Stuart Weitzman To Be Honored At New-York Historical Society’s Strawberry Festival On April 25

Annual Luncheon Benefits Educational Programs for NYC School Children

Iconic designer Stuart Weitzman will be honored at New-York Historical Society’s 2018 Strawberry Festival benefit luncheon, an annual event that dates back to 1856. The luncheon will take place on April 25 at the New-York Historical Society (170 Central Park West at 77th Street) and feature Mr. Weitzman in conversation with Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic for the New York Times. Event check-in begins at 11:30 am. The Strawberry Festival coincides with Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes, on view at New-York Historical April 20 – October 8, 2018.

N-YHS_logo_2

New-York Historical Society logo

We are delighted to recognize Stuart Weitzman’s outstanding work in fashion and philanthropy with our Distinguished Service Medal at this year’s Strawberry Festival,” said Pam Schafler, chair of the New-York Historical Society’s Board of Trustees. “Mr. Weitzman has devoted his career to designing fashionable footwear that takes into account women’s lifestyles today. His philanthropy covers a broad range of interests including education for young people—a mission of paramount importance at New-York Historical. Mr. Weitzman’s remarkable collection of historic footwear, on view in our Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery at the time of the celebration, provides the perfect backdrop as we honor him and commemorate the first anniversary of our Center for Women’s History.”

Mr. Weitzman joins a remarkable list of people celebrated at the Strawberry Festival in prior years. Past honorees include Loretta Lynch, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mika Brzezinski, Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michelle Obama, Anna Quindlen, Christine Quinn, Cokie Roberts, Lesley Stahl, Pat Klingenstein, and Sue Ann Weinberg.

New-York Historical Society’s Strawberry Festival has long recognized honorees’ contributions to public life since its first gathering in 1856 when guests enjoyed a stimulating lecture and a strawberry feast in Washington Square Park. Funds raised from this event support crucial educational programs for New York City children and youth, as part of New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum and Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library. In addition to offering critical initiatives in history education for 200,000 New York City public school students annually, DCHM and Lipman Library have become magnets for underserved children and families, with scholarships offered for weekend and holiday family programs and summertime history camps.

New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History—the first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum—features the little and often unknown stories of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience. As a hub for scholarship and education, the Center demonstrates how women across the spectrum of race, class, and culture have exercised power and effected change long before the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which made women full American citizens with the right to vote. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center features permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant array of talks and programs, enriching the cultural landscape of New York City and ushering in a new era of historical discovery.

Stuart Weitzman’s passion for designing women’s shoes has been a lifelong pursuit. He began working at his father’s Massachusetts shoe factory while still in college. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Mr. Weitzman applied himself to the industry with laser-like focus, eventually building the globally renowned company that bears his name. Today, his shoes dominate red carpet events and are worn by loyal celebrity fans such as Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Gigi Hadid—and by millions of women from more than 75 countries around the world. Mr. Weitzman approaches his other endeavors with equal commitment: He shares his free time with his wife Jane and their two daughters, aiding a number of philanthropic causes close to their hearts—including mentoring students on their budding entrepreneurial aspirations at his alma mater and other institutions—and participating in sports, including ping-pong.

On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery at New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History, Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes explores how shoes have transcended their utilitarian purpose to become representations of culture—coveted as objects of desire, designed with artistic consideration, and expressing complicated meanings of femininity, power, and aspiration for women and men alike. The exhibition features 130 pairs of shoes from the iconic designer’s extensive private collection, assembled over three decades with his wife Jane Gershon Weitzman, along with examples drawn from New-York Historical’s own collection. The exhibition catalog, Walk this Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection, published by D Giles Limited, is available from the NYHistory Store and other retailers.

Ticket prices for the 2018 Strawberry Festival begin at $500, and table prices begin at $5,000.

Advertisements

Tickets For Harry Potter: A History Of Magic At New-York Historical Society To Go On Sale April 26

Ground-Breaking British Library Exhibition Comes to New York Showcasing the History of Magic as Featured in Harry Potter

Exhibition Marks the 20th Anniversary of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Publication in the U.S. by Scholastic

The New-York Historical Society announced that tickets for Harry Potter: A History of Magic, a British Library exhibition, will go on sale to the general public on April 26. The exhibition—the most successful showcase of all time at the British Library in London—will be on view at New-York Historical October 5, 2018–January 27, 2019. Tickets can be purchased at www.harrypotter.nyhistory.org beginning at 12 pm EDT on April 26.

