The historic canal motorship Day Peckinpaugh arrived in Plattsburgh today as it travels the Champlain and Hudson Corridor on its 500-mile Quadricentennial Legacy Voyage. The 259-foot canal boat, built in 1921, will be joined by the replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure and 1901 Tug Urger at the Wilcox Dock in Plattsburgh on August 11-12 and at the Burlington waterfront on August 14-16. The public is invited to step on board free of charge (see tour schedule below for hours). [Read more…] about Historic Vessels Arrive in Plattsburgh For Events
New Exhibits in New York State
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The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) in the lower Hudson valley in Rye, New York was chartered in 1993 to oversee restoration of John Jay’s boyhood property in Rye, including the 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House. The site has been closed for a time due to extensive restoration but has recently re-opened. The JHC was recently named to the Hudson River Valley Heritage Area. The grounds and pastoral landscape of the 23 acre scenic 1745 Jay Property are a must see for visitors interested in American History, Social Justice, Landscape Preservation and Environmental Stewardship as well as lively place for concerts, interactive theatre and art shows. The site also has a a great Quadricentennial Exhibit. “A Legacy of Sailing-Residents of the Jay Estate and Yachting New York 1843-1966.”
Begun in the spring of 2008, New York History has already grown to be the state’s most popular online journal about New York State history. The site has become a go-to state news resource for those interested in New York history from the academic to the lay traveler and resident and for those outside the state who want to stay current on history news happening in the state, the latest books, and events and exhibits.
Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, New York (www.boscobel.org) has opened a new exhibition, Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscapes, 1825-1875. This is the second major exhibition in the new state-of-the-art exhibition gallery on the lower floor of the historic Boscobel House. The exhibit, open to all visitors to Boscobel, will be on display through September 7. [Read more…] about Women and Men Painting Landscapes 1825-1875
As part of the celebration of the 2009 Hudson-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration, the New York State Office of Cultural Education (OCE) will present at the New York State Museum the exhibition “1609,” which will re-examine Henry Hudson’s voyage, the myths that surround it, and explore the legacies of Hudson’s unexpected discovery. The State Museum, State Archives, State Library and State Office of Educational Broadcasting, which make up OCE, are collaborating on the “1609” exhibition. It opened yesterday, July 3, 2009, and will run until March 7, 2010 in the Museum’s Exhibition Hall.
The “1609” exhibition is presented in four parts. The first section focuses on what life was like for both the Dutch and Native Peoples of New York before 1609 and the events of that year. The visitor will then look at the myths that Hudson planned to come here, and that Native Americans greeted him and his crew with joy and awe. The exhibition will attempt to dispel those myths and explore with the visitor what is known about Hudson and the 1609 voyage and the Native American response. The third section confronts the myths relating to the short-term impact of the voyage – the consequences for the Dutch and the Native Americans. Finally, the visitor will be able to examine the long-term legacy of the Native Americans and Dutch, and how they affected subsequent historical events and American culture today.
Highlighting the important role that the Hudson River played in Hudson’s discovery and in the everyday lives of the Native Americans he encountered, visitors entering the gallery will see the illusion of running water. An outline of the Halve Maen (Half Moon) that carried Hudson to the new world, and fast facts about the ship, will be stenciled onto the gallery floor. The exhibition will also feature many historic drawings, maps and paintings, including some by Capital District expert historical artist L.F. Tantillo.
There will be many touchable objects and a reading area to engage the youngest visitors. Artifacts on display will include an elaborately decorated c. 1700 “Armada Chest” or strongbox, a classic type of chest or portable safe similar to what Henry Hudson most likely had in his quarters on the Half Moon; a dugout canoe recovered from Glass Lake in Rensselaer County similar to those used by Native Americans in the 17th century; a bronze cannon cast for the Dutch West India Company (1604-1661) used at or near Fort Orange and a stained glass window bearing the Coat of Arms of “Jan Baptist van Renssilaer,” patron of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck in the 1650s. A large 1611 etching of the Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, courtesy of the Amsterdam Municipal Archives, also will hang in the gallery.
Many of the maps and other 17th-century Dutch colonial documents in the exhibition are from the collections of the New York State Library and the State Archives and will be located in a separate room where lighting is carefully controlled. The New Netherland Project, a program of the State Library, has been working since 1974 to translate and publish these archival records.
Archaeologist James Bradley, an expert on Native Americans, and Russell Shorto, an authority on colonial Dutch history, have written text for the exhibition. Bradley is the author of “Before Albany: An Archaeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region 1600-1664,” and a guest curator for portions of the exhibition. Shorto, who resides in the Netherlands, authored “The Island at the Center of
the World,” the epic story of Dutch Manhattan and the forgotten colony that shaped America. Steven Comer, a Mohican Native American living within the original territory of the Mohican people, has provided cultural information and consulting for the project.
