Centennial Summer

The year 1917 saw major milestones in U.S. and New York History, from the nation entering World War I to women earning the right to vote in New York State to the birth of future president John F. Kennedy.

Join us all summer long to honor the 100th anniversary of this landmark year! Explore three special exhibitions and, throughout July and August, enjoy free programs, lectures, and films on Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights. Families step into the past through Living History programs every Saturday.

Exhibitions & Installations

World War I Beyond the Trenches
May 26–September 3
How did American artists respond to World War I? Explore how artists across generations, aesthetic sensibilities, and the political spectrum used their work to depict, memorialize, promote, or oppose the divisive conflict in this sprawling exhibition featuring installations throughout the Museum.  

American Visionary: John F. Kennedy's Life and Times
June 23–January 7
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of JFK’s birth with more than 77 images—some iconic, some rarely seen—that capture the dramatic scope of Kennedy’s life, from major political events to intimate moments with his family. 

Women’s Suffrage Centennial
June 19–September 3
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York State with this special Library installation if items pertaining to the 19th-century women's movement.

Battle for the Ballot
Saturdays and Sundays at Governors Island
July 8–October 1, 12–6 pm
Learn about women’s fight for voting rights at our 5th annual satellite exhibition curated and staffed by Teen Leaders hosted on Governors Island. Join us for family friendly programs every weekend at Building 18 in Nolan Park. Free admission  

Pay-as-you-wish Fridays Nights
FREE programs showcase World War I at home and abroad with engaging speakers and films. Pay-as-you-wish hours are 6–8 pm.

All Quiet on the Western Front
July 7, 6:30 pm | Introduction by Professor Rolf Wolfswinkel, NYU
Watch the Academy Award-winning classic depicting the on-the-ground experiences of soldiers fighting during World War I. 

A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song
July 14, 6:30 pm | With Peter Dugan and John Brancy
Hear inspiring music by composers who lived through the Great War.

Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunt
July 14 and August 11, 6–8 pm 
Unlock the secret history of NYC during WWI in a whirlwind romp through the Museum!

American Fashion and the Great War
July 21, 6:30 pm | With Edward Maeder
Explore how 1910s fashion reflected major changes in American culture, from gender roles to industrialization.    

World War I New York
July 28, 6:30 pm | With Kevin Fitzpatrick
Learn about New York’s role in WWI and the sites around the city that carry its legacy today. 

Harlem’s Hell Fighters: They Made Music, Art and War
August 4, 6:30 pm | With Professor Jeffrey Sammons
Learn about the struggle of New York’s black citizens for full citizenship and the importance of military service to their freedom.  

Lawrence of Arabia
August 11, 6:30 pm | Introduction by Robert TevisWatch the 1962 Academy Award-winning biopic of the enigmatic T.E. Lawrence starring legendary actor Peter O'Toole. 

The Fighting 69th
August 18, 6:30 pm | Introduction by Bert Cunningham
Learn about the battlefield exploits of New York City's 69th Infantry Regiment in this 1940 film starring James Cagney. 

Yankee Doodle Dandy
August 25, 6:30 pm
See the film classic about the life of legendary, flag-waving song-and-dance man George M. Cohan.

Special Programs
Join us for two special free film screenings on select Tuesdays

PT 109
July 18, 6:30 pm | Introduction by Stephen Kennedy Smith
Watch the thrilling account of the sinking of the PT 109 boat during WWII when John F. Kennedy’s heroic actions saved his crew and shaped the future president’s life.

One Woman, One Vote
August 15, 6:30 pm
Watch the captivating documentary charting the 70-year fight for women’s suffrage.

Family Programs: Centennial Saturdays
FREE with Museum Admission. All ages welcome

Every Saturday from May 27 through September 2, New York in 1917 comes to life! Stop by to meet Americans from a century ago at home and on the battlefield portrayed by reenactors in exciting Living History programs. See soldiers' uniforms and tools, meet historical figures, listen to patriotic music, and march with suffragists! Pick up a free family guide to explore with your kids. 

Meet General Pershing and His Troops! | Saturday, July 8
March with Suffragists! | Sunday, July 9
The British Are Coming! | Saturday, July 15
Songs of WWI | Saturday, July 22
March with Suffragists! | Sunday, July 23
Go on Expedition with the AEF! | Saturday, July 29
March with Suffragists! | Saturday, August 5
March with Suffragists! | Saturday, August 12
Go on Expedition with the AEF! | Saturday, August 19
March with Suffragists! | Saturday, August 26

Visit our Family Programs calendar for a complete schedule of each week's theme.

Creative: Tronvig Group