The study of history is an important part of every person’s education, since knowledge of the past allows society to understand its present and influence the future. For this reason, the New-York Historical Society devotes a significant portion of its exhibitions to important historical and social issues and invites visitors to become familiar with different elements of culture and its development. This paper will present some of the New-York Historical Society’s exhibitions to demonstrate their purpose and significance for modern American society.
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The first exhibition that deserves the attention of visitors is a collection of documents dedicated to the culture of participation of American women in matters of national importance and the principles of government. This exhibition presents imagery and video footage of women’s actions and protests during centuries in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery (New-York Historical Society, 2020b). The exhibition displays and reminds people of the democratic principles that serve as the basis for American society’s development and demonstrates the ways of their origin and evolution. Therefore, this collection of images and videos reveals the meaning of democracy and principles of gender equality that exist and develop in modern American society.
Another exhibition that also looks at an important aspect of the historical development of the United States is a collection of art, artifacts, and photos about Black citizenship after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. The exhibition shows various artworks and historical artifacts that represent the development of American society in the Age of Jim Crow and the attempts of Black Americans to create racial democracy (New-York Historical Society, 2019).
This exhibition has a significant impact on understanding contemporary racial issues as it talks about the times and society that has segregated its citizens while at the same time promoting democratic rights. In addition, this exhibition focuses on the role of Black Americans in the struggle for their rights. Thus, the collection reflects one of the most important aspects of American society and the Black community in particular.
Another prominent exhibition is the collaboration between the New-York Historical Society and the Asia Society Museum to show a combination of the East and West cultures. This exhibition has 35 pieces that bring together Asia and America’s culture, presenting images of Canal Street, World Trade Center towers, and global social issues (New-York Historical Society, 2020a). The works of such artists as Martin Wong’s, Dinh Q. Lê, Shiva Ahmadi, and others present a combination and sometimes intertwining of two cultures (New-York Historical Society, 2020b ). Such an exhibition reflects the US’s peculiarities uniting representatives of different ethnicities and races, who in cooperation create new opportunities for the development of society, its culture, and art.
Thus, these exhibitions demonstrate different aspects of American society, which were formed under the influence of historical events. The exhibition on the role of women in American history presents the principles of equality and feminism in modern culture. The history of Black Americans’ struggles in the era of segregation reflects current trends in racial discrimination and the characteristics of the Black Community. At the same time, the Asian Community exhibition displays the culture of the East and demonstrates its importance in the multinational American society. Consequently, the task and significance of all these exhibitions are to illustrate the connection between the past and the present in various aspects of life.
New-York Historical Society. 2019. “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow.“. Web.
New-York Historical Society. 2020a. “Dreaming Together: New-York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum.“. Web.
New-York Historical Society. 2020b. “Women March.”. Web.