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The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute


Times Square NASDAQ sign with the NYC Landmarks50 Logo for the 50th Anniversary of NYC Landmarks Law's passage

The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute for New York City History, Politics, and Community Activism is a new collecting and programmatic initiative within the New-York Historical Society. Created and supported by the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation, the Institute will spearhead a diverse new historical archive, which includes materials from New York City’s marginalized communities and voices. 

An important component of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute’s mission is to provide a repository for materials that relate to 20th- and 21st-century local history, including the civil rights movement, women’s rights, climate concerns, the drive for LBGTQ+ rights, and the historic preservation movement. The archive will reflect significant political, social, and cultural moments from the mid-1900s to the present; it will also offer scholarly programs, a resident fellowship, and short-term fellowships. Among its first archival acquisitions are Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel’s papers and the High Line archives, along with the addition of several collections currently housed at the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, including materials relating to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

A substantial outreach program will be undertaken to invite individuals and institutions to submit archival materials representing a range of voices to be preserved for future generations. Attention will be also paid to topics such as public health, municipal infrastructure, housing, and the relationship between the development of grassroots movements and the individuals whose work have impacted the city’s history.

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel (center) and the NYC Landmarks50+ Alliance, April 13, 2015


In-Person Program
The Enduring Fight for the Soul of America
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 | 6:30 pm ET | $44 (Members $32; Chairman’s Council, Free)
Featuring: Heather Cox Richardson

Although the American people have made great strides throughout history to achieve greater economic and racial equity, the nation continues to be haunted by the traditions of stratification and subordination woven into its very fabric. In a talk that stretches from the Founding Era to the 21st century, historian Heather Cox Richardson examines the origins—and persistence—of our contemporary political, social, and cultural rifts. (A program of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Forum on History & the Public Good at the New-York Historical Society.) 

Heather Cox Richardson teaches 19th-century American history at Boston College and is the author of numerous books, including How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. In 2020, she became the No. 1 individual author of a paid publication on the newsletter platform Substack.
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Virtual Program
NYC Landmarks50+ Alliance | Early Fall Convening
LIVE ON ZOOM: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 | 12–2 pm ET | Free 

In 2012, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel—chair and founder of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute for New York City History, Politics, and Community Activism at the New-York Historical Society—established the NYC Landmarks50+ Alliance to commemorate the landmarks of New York and significant anniversaries of the NYC Landmarks Preservation law. As part of the Institute’s initiatives, the Alliance presents a series of special virtual discussions featuring knowledgeable speakers on the past, present, and future of New York City.

The inaugural session will feature an exciting lineup of leaders, including New-York Historical Society President and CEO Louise Mirrer, who will discuss the New-York Historical’s current initiatives and the new Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute; Ralph Appelbaum, the founder of Ralph Appelbaum Associates, one of the world’s longest-established and largest museum exhibition design firms with offices in New York City, London, Beijing, Berlin, Moscow, and Dubai; Deborah Borda, CEO of the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York; Aki Carpenter, Principal and Director of Social Projects at Ralph Appelbaum Associates; and Gillian Tett, the award-winning author of Anthro-Vision and chair of the Financial Times U.S. editorial board. The discussion will be moderated by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.
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Virtual Program
NYC Landmarks50+ Alliance | Late Fall Convening
LIVE ON ZOOM: Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 12–2 pm ET | Free 

The late fall convening will feature Joy Bivins, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Carroll Bogert, president of the Marshall Project; Paul Goldberger, an award-winning architectural critic and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair; Thomas Luebke, the secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the federal design review agency for the nation's capital; Shannon K. O’Neil, vice president, deputy director of studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, who co-leads the Council’s Diamonstein-Spielvogel Project on the Future of Democracy; and Nadine Orenstein, Drue Heinz Curator in Charge, Department of Drawings and Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art. The discussion will be moderated by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.
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Virtual Program
Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series: Artist Ed Ruscha
September 8, 2021
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 

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In-Person and Virtual Program
Dedication of a Cultural Medallion for Playwright Terrence McNally 
November 3, 2021 | 3 pm ET
Award-winning television, film, and Broadway actor Tyne Daly; award-winning performing artist Brian Stokes Mitchell; New York Times columnist Philip Galanes; award-winning producer Tom Kirdahy

“Honor our Past, Imagine our Future” Banner Flown over all five boroughs on April 15, 2015, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the NYC Landmarks Law

About the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation

The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation was founded by Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel to continue and extend their long-term commitment to the common good and the public interest. With this focus, deeply rooted in inclusiveness, social equity, and community service, the Foundation creates and supports original projects based on results-driven and innovative strategies. The Foundation funds projects which demonstrate creative promise in four priority areas: projects focused on civic leadership, public affairs, and diplomacy; projects of cultural merit; original educational initiatives; and initiatives in support of the advancement of biomedical sciences. Learn more at diamonstein-spielvogelfoundation.org.


Creative: Tronvig Group