Center for Women's History

Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.

About the center

In 2017, a substantial portion of the New-York Historical Society’s fourth floor will reopen as the Center for Women’s History, a cutting-edge museum and scholarship hub. This landmark initiative will be the country’s first permanent, public exhibition and educational center dedicated to women’s history. It will highlight the significance of women’s history to the study of the American past and demonstrate how women across the spectrum of race, class, and culture exercised power and brought about change even before they could access the ballot box. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center will combine permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant program of talks and debates to enrich the cultural landscape of New York City.

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"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.

Major funding for the Center for Women’s History is provided by
Joyce B. Cowin
Diane and Adam E. Max
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Jean Margo Reid.


Corporate support provided by


Public funds provided by
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in Partnership with the City Council
Empire State Development



Saving Washington
March 8 – July 30, 2017

The inaugural exhibition in the Joyce B. Cowin Gallery, Saving Washington recasts the traditional Founding Fathers narrative to uncover the less-examined contributions of women of the early republic. Through more than 150 objects as well as innovative digital interactives, the exhibition reveals how women in the young United States, such as First Lady Dolley Madison, became powerful forces for leadership and shaped American democracy. Learn more about the exhibition, on view now.


Editta Sherman
August 25, 2017 – January 8, 2018

Editta Sherman lived and worked above Carnegie Hall from the late 1940s to 2010, photographing thousands of celebrity portraits―actors, writers, poets, and musicians―in classic black-and-white style. Referred to as the “Duchess of Carnegie Hall” by her dear friend Bill Cunningham, Editta Sherman was featured as the sole model of his 1970s Facades series, exploring period fashions against the architectural history of New York City. Fifty selections from the Editta Sherman Archive, donated to New-York Historical by her children, will showcase Sherman’s signature style as she captured luminaries such as actor Yul Brenner, author William F. Buckley, Jr., and poet Carl Sandberg through her lens. 

Creative: Tronvig Group