A proposed remedy for problems faced by crowded New York City classrooms, the Workbox (2000) is a collapsible elementary school desk featuring a side blackboard for sanctioned graffiti and a private locker to stow clothes, preventing the spread of lice.
Desk Storage Detail
Designed by Deborah Gans and Matthew Jelacic, The New York School Construction Authority anticipated citywide distribution of the inventive design, but commissioned only 50 examples for evaluation.
Photographed at the New York Historical Society, Located at 170 Central Park West in Manhattan.
Vision or vandalism? New Yorkers had different reactions to the “tags” scrawled on subway trains in the 1970s. Many saw them as a sign of urban blight. Artist and photographer Jack Stewart saw them as a new American Art Form.
Stewart befriended many of the young graffiti writers, who by 1973 gathered regularly in his studio. Recognizing their irrepressible urge to mark every surface, he offered the inside of his bathroom door as a canvas, with the understanding that they would leave the rest of his studio untouched.
Stewart Studio Graffiti Door, Details
The door is a remarkable relic of 1970s New York City.
A Gift of Regina Serniak Stewart, the Stewart Studio Graffiti Door was Photographed in the New York Historical Society in NYC.
One of Tiffany Studios‘ most popular models, the Wisteria, was priced as $400 in 1906, placing it among the firm’s most costly lamps. The glass selection for the two lamps (both circa 1901) seen in the above photo created two dramatically different interpretations of the same design. One has a refined color palette ranging from pale blue to azure and cobalt, while the other displays bold contrasts of blue and white clusters.
Wisteria abounded in LC Tiffany’s leaded glass windows and on the grounds of his country estate, Laurelton Hall, and although the vine was a Tiffany favorite, Clara Driscoll’s correspondence identifies her as the designer of the iconic Wisteria lamp, which is composed of nearly 2,000 tiny pieces of glass. Designs for the Trumpet Creeper, Grape, and Apple Blossom, each sold with the same treelike base, followed shortly after the Wisteria.
Photographed in the New York Historical Society on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
After resigning from his forty-seven year tenure with The Saturday Evening Post in 1963, Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978) embraced the challenge of addressing the nation’s pressing concerns in pared down, reportorial style. The Problem We All Live With (1963), his illustration for Look magazine, is based upon an actual event, when six-year-old Ruby Bridges was escorted by US Marshalls to her first day at an all-white New Orleans school. Rockwell’s depiction of the vulnerable but dignified girl clearly condemns the actions of those who protest