14 HarryPotter_1920x1080_V2

Harry Potter: A History of Magic graphic Illustration by Jim Kay © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2016

Capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter: A History of Magic combines century-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library and New-York Historical Society, with original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins, to the origins of the sorcerer’s stone, visitors can explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling as well as Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay.

2 harry-potter-abracadabra

Close-up of the first recorded mention of ‘abracadabra’, as a cure for malaria, in Quintus Serenus, Liber medicinalis © British Library Board

September 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Scholastic kicked off its year-long celebration in January 2018. The Wizarding World will have one of its busiest years ever in the U.S., with the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway in April; the British Library’s exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, opening at the New York Historical Society in October; and the second Fantastic Beasts movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald, opening in cinemas in November. The Harry Potter books have sold more than 160 million copies in the U.S. alone and more than 500 million copies worldwide. The books are published in more than 200 territories in 80 languages.

4 harry-potter-broomstick-belonging-to-olga-hunt

A broomstick belonging to Olga Hunt © Museum of Witchcraft, Boscastle

5 harry-potter-tombstone

Tombstone of Nicholas Flamel © Paris, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge

In celebration, New-York Historical will display illustrator Brian Selznick’s artwork that will appear on the covers of the Harry Potter series to be published by Scholastic later this year. Also on view to the public for the first time will be Mary GrandPré’s illustrations created for Scholastic’s original editions of the novels. Costumes and set models from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opens on Broadway in April, will be showcased in the exhibition.

New York Historical Society. PBDW architect renovations

New-York Historical Society exterior, 170 Central Park West. Photo credit: Jon Wallen.

Complementing the exhibition throughout its run will be a host of engaging and interactive activities sure to delight Harry Potter fans of all ages. Tickets for monthly fun trivia nights, which will put fans’ knowledge of the Wizarding World to the test, will be on sale on April 26 as well. Additional family and adult programs will be unveiled in the coming months. Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Explore “Fashion, Feathers, And The Rise Of Animal Rights” Activism In Honor Of Landmark Migratory Bird Reaty Act Centennial

“Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife” On View April 6 – July 15, 2018

65.228a-b 0004

Unidentified maker. Accessory set, including muff and tippet, 1880–99, United States Herring Gulls, feathers, silk. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, 2009.300.2050a-c. This unusual muff and tippet, made with four adult Herring Gulls harvested during breeding season, demonstrates how accessory manufacturers exploited these birds. Gulls are and were great scavengers, and continue to be instrumental in cleaning our shorelines. The 19th-century fashion for their feathers and bodies, however, nearly drove them into extinction.

The New-York Historical Society presents a special exhibition that melds fashion, activism, and the history of the groundbreaking Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife, on view April 6–July 15, 2018, examines the circumstances that inspired early environmental activists—many of them women and New Yorkers—to champion the protection of endangered birds. The exhibition showcases bird- and plumage-embellished clothing and accessories. It also features original watercolors by John James Audubon of birds endangered before the passage of the statute, models for The Birds of America, from the Museum’s renowned collection. The exhibition is part of the Year of the Bird, a centennial celebration of the Act organized by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and BirdLife International. Recordings of bird songs from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology—together with objects on loan from other institutions, books, ephemera, and photographs—animate the narrative.

17 TundraSwan_OE

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus), Study for Havell pl. 411, 1838. Watercolor, graphite, oil, black ink, black chalk, and white gouache? with touches of pastel and glazing on paper, laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.411 Swans’ down, the soft, fine, under-feathers, of swans were used for trimming clothes—as in the evening dress on display—and for cosmetic powder puffs. Tundra Swans once nested over most of North America but disappeared rapidly as civilization advanced westward. By the 1930s, fewer than 100 remained south of Canada. With protection from hunting and the disturbance of plumers, northwestern populations have rebounded. Today, their population is stable enough to sustain a limited hunting season in some areas.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was one of the first federal laws to address the environment, prohibiting the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds. It also regulated the nation’s commercial plume trade, which had decimated many American bird species to the point of near extinction.

Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife commemorate the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by delving into history and examining the economic and social circumstances that inspired the early environmentalists and activists who lobbied for this consequential legislation,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president, and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “As New York was the center of the nation’s feather trade, the exhibition also investigates how the act impacted the city’s feather importers, hat manufacturers, retailers, and fashion consumers—as well as how New York women played an important role in pushing for the legislation.”

