Behind The Scenes

Category Archives: General

Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls

To celebrate the opening of our newest special installation Nature Illuminated: A Tiffany Gallery Preview, the exhibition’s curator who is also the Curator of Decorative Arts here at New-York Historical, Margaret K. Hofer, has signed on as this week’s guest blogger. Her post continues this month’s theme of New York women’s history and illuminates the […]


Remembering Keith Haring 25 Years Later

Monday, February 16, marked the 25th anniversary of Keith Haring’s death. To celebrate his life, Haring’s former studio manager and personal friend, Julia Gruen (who in 1989 Haring named Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation), offered us her thoughts on Haring’s lasting influence on the art world and popular culture. Today, his works live on as one of the […]

Stephen Somerstein on the Road to Montgomery

This year, we’ll be celebrating Black History Month with highlights from our photography and art collections. To kick-off this series, let’s take a look at our own on-going exhibition, Freedom Journey 1965, which features New Yorker Stephen Somerstein’s moving photographs of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March. The protest marked a watershed moment in […]

New Year’s Day Isn’t January 1st for Everyone: Celebrating Chinese New Year

This post was written by Chennie Huang Traditionally, Chinese New Year (known as “Lunar New Year” in other Asian countries) is celebrated during the second new moon after the winter solstice.  This year Chinese New Year is on February 19, beginning the Year of the Sheep. Going by the lunar calendar, each month begins on the […]

Interview With Photographer Stephen Somerstein

On January 16, the New-York Historical Society will open Freedom Journey 1965: Stephen Somerstein Photographs from Selma to Montgomery. This exhibit features the stunning and historic photographs of Stephen Somerstein, documenting the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March in January 1965. We spoke to Mr. Somerstein about traveling to the march, the art of photography, and being present at […]

How Did FDR Serve Four Terms As President?

On November 7, 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term as president. Now we know that Presidents may not seek more than two terms, so what let FDR serve for 13 years before he died in office in 1945? President George Washington famously refused to seek a third term in office. His […]

Check Out These Spooky Halloween Costumes From 1916

I appreciate a good, scary Halloween costume. These days it’s all too easy to go as a celebrity, some sort of pun, or something like Superman, but I’m all for bringing Halloween back to it’s terrifying roots. When else do you have free reign to cover yourself in fake blood and gross makeup and really […]

When America Opened Its Doors Again: The Immigration Act of 1965

Our new exhibition Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion focuses much on the question of immigration in America: who is allowed, who isn’t, how many people should come, and why. These issues are extremely apparent in the passing of the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882, which barred Chinese immigration into America, and required that all Chinese entering or […]

Enjoy Tiffany Lamps? Thank Thomas Edison

  Tiffany Studio’s stained glass lamps are among the most gorgeous decorative objects ever created and represent an incredible historical moment of American art joining the world stage. While numerous countries are filled with beautiful painting, sculpture and architecture, American stained glass of the late-19th and early-20th century outshines the competition. Tiffany lamps not only […]

William Woolley’s “Patent Improved Bedstead for Invalids” and Other Antebellum Inventions for Disability

This post is brought to us by Laurel Daen, a 2014 Patricia D. and John Klingenstein Fellow. For more information on our fellowship programs, click here. In 1836, William Woolley, a cabinetmaker from New York City, won a Silver Medal from the American Institute for his “bedstead for invalids.” As the editors of the Mechanic’s […]