As we are now in holiday party season, it seems a good time to look back at previous holiday parties at N-YHS.  Pictures in the N-YHS Archives show parties from the 1950′s and 1960′s that include dancing, plenty of drinking, and even smoking in the museum.  Most of these pictures depict the staff inside what was the Port of New York Gallery on the first floor of the museum. The permanent exhibit was designed to appear to be the inside of a ship.

For more images of past N-YHS holiday parties, check out images on our Flickr account here.  See box 24 on the list for the past party images.

The library staff at the New-York Historical Society is happy to announce the publication of When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? And 101 Other Questions About New York City. For years, the librarians at the New-York Historical Society have kept a record of the questions posed to them by curious New Yorkers and visitors to the city. Who was the first woman to run for mayor of New York? Why are beavers featured on the city’s official seal? How did “Peg-Leg” Peter Stuyvesant lose his right leg?  These questions involve people, places, buildings, monuments, rumors, and urban myths. Taken together, they attest to the infinite stories hidden within the most intriguing metropolis in the world.

In When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green, the staff of the New-York Historical Society Library answer more than a hundred of the most popular and compelling queries. Entries feature hard-to-find data and unforgettable profiles, sharing snapshots of New York’s secret history. Drawing on the library’s extensive collections, the staff reveal when the first book was printed in New York, whether the fantastic story of Harlem residents presenting rats to government officials is true, who exactly were the Collyer brothers and why were they famous, and how premature babies were once displayed in Coney Island.  The book is for readers who love trivia, urban history, strange tales, and, of course, New York City.

Check out our museum store to purchase your own copy.

The Brown Brothers Harriman Collection at the New-York Historical Society was amassed to support the publication of Partners in Banking published by Doubleday & Co. in celebration of the firm’s 150th anniversary in 1968.

Partners in Banking was designed as an image-heavy history of the firm, and the Collection is rich in visual materials. However, because much of the company’s evolution after 1945 did not provide extensive graphic material, the book’s author (and Director of the Historical Files at Brown Brothers Harriman) John A. Kouwenhoven planned to end the book with a commissioned photographic portfolio depicting the contemporary organization, its partners, and locations.

For this project he chose photographer Walker Evans, who was ending his career as Special Photographic Editor at Fortune Magazine. During his tenure there from 1945 to 1964, Evans had completed numerous self-assigned photographic studies of the contemporary business environment, its practitioners and tools.

He brought to these the same eye for detail and sociological import that had informed his best-known and most provocative images: those documenting rural poverty for the Resettlement (later, Farm Security) Administration during the Depression, and his photographs of Greensboro, Alabama, farming families originally published, with James Agee, as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men in 1941.

The Brown Brothers Harriman portfolio may be the last that Evans made as a corporate documenter, and only 56 of the close to 300 images he made for the project were published in Partners in Banking. In 1965 he was named Professor of Photography on the Faculty for Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art and Architecture. Before his death in 1975, Evans experimented with the new instant Polaroid SX-70 camera and lectured and published on his collections of vernacular images, including an extensive postcard collection.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the Walker Evans Archive, which includes negatives and contacts of some of these images, and a small amount of related correspondence. It is the copyright owner of all images produced by Evans, including those in the Brown Brothers Harriman Collection.

The complete finding aid for the Brown Brothers Harriman Collection is now available online. Processing of the Collection was made possible through a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission in 2009.

Creative: Tronvig Group