Burg Altena, Germany
THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

As the oldest cultural institution in the city, The New-York Historical Society has served, since 1804, as the collective memory of New York, accumulating vast collections in American painting, sculpture, books, manuscripts, decorative arts, architectural materials, prints, photographs and ephemera. The newly-opened Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture brings our unparalleled collections out of storage and into the light. Occupying the entire fourth floor of the Historical Society, the center invites visitors to engage 40,000 objects—from original watercolors by John James Audubon to the world’s largest museum collection of lamps by Louis Comfort Tiffany—in a state-of-the-art facility unlike any other. Computer kiosks, audio tours in English and Spanish, and interpretative guides are all part of the experience. Other highlights of the collection include the Luman Reed Gallery, a permanent installation that contains the entire collection of European and American paintings owned by New York art patron Luman Reed, including The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole; Civil War photographs by Matthew Brady; correspondence between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr; and a hand-written draft of George Washington’s inaugural address. The permanent exhibition Kid City is a family-friendly recreation of an Upper West Side neighborhood at the turn of the century. Major exhibits and a variety of public and educational programs are presented throughout the year.

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