UPPER WEST SIDE — A new display case dedicated to the archived items of tennis legend and women's-right activist Billie Jean King is among the items that will be featured as part of the New-York Historical Society's new Center for Women's History on its newly renovated and redesigned fourth floor.
The floor, opening to the public on Saturday, is dedicated to examining the often overlooked contributions of women in American history through artifacts from the museum's collections, multimedia installations and academic programming.
The project, supported in large part by city and state funding, was inspired by the Tiffany lamps in the Society's collections. Long attributed to the vision of designer Louis Comfort Tiffany, many of the firm's most iconic lampshades were actually created by Tiffany Studios employee Clara Driscoll, head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department at the Corona-based glasshouse, museum employees learned.
The museum's new Gallery of Tiffany lamps was designed by Czech architect Eva Jiřičná (Credit: New-York Historical Society)
On display on the fourth floor are not only Tiffany lamps, but permanent museum collection highlights.
Get a sneak peek at them below:
The oldest New York-made teapot still in existence
Or at least the silver and wood vessel is believed to hold that distinction. We'd drink tea more regularly if we could take this pot home with us.
The first globe to include the land charted by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano
This copper-and-wood globe was probably the most accurate of its day when the Italian inventor Efrosino della Volpaia made it in 1542. Da Verrazzano, for whom the bridge spanning between Staten Island and Brooklyn is named, sailed into New York Bay nearly two decades earlier.
A Philadelphia Freedoms team dress worn by tennis pro Billie Jean King
King wore this uniform made by British designer Ted Tinling during the team's 1974 inaugural season. She had another version made for her good friend Elton John, who would cheer from the sidelines in his outfit.
A whole bunch of Tiffany lamps
These glass lamps were all likely designed by Clara Driscoll, the supervisor of a team of crafts women working in Louis Comfort Tiffany's studios. Driscoll was "a hidden creative force" behind lamps that Tiffany himself usually took credit for, according to a New York Times article on her legacy.