United States 1933 Double Eagle

On display is one of the most famous and storied coins in the world—the 1933 Double Eagle. The Double Eagle is on display in The Robert H. & Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History. Designed by the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the coin features the figure of Liberty striding before the Capitol Building on its face and an eagle in flight on the reverse.

In 1933 the United States struck almost a half million twenty-dollar gold coins, commonly known as Double Eagles. At virtually the same time, in one of his first acts as President, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an Executive Order banning the payout of gold, weaning the country off the gold standard. The 1933 Double Eagles, although legally made, became illegal to own and were never circulated. In 1934, two were sent to the Smithsonian Institution for posterity, and in February 1937 the rest were melted into gold bars and sent to Fort Knox—or so it seemed.

The Triumphal Return of Taddeo Gaddi’s Maestà Conserved

Mar 27 2015 - Oct 4 2015

After a two-year absence for conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the New-York Historical Society's Virgin and Child Enthroned with Ten Saints: Maestà returns. Painted ca. 1334 by Taddeo Gaddi, the major disciple of Giotto, the jewel-like panel will take pride of place in a small focus exhibition highlighting its conservation treatment. Thomas Jefferson Bryan, an early connoisseur of Italian “primitives,” i.e., painters before Raphael, bequeathed the Gaddi panel to New-York Historical in 1867, along with his entire collection. As New York City's first museum, New-York Historical wrote an early chapter in preserving the culture of the City, and Bryan played a pioneering role in its collecting history, amassing works by both European and American artists. Fittingly, Gaddi's painting will be displayed with a several other fourteenth- and early-fifteenth-century Italian panels from the Bryan Collection.

Taddeo Gaddi, Virgin and Child Enthroned with Ten Saints: Maestà, ca. 1330–1334. Gilded gesso and tempera on panel. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Thomas Jefferson Bryan, 1867.375. Photo courtesy the J. Paul Getty Museum

With its lavish gold leaf background, Gaddi’s panel was an expensive commission for a private Florentine palazzo and for its time was cutting-edge art. Originally the central section of a folding triptych consisting of three panels, it will be exhibited with two wings (sportelli) from a private collection that recently have been linked to it. Their similar dates, measurements, traces of hinges, and related iconographies suggest that the trio may once have been part of the same triptych.

Ring

Object name 
Ring
Date 
1600-1712
Medium 
Gold, diamonds, enamel
Credit Line 
New-York Historical Society, Gift of Miss Cornelia Fulton Crary, through Mrs. Arthur T. Sutcliffe
Object Number 
1952.331ab
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

In Gold We Trust? A Great Debate

Speaker: 
James Grant
David Stockman
Richard Sylla
John Dizard
Thu, May 5th, 2011 | 7:30 pm

Since 1971, the U.S. dollar has not been convertible into anything except small change. Like every other modern currency, it derives its value from the perceived acumen of the government that prints it. But in this era of financial insecurity, is the soaring price of gold evidence that faith in this system has wilted? Experts debate the future of our monetary system: Should the United States return to the gold standard or should it carry on by printing dollars with each successive financial crisis?

Decorative Arts >

Teaser: 

Furniture

The New-York Historical Society's furniture holdings number more than 500 objects, including seating furniture, tables, case furniture, cradles, clocks and boxes ranging from a late seventeenth-century Dutch kast to a pair of 1960s Bertoia chairs. The earliest acquisition, a chair made for Marie Antoinette's private chambers at Versailles in 1779, was purchased by U.S. Minister to France Gouverneur Morris.

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Highlights >

Teaser: 

The New-York Historical Society Museum and Library houses a treasure trove of materials relating to the founding of our country, the history of art in America, and the history of New York and its people. The Museum houses more than 60,000 works and artifacts, including fine art, decorative art, historical artifacts, and ephemera. Fine art holdings include renowned Hudson River School landscapes; masterpieces of colonial and later portraiture; John James Audubon’s watercolors for The Birds of America; an encyclopedic collection of sculpture; and much more.

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Creative: Tronvig Group