St. Patrick's Eve

Grab a pint at our cash bar and tour our objects and paintings that represent the history of the Irish in New York.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 18:00 to 20:00
Fri, March 16th, 2012 | 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

On St. Patrick's Eve, we'll be hosting an evening dedicated to Irish heritage, with music, art and more. Grab a pint at Caffè Storico and tour our objects and paintings that represent the history of the Irish in New York! A map will guide you to such treasures as artist John Ramage's desk, Al Smith's cigar box, and Louis Lang’s historical painting The Return of the 69th (Irish) Regiment, N.Y.S.M.

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Join the Hunt! (Saturday)

  Families team up and head out with just a secret map and lots of surprise clues that take them on a trip around the museum!

Sat, 11/12/2011 - 14:00
Sat, November 12th, 2011 | 2:00 pm

Event Details

Families team up and head out with just a secret map and lots of surprise clues that take them on a trip around the museum to discover everyday life across the centuries - 1609-2011. On the move and learning all the time, you’ll find that The Hunt is a winning hour of fun and a fun way to spend an hour as a family.

Free with Family Membership or Daily Admission.


Second floor classroom, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

Family Programs: 
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Tales from a 19th-Century Privy

Joan H. Geismar, Ph.D. Urban Archaeologist
Fri, 11/11/2011 - 11:30
Fri, November 11th, 2011 | 11:30 am

Event details

Put on gloves, pick up a magnifying glass and sift through the stuff of life in 19th-century New York City. Join urban archaeologist Joan Geismar for a fascinating, hands-on look at the contents of the backyard privy pit of the early 19th-century James Brown Inn on Spring Street(now called the Ear Inn). Broken plates, cups and bottles, oyster shells and shoe leather are just some of the clues to how people lived in the past - what they ate, what they could buy and what they chose to buy, and what they threw away.

Family Programs: 
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Byrdcliffe: An American Arts And Crafts Colony

March 05, 2005
May 15, 2005

An exhibition that honors one of the most influential arts colonies in the United States is on view at the New-York Historical Society from March 15- May 15, 2005. Produced by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, the exhibition tells the story about this remarkable community that was founded in 1902 and still operates today.

Byrdcliffe is located in Woodstock, NY; a town known for its impact on social change through art, music and non-violent measures. Set against the background of a rapidly changing America, the exhibit concentrates on the arts and crafts created at Byrdcliffe from the colony's earliest days, until the death of co-founder and chief investor Ralph Whitehead in 1929. The colony drew especially large crowds for its 'Maverick' music festivals which were filled uninhibited, bohemian song and dance. Folk icon Bob Dylan continued the music tradition many years later at Byrdcliffe when he and The Band lived and recorded the famous Basement Tapes at a neighboring house in Saugerties.

The exhibit features a total of 191 paintings, photographs, prints, frames, metalwork, furniture, ceramics and textiles from nearly two dozen artists who called Byrdcliffe home. Of equal importance as the art itself, were the utopian ideals advanced by Whitehead and the other founders, combined with the dynamic creativity of its talented but under-appreciated artists.

The exhibit and companion catalog, which is available in the N-YHS Museum Store, examines the historical, artistic and social significance of the colony through three interconnected themes: Quest for the Handmade shows how the work of the artists, writers and critics reflects a rebellion against the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution; Byrdcliffe as a Utopian Community explores the colony's role as an independent entity against an increasingly global backdrop and Artists and Artisans examines the independence and creativity of the artists themselves.

From examples of hand-crafted furniture such as George Eggers' oak Chest with Winter Landscape with its painted panels depicting stark winter landscapes; to jewelry and tableware designer Bertha Thompson's silver table spoon; as well as landscape paintings, ceramic bowls, textiles, photographs and hand-bound journals, Byrdcliffe tells the story of how a community driven by the desire to create beautiful, functional objects drew a diverse array of artisans to a pristine setting in the heart of the Catskills, where they flourished in a communal atmosphere of shared artistic endeavor.

To accompany the exhibit, N-YHS will host two intriguing public programs by expert curators with intimate knowledge of the arts & crafts movement in the early 20th Century. On Wednesday, March 23 Wendy Kaplan, Curator of Decorative Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art will deliver a discussion on the Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880-1920. On Wednesday, April 20, a gallery talk will be given by Nancy Green, Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. Ms. Green is one of the original curators of the Byrdcliffe exhibition.

For a full list of upcoming public programs, please see our programs calendar or to make a reservation call (212) 817-8125 or visit:

Additional programs and exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.

The Day Line: Holiday on The Hudson

July 01, 2005
October 16, 2005

The Hudson River Day Line was the favorite way for New Yorkers to travel between Albany and New York City for a day in the country for more than 80 years. The exhibit highlights the Library's collection of photographs, advertising mockups, schedules, guidebooks, menus and other ephemera relating to the Hudson River Day Line, principally between 1890 and 1948.

Thou wondrous dizzy pile! Selections from the Cass Gilbert Collection

September 27, 2005
December 30, 2005

Cass Gilbert is perhaps best remembered as the architect of the Woolworth Building, for years the tallest building in the world. Yet his work also included such monumental public buildings as the U.S. Custom House in Lower Manhattan and many state capitols. He created ornate Classical buildings but was also a pioneer of the modern skyscraper. This small exhibition in the library showcases material from the Cass Gilbert Collection from New-York Historical's Library collection. It features early 20th century photographs, drawings, letters, brochures and ephemera from Gilbert's extensive collection of personal and professional papers.

Group Dynamics: Family Portraits and Scenes of Everyday Life at the New-York Historical Society

May 05, 2006
September 17, 2006

This exhibition explores the evolution of American images, with 90 spectacular works ranging from colonial era masterpieces to souvenir tintypes and daguerreotypes. Group Dynamics explores the significance of setting, fashion, pose and social/family status, providing visitors with an extraordinary visual narrative of American life.

John Durand, The Rapalje Children, 1768. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Eliza J. Watson in memory of her husband, John Jay Watson, 1946.201

Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society


Two thousand images highlighting 12 collections of prints, posters, photographs, manuscripts and ephemera relating to the Civil War are featured on the Library of Congress American Memory site. This project (1998–2000) was undertaken in collaboration with NYU and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Click here to view the full collection.


On-Site Card Catalogs and Guides


Card catalogs available in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library's reading room provide access to portions of the manuscript collections not yet included in the Klingenstein Library's online catalog. Separate card catalogs also exist for the newspaper and sheet music collections. Also available on-site are non-electronic finding aids, a published guide to the manuscript collection, and printed inventories of circus ephemera, church records and extensive vertical files.




The Society’s ephemera collections include lottery tickets, trade cards, billheads, tobacco labels, theater playbills and countless other types of material that were created for temporary use but have survived to illuminate everyday life and popular culture. A highlight is the Bella C. Landauer Collection of Business and Advertising Art, assembled over a forty-year period by the tireless Mrs. Landauer (1874-1960) and arranged alphabetically into 100 product categories, such as Banking, Food, Hotels, Theatrical Enterprises, and Transportation.

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