1863-17-379RufousHummingbird

John James Audubon (1785–1851) with Maria Martin (1796–1863), Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), Study for Havell pl. 379, 1836–37. Watercolor, graphite, black ink, and gouache with touches of pastel and selective glazing on paper laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.379. Audubon painted three species of North American hummingbirds. He never saw the western Rufous Hummingbird alive, but painted it from specimens sent to him by the naturalist Thomas Nuttall. While naturalists always admired the hummingbirds they studied, the larger public’s appreciation of these sensationally beautiful creatures resulted from exposure in public arenas. Many pieces of hummingbird jewelry, like the Red-legged Honeycreeper earrings seen in the exhibition, were produced in England by Harry Emanuel, who in 1865 patented a process for insetting the heads in silver and gold mounts.

N-YHS Oppenheimer Editions AWC Plate 321 Roseate Spoonbill

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), Study for Havell pl. 321, ca. 1831–32; 1836. Watercolor, graphite, gouache, and black ink with touches of glazing on paper laid on Japanese paper. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.321. Audubon admired these prehistoric-looking, wading birds, the largest North American member of the ibis family. The beauty of their feathers brought the species to the brink of extinction by 1920. Plume hunters invaded colonies to slaughter the birds for fans sold in the tourist trade. They survived after the Audubon Society dispatched wardens to protect them and urged the passage of strict conservation laws. Today, the Roseate Spoonbill is one of the great success stories of the conservation movement.

The first gallery of the exhibition, “A Fancy for Feathers,” presents examples of the late 19th- and early 20th-century fashion including feathered hats, boas, fans, aigrettes, jewelry, and clothing. Highlights include a gold and diamond aigrette hair ornament (1894) featuring the wispy feathers of a Snowy or Great Egret, which were scornfully called the “white badge of cruelty” by activists; a muff and tippet accessory set (1880–99) composed of four adult Herring Gulls created during a craze for gulls that nearly drove the sea birds to extinction; a folding brisé fan of swirling white feathers (1910–29); and a pair of earrings inset with hummingbird heads (ca. 1865). Painted miniatures on view from the late 19th and early 20th centuries portray women adorned with bird plumes, such as one professed bird lover, wearing a hat decorated with dyed ostrich feathers while holding an American robin and surrounded by caged birds. Feathers also adorned men’s regalia and hats.

2013.143a, b

Unidentified maker. Red-Legged Honeycreeper hummingbird earrings, ca. 1865 Probably London, England Preserved bird, gold, metal. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Z. Solomon and Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2013, 2013.143a, b. Animal parts and insects decorated late 19thcentury jewelry. In 1865, London jeweler Harry Emanuel patented a method to inset hummingbird heads, skins, and feathers into gold and silver mounts. As objects of beauty as well as scientific fascination, the dazzling birds’ heads and feathers were prized as earrings, necklaces, brooches, and fans.

9 GeorgeBirdGrinnell

George Bird Grinnell (1849–1938) From Nathaniel Pitt Langford, Diary of the Washburn Expedition to the Yellowstone and Firehole Rivers in the year 1870, n.p. St. Paul, MN: Yellowstone National Park, 1905 New-York Historical Society Library. Born in Brooklyn, Grinnell played a seminal role in American conservation. He lived as a youth in Audubon Park in upper Manhattan, previously the estate of the legendary naturalist-artist John James Audubon. There Grinnell was tutored by Lucy Bakewell Audubon, who encouraged his lifelong passion for wildlife and the natural world. After a later expedition to Yellowstone, his report included what may be the first official statement in opposition to the excessive killing of big game. In 1886, Grinnell founded the Audubon Society of New York, the forerunner of the National Audubon Society (1905). He launched it from its publication Audubon Magazine as “an association for the protection of wild birds and their eggs.”

Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Showcase Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” On First Stop Of International Touring Exhibition

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms” On View May 25 – September 2, 2018

A new major exhibition exploring the evolution of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms from a series of illustrations into a national movement debuts at the New-York Historical Society this spring as part of an international seven-city tour.

1. Rockwell - Four Freedoms composite

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Four Freedoms, 1943. Assemblage Story illustrations for four February-March, 1943 issues of the Saturday Evening Post Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, on view at New-York Historical May 25 – September 2, 2018, showcases Rockwell’s depictions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA—where the tour culminates in 2020 after traveling to five additional U.S. venues as well as Normandy, France—the exhibition illuminates the historical context for these now-iconic images and examines how Rockwell’s 1943 paintings united the public behind Roosevelt’s call for the defense of universal rights.

