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Letters from Louise Mirrer

President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society

March 2014

Dear Friends,

Spring is a time for renewal, which for us includes a new, magnificent season of exhibitions. This March we're welcoming three new exhibitions into our museum, which explore history, art, nature, sports and architecture.

Bill Cunningham: Facades features important photographs by New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, who captured an uncertain moment in our city’s history, when New York seemed on the brink of losing its place of privilege as a capital of the world. Cunningham’s vivid sense of New York’s illustrious past and his unfettered optimism about its future make the photographs among the most dramatic and important documentation of the city’s social history. The exhibition is especially timely, as Mrs. Editta Sherman, Bill Cunningham’s muse for his project and the famed ‘duchess of Carnegie Hall,’ passed away last November 2013 at the age of 101. Mrs. Sherman’s indomitable spirit, humor and creativity are powerfully felt through the photographic images. We are gratified that many of her family members will be with us for our opening exhibition event.

We will also continue our exploration of the American story of Civil Rights with The Black Fives, which looks at the history of pioneering African-American basketball teams from the early 1900s through 1950, when the NBA was integrated. It is as much about the forward progress of black culture as it is about the history of basketball. Lastly, there will be a brilliant new exhibition of Audubon’s watercolors in Audubon's Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock), which highlights Audubon's work as an established artist-naturalist and an emerging American celebrity. Many of the birds depicted are from his studies in Labrador, including some of his grandest water birds.

This spring promises an extraordinary opportunity to see history from a fresh perspective, once again underscoring our institution’s mission of documenting and interpreting watershed moments in the history of New York, the nation, and the world.

I look forward to seeing you in our galleries as we start the new season.

With best regards,


Louise Mirrer

President &CEO

Creative: Tronvig Group