A new exhibit “Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson” opened Saturday at the Museum of the City of New York and will run through September 27, 2009. Presented in collaboration with the New Netherland Institute, Albany, and the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam / Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam, the exhibit will employ rare 16th- and 17th-century objects, images, and documents from major American and Dutch collections to bring the transatlantic world to life and reveal how Henry Hudson’s epic third voyage of exploration planted the seeds of a modern society that took root and flourished in the New World. Focusing on the economic, cultural, and ideological connections that ultimately linked two global cities, Amsterdam and New York, “Amsterdam / New Amsterdam” will illuminate not only the global significance of Hudson’s voyage, but also the creative context out of which the exploration and settlement of New York itself arose, highlighting the Dutch role in creating the very character of New York as a place of opportunity, tolerance, and perpetual transformation.
Here a note I received from the New York State Museum’s Marilyn Douglas, who is coordinator of the New Netherland Institute:
Bill Greer’s novel, set in 17th-century New Amsterdam, is now available from the New Netherland Institute online shop @ $10.95 plus $5.00 for S&H. (The S&H will be added at check-out.) You can access this new addition in the shop (scroll down on home page to broad horizontal band and click on online shop) at “latest products” or click on the books tab. Click “more” to read a description.
While you’re there, browse a bit! The shop, with its number and variety of products, is becoming an important aspect of the website and a good place to search for special gifts. While a work of fiction, The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan paints a real portrait of life in New Amsterdam. It presents a window into Dutch culture during the Golden Age of the Netherlands and how that culture transplanted to the wilderness of the Hudson Valley. The thread of Jackie’s life reflects the central theme of the Dutch period, the rebellion of the common people against their rulers, the Dutch West India Company and its Directors, a conflict that historians argue laid the foundation for the pluralistic, freedom-loving society that America became.
Bill Greer is Treasurer and Trustee of the New Netherland Institute.