6. Photo of Rockwell Freedom Speech War Bond Show

Photographer unknown. Photograph of Norman Rockwell with Freedom of Speech painting at Four Freedoms War Bond Show, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum © Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved

The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The Museum holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to Rockwell’s life and work, while also preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting a growing collection of art by other American illustrators throughout history. The Museum engages diverse audiences through onsite and traveling exhibitions, as well as publications, arts and humanities programs, and comprehensive online resources.

2. Rockwell - Freedom of Speech

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom of Speech, 1943 Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 20, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Norman Rockwell’s iconic images remind us of the significant role his work played in inspiring Americans to embrace Roosevelt’s call to protect freedom around the world,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “At the same time, Rockwell’s art underscores the enduring importance of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. What Rockwell and Roosevelt identified as central to human dignity in the era of World War II is equally valid today. We are honored to convey this message to our visitors, and to be the first venue on the Norman Rockwell Museum’s illustrious tour.

3. Rockwell - Freedom of Worship

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom of Worship, 1943 Oil on canvas, 46” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 27, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com 

The Norman Rockwell Museum conceived of Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms both to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Freedoms and to tell the story of how Norman Rockwell’s paintings came to be among the most enduring images in the history of American art,” said Norman Rockwell Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt. “The exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the Four Freedoms together, outside their permanent home in Stockbridge. As the steward of Rockwell’s legacy, we are thrilled to launch the exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, whose remarkable work explores the relevance of historic events to our lives today.”

4. Rockwell - Freedom from Want

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom from Want, 1943 Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 6, 1943.  Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, which is organized into five thematic sections, features paintings, drawings, and other original artworks by Rockwell and his contemporaries, as well as historical documents, photographs, videos, artifacts, interactive digital displays, and immersive settings, some with virtual reality elements. Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Inaugurate Audubon’s Birds Of America Focus Gallery This November

Audubon’s Watercolors for The Birds of America and the Corresponding Plates to Rotate Monthly

This fall, the New-York Historical Society will welcome visitors to Audubon’s Birds of America Gallery, an intimate new gallery celebrating the Museum’s holdings of work by legendary artist John James Audubon, the world’s largest collection of Auduboniana. Each month a different watercolor model for The Birds of America will be displayed, paired with its corresponding plate from the double-elephant-folio series engraved by Robert Havell Jr. On November 10, just in time for Thanksgiving, the Wild Turkey will inaugurate the space. It will be the first time since 1827 that Audubon’s watercolor model, the engraved copper plate, and a print of plate 1 from The Birds of America will be reunited. The gallery—offering the only opportunity to see Audubon’s original watercolors with their related prints—is curated by Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson, curator of drawings.

1 WildTurkey_1863_17_001

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Study for Havell pl. 1, ca. 1825. Watercolor, black ink, graphite, pastel, collage, and gouache with touches of metallic pigment and selective glazing on paper, laid on card; 39 7/16 x 26 3/8 in. (100.2 x 67 cm). Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.1

In a stroke of marketing genius,” Olson noted, “Audubon organized his magnum opus not by taxonomy, which was traditional, but according to his aesthetic judgment and which watercolors were ready for engraving. He believed this organic order resembled that of nature. It was also far more interesting for his subscribers, who received their prints in fascicles (groups) of five prints each—usually one large, one medium, and three small, all on double-elephant-folio paper.

2 WildTurkey_Copperplate AMNH

William H. Lizars (1788–1859), retouched by Robert Havell Jr. (1793–1878), after John James Audubon (1785–1851). Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), engraved copper plate for plate 1 of The Birds of America. Copper. Copper; 39 3/8 x 26 3/8 in. (100 x 67 cm). American Museum of Natural History Library, New York, Gift of Cleveland E. Dodge

The inaugural centerpiece will be the season-appropriate Wild Turkey: Audubon’s watercolor, together with the engraving and the copper plate on loan from the American Museum of Natural History. Audubon, who agreed with Benjamin Franklin that the turkey should have been selected as America’s national symbol, assigned it the place of honor as the first plate of The Birds of America. “The Gobbler” became his most famous image, and he used it for his visiting card and his seal—engraved with the motto “AMERICA MY COUNTRY.” For the initial exhibition, Audubon’s watercolor of the female turkey with her poults (chicks) joins the flock. Following the Wild Turkey, visitors can expect to see Audubon’s birds in the order that they were engraved, starting with the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Present Unprecedented Exhibition On The History Of The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975, On View October 4, 2017 – April 22, 2018

One of the major turning points of the 20th century, the Vietnam War will be the subject of an unprecedented exhibition presented by the New-York Historical Society from October 4, 2017April 22, 2018. Bringing the hotly contested history of this struggle into the realm of public display as never before, the exhibition will offer a chronological and thematic narrative of the conflict from 1945 through 1975 as told through more than 300 artifacts, photographs, artworks, documents, and interactive digital media.

