Explore four centuries of New York treasures
The Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture on the fourth floor provides public access to nearly 40,000 objects from the New-York Historical Society’s permanent collection. In the Luce Center, visitors can see art and artifacts spanning four centuries, ranging from masterworks of American painting, to the nation’s premiere collection of Tiffany lamps, to historical touchstones such as the draft wheel that played a role in one of the worst urban riots in United States history. The Luce Center houses collections formerly kept in offsite storage. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at a working museum collection. In addition to a rich array of objects, small focus exhibitions highlight specific strengths of the collection and offer a historical context for current cultural, economic, political and social issues. Free handheld guides and cell phone tours allow visitors to hear the stories behind the objects on view.
How can I learn more about an object? (for collections searching)
Each object has a unique accession number that is assigned when it enters the museum collection. It usually begins with the year that it came to the New-York Historical Society, and it is followed by the number denoting the order in which it arrived that year. For example, object number 1867.65 would be the 65th object to arrive in the year 1867. The accession number can be found either at the end of the last line in the basic information on the label, or on a small clear block near the object. Visitors are encouraged to use one of the handheld tablets available in the Luce Center, or you can access the same information on any personal mobile device. Just type the object's accession number into the search box at the left. Some object records include extensive information, and some show just the basics. Studying the collection and updating what we know about each object is an ongoing effort that accumulates over the years.
New York: A Portrait of the City
Decorative Objects (Silver, Glass, and Ceramics)
Tools for Home and Trade
Sculpture and Folk Art
Historic Relics and Artifacts from 9/11
East Mezzanine: Coins, Military, Firefighting, Urban Archaeology
North Mezzanine: Toys, Jewelry and Accessories, Textiles