New-York Historical Society@nyhistory

Founded in 1804, we are NYC's oldest museum. Join us to explore the past—#becausehistorymatters.

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New-York Historical Society

"Cut off as I am, it is inevitable that I should sometimes feel like a shadow walking in a shadowy world. When this happens I ask to be taken to New York City. Always I return home weary but I have the comforting certainty that mankind is real flesh and I myself am not a dream." —Helen Keller, "Midstream: My Later Life," 1929
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Harold Roth. Pedestrians and cars at the corner of Bowery and E. Houston, underneath the Third Avenue El, 1946. New-York Historical Society. #nyhscollection #shadows #HelenKeller #newyorkcity #elevatedrail #FBF


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New-York Historical Society

"I have created nothing really beautiful, really lasting, but if I can inspire one of these youngsters to develop the talent I know they possess, then my monument will be in their work." —Augusta Savage
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Augusta Savage overcame poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination to become one of America’s most influential 20th-century artists— yet today her work remains largely unknown. Opening May 3, our upcoming exhibition "Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman" explores her work as not only a sculptor but also an arts educator, activist, and Harlem Renaissance leader who catalyzed social change. See more than 50 works of art and archival materials that illuminate her artistic vision, as well as her profound impact on her students and her community. #SavageWoman #5WomenArtists #WomensHistoryMonth
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Unidentified photographer. Augusta Savage viewing two of her sculptures, "Susie Q" and "Truckin," c. 1939. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL, Photographs and Prints Division, Art & Artists-Prophet, Nancy-Stull, Henry, 92-0360
Box 6. #blackarts #HarlemRenaissance #AugustaSavage #blackartists #womenartists #Harlem #sculpture #bronze


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New-York Historical Society

It's the first day of spring! Can you imagine any lovelier way to celebrate than with this dreamy orchid? ...
Study of an Orchid. Martin Johnson Heade. 1872. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart, S-112. #nyhscollection #HudsonRiverSchool #orchid #MartinHeade #FirstDayofSpring #spring


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New-York Historical Society

Born March 18, 1863, #WilliamSulzer is best remembered today as the only New York governor to have been impeached. (He was accused of laundering campaign funds, plus he got on #BossTweed's bad side, which certainly didn't help matters.) But less known is his relationship with #Alaska. 📸 In the 1890s, he began investing in the mining industry in what was then the District of Alaska. Over the following decades he continued to visit while pursuing copper and gold mining interests in the region, and there was even a town on Prince of Wales Island bearing his name. Some of the photographs that he collected in scrapbooks relate to mining, but many more provide a picturesque view of Alaska at the beginning of the 20th century. 👉 See more at the link in bio.
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📸 Scrapbook. circa 1900s. William Sulzer Papers. New-York Historical Society. #nyhscollection #Alaska #photography


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New-York Historical Society

On March 17, 1930, construction began on #EmpireStateBuilding—the tallest building in the world for 40 years until the World Trade Center was completed in the 1970s. 🌆⚙️👷🏻‍♂️⛓👷🏽‍♂️🔨 🌃 At its peak, the site had more than 3,500 workers, mostly Irish and Italian immigrants, as well as a large group of Mohawk ironworkers. Today, photos of workers at the Empire State Building are iconic touchstones of the early skyscraper era. As the @nytimes wrote at the time, "Like little spiders they toiled, spinning a fabric of steel against the sky." 👆 See more incredible images in our Story.
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📸 Irving Browning. Empire State Building, ca. 1930-1931. Browning Photograph Collection, New-York Historical Society. #nyhscollection #irvingbrowning


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New-York Historical Society

In the 1830s, Thomas Cole portrayed the rise and fall of civilization in #CourseofEmpire, a five-canvas series depicting five states:
1. The Savage State
2. The Arcadian or Pastoral State
3. The Consummation of Empire
4. Destruction
5. Desolation
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#ThomasCole didn't identify the metropolis he depicted—perhaps he was thinking of London or New York or ancient Rome—but when he turned to the written word to castigate human hubris, as he did in his 1836 "Essay on American Scenery," he situated his criticism in the Hudson River Valley.
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In 1836, Cole moved from NYC to Catskill, NY, where he witnessed firsthand the damage that railroad construction, leather tanning, and other industries were inflicting upon the forests. 🏭🌳 He was one of the first to grapple with portraying the consequences of altering nature to meet human needs and desires, eventually inspiring the group of landscape painters that would come to be known as the #HudsonRiverSchool
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👉 See Cole's "The Course of Empire" along with other Hudson River School paintings in our exhibition #HudsonRising, on view through August 4. #environmentalawareness #climatechange #nyhscollection


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New-York Historical Society

In 1973, women in the @nypd were assigned to patrol duty for the first time. 👮🏿‍♀️👮🏻‍♀️👮🏽‍♀️ The term "police officer" replaced the earlier designations of "police-woman" and "patrolman.”
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Jane Hoffer photographed a number of these women and collected their perspectives on their work. 🗣 Ann Wilson (👆first photo) reflected: “When they transferred me to the taxi squad, I was primarily with the other girls, assigned to clerical duties. But I had a very innovative boss who one day said to me: “Are you afraid of the street?” and I said: “No.” And he said: “Would you like to try it?” And I said: “Yes.” And out I went. On patrol, in an unmarked car. And I enjoyed it! Once you get a taste of it, it’s like you can’t keep ‘em down on the farm any longer. Because you realize you are just as functional…you can do just about the same things. In fact, in some cases, you’re at an advantage." #WomensHistoryMonth
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📸 Jane Hoffer. Ann Wilson, Sergeant Barbara Collins, [?] Walker, and Officer Peggy O’Shaughnessy. circa 1975-1978. On the Beat photograph collection. New-York Historical Society. #cops #NYPD #policeofficer #womencops #nyhscollection


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New-York Historical Society

In honor of #WomensHistoryMonth, our Center for Women's History partnered with @JohnnieWalkerUS for a special installation, #SignsofProgres. ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻 This month-long display commemorates the monumental messages of optimism and unity brought to life through original signs preserved from the 2019 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Come #WalkWithJane and experience these signs of progress through March 31! #WomenattheCenter


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New-York Historical Society

On March 13, 1852, #UncleSam (initials U.S.) made his illustrated debut as a cartoon character published in the New York Lantern by cartoonist Frank Bellew. 🇺🇸 Today, the name Uncle Sam tends to conjure images of 20th-century recruitment posters during the World Wars, featuring a goateed man staring straight ahead with an aggressive "I Want You!" finger point, designed by cartoonist J.M. Flagg. But this Uncle Sam was drawn by neither of these men.
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Even as a kid, cartoonist @mortgerberg was attuned to political commentary through drawing. Around 1942, when he 10 or 11 years old, he drew this Uncle Sam beating up "Tojo the snake," representing the Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who orchestrated the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Nearly 80 years later, Mort is still at it, using cartoons to comment on the moment's politics. 👉See more cartoons in our exhibition "Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorker's Perspective." #MortDraws
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📸 Mort Gerberg. Uncle Sam, ca. 1942. Graphite on school notebook paper.


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New-York Historical Society

Wishin' n hopin' n prayin' these are the last snowballs you'll see this winter. ❄️✨ #TiffanyTuesday
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📸 Tiffany Studios. Snowball lampshades. Probably designed by Clara Driscoll, ca. 1900-1906. New-York Historical Society. #snowball #snow #TiffanyStudios #ClaraDriscoll #winter


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New-York Historical Society

On March 10, 1888, New Yorkers were enjoying a balmy 50-degree day during the final weeks of winter when a massive cold front made its way south and took the city by storm—pun intended! ❄️ By midnight on March 11, temperatures had dropped drastically, and winds were reaching 60 mph. In less than 24 hours, New Yorkers were met with 21 inches of snow. ❄️ The combination of snowfall and low temps paralyzed the city for nearly two weeks and introduced a host of problems, from weighed down and falling power lines to halted transportation to massive floods in Brooklyn when the snow began to melt. ❄️ To date, the Blizzard of 1888 is one of the worst snowstorms in US history and remains a fascination for New Yorkers and East Coasters alike. 👆See more photos of the Blizzard in our Story.
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📸 (1) Snowbank on Madison Ave during the Blizzard of 1888. New-York Historical Society (2) East 14th Street looking towards Fifth Avenue, March 13, 1888, after the blizzard. William E. Light Collection of New York City Photographs, PR 037. New-York Historical Society, 84001d. #snowstorm #Blizzardof1888 #snow #winter #onthisday #otd #nyhscollection


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New-York Historical Society

Our gift to you this #Caturday: The many wondrous kittens of the Lesbian Herstory Archive. 🐈📚🐈📚 Much more on these librarian felines (or perhaps feline librarians?) at the link in bio. #ArchivesHerstory


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