1

American infantrymen crowd into a mud-filled bomb crater and look up at tall jungle trees seeking out Viet Cong snipers firing at them during a battle in Phuoc Vinh, north-northeast of Saigon in Vietnam’s War Zone D, June 15, 1967. Henri Huet / Associated Press

Objects on display will range from a Jeep used at Tan Son Nhut Air Base to a copy of the Pentagon Papers; from posters and bumper stickers both opposing and supporting the U.S. war effort to personal items left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC; from indelible news photographs (such as Eddie Adams’ Execution) to specially commissioned murals by contemporary artist Matt Huynh. While no gallery exhibition can provide a comprehensive, global perspective on this vast subject, the materials brought together in The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 will comprise a sweeping and immersive narrative, exploring, from a primarily American viewpoint, how this pivotal struggle was experienced both on the war front and on the home front. The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 was curated by Marci Reaven, New-York Historical Society vice president for history exhibitions.

4

Interior of the USNS General Nelson M. Walker. Courtesy of Art and Lee Beltrone, Vietnam Graffiti Project, Keswick, VA. American servicemen initially traveled to Vietnam aboard WWII-era troop ships like the General Nelson M. Walker. Nearly 5,000 Marines and G.I.s crowded the Walker on each three-week voyage from Oakland, California to Danang or Qui Nhon, South Vietnam.

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 signals a new ambition for the New-York Historical Society, which is to include in our exhibition program histories that are not only difficult but also as yet unresolved,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president, and CEO of New-York Historical. “This monumental exhibit challenges received wisdom about the origins and consequences of the War, relying on sources only recently made available to scholars as well as first person accounts of those who fought. As the exhibition shows, the War continues to provoke debate and discussion today and to dominate much of our thinking about military conduct and policy. The Vietnam War was the longest armed conflict of the 20th century, and today—more than 40 years after it ended―it continues to influence both public policy and personal convictions. We are grateful for the opportunity to offer the public a chance to better understand events and protagonists of the 20th century that reverberate well into the 21st.

Exhibition Overview

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 sets the scene for the coming conflict through a display in an introductory gallery, where texts and materials about the onset of the Cold War document how the U.S. and its allies began to maneuver against the Communist bloc in regional confrontations after World War II while avoiding head-on engagement between the nuclear powers. Objects on view include a series of oil paintings by Chesley Bonestell imagining the destruction of New York City by Soviet atomic bombs and a newsreel from 1950 making the case for U.S. military action in Korea.

6

Men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade on a search and destroy patrol after receiving supplies, 1966. National Archives at College Park, MD. The primary mission of U.S. forces was to destroy the enemy and their logistical network. American ground troops operated throughout South Vietnam, supported by naval and air campaigns. They defended the DMZ, pursued units in the hills along the Central Coast, combed through Viet Cong base areas in the Iron Triangle, and ranged across the upper Mekong Delta as part of an Army-Navy mobile riverine force.

The exhibition then takes up the story of Vietnam by recalling the successful struggle of the Communist-nationalist coalition Viet Minh to force France to abandon its claim to Vietnam, then part of the French colony known as Indochina. Archival footage from a CBS News broadcast illustrates the “domino theory” put forward by the Eisenhower administration in support of its desire to halt the spread of Communism in Asia, a mindset which contributed to the partitioning of Vietnam into North and South. Among the objects representing the experiences of the North Vietnamese and southern insurgents are a 1962 painting by the Hanoi-based artist Tran Huu Chat and a bicycle of the sort used by North Vietnamese forces for transport of arms along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Also on view is a scale model of the USS Maddox, one of the destroyers involved in the Gulf of Tonkin encounter with North Vietnamese forces in August 1964, which gave the Johnson Administration grounds for seeking Congressional authorization to increase U.S. military operations without a declaration of war.

On July 28, 1965, President Johnson spoke to the nation on TV to explain that it was up to America to protect South Vietnam and fight communism in Asia and that to be driven from the field would imperil U.S. power, security, and credibility. He also announced a dramatic escalation in the military draft.

