In the latest episode of the “New Netherland Praatjes” podcast, author and museum curator Steve Jaffe chats with Steve McErleane and Russell Shorto about Jaffe’s work on the “New York at Its Core” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, a new installation that attempts to answer the question “What makes New York New York?”
Topics include the challenges of presenting history to the public, the role of technology in museums, and how museum professionals have dealt with the death of the so-called grand narrative. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Johnson Hall State Historic Site is set to commemerate the anniversary of the July 11, 1774 death of Sir William Johnson by presenting a program on “Disease, Death and Mourning in the 18th Century” on Saturday, July 14. Continue reading
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Jennifer Goloboy, an independent scholar based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the author of Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era (University of Georgina Press, 2016), helps us explore the origins of the American middle class so we can better understand what it is and why so many Americans want to be a part of it. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/190 Continue reading
Staatsburgh State Historic Site’s “Gilded Age Experience Deluxe Audience Participation Tour,” on Sunday, June 24th (at 1 pm), lets visitors participate in activities that took place in the mansion 100 years ago.
A cast of costumed interpreters who portray guests and servants of Staatsburgh’s turn-of-the-century owners, Ruth and Ogden Mills, who resided at Staatsburgh — their country estate on the Hudson River — each autumn, hosting lavish weekend parties for America’s wealthiest and most elite society.
Visitors will be announced by the butler, and then meet Staatsburgh’s guests and servants. As they tour the house, visitors will calm the flustered chambermaid, assist the footman with the formal dining room table settings, and try out their skill as a lady’s maid or valet. Continue reading
Mark Forsyth’s new book A Short History of Drunkenness: How, Why, Where, and When Humankind Has Gotten Merry from the Stone Age to the Present, (Viking, 2018) traces humankind’s love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to Prohibition.
Almost every culture on earth has drink, and where there’s drink there’s drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day’s work. Continue reading
Witches are in the news and three New Yorkers have tales to tell.
From Queens to Ithaca to Chittenango, New Yorkers figure prominently in the witch stories in American history. And there is Broadway too.
This week I examined the status of witches through the lens of the New York experience here.
On Saturday, May 19 from 1 to 1:45 pm, the Millbrook Library will host New York State Historian Devin Lander and archivist Jennifer Ulrich as they discuss her journey into the infamous Timothy Leary’s archives and her efforts to compile them into a book.
It has now been 50 years since Timothy Leary lived in Millbrook, where he and his colleagues — most notably Richard Alpert (now Ram Dass) and Ralph Metzner — established one of the most famous and influential centers in communal living, spiritual awakening, and psychedelic experimentation of the 1960s. Continue reading
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Karoline Cook, author of Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), serves as our guide as we explore some of the political, cultural, and religious history of New Spain. Specifically, how Spaniards and Spanish Americans used ideas about Muslims and a group of “new Christian” converts called Moriscos to define who could and should be able to settle and help the Spanish colonies in North America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/178
The Albany Institute of History & Art’s exhibition Well-Dressed in Victorian Albany: 19th Century Fashion from the Albany Institute Collection features over forty dresses from the museum’s collection of Victorian period costumes.
The exhibit opened in October 2017 and has welcomed thousands of visitors to see the rarely displayed dresses. The Institute has announced that the exhibition will be extended, and now run through May 20, 2018. Continue reading
In Who Should Rule at Home? (Cornell University Press, 2017) Joyce D. Goodfriend argues that the high-ranking gentlemen who figure so prominently in most accounts of New York City’s evolution from 1664, when the English captured the small Dutch outpost of New Amsterdam, to the eve of American Independence in 1776, were far from invincible and that the degree of cultural power they held has been exaggerated.
Goodfriend explains how the urban elite experienced challenges to its cultural authority at different times, from different groups, and in a variety of settings. Continue reading