This fall, the New-York Historical Society presents a groundbreaking exhibition on one of the most controversial events of the 20th century: the Vietnam War. Populating a 3,000-square-foot gallery with interpretive displays, digital media, artwork, artifacts, photographs, and documents, the exhibit will provide an enlightening account of the causes, progression, and impact of the war. Spanning the duration of U.S. involvement in Indochina from 1945 to 1975, the narrative will incorporate a wide range of perspectives that covers both the home front and the war front.
Displays will feature such topics as the Cold War, the draft, military campaigns initiated by both sides, the growth of the antiwar movement, the role of the president, and the loss of political consensus. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will explore themes of patriotism, duty, and citizenship. Key objects will include a troopship berthing unit, vibrant antiwar posters, artwork by Vietnam vets, a Viet Cong bicycle, the Pentagon Papers, and news and film clippings. Long overdue in the realm of public history, the exhibit will not only provide a chronological and thematic analysis of the Vietnam War but also inspire a fuller, more diverse conversation about the war. The exhibition is curated by Marci Reaven, vice president, history exhibits.
Major support for The Vietnam War provided the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, the Achelis and Bodman Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Educational and public programming made possible by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Additional support for the exhibition provided in honor of Gunner’s Mates Simpson, Wicks, and Von Essen―once of the USS Hornet―by James Grant, Bridgewater Associates, Harlan Batrus, Stifel, Karen and Paul Isaac, and the Southern 7 Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.