Windows on the City
Looking Out at Gracie’s New York (2016-2017)
A curated installation of Gracie Mansion’s official rooms on the 35th anniversary of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy.
Windows on the City was a project of addition: Whether in place since the restorations of 1981 or 2002, or first lent in 2015, these artworks focused on the late Colonial, Revolutionary, and Federal periods, a timeline running roughly from 1763 to 1825.
These were the tumultuous decades. The former Dutch and then English outposts of New Amsterdam (1614–1664) and New York evolved from a key trading link connecting Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas into a center of the American revolutionary experiment. The unifying fervor of armed insurrection eventually gave way to the even more challenging task of governance, with thirteen states faced with the decision of how far to go in yielding their rights to the new centralized Federal authority.
New York 1942 (2017-2018)
A curated installation of Gracie Mansion’s official rooms on the 75th anniversary of The People’s House becoming the mayoral residence.
The second in a series of installations, New York 1942 included artwork, documents, and objects focused on 1942, the year Fiorello La Guardia became the first mayor to inhabit the house. As a group, these objects depicted the evolving landscape of New York City and the profound cultural and economic forces that were transforming the five boroughs into a crossroads of progressive change.
New Yorkers at Work and Play (2018-2019)
As a bridge between New York 1942 and She Persists, the Conservancy hung 15 lent works alongside some of its historic permanent collections. Together they brought diverse glimpses of New Yorkers active in industry, leisure, or — best of all — both at the same time. While some of the subjects shown are renowned, most are anonymous; and in all instances, the occasions may have passed unnoticed. A binding theme is art’s capacity to better sense the City’s endlessly varied and complex past.
She Persists: A Century of Woman Artists in New York (2019-2020)
A curated installation of Gracie Mansion’s official rooms on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York and in the United States.
She Persists featured more than 60 works done by local women between the year Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting them the right to vote and its centennial. It celebrated the city’s wide-ranging history of women’s contributions to the arts and told stories about the daily lives of all New Yorkers, revealing the ways in which those included — past and present — creatively interrogate the possibilities for progress, equality, equity, and freedom across race, class, and gender lines.
Through painting, sculpture, photography, and video, the varied content of She Persists allowed inclusive dialogues about the contributions of some of the city’s most dynamic artists — some of whom were previously overlooked. Gracie Mansion again served as a dynamic site, specific to the living history and contemporary context of New York today in the course of this milestone anniversary.