Visitors to New York have an enormous choice of tourist attractions. There are famous monuments, historic buildings and culture-rich museums. A sightseer needs time to visit everything and often, when time is short, choices must be made.
The great buildings of New York are the first things that impress a visitor, immediately followed by the city’s wealth of museums; this usually means that you must choose which museums will interest you more. Unlike other museums, the New York Historical Society is a vibrant museum that is perfect for history vultures who want to spice up their sightseeing tour. If lack of time dictates making choices, then this is your museum; put it high on your to do list, right after the Statue of Liberty and Broadway.
The Historical Society’s Lectures & Conversations programmes are famous including the celebrated Darwinian Economy Lectures by economist Niall Ferguson which took place at the Historical Society. The oldest museum in New York seemed the appropriate setting to mention Darwin. Professor Ferguson pointed out that Darwin had, in his day, likened the ongoing development of the economy to what he had observed in nature: as animals fighting to survive depend somewhat on favourable conditions, so do businesses and economies in general. This is just one of the great lectures that have been delivered here; this is the sort of air that you breathe within the museum’s walls.
The New-York Historical Society was founded in 1804 and still uses the archaic spelling (New-York with hyphen) that was in vogue at the time; this title keeps the museum iconic and unique. The current exhibition of the 101 iconic objects that sum up New York is a must-see. Icons include enormous constructions like the Brooklyn Bridge, down to minute iconic considerations like dust, on the way mentioning the subway token and the bagel.
The museum houses two million manuscripts, hundreds of thousands of historic photographs, prints, books, artwork and much, much more. It is a culture vulture’s paradise; even if you do not manage to catch a lecture you will come away enriched.