Past Installation

Collecting Billie Jean King

August 2, 2019 - June 13, 2021

Billie Jean King’s tireless fight against sexism remains relevant today when women still face inequality from the halls of government to the sports field. An early supporter of the Center for Women’s History, King drew attention to the center’s developing collections program with the 2016 donation of her archive.

A sports icon and a lifelong advocate for equality and social justice, Billie Jean King continues to be an inspiration both on and off the tennis court. An early supporter of the Center for Women’s History, King drew attention to the Center’s collections program with the 2016 donation of her extensive archive. This special installation features some of its captivating objects, including a pair of her Billie Jean King-brand Adidas sneakers from the 1970s, a Ted Tinling dress worn at Wimbledon in 1982, and mementos from the legendary "Battle of the Sexes" match against Bobby Riggs in 1973. These artifacts, along with other new acquisitions, illuminate King’s storied athletic career, while cementing her place in the broader fight for equality and the larger narrative of women's history. 

Lead support for the Billie Jean King collection provided by the Women's Sports Foundation.

Exhibition Highlights

Adidas tennis shoes, ca. 1973. Gift of Billie Jean King

Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.

  • NYC Cultural Affairs
  • NY Council on the Arts

Media sponsor:

  • WNET New York Public Media