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Women's History Wing Opening at New York-Historical Society Next Spring

By Emily Frost | November 10, 2016 8:57am
 The Center will open on March 8, 2017, International Women's Day. 
New Women's History Center Opening
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UPPER WEST SIDE — A new wing devoted to women's history in America that's the first of its kind will open this March at the New-York Historical Society.

The museum is in the midst of renovating its fourth floor to create the Center for Women's History, which will open for International Women's Day on March 8, 2017, the museum said. 

The new center, the first open to the public in the nation, will include rotating exhibits, a video installation and an educational space at the museum on Central Park West at West 77th Street.

From women in pre-Colonial America to modern female sports heroes, the center will cover a wide swath of history and content, the museum said. 

As part of the opening, the museum is hosting an exhibit called "Saving Washington" focused on the behind-the-scenes work of women to help found and advance the country from the Revolutionary War through the War of 1812.

The exhibit will feature more than 150 historical artifacts from the time period and installations that evoke first lady Dolley Madison's “Wednesday night squeezes,” in which she brought people to squeeze into the president's mansion to engage with each other as a form of informal diplomacy. The exhibit runs through July 28, 2017. 

The center will also have rotating display cases, with the first featuring items from groundbreaking tennis player/activist Billie Jean King, including her racquets, outfits, posters and souvenirs.

Video touch screens within the center will illuminate the stories of influential and forgotten women in American history. It will also include an education space for workshops, classes and events. 

As part of the center's educational mission, the second annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will be held there on March 5, a few days before the official opening. This year's conference, "Body Politics," will focus on reproductive rights through history.

The renovated fourth floor will also feature a new 3,000-square-foot Tiffany gallery to display 100 lamps that are part of the museum's collection. An accompanying story will focus on the uncredited “Tiffany Girls,” who did glass cutting, as well as lead designer Clara Driscoll. 

MORE WOMEN'S HISTORY: How New Yorkers Won the Right for All American Women to Vote