New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society is the oldest museum in the city. It was founded almost 70 years before the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and its mission is to explore the political, cultural and social history of New York. It serves as a national forum for the discussion of issues related to the making and meaning of history. Recently re-opened after a major renovation, the museum now has wider, and more visitor-friendly, entrances on Central Park West and on 77th Street. New bronze statues of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass increase the building’s street presence and enhance its cultural identity. Its art holdings comprise well over a million works and its research library over three million books, maps, newspapers and other materials. One of the major highlights is the new gallery on the ground floor: the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New Gallery of American History. This is the first permanent installation to illustrate the main themes addressed by the institution. It provides an overview of the entire collection and gives visitors a taste of what that they will encounter during their visit.
In celebration of the winter holidays, the American Ballet Theatre presents “The Nutcracker” at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House from December 14th through the 31st. The production is choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The story is based on the “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman. At a Christmas party, little Clara receives a magic Nutcracker as a gift. What follows is a dreamlike fantasy, in which Clara and the Nutcracker fight the Mouse King… travel through the Land of Snow… and undergo many other adventures that have captivated audiences of all ages for over a century!
American Christmas Cards, 1900-1960
Through December 31 the Bard Graduate Center presents “American Christmas Cards, 1900–1960.” This was a time when the Christmas card represented a distinctive way to express holiday greetings within a rapidly changing society. Although Christmas cards have been an art form of communication and communion for decades, they also represent a subject that until now has been largely unexamined, even within the art world. This exhibition presents twenty of the most popular kinds of Christmas card imagery. By examining these colorful artifacts, the visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the American Christmas traditions, as well as of other significant aspects of American culture.
Holiday tunes at Carnegie Hall
For a musical celebration of the holidays, the New York Pops Orchestra invites you to Carnegie Hall on December 16 and 17. Under the baton of Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra will perform a rich selection of festive tunes. Titled “John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey Wish You a Swingin’ Christmas,” the show features the husband and wife team that The New York Times called “a musical match made in heaven.” Jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli is a Grammy Award nominee. Actress and vocalist Jessica Molaskey is a veteran of a dozen Broadway shows.
Storied City: New York in Picture Book Art
At the Katonah Museum of Art, an exhibition of fascinating illustrations brings to life the magic of New York City, as seen through the perspective of children’s books. On view through December 31, “Storied City: New York in Picture Book Art” features original art structured in four sections that showcase recurring themes: “Big City” celebrates New York’s major landmarks, from skyscrapers and bridges to museums… In “Fast City”, New York’s kinetic energy proves to be a challenging subject to capture on paper… The images in “Rainbow City” offer glimpses of the human dimension, in particular the city’s variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds… The last section, “Green City”, reminds us that no city, however great, can exist without nature.