The Museum also is celebrating the Dutch influence on Albany and New York State with a trip to Holland and Belgium. This adventure will allow participants to experience these countries and appreciate their effect on Albany’s heritage and architecture. The trip is September 24 through October 1, 2009 and priced at $2,127 per person, double occupancy. Museum members receive a discount of $50. This trip includes a week-long stay in a four-star hotel located in the Hague, Holland’s government capitol. The price includes airfare, transfers, six nights accommodation, breakfast everyday except arrival, three dinners, private luxury coach, and local guides in Amsterdam, Bruges, and Delft. Also included are the entrance fees for windmills, a Delftware factory, New Church Delft, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, canal boat rides, and Aalsmeer Flower Auction. There is one free day with an optional trip to Paris, France. For more information or to register call Susan at (518) 862-1810 Monday through Friday.
The New York State Museum is a cultural program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Founded in 1836, the museum has the longest continuously operating state natural history research and collection survey in the U.S. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open daily from 9:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Further information can be obtained visiting the museum website at www.nysm.nysed.gov.
The Adirondack History Center Museum will host two events in July that look at the landscape and built environment in Essex County. A reception, slide show and gallery tour by photographer Betsy Tisdale featuring the exhibition, In and Around Essex will be held on July 8th, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. The slide show highlights photographs not included in the exhibition and focuses on changes that have taken place in Essex, NY over the last 30 years. Light refreshments will be served including an array of pies contributed by Essex community members for a taste of hometown Essex. Donations accepted. Please call for reservations.
Celebrating a Landscape of Culture and Ideas: 1609-2009, is the focus of this season at the History Center which is offering its next event on Sunday, July 12 at 4:00pm. A lecture by Ellen Ryan, Community Outreach Director at Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), features “What can we learn about people and their environment by looking at architecture?” The presentation corresponds with the exhibition currently on display at the museum: Race, Gender, and Class: Architecture and Society in Essex County. Please call for reservations. $10/non-members, $5/members, $2/students.
The museum is located at 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown (corner of Hand Avenue and Court Street). For more information please contact the museum at 873-6466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) in the lower Hudson valley in Rye, New York was chartered in 1993 to oversee restoration of John Jay’s boyhood property in Rye, including the 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House. The site has been closed for a time due to extensive restoration but has recently re-opened. The JHC was recently named to the Hudson River Valley Heritage Area.
The grounds and pastoral landscape of the 23 acre scenic 1745 Jay Property are a must see for visitors interested in American History, Social Justice, Landscape Preservation and Environmental Stewardship as well as lively place for concerts, interactive theatre and art shows. The site also has a a great Quadricentennial Exhibit. “A Legacy of Sailing-Residents of the Jay Estate and Yachting New York 1843-1966.” [Read more…] about Jay Heritage Center’s 400th Yachting & Sailing Exhibit
The faded color and worn edges of this “Bow Ties” quilt bespeak the toll of the long days of World War II in the Netherlands. There is still time to see this and other authentic WWII relief quilts in an interpretive exhibit at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY. The exhibit includes a DVD with An Keuning-Tichelaar telling how she received and distributed the quilts to refugees in war-torn Netherlands.
“Passing on the Comfort: World War II, Quilts & The Women Who Made a Difference” offers a rare look into world history, heartbreak and humanity Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. The New York Council for the Humanities; the Mennonite Heritage Association, Croghan, NY; the Town of Hounsfield, National Grid, Key Bank Foundation; and the Seaway Trail Foundation, and volunteer docents are making this exhibit possible for the first time in New York state. More info: 315-646-1000, www.seawaytrail.com.
The Adirondack Museum has launched a new online exhibit, “Common Threads: 150 Year of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters” that will share quilts and Adirondack quilting history. The online exhibit includes quilts, text, and historic photographs and is a companion piece to a special exhibition, also named “Common Threads” that will open to the public at the Blue Mountain Lake museum on May 22, 2009.
The exhibit will include more than forty quilts: historic pieces from the Adirondack Museum’s textile collection, as well as contemporary quilts, comforters, and pieced wall hangings on loan from quilters in communities throughout the region. Demonstrations of handwork will accompany the exhibit throughout the summer. According to an Adirondack Museum announcement:
The Adirondack region has supported an active pieced-textile tradition for over a century and a half. From bedcovers, plain or fancy, meant to keep families warm through long Adirondack winters, to stunning art quilts of the twenty-first century, the quilts and comforters of the North Country mirror national trends and also tell a unique story of life in the mountains. “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters” explores the themes of women’s work, domestic life, social networks in a rural area, generational continuity among women, and women’s artistic response to life in the Adirondacks.
“Common Threads” will include a family-friendly discovery area where kids can explore pattern and design, try simple stitching on child-sized quilt frames, or enjoy illustrated quilt-themed children’s books. The Adirondack Museum has also developed a special “Toddler Tour” of the quilt exhibit “that will lead the smallest visitors on a fun (and fast) search for color, shapes, and animals among the quilts on display.”
Museum Curator Hallie Bond will offer an illustrated Monday Evening Lecture on July, 27, 2009 entitled “Common Threads – Adirondack Quilts Tell Their Stories.” The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Auditorium.
