New-York Historical Society Has Score of Exhibits for Holidays into New Year

NYHS_20171114_024e2 (c) Karen Rubin

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection is a highlight of the holidays at the New-York Historical Society © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The New-York Historical Society is presenting its traditional holiday display of toys and trains. But the holidays also offer a last-chance to view an exhibit about John F. Kennedy, and Arthur Szyk, Soldier in Art. The museum has a huge range of exhibits as well as special programming and events, including: 

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection, now on view through February 25, 2018. A magical wonderland awaits visitors with the return of this holiday tradition. Featuring hundreds of toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection, the exhibition’s immersive scenes and displays transport young and old alike to a bygone era. Holiday Express begins at the West 77th Street entrance, where trains appear to roar through the Museum with the help of four large-scale multimedia screens, and extends through large swaths of the first floor.

Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art, on view through January 21, 2018. Arthur Szyk, the great 20th-century activist in art, confronted the threats that filled the years around World War II—Nazism, the escalating plight of European Jews, Fascism, Japanese militarism, and racism—with forceful artistic depictions caricaturing Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito as the evil architects of their regimes’ destructive and inhumane policies. More than 40 politically incisive works on view underscore the Polish-born artist’s role as a “one man army” fighting odious policies and protagonists and advocating for civil and human rights. 

American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times,  on view through January 7, 2018. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth, American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times brings together more than 75 images that capture the dramatic scope of Kennedy’s life culled from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Getty Images, private collections, and the Kennedy family archives. No single politician was photographed more than Kennedy—from his first congressional bid as a decorated war hero in 1946 and his fairy-tale wedding to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953 to his run for the White House in 1960, his subsequent role as commander-in-chief, and his tragic death in Dallas in 1963.

Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence, now on view through March 11, 2018, showcases hand-drawn and engraved maps from the 18th and early 19th centuries that illuminate the tremendous changes—geographic, political, and economic—that occurred before, during, and just after the Revolutionary War. The exhibition features rarely displayed manuscripts and printed maps from New-York Historical’s own premier collection, including the original manuscript surveys of Robert Erskine, Geographer and Surveyor General of the Continental Army, and his successor Simeon De Witt. Also on display is John Jay’s personal copy of John Mitchell’s Map of the British and French Dominions in North America (1755) to which red lines representing proposed boundaries were added during the negotiations of the Treaty of Paris, 1782–83. This exhibition was organized by the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library as We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence .

Hotbed, on view through March 25, 2018. In the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was a hotbed of political activism and social change—where men and women joined forces across the boundaries of class and race to fight for a better world. At the heart of the downtown radicals’ crusade lay women’s rights: to control their own bodies, to do meaningful work, and above all, to vote. Celebrating the centennial of women’s right to vote in New York and on view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, Hotbed features immersive installations and more than 100 artifacts and images—drawn from New-York Historical’s archives and several private collections—that bring to life the neighborhood’s bohemian scene and energetic activist spirit.

The Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975, on view through April 22, 2018. A groundbreaking look at one of the most controversial events of the 20th century. Featuring interpretive displays, digital media, artwork, artifacts, photographs, and documents, The Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975 provides an enlightening account of the causes, progression, and impact of the war. Spanning the duration of U.S. involvement in Indochina, the narrative incorporates perspectives covering both the home and the war fronts. Displays touch upon the Cold War, the draft, military campaigns initiated by both sides, the growth of the antiwar movement, the role of the president, and the loss of political consensus. Throughout the exhibition, visitors explore themes of patriotism, duty, and citizenship. Key objects include a troopship berthing unit, interactive murals, vibrant antiwar posters, artwork by Vietnam vets, a Viet Cong bicycle, the Pentagon Papers, and news and film clips.

Audubon’s Birds of America Focus Gallery. In this intimate gallery, visitors see first-hand John James Audubon’s spectacular watercolor models for the 435 plates of The Birds of America (1827–38) with their corresponding plates from the double-elephant-folio series, engraved by Robert Havell Jr. Each month, the exhibition rotates to highlight new species—featured in the order they appear in Audubon’s publication—which showcase the artist’s creative process and his contributions to ornithological illustration. Other works from New-York Historical’s collection, the world’s largest repository of Auduboniana, illuminate Audubon’s process, and bird calls, courtesy of The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, echoing through the gallery animate the environment. In December, we welcome the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and in January, Prothonotary Warbler will be on display (ongoing).

New Fourth Floor: Objects Tell Stories, the Gallery of Tiffany Lamps, and More. Explore American history through stunning exhibitions and captivating interactive media on our transformed fourth floor. Themed displays in the North Gallery present a variety of topics—such as slavery, war, infrastructure, childhood, recreation, and 9/11—offering unexpected and surprising perspectives on collection highlights. Touchscreens and interactive kiosks allow visitors to explore American history and engage with objects like never before. As the centerpiece of the fourth floor, the Gallery of Tiffany Lamps features 100 illuminated Tiffany lampshades from our spectacular collection displayed within a dramatically lit jewel-like space. Within our new Center for Women’s History, visitors discover the hidden connections among exceptional and unknown women who left their mark on New York and the nation with the multimedia digital installation, Women’s Voices, and through rotating exhibitions in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery. Objects from the Billie Jean King Archive are also on view (ongoing).

Collector’s Choice: Highlights from the Permanent Collection. Since 1804, the New-York Historical Society has been welcoming to its collection some of the most esteemed artworks of the modern world. Collector’s Choice: Highlights from the Permanent Collection showcases a selection of paintings that reflect the individual tastes of several New York City collectors who donated their holdings to New-York Historical. Joining Picasso’s Le Tricorne ballet curtain are featured American and European masterpieces spanning the 14th through the 21st centuries from Luman Reed, Thomas Jefferson Bryan, and Robert L. Stuart, including colonial portraits of children, marine and maritime subjects, and an installation showcasing recently collected contemporary works (ongoing).

The Museum will be closed on Monday, December 25 and will close at 3 pm on December 24 and 31. The Museum will be open on Monday, January 1 and on Monday, January 15, 2018. The Museum will open at 3 pm on Saturday, January 20.

Admission: Adults: $21; Teachers and Seniors: $16; Students: $13; Children (5–13): $6;  Children (4 and under): Free; Pay-as-you-wish Fridays from 6 pm – 8 pm.

New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), New York, NY 10024, www.nyhistory.org, (212) 873-3400. 

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