the New-York Historical Society. These fellows carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits. The fellowship will begin September 5, 2019, and will end June 29, 2020.
Helen and Robert Appel Fellowship in History and Technology
The fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who has earned their Ph.D. within the last three to five years. Research projects should be based on the collections of New-York Historical and explore the impact of technology on history. The fellowship will carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits; it begins September 5, 2019, and lasts through June 29, 2020.
Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship
This fellowship will be awarded to a candidate who has earned their Ph.D. within the last three to five years. Research projects should expand public understanding of New York State history and should include research based on the collections and resources of New-York Historical. This ten-month residency will carry a stipend of $60,000, plus benefits; it begins September 5, 2019, and lasts through June 29, 2020.
A variety of Short-Term Fellowships will be awarded to scholars at any academic level. Fellows will conduct research in the library collections of the New-York Historical Society for two to four weeks at a time and will receive a stipend of $2,000. These fellowships will begin and end between July 1, 2019, and June 29, 2020.
Fellowship positions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by an endowment established by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Generous support for fellowships is provided by Bernard Schwartz, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Helen and Robert Appel, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Sid Lapidus, Michael Weisberg, the Lehrman Institute, and Patricia and John Klingenstein. All fellows receive research stipends while in residency, and the Bernard & Irene Schwartz Fellows each teach two courses at Eugene Lang College at the New School for Liberal Arts during their year as resident scholars. Visit nyhistory.org/library/fellowships for instructions and application checklists for each fellowship. The application deadline for all fellowships is December 31, 2018.Continue reading →