Visitors ages 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more >


MEDIA ALERT: December 6, 2012


WHAT: Opening on January 18, 2013, The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara, features photographs by Camilo José Vergara of hand-painted murals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Vergara has traveled across the United States since the 1970s, documenting these murals as they appeared on the walls of car repair shops, barbershops, and fast food restaurants on city streets and alleyways. The folk art portraits express how inner-city residents saw the slain civil rights leader—at times a statesman, a hero, a visionary, or a martyr. Vergara also discovered that these images were often based on iconic photographs of Dr. King but that, depending upon the neighborhood where they were created, the portraits could take on the likeness of Latinos, Native Americans, or Asians, showing how the artist identified with Dr. King.

Curated by the artist and coordinated by Marilyn Satin Kushner, this exhibition offers the opportunity to study the manner in which Dr. King has reached into the hearts of artists from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Detroit, and how the artists’ images have depicted the soul of the great civil rights leader in a manner that reaches out to communities nationwide.
The photographs feature iconic photographs of murals such as:

  • A powerful image of Dr. King, captured in the midst of an important thought, on a wall on a Harlem street;
  • An image of Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary, and Dr. King in which he takes on the likeness of a Latino, outside of a fish store in Los Angeles;
  • A mural of several important African American leaders from the political and cultural worlds, including Dr. King, Fredrick Douglass, and Michael Jackson; and
  • Dr. King depicted with fellow martyrs Jesus and the Virgin Mary, outside of a discount liquor store in Los Angeles.

Camilo José Vergara will donate all of the works in The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara to the New-York Historical Society after the close of the exhibition.

Also in February, The New-York Historical Society commemorates the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation with a display of rare documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, including an important 1864 printing of the Emancipation Proclamation and a congressional copy of the Thirteenth Amendment resolution, both bearing the signature of Abraham Lincoln.

In conjunction with The Dream Continues and the Emancipation Proclamation, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum will be hosting a series of programs on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend. On Sunday, January 20, the Macy’s Sunday Story Time program will be reading Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport. And On Monday, January 21, celebrate with a special reading from Author Tonya Bolden from her new children’s book Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty. Tonya will also be doing a Q&A, and signing copies of her book.

Visitor Information

New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West between West 76th and West 77th Streets

Hours Admission
Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday – 10am-6pm Adults – $15
Friday – 10am-8pm (6-8pm pay as you wish) Seniors & Educators – $12
Sunday – 11am-5pm Students – $10
Monday – CLOSED Kids (5-13 years old) – $5
Children 4 and under – Free

About the New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society; Grantw and Lee in War and Peace; and the 2009 exhibition Lincoln and New York. Supporting these exhibitions and related educational programs is one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.

From October 5, 2012 through May 27, 2013, New-York Historical is presenting WWII & NYC, a major new exhibition on the most widespread, destructive, and consequential conflict in history. WWII & NYC will restore to memory New York’s crucial and multifaceted role in winning the war, and commemorate the 900,000 New Yorkers who served in the military while also exploring the many ways in which those who remained on the home front contributed to the national war effort. New-York Historical will open another photography exhibition on December 14, The Landmarks of New York, featuring iconic buildings and outdoor spaces in the city, on view until February 18, 2013.

Press Contacts

New-York Historical Society                     Polskin Arts and Communications Counselors
Laura Washington                                  Sarah Buffum
(212) 873-3400 x263                             (212) 715-1594
lwashington@nyhistory.org                    buffums@finnpartners.com

Image credit:
Camilo José Vergara, Gift of Life, 2009, Callowhill at Second Avenue, Philadelphia. Digital c-print. Collection of the artist.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Creative: Tronvig Group