Behind The Scenes

Category Archives: Exhibitions

What Objects Define New York?

How do you define a city? Is it its buildings, its people, its history? In the upcoming exhibition A Brief History of New York: Selections from A History of New York in 101 Objects, the New-York Historical Society attempts to make sense of the city’s past through its objects. So, what objects define us? Due to [...]

What Are Your Madeline Memories?

At the New-York Historical Society, we mount exhibitions that directly connect American history and art to you, our visitors. This summer, we will present Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the beloved schoolgirl and the iconic illustration and writing of her creator. The story of Madeline‘s author Ludwig Bemelmans mirrors that [...]

The Hats of Spring

Finally, it’s warm and sunny enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors, which for many women means an excuse to don their best hats. Here’s a look at some of our favorite headwear represented in the New-York Historical society collections.     Men have always had fashionable hats too, like this on on Esteban [...]

Ellis Island’s Busiest Day

On April 17, 1907, Ellis Island had its busiest day ever, processing 11,747 individuals who just arrived to America. An average day had them processing about 5,000, so this must have overloaded them! According to the Ellis Island Foundation, “During this historic month [April 1907] of American immigration, the Port of New York received 197 ships [...]

Quilting: Not Just For Women

Quilting, and many other domestic crafts, has long been considered the realm of women (and sometimes was dismissed because of that). But quilting is a serious art, and it’s not just for women. Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, now on view at the New-York Historical Society, features this quilt made [...]

Let’s Pretend It’s Spring in New York

It is still so cold in New York. We had a Nor’easter Bomb yesterday and now it’s still cold and dreary, so let’s fantasize about the warmth and sun and color that comes in spring. Technically that’s supposed to be right now, but we’ll just have to dream for another week or so. The above [...]

Find Audubon’s Masterpieces in Central Park!

On March 21, Audubon’s Aviary:Parts Unknown will open at the New-York Historical Society, featuring over 100 of Audubon’s watercolors for the Birds of America. Some of these birds will seem exotic to North Americans, but did you know that many of them can be found in the city’s own backyard: Central Park? Some birds are [...]

How Bill Cunningham’s New York Has Changed, And Stayed The Same

From 1968 through the mid-70s, photographer Bill Cunningham set out to photograph models in period costumes in front of beautiful historic settings around the city in a project called Facades (an exhibition of which opens at the New-York Historical Society on March 14). A lot can happen in New York in 40 years, but thankfully, [...]

Puffins: Audubon’s Lovebirds

We can all tell that Atlantic Puffins are some of the most adorable birds out there, but did you know they’re also hopeless romantics? To mate, puffins form long-term relationships, where the male builds the nest and both parents incubate the egg and feed the chick, known as a “puffling.” Happy Valentine’s Day! When John [...]

Nineteenth-Century Toys, No Need To Recharge!

These days many kids are used to solving puzzles on an iPad or reading along with a DVD. But our holiday exhibit, Batteries Not Included: Toys and Trains at the New-York Historical Society, shows you don’t need an electricity source to have fun! The New-York Historical Society has a collection of approximately 3,000 toys and games, [...]