Happening at New-York Historical Society: Holiday Express Toys and Trains, Last Chance for ‘Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution’

Last chance! Listen to the music Bill Graham promoted in his concert venues as you go through the tribute exhibit “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution“ at the New-York Historical Society, on view through Jan. 3, 2021 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The fabulously popular seasonal Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection may be running through Feb.21, but the New-York Historical Society is issuing notice of a last chance to experience the remarkable Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution (through Jan. 3, 2021), and Women March (through Jan. 24, 2021), plus other events, exhibits, and online and virtual programs.

The New-York Historical Society is open to visitors with timed-entry tickets and safety protocols in place

Here’s what’s on view as well as programs available virtually, on demand, and what is coming up in 2021:

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection

Now through February 21, 2021
A magical wonderland awaits visitors with the return of this holiday tradition. Featuring toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection, the exhibition transports young and old alike to a bygone era. The display includes a variety of toy train stations dating from the turn of the 19th century to the WWII era, showcasing the evolving designs of American and European toymakers. Visitors are greeted by animations and fun facts about the toys on nearby screens, and kids will be delighted by a specially created bench inspired by a sleigh in New-York Historical’s collection.


Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution
LAST CHANCE: Now through January 3, 2021
The New-York Historical Society presents the rock & roll world of Bill Graham (1931–1991), one of the most influential concert promoters of all time who worked with the biggest names in rock music—including the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and the Rolling Stones. Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, this comprehensive retrospective of Graham’s life and career explores some of the 20th century’s momentous cultural transformations through the lens of rock & roll. Showcasing more than 300 objects—including rock memorabilia, photographs, and concert posters—the exhibition features a site-specific installation of “The Joshua Light Show,” the trailblazing liquid light show, and a special, immersive audio experience, providing a musical tour through the exhibition with songs by rock superstars Blondie, David Bowie, the Doors, Janis Joplin, and Neil Young, among others.

Women March
LAST CHANCE: Now through January 24, 2021
For as long as there has been a United States, women have organized to shape the nation’s politics and secure their rights as citizens. Their collective action has taken many forms, from abolitionist petitions to industry-wide garment strikes to massive marches for an Equal Rights Amendment. Women March commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment—which granted women the right to vote in 1920—as it explores the efforts of a wide range of women to expand American democracy in the centuries before and after the suffrage victory. On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, this immersive exhibition features imagery and video footage of women’s collective action, drawing visitors into a visceral engagement with the struggles that have endured into the 21st century.

Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic
Now through February 7, 2021
America has been singular among nations in fostering a vibrant culture of engagement with constitutional matters and the fundamental principles of government. Featuring 40 books and documents from collector and philanthropist Dorothy Tapper Goldman’s collection—including constitutions from the federal and state levels—Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic depicts the story of America’s unique constitutionalism from the founding era through the turn of the 20th century. The exhibition, which sketches the often troubled history of the country as it expanded across the continent, serves as a timely reminder of our country’s democratic foundations and its relentless quest for improvement.

Dreaming Together: New-York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum
Now through July 25, 2021

As part of the Asia Society TriennialWe Do Not Dream Alone—a multi-venue festival of art, ideas, and innovation—the New-York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum opens their first ever collaborative exhibition, Dreaming Together. More than 35 interwoven works drawn from both art collections generate dialogue about the urban and natural environments, protest and rebellion, individuals and identities, borders and crossings. Highlights include the Canal Street diptych (1992) from Martin Wong’s Chinatown series, 98-foot hanging scrolls by Dinh Q. Lê featuring abstractions of the World Trade Center towers (2016), and a dystopic video narrative of war and destruction by Shiva Ahmadi (2014). The result is a powerful reflection on the possibilities unleashed when people, cultures, and institutions dream in tandem.

Meet the Presidents and the Oval Office

A special permanent gallery on New-York Historical’s fourth floor features a detailed re-creation of the White House Oval Office, where presidents have exercised their powers, duties, and responsibilities since 1909. Visitors to New-York Historical can explore the Oval Office and hear audio recordings of presidential musings. The Meet the Presidents Gallery traces, through artwork and objects, the evolution of the presidency and executive branch and how presidents have interpreted and fulfilled their leadership role. Highlights include the actual Bible used during George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and a student scrapbook from 1962 chronicling JFK’s leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

New-York Historical’s Permanent Collection Displays 
As the centerpiece of the fourth floor, the Gallery of Tiffany Lamps features 100 illuminated Tiffany lamps from the Museum’s spectacular collection—regarded as one of the world’s largest and most encyclopedic— displayed within a dramatically lit jewel-like space. In the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture, treasures from our vast permanent collection tell the story of New York and American history. Themed displays present a variety of topics—such as slavery, war, 9/11, and childhood. Highlights include George Washington’s camp cot from Valley Forge; the preparatory model for Alison Saar’s imposing statue Swing Low: Harriet Tubman Memorial; a Venetian blind retrieved from St. Paul’s Churchyard in the days after September 11, 2001; stained glass dating back to 1650 from the time of New Amsterdam; and a draft wheel used in the lottery that sparked the Draft Riots in Civil War-torn New York in July 1863, one of the worst urban riots in American history.


The Waldorf Astoria Lobby Clock
Meet us at the clock! The great Waldorf Astoria clock is a legendary part of New York City lore and a meeting spot for generations of New Yorkers. Originally made for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, it was crafted in London and features relief portraits of American presidents and Queen Victoria of England. For decades, the towering clock graced the Waldorf Astoria—both at its first location on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street and in the lobby of the hotel’s longtime address at Park Avenue and 50th Street. This time-keeping treasure recently underwent a meticulous restoration and is on view in the Smith Gallery during the hotel’s renovation.


Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution Virtual Presentation
Live Online | Tuesday, January 5, 2021 | 4–5:15 pm ET | $10 ($5 for Members)

Dive into the life and times of Bill Graham, the legendary music impresario behind the biggest names in rock & roll—including the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and the Rolling Stones. This interactive presentation on Zoom tells the thrilling story of how a child refugee from Nazi Germany became one of the most influential concert promoters of all time. Explore psychedelic posters, oral history audio clips, and rare backstage photographs with a Museum docent.

The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World Warto Cold War with David Nasaw and Judith Shulevitz 
Live Online | Tuesday, January 5, 2021 | 6 pm ET | $20 (Members, $10)

The surrender of Germany to the Allied powers in May 1945 was only the beginning for the millions of people left displaced and homeless in Europe after the war. Exhaustive repatriation efforts settled some, but a million refugees still remained left behind in Germany. Join acclaimed historian David Nasaw live on Zoom as he illuminates the heartbreaking, and sometimes shocking, story of the Last Million as they moved forward into an unknowable future.

Nature and American Art Virtual Presentation
Live Online | Thursday, January 14, 2021 | 3–4 pm | $10 ($5 Members)
Experience the natural beauty of the United States through the eyes of artists in New-York Historical’s collection. Discover how an evolving understanding of science and the emergence of early conservation movements shaped the 19th-century work of naturalist John James Audubon and the landscape painters of the Hudson River School.

The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution with James Oakes and Manisha Sinha
Live Online | Thursday, January 14, 2021 | 6 pm ET | $20 (Members, $10)

The long and turning path to the abolition of American slavery has often been attributed to the ambiguities and inconsistencies of antislavery leaders, including Abraham Lincoln. Live on Zoom, scholars James Oakes and Manisha Sinha uncover Lincoln’s antislavery strategies beginning long before his presidency, ultimately revealing a striking consistency and commitment extending over many years, all centered on the Constitution.

Meet the Presidents: A Look at the American Presidency Virtual Presentation
Live Online | Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 4–5:15 pm ET | $10 ($5 for Members)

Discover the evolution of the presidency and executive branch and the ways presidents have interpreted and fulfilled their leadership role with exhibition highlights from Meet the Presidents. Notable objects include the actual Bible used during George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and a student scrapbook from 1962 chronicling John F. Kennedy’s decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman with Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Eric Foner 
Live Online | Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 6 pm ET | $20 (Members, $10)

Harriet Tubman inspired generations of civil rights activists with her heroic work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. However her extraordinary accomplishments encompass even more. Erica Armstrong Dunbar discusses Harriet Tubman’s full biography, including her advocacy for women’s suffrage, her service in the Union Army during the Civil War, and her experiences as an entrepreneur, nurse, mother, fundraiser, philanthropist, and wife.

The Economy and the President with James Grant and Byron R. Wien 
Live Online | Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 6 pm ET | $20 (Members, $10)

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken economic foundations across the globe. Following the presidential inauguration, longtime financial observers examine the economic successes and actions of the past few years, explore how the economy influenced the 2020 election, and forecast how the Biden administration’s policies could impact the national economic climate.

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All with Martha S. Jones and Eric Foner
Live Online | Thursday, January 28, 2021 | 6 pm ET | $20 (Members, $10)

For many, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women’s movement did not win the vote for most Black women. Acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones, in conversation with Eric Foner, recounts how Black women defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot from the earliest days of the republic through the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons.


The New-York Historical Society is presenting a rich library of program recordings available to stream on demand. Produced exclusively for New-York Historical, the offerings feature notable speakers. Programs include Julian Fellowes in conversation with Catherine Grace Katz, author of The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War; scholars Akhil Reed Amar and Cristina M. Rodríguez discussing presidential power and immigration law; and a conversation on the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg


History @ Home: Online Learning for Students
Join New-York Historical educators online as they lead live, weekly, interactive U.S. history classes. Lessons are content-based, inquiry-driven, and thematically and developmentally appropriate for each grade served. Students study images, artifacts, and historical documents, and learn to think critically about the history of our nation. All lessons are free. All you need is internet access and a device with the ability to connect to a Zoom meeting. 

Professional Development Workshops for Teachers
Free, one-hour interactive professional workshops take place every Wednesday at 5 pm ET while on Thursdays at 6 pm ET conversations between teachers and a guest scholar are held in an informal setting. 

Citizenship Project: Free Online Citizenship Classes for Green Card Holders
The New-York Historical Society offers free online citizenship classes for green card holders preparing for the naturalization interview. The interactive online naturalization preparation course covers all questions from the USCIS Civics Test. Participants learn about American history and government using objects, paintings, and documents from New-York Historical’s collections through videoconferencing. Online citizenship classes are taught in English and are accessible to English Language Learners. We also offer an online Spanish citizenship class for people who qualify for the English language exemption. New classes begin in January.


The DiMenna Children’s History Museum presents a wide range of digital, interactive family programs for all ages. To learn more about story time and crafts for little ones, conversations with historical interpreters, our Reading into History Family Book Club, and more, visit the Family Programs Calendar. And when visiting the Museum, families can explore the displays with an array of digital family guides

Admission: Adults: $22; Seniors/Educators/Active Military: $17; Students: $13; Children (5–13): $6; Children (4 and under): Free. Pay-as-you-wish Fridays from 6 pm – 8 pm

New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), New York, NY 10024, www.nyhistory.org, 212-873-3400

See: Many Pathways to Mark Centennial of Women’s Suffrage

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