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NY Historical Society Museum - New York - 6

NY Historical Society Museum

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New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
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The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library hits the spot for anyone craving an offbeat and often surprising bite of New York City culture easily digested in an hour or two. Quirky, smart, immersive, and right next door to the much larger and more well-known American Museum of Natural History, the New-York Historical Society Museum offers a rich taste of New York City with a collection that includes everything from 16th-century arrowheads to almost 3,000 historical toys and games to a model of Lincoln’s head from the same sculptor who created the Lincoln Memorial to a door from the first fire engine that reached ground zero on September 11. The museum's mission is dedicated to promoting research and presenting history and art exhibitions that show the public the impact that the history of New York has on the present.

Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society is the city's oldest museum but a three-year, $70-million renovation completed in 2011 brought the block-long neoclassical building up to date with a contemporary glass exterior, inventive new exhibitions, interactive touchscreen stations, multimedia installations, an innovative new Children’s History Museum, a 425-seat theater, and an upscale Italian restaurant. Recent exhibitions include: Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society; Grant and Lee in War and Peace; and WWII & NYC. These exhibitions and others like them, as well as all their related educational programs, comprise one of the world’s most renowned collections of artifacts, American Art, and other supporting materials that document the rich history of New York City, State, and the United States as a whole. The current exhibitions include:

Hudson Rising
March 1- August 4, 2019

Take a tour of the Hudson Rising which goes along “the most interesting river in America” and explores how human activity has affected the river and how the environment of the river has shaped the development, commerce, tourism and environmental awareness.  

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman

May 3- July 28, 2019

Augusta Savage, a Harlem Renaissance leader, educator, artist and catalyst for change, will be on display next to works of artists she mentored in the past. Being on the most noted artists of the 20th century, she played a role in the mentoring of some of the most noted artists.

Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorker’s Perspective
Through May 5, 2019
See the work of popular cartoonist Mort Gerberg who presented cartoon works depicting chronicles of contemporary events that shaped history. These events include life in NYC, women’s right, old age and politics.

Regular concerts will be played to entertain visitors on Cole Porter’s piano which will arrive from the Waldorf Astoria in April.

Also see the display of 100 Tiffany lamps found on the 4th floor, along with art and objects depicting the history of NYC. The Center for Women’s History is also found on the 4th floor.

The Henry Luce Center

Tiffany Gallery

Celebrate the work and designs of Louis C. Tiffany, Clara Driscoll, and the Tiffany Girls in an immersive gallery highlighting 100 stunning illuminated glass lamps from New-York Historical’s collection.

Permanent Collection
The Permanent Collection is displayed in themed, expansive glass cases and interactive digital elements, which invites visitors to delve deeper into the history of the museum’s past.

Center for Women’s History
The Center for Women’s History is unlike any other and the first of its kind in the United States. Explore the pivotal role women played throughout American history through groundbreaking exhibitions, public programs, scholarship and education.

DiMenna Children’s History Museum
For children ages 8-13, they can explore the 350 year history of New York and American history though the use of character-based pavilions, interactive exhibits and digital games.

For more history, check out the New York Story, an 18-minute panoramic overview of Ney York City on 75-foot screen. Also check out We Rise narrated by Meryl Streep, a film that will transport viewers to the turn of the 20th century and focus on the women who fought for women’s suffrage.

Also included at the museum is an Italian restaurant, Storico, a coffee shop, Parliament, and the Museum Gift Shop.

Why Go?

Best Known For:
A completely unique historical experience, as well as a library featuring over four centuries of history and art that offers a rich taste of New York City, New York State, and the country at large.

Fun Fact: The New-York Historical Society predates the Metropolitan Museum of Art by nearly 70 years, and its art holdings consist of more than 1.6 million works. Included in this formidable collection are: Hudson River School Paintings by Frederic Edwin Church and Thomas Cole; American Portraits by Rembrandt Peale and Gilbert Stuart; all 435 of John James Audubon’s preparatory watercolors for Birds of America. These unique and irreplaceable pieces, and so much more, are why this museum is one you will absolutely not want to miss. At the New-York Historical Society, you can immerse yourself in local and national history.

Additional Information

The New York Historical Museum is a great place for kids. Children under 7 years old are free!  They’ll definitely enjoy the DiMenna Children’s Museum and are welcome to explore the rest of the museum as well!

Photography (no flash or tripods) is allowed in the fourth-floor Luce Center and in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum.  In all other areas of the museum, photography is prohibited. Hearing and visual impairments don’t stop guests from enjoying the museum.  There is a free audio tour for Revolution! And most exhibits, including all in the DiMenna Children’s Museum, have audio and visuals.

Strollers are welcomed in The New York Historical Galleries as well as the DiMenna Children’s Museum.  Collapsible strollers may be left at the coat check.

There is a wheelchair entrance at 2 West 77th Street, and Wheelchairs are accessible throughout the museum.  Should you require a wheelchair rental, they are available to visitors for free, but make sure you reserve yours in advance.

Street parking near the Museum is tough to find so we recommend the parking garages that are located on 77th, 76th, and 75th Street.

Museum & Museum Store Hours:
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM


170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024