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Displaying items by tag: American History

Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, on loan from The New York Public Library, and the Delaware copy of the US Bill of Rights, on loan from The US National Archives, two of the most iconic documents in American history, are in the UK for the first time and on display at the British Library from last Friday in the world’s largest exhibition about Magna Carta.

"Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy" unites over 200 exhibits, including iconic documents, such as two of the four surviving 1215 Magna Carta manuscripts, artworks, medieval manuscripts, Royal remains, weaponry and 800 year old garments, through to modern interpretations and satires of the document, to tell a revealing story of how Magna Carta has become a global symbol of freedom.

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Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, today announced plans for the establishment of a new Center for the Study of Women’s History, located on New-York Historical’s fourth floor within a fully-renovated Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture. A model of innovation, the new Center will include permanent and temporary exhibition galleries and a theater featuring a multimedia film, providing a venue for scholarly research, seminars, and public programs that bridge the gap between “women’s history” and American history. The new Center is scheduled to open in December 2016.

“The new Center for Women’s History will become a destination for discovery of the crucial role that New York women played in our nation’s social, political, and cultural evolution as women struggled for and eventually won the right to vote,” said Dr. Mirrer. “We will highlight the women who changed the course of our history, giving voice, in many cases, to the voiceless, who ushered in the Progressive era and emerged triumphant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.”

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One of four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta is on display at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, surrounded by influential documents in American history.

Reverend Philip Buckler is Dean of England’s Lincoln Cathedral, the permanent home for the version of the Magna Carta currently on view at The Clark. Buckler explains the document was forced upon England’s King John by the country’s barons who were fed up with his demands and increasing taxes to fund warfare abroad.

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On Friday, July 19, 2013, the Museum of Modern Art in New York will present Walker Evans American Photographs. The exhibition celebrates the 75th anniversary of MoMA’s first one-person photography show, which featured Walker Evans’ work. The landmark exhibition was accompanied by an equally revered publication of images, which will be rereleased for this show.

Through his groundbreaking exhibition and publication, which he painstakingly assembled, Evans created a collective portrait of the United States from the late-1920s to the mid-1930s. Using the signs and symbols of commercial culture and vernacular, Evans captured a truly pivotal period in American history.

The exhibition is split into two sections – the first focuses on the portrayal of American society through images of individuals and social context, while the second consists of images of American cultural artifacts such as rural churches, wooden houses and the architecture of Main streets across the country.

Walker Evans American Photographs will be on view at MoMA through January 26, 2014.  

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013 13:35

Adelson Galleries Opens in Boston

Continuing his family’s tradition as a Boston art dealer, Adam Adelson, son of preeminent New York City art dealer and former Boston gallery founder Warren Adelson, has opened an impressive 2-floor gallery in Boston that specializes in contemporary and modern art. Says Adelson, “My family’s business in art has inspired me to pursue the same profession. We plan to exhibit pieces that in some small way define our generation.” The gallery is currently showing “Modern Masters” through January 30. Opening February 1 and extending through March 17, 2013, the gallery will be hosting an exhibit on Winfred Rembert. Of the show, Adelson says, “I am happy to introduce Winfred Rembert to Boston. His amazing life story, which he tools on leather, is not only an inspiration, but an important part of American history.

Adelson Galleries Boston is located at 520 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA. For more information call 617-832-0633 or visit

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Historian and American decorative arts expert, Wendell D. Garrett, died of natural causes on November 14 in Williston, Vermont. He was 83. Garrett was well known for his appearances as an appraiser on the PBS series, “Antiques Roadshow,” which launched in 1997. Garrett participated in every season of the program and will make a posthumous appearance on the show’s next season, which premieres January 7, 2013.

Prior to his work on “Antiques Roadshow,” Garrett served as the senior vice president in the American decorative arts department at Sotheby’s. He also wrote and edited a number of books on antiques including Victorian America: Classical Romanticism to Gilded Opulence (1993), Monticello and the Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (1994), and American Colonial: Puritan Simplicity to Georgian Grace (1995).

Born in Los Angeles in 1929, Garrett attended UCLA where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Subsequently, Garrett enrolled at the University of Delaware and received a master’s degree in early American culture from the school’s distinguished Winterthur program. He later earned another master’s degree in American history from Harvard.

Garrett joined the Adams Papers Project at the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1959 where he served as the assistant editor of the Diary and Autobiography of John Adams (1961), a four-volume set that starts with entries from 1755. Garrett is also credited with finding an even earlier Adams diary with entries beginning in 1753. The Earliest Diary of John Adams was published in 1966 with Garrett as associate editor.

Garrett’s three children, four grandchildren, and a brother survive him.

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Federal budget cuts forced the closure of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Save America’s Treasures (SAT) office in July. SAT had provided more than $315m in funding for historic preservation since 1999. US Congress does not plan to renew funding.

“Save America’s Treasures was a model public-private partnership that invested record amounts to preserve the icons of our democracy,” said Bobbie Greene McCarthy, the former SAT director at the national trust. “Its demise is a terrible loss to our country. We were only asking for $5m to keep things going,” she added.

This recent budget cut does not save dollars in terms of tax revenue. “The SAT appropriation comes out of the Historic Preservation Fund, which is funded by outer continental oil lease revenues, not taxes,” said Hampton Tucker, the chief of the Historic Preservation Grants Division, National Park Service.

While the SAT closure is seen by some as a blemish on the Obama administration’s interest in historic preservation, on 11 August, the US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $100m toward the Floridian Everglades restoration under the Wetlands Reserve Program. That funding will go to ranchers to relinquish development rights to as much as 24,000 acres northwest of Lake Okeechobee and preserve them under permanent conservation easements. The same day, Vilsack announced $21.8m in additional funding to help eligible farmers and ranchers in Wyoming conserve the Greater Sage-grouse habitat. Then on 16 August, Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, announced his department will pump more than $43.1m into conservation and recreation improvement projects in Nevada.

SAT has a long history of providing grants for historic preservation. In 2010, a total of 113 grants were awarded. “SAT grants were matched dollar for dollar and were a spark for community development,” said Greene McCarthy.

The National Park Service continues to administer the SAT grant programme with over 500 grants awarded between 2006-10 that are still active. With no funding, there are no new applications.

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