Children At Risk: Protecting New York City's Youths 1653–2003
Developed with support from The New York Times Company Foundation, and honoring its Neediest Cases Fund, Children at Risk documents the efforts made over the past three hundred fifty years by New York philanthropists, journalists, reformers, missionaries, government officials, and ordinary citizens to improve the lives of their most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers—impoverished children.
More than any other American city, New York has been the place where changing ways of seeing and understanding the causes of poverty, the character of the poor and the efficacy of proposed solutions have been aired, debated and put into effect. Ever since the city fathers of Dutch New Amsterdam first appointed official "orphan masters" to oversee the financial affairs of the colony's parentless children in 1653, the risks posed to the city's young people have been at the center of charitable endeavor and public policy.
To document the city's historic role in confronting the problem, the exhibition will showcase approximately 500 paintings, prints, drawing, maps, original documents and photographs from the Historical Society's own collections, as well as rare materials on loan from other institutions such as the Children's Aid Society, the New York City Municipal Archives, Leake and Watts Services, Inc. and selections from nine decades worth of collected documents from The New York Times Neediest Cases.