3

Draft card. Courtesy of Joseph Corrigan, C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Dak To, Vietnam 1967–68. President Johnson’s order to send more troops to Vietnam affected all men between the ages of 18 and 26. Registration for military service was compulsory. The Selective Service called up only the men needed while excusing the rest through deferments. Twenty-seven million American men were of draft age during the war. Forty percent served in the military, and about 2.5 million went to Vietnam.

Objects on view, like an original draft card, and displays will address various responses to the draft, which affected all men between the ages of 18 and 26. Archival footage of Johnson’s address announcing the doubling of the draft will be shown. Artifacts, such as graffiti created by soldiers on their canvas berths, from the troopship General Walker, which ferried draftees during the three-week voyage to Vietnam, will demonstrate the personal side of soldiers as they headed toward war.

5

Detail. Tran Huu Chat, Spring in Tay Nguyen, 1962 and 2016. Lacquer engraving. New-York Historical Society. Hanoi art student Tran Huu Chat received high marks in 1962 for his lacquer engraving that depicted Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh organizing among the people to depose the French colonialists. Fellow Vietnamese would have understood that the artist was using the heroism of the Viet Minh to symbolically refer to the National Liberation Front, organized in 1960 to oppose the Diem regime and its U.S. backers. The original artwork hangs in Hanoi’s Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts. The 84-year-old Tran Huu Chat made an exact reproduction for this exhibition.

With this escalation of U.S. military involvement, the exhibition moves into a section that examines the conduct of the war and its repercussions both in the field and among American civilians. Two large, illustrated murals by noted artist and illustrator Matt Huynh, titled War Front and Home Front, depict key aspects of the years 1966 and 1967. War Front depicts the four combat zones in South Vietnam to show differing types of combat and highlight significant moments and battlegrounds. Home Front illustrates activity in the United States, including the Spring Mobilization, the largest antiwar demonstration to that date in American history, in which hundreds of thousands marched through midtown Manhattan on April 15, 1967.

10

71st Evacuation Hospital patch belonging to Barbara Chiminello (left) and 57th Medical Detachment patch belonging to Thomas Chiminello (right). Courtesy of Barbara, Philip, and Eugene Chiminello. Siblings Thomas and Barbara Chiminello served alongside one another in Vietnam—Tommy as a Medevac helicopter pilot and Barbara as a nurse. These are their unit patches. In October 1967, Barbara received devastating news. Tommy and his crew had all been killed while responding to an urgent evacuation request.

The mural also shows a pro-war demonstration from May 1967 and other scenes of the war’s impact on national life. Interactive kiosks placed next to both murals bring them to life, allowing visitors to explore the events depicted through videos and photographs. Notable objects displayed in this section include a poster of a woman fighter in support of the southern insurgents, recreated by Tran Thi Van; helmets worn by U.S. and South Vietnamese government soldiers, dog tags, military patches, and field implements; letters from soldiers to their loved ones back home; a condolence letter on the death of a son; period magazines; posters and buttons both demanding an end to the war and urging support for the military effort; and a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s April 1967 speech against the war. Continue reading

The British Library Exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, to open at the New-York Historical Society in October 2018

The British Library Is Bringing A Major Exhibition To The U.S. For The First Time

Harry Potter: A History Of Magic Will Be On View At The British Library In London, October 20, 2017 – February 28, 2018

The British Library and the New-York Historical Society are delighted to announce that Harry Potter: A History of Magic will open at the New-York Historical Society in October 2018, following its run at the British Library in London from October 20, 2017 – February 28, 2018.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

The British Library Exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, to open at the New-York Historical Society in October 2018

The exhibition’s New York opening marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S. by Scholastic, following the 20th-anniversary celebrations of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the U.K. in 2017.

Ahead of the U.K. opening in London, Harry Potter: A History of Magic has already sold over 25,000 tickets—the highest amount of advance tickets ever sold for a British Library exhibition. Tickets are available to buy from the British Library website.

The first book in the series of Harry Potter novels, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was originally published by Bloomsbury in 1997. Since then Bloomsbury has published all seven of the Harry Potter novels in children’s and adult editions, three charity books―Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and the ILLUSTRATED EDITION of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury is also the publishers for the physical audiobooks of the entire series.

The exhibition unveils rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Exploring the subjects studied at Hogwarts, the exhibition includes original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay, going on display for the first time.

As it travels from London to New York, the exhibition will evolve to include U.S.-specific artifacts from New-York Historical’s collection and items from U.S. Harry Potter publisher Scholastic’s collection.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research, and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilization and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website―www.bl.UK ―every year where they can view up to 4 million digitized collection items and over 40 million pages. (See more at: www.bl.uk.) Continue reading