Presidential Power Program Series: Looking at what it means to be president
February 17, 2017

by Claire L. Lanier This spring, in conjunction with The Presidency Project, the Museum is offering a series of twelve public programs exploring the American presidency – what it means, who did it well, who did it not so well, how different interpretations of the presidency have manifested the current functioning of the office, and…

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George Washington’s Letter to Jewish Americans
February 8, 2017

written by Marci Reaven, Vice President for History Exhibitions In April 1789, when George Washington swore to uphold the Constitution as the first president of the United States, only 11 of the 13 states had voted to join the new union. North Carolina did not ratify the Constitution until that fall, and it took until the…

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Featured Image-Convention Notes
The Origins of the American Presidency
February 1, 2017

by Ted O’Reilly, Curator & Head of the Manuscript Department As part of the New-York Historical Society’s Presidency Project, the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library is displaying a selection of documents highlighting the earliest moments of the American presidency. Included are a leaf from the notes of Rufus King at the Constitutional Convention (a very rare…

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The First Inauguration
January 24, 2017

Written by Marci Reaven, Vice President of History Exhibits With presidential inaugurations in mind, we recently mounted a display of rare artifacts from the first inauguration—George Washington’s. You can see them as soon as you enter the museum. One of the objects is a section of the wrought-iron balustrade, or railing, that adorned the new capitol…

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Donate Items from Inauguration, Women’s Marches, and Nationwide Protests
January 23, 2017

Become a part of history! We’re collecting signs, posters, banners, sashes, buttons, flyers, and other ephemera–and the stories behind them–from the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., and any recent nationwide protests, including the women’s marches in January 2017. Do you have something you’d like to donate to our permanent collection? Contact our curatorial team at Please…

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Preserving History, One Sticky Note at a Time
January 20, 2017

Written by Claire L. Lanier During the heated 2016 election, New York artist Matthew “Levee” Chavez famously started the “sticky note project” in the Union Square subway station in Manhattan. Armed with nothing more than some pens and sticky notes, Levee encouraged passersby to write down their emotions surrounding the election and post them on the…

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The Presidency Project: An Initiative from the New-York Historical Society
January 6, 2017

Written by Marci Reaven, Vice President for History Exhibitions  The New-York Historical Society was founded in 1804, which means the Museum has been around for every U.S. presidency since Thomas Jefferson’s. Walk through our galleries, visit the Library, or dig down deep into our collections. Everywhere you look you’ll find objects, images, and documents associated…

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The Journey of the Torlonia Peplophoros
December 9, 2016

Written by Claire L. Lanier, N-YHS Social Media and Content Manager  Our story starts with a crime: On November 11, 1983, a marble Peplophoros statue—along with 15 other items—was stolen from the historic Villa Torlonia, once home to famous Vatican banker Giovanni Torlonia, whose family owned the property for nearly 200 years. The statue, just…

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Was Asher B. Durand a Proto-Vegan or Just a Vegetarian: Art as Therapy?
December 5, 2016

Written by Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson, Curator of Drawings, New-York Historical Society The leader of the second-generation Hudson River School painters, Asher B. Durand (1796–1886), believed in the therapeutic power of Nature. Durand’s empiricism and dedication to Nature are evident in the Historical Society’s ten sketchbooks (two of which are fragments of disassembled sketchbooks), 310 drawings,…

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