Safe/Haven is a free, outdoor exhibition that takes place in our rear courtyard. (The entrance is on 76th St.) To maintain social distancing, book your timed-entry tickets on our special Safe/Haven ticketing site. To purchase regular admission tickets to the Museum, please continue to use our main ticketing site.
During weekends and summers in the pre-Stonewall era, gay men and women, including many New Yorkers, traveled to the secluded beach town of Cherry Grove on Fire Island where they found opportunities for sexual exploration and self-expression—behavior that was both stigmatized and criminalized in the straight world. Together with creative figures like Truman Capote, W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, and Patricia Highsmith, these visitors to the Grove took pleasure in the costumed parties, theatrical events, and liberated atmosphere that this gay sanctuary provided.
On view outdoors in New-York Historical’s rear courtyard, this exhibition explores the gay and lesbian community that flourished during the 1950s in Cherry Grove through some 70 enlarged photographs and additional ephemera from the unique holdings of the Cherry Grove Archives Collection. (Curated by Brian Clark, Susan Kravitz, and Parker Sargent for the Cherry Grove Archives Collection and coordinated at New-York Historical by Rebecca Klassen, associate curator of material culture)
Monday – Thursday CLOSED
Friday (Members, age 65+, and immunocompromised only) 10 am – 11 am
Friday 11 am – 8 pm
Saturday – Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
Major support for Safe/Haven: Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove is provided by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.