Behind The Scenes

Category Archives: Public Programs

Meet Our Resident Lion Dancer: Zhi hen Li

By day, Zhi hen Li is an Accountant here at the New-York Historical Society. But, by night, he’s a lion dancer. The Lion Dance is a Chinese tradition and a vital component of Chinese New Year celebrations. As a lion dancer, Zhi wears intricate and colorful lion costumes and mimic the majestic cat in movement. […]


Henry James’s (and Later William Wyler’s) Washington Square

This Friday, the New-York Historical is presenting William Wyler’s The Heiress (1949) as part of our free Friday night film series. Based on Henry James’ 1880 story Washington Square, the film stars  Olivia de Havilland as a young  woman who falls in love with a handsome young man (Montgomery Clift), despite the objections of her emotionally […]

Grand Illusion Tackles Class Relations During WWI

On Friday, October 25, the New-York Historical Society will host a free showing of Grand Illusion, with opening remarks by David Denby and Kati Marton, as part of its WWI and Its Legacy Film series. Directed by Jean Renoir, the film follows French officers attempting to escape a German POW camp, but Renoir uses the POW structure to comment on class relationships, war, and Europe’s changing social order.

Beauties of the Gilded Age: Mrs. Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte

Next week, Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America opens at the New-York Historical Society. The exhibition examines the popular resurgence of portraiture in the United States during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, when many families—enjoying newfound wealth brought on by industrial expansion—sought to document those their new wealth benefited. One such woman was Caroline LeRoy Appleton […]

What Was There Before Grand Central Terminal?

This year, the historic Grand Central Terminal turns 100. Designed by the architectural firms of Reed and Stem and Warren and Wetmore, the Beaux-arts style building serves as a transportation hub and tourist destination, with its elaborate astrological ceiling and iconic concourse clock. But New York City was already a destination by 1913. What was at 42nd and […]

Rogers and Rockwell

In honor of our upcoming exhibition, John Rogers: American Stories, curator Kim Orcutt will be writing a series of posts about his life, his work, and how he earned the nickname “The People’s Sculptor.” Watch Kim Orcutt and Harold Holzer tour the exhibition on YouTube.  The sculptor John Rogers is often compared to Norman Rockwell, and […]

The Invisible Line Between White and Black

What defines race? Is it color? Is it DNA? Is it the labels you choose for yourself? In The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White, author Daniel J. Sharfstein argues that it is becoming ever harder to view race neatly in black and white. He does so by looking […]