The Adirondack Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival will be held on September 12, 2009. A celebration of traditional and contemporary fiber arts, the Festival will include demonstrations, a juried artisan’s market, and hands-on activities. In addition, folksinger, song writer Peggy Lynn will offer a special musical presentation, “A Stitch in Time: Songs Celebrating the Art and Heritage of Quilting.”
A new web site (now in Beta) sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows viewers what New York City looked like before it was a city. After nearly a decade of research the The Mannahatta Project uncovers online the original ecology of Manhattan circa 1609. According to the site:
“That’s right, the center of one of the world’s largest and most built-up cities was once a natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, beaches, springs, ponds and streams, supporting a rich and abundant community of wildlife and sustaining people for perhaps 5000 years before Europeans arrived on the scene in 1609. It turns out that the concrete jungle of New York City was once a vast deciduous forest, home to bears, wolves, songbirds, and salamanders, with clear, clean waters jumping with fish. In fact, with over 55 different ecological communities, Mannahatta’s biodiversity per acre rivaled that of national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains!”
The goal of the Mannahatta Project is no less than “to re-start the natural history of New York City.” The site includes a virtual Mannahatta map that allows you to see Mannahatta from any location, block-by-block species information, lessons on the science and technology used to create the site, hundreds of layers of digital data, place-based lesson plans for elementary and high school students that meet New York State standards, an online discussion page, and event listing.
Recent updates to Mannahatta include the ability click on a city block to find out what type of plants and animals called it home, whether the Lenape people lived or worked there, and what kind of landscape features appeared on that block. You can also use the slider bar to fade from Mannahatta to modern day to see how the island has changed in the last 400 years.
Last week a related multimedia exhibit “Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City” also opened at the Museum of the City of New York.
June 28, 2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots that occurred in Greenwich Village, New York. Many cite the riots as the birth of the Gay Rights Movement in the United States. From June 1969 until June 1970, gays and lesbians in New York City radicalized in an unprecedented way founding several activist groups that created a new vision for Gay Liberation. The exhibition 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation charts the emergence and evolution of this new vision from the Stonewall Riots to the first LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) pride march on Christopher Street in June 1970.
All of the materials for this exhibition were drawn from the LGBT collection in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of The New York Public Library. 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation will be on display at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street from June 1, 2009 to June 30, 2009. Additionally three related public events will be presented in June. Admission to the exhibition and programs is free.
The exhibition features original photographs, pamphlets, police reports, newspapers, and letters. Included are materials relating to activist groups formed between 1969-1970 such as Gay Liberation Front, the Radicalesbians, Gay Activists Alliance, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries. Other materials that can be found in the exhibition include a letter to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller by Jim Owles, President of the Gay Activists Alliance, asking to meet to discuss Gay rights. Many of the photographs featured were taken by activist Diana Davies who captures events such as a march by the Gay Liberation Front in Times Square and protests by gay NYU students for equal rights. The exhibition shows that while each activist group fought for Gay Rights differently, with some more radical than others, they all shared the unified goal of equal treatment in society.
“This exhibition charts a historic and pivotal moment in history for gays and lesbians that goes beyond New York City,” says Jason Baumann, Curator and Coordinator of Collection Assessment and LGBT Collections at The New York Public Library. “The year 1969 marks the first time homosexuals united, demanded, and were willing to fight for full inclusion within American society. As a result of the actions taken during this time gays and lesbians marked a paradigmatic shift in the ways that not only they saw themselves but also how the world would see them.”
The LGBT collection at The New York Public Library continues to be one of the largest and most thorough in the country. The collections include the archives of pioneering LGBT activists, such as Morty Manford, and Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen; the papers of scholars, such as Martin Duberman, Jonathan Ned Katz, and Karla Jay; organizational archives of pivotal civil rights groups, such as the Mattachine Society of New York and Gay Activist Alliance; and the papers of LGBT writers, such as W.H. Auden, Virginia Woolf, and Joseph Beam. The Library’s collections also include major archives in the history of the AIDS crisis, extensive holdings in the history of LGBT theatre, and the Black Gay and Lesbian archive.
1969: The Year of Gay Liberation will be on view from June 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009 in the Stokes Gallery (third floor) at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. An accompanying online version of the exhibition will be launching in June and can be viewed at www.nypl.org. There will also be a travelling panel exhibition throughout the branches in June. Exhibition hours are Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 917-ASK-NYPL or visit www.nypl.org
Free Public Events Related to the exhibition, at The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building:
Saturday, June 13, 2009, 2:00 p.m., South Court Classrooms
LGBT Studies Research Class
A workshop on how to do research on LGBT history using the NYPL’s resources.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 6:00 p.m., Berger Forum
David Carter Lecture on the Stonewall Riots
Historian David Carter, author of Stonewall, will discuss myths and facts pertaining to the incident.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 6:00 p.m., South Court Auditorium
Gay Liberation Front Reunion Panel
Surviving members of Gay Liberation Front will reunite to reminisce on their experiences in the movement and its historical purposes.
Photo: Diana Davies. “Ida,” member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Lavender Menace, 1970.