In November 1890 an exhibition took place in the exclusive rooms of the Grolier Club of bibliophiles and print collectors at no. 29 East 32nd Street, Manhattan. The exhibit included one hundred mainly French posters and book covers (only seven were by American artists). This, the first public show of Continental posters in America, generated a keen interest in this peculiarly Parisian phenomenon of commercial art. [Read more…] about Poster Women: Commercial Communication
Daniel Defoe’s The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (1722) is the story of the notorious life and ultimate repentance of a woman who lived much of her adult life as a prostitute and thief. Set in London, the novel reflects immigrant urban life. It’s a tale told by a woman who does not reveal her real name, but to fellow streetwalkers she is known as Moll Flanders.
She was just six months old when her mother was imprisoned for stealing three pieces of fine “Holland” (imported Dutch fabric) from a draper in Cheapside. The baby was “sold” and spent time in the company of “gypsies” before running off as a child ending up in Colchester. The story starts amid the textile industry of Colchester and Norwich, noted for its refugees from the Low Countries. [Read more…] about Moll Flanders in Manhattan (Daniel Defoe and Martin Scorcese)
In 2002, a small, timeworn leather trunk was discarded for garbage on a sidewalk in Lower Manhattan; it was found replete with the cherished keepsakes of a 19th century New York City woman.
Thus began visual artist Stacy Renee Morrison’s self-proclaimed love affair with Sylvia DeWolf Ostrander, whose early life parallels that of Gertrude Tredwell, who lived at 29 East 4th Street. [Read more…] about Sylvia: A 19th Century Life Unveiled
Long before the fictional and shocking “Peyton Place” of TV and film fame came along in the late 1950s, and early 1960s there was an actual suburban community where its residents were roiled by rampant scandal, moral and religious hypocrisy and a sensational a murder in their midst. [Read more…] about The Prophet Matthias and Elijah the Tishbite
Historic preservationists will rally Wednesday at the Demarest Building on 5th Avenue in Manhattan in hopes of saving the commercial building built to showcase carriages from demolition.
Th 1890 structure, designed by noted architect James Renwick (Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell), is located across from the Empire State Building at the northeast corner at Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. It is believed to have been home to the world’s first electric elevator. An announcement of the rally said the building was “an important piece of New York and American history and architecture which should be saved.” [Read more…] about Preservationist Rallying To Save Historic Demarest Building
This week on The Historians Podcast, Arthur Piccolo has stories about the fascinating history of New York City’s oldest public park, Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan.
On Friday October 25, the New York City Commission on Human Rights will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans at the British Jamestown colony in 1619.
“Reckoning with Our Legacy of Slavery and Charting an Anti-Racist Future” will be at the New York County Surrogate’s Court (31 Chambers Street, New York). There is no charge to attend but you must make a reservation. Email Christelle Onwu at email@example.com by October 22nd, 2019. [Read more…] about Reckoning with Our Legacy of Slavery
Tudor City, the massive apartment complex on the far east side of midtown Manhattan, is often referred to as a city-within-a-city. Considered by some an architectural masterpiece, it was created by real estate developer Fred F. French. It’s said to be the first residential skyscraper complex in the world.
Beyond its sheer size — immense for its time — Tudor City set a pattern for urban residential development by creating from scratch what was designed to be an essentially self-sustaining community. The ways in which money was raised to build Tudor City in the 1920s made the complex an important milestone in the history of real estate development. [Read more…] about Tudor City: A Historic Manhattan Enclave
As part of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, examining the history of race and racism since slavery was introduced into British North America four hundred years ago, D’Angelo Lovell Williams argues that race and racism have long torpedoed efforts to implement universal health care in the United States.
According to Williams, federal policy, starting with the end of the Civil War in 1865, was based on the belief that “free assistance of any kind” to newly freed Blacks would “breed dependence and that when it came to black infirmity, hard labor was a better salve than white medicine.”
Those are beliefs echoed in politics and rhetoric today, but one of the worst racists in the United States Congress at that time, whose views shaped post-Civil War policy, was Samuel Sullivan Cox. During the 38th session of Congress, Cox led opposition against the formation of a Freedmen’ Bureau to assist newly emancipated Africans based on his belief that that African race was doomed to extinction by its inherent inferiority and inability to survive outside of bondage. [Read more…] about Racism’s War On Equality Has A Long History
The New York State Archives have announced that the program “Anna & Henrietta Mercy: Militant Maids of the Lower East Side”is set for September 8.
Sisters Anna & Henrietta Mercy were a dynamic duo of socialist activism in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. As young children they immigrated to the United States from Austria with their parents in the late 1800s; as young women, they devoted their time and many talents to the East Side Equal Rights League’s agenda of women’s economic and political equality.