Civic Season: From Juneteenth to 4th of July

Welcome to Civic Season! As part of a nationwide initiative of museums and cultural institutions to celebrate Juneteenth and the 4th of July, New-York Historical invites you to commemorate the rich, complex history of the American experiment with a series of exhibitions and programs that explore all facets of U.S. political and civic life—from slavery and emancipation to depictions of the American flag to ongoing struggles for voting and civil rights.

Exhibitions and Installations

The Sound of Resilience (Ongoing)
Nearly three centuries old, New York’s Liberty Bell has tolled for countless events, from the 1776 reading of the Declaration of Independence to a remembrance of the lives lost on September 11, 2001. The Bell miraculously survived the fire that destroyed Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village last year. Experience it in-person at its temporary home at New-York Historical while the Church rebuilds. 

Marker, Emblem, Symbol, Signal: Artists Reflect on the Flag (June 11 – Sep. 26)
In this moment of polarization, Americans have used flags to publicly stake their positions, rally around causes, and declare allegiances. To explore the symbolic possibilities and perils of flags, the New York-based project Art for Artists asked 13 artists to contribute works to an exchange portfolio. 

Lady Pink’s “Vote” Mural (June 11–ongoing)
In 2014, when the League of Women Voters of the City of New York organized a voter registration drive outside of City Hall, they commissioned legendary New York graffiti artist Lady Pink to do a live painting session. The result was an exuberant, 8 foot by 12 foot canvas that says “Vote” in richly illustrated letters. This recent addition to New-York Historical's collection is now on view. 

The Toussaint Family (June 11–July 11)
These exquisite miniature portraits from the 1820s are rarely displayed due to their fragility. Having transcended their beginnings under French slavery in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), this remarkable family became well known and respected in 19th-century New York City. 

Meet the Presidents and the Oval Office (Ongoing)
Step into presidential history with our expansive exhibition that showcases a detailed re-creation of the Oval Office and the Meet the Presidents Gallery, which traces the evolution of the executive branch.

Fourth of July (Ongoing)
A glorious sea of American flags, crowded streets, and Fifth Avenue skyscrapers, The Fourth of July, 1916 (The Greatest Display of the American Flag Ever Seen in New York, Climax of the Preparedness Parade in May) by Childe Hassam (1859-1935) is a beloved work of American Impressionism and a 2016 gift to New-York Historical from Chairman Emeritus Richard Gilder. 

We the People (Ongoing)
The meaning of the first three words of the U.S. Constitution—“We the people…”—has changed over the course of our nation’s history, and who constitutes “the people” is a topic of fierce debate even today. Constructed entirely from shoelaces donated by members of the public, a monumental artwork by artist Nari Ward honors these three words in a permanent display.

History Responds: A Shot at Hope (Ongoing)
On December 14, 2020, Sandra Lindsay, the director of critical care nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, became the first person in the United States to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. New-York Historical was ready to preserve objects related to that historic moment, including Lindsay's vaccination card, her hospital ID badge, and empty vials of some of the first Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Cover Story: Katharine Graham, CEO (May 22–Oct. 3)
Katharine Meyer Graham never expected to become the president, publisher, and CEO of the Washington Post, but she thrived in that position—and even helped end a war and a corrupt U.S. presidency. On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, this exhibition examines a transformative period in Graham’s life.

Safe/Haven: Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove (May 14–Oct. 11)
In the years before Stonewall, the secluded beach enclave of Cherry Grove on Fire Island was a respite for gay men and women and a safe place for both sexual exploration and self-expression. Explore this fascinating and forgotten history through our free outdoor exhibition showcasing nearly 70 photographs.

So Ready for Laughter: Bob Hope and World War II (Feb. 5–Sept. 5)
Celebrate legendary performer Bob Hope's unique role entertaining troops overseas during World War II and the 80th anniversary of the founding of the United Service Organizations (USO).

Dreaming Together (Oct. 23, 2020– July 25, 2021)
Explore the possibilities that are unleashed when people, cultures, and institutions dream in tandem in our exhibition, which interweaves historical American and contemporary Asian and Asian diasporic art. 

Family Programs

Independence Day @ Home with DCHM 
Sunday, July 4, 11 am ET
Celebrate food and family with us this 4th of July! Explore historical and family recipes as well as Independence Day trivia during our cook-along. Share our gratitude for the rich array of foods families make when they gather, from (veggie) burgers to 19th-century ice cream to dumplings. Free; all ages

On-Demand Programs

On Juneteenth
Available now
Interweaving American history and personal family stories, acclaimed scholar Annette Gordon-Reed, a descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s, recounts the origins of Juneteenth and explores the legacies of the holiday that remain with us.

Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son 
Available now
In a special, intimate conversation with Chelsea Clinton, award-winning Broadway, TV and film producer Richie Jackson reflects on his experiences as a gay man in America and the progress and setbacks of the LGBTQ community over the last 50 years.

The Gay Revolution: The Story of Struggle (On-Demand)
Available now
Lillian Faderman joins David Rubenstein to discuss the early days of the movement in the 1950s, the revolutionary changes of the 1960s, the AIDS epidemic that left the community decimated but united, and recent setbacks and strides forward for equality.

Flag Image (L to R): Unidentified maker, Campaign flag, 1863. Cotton. New-York Historical Society, Samuel T. Shaw Memorial Collection; Belle Osipow (1916 - 2015), Untitled, 1969. Gift of John R. Monsky; Mrs. John E. Forbes, Flag,1861. Gift of Mrs. Irving McKesson; Unidentified maker, Flag with envelope, 1861-1865. Gift of Mrs. Sol Salinger in memory of Sol Salinger; Rev. Samuel W. Bonney (1815-1864), American flag, 34-star, 1861. Gift of the University of Hartford; Annin & Co. (est. 1847), Flag and flagstaff, 1940-1960. Gift of the New York State Court of the National Society of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

Creative: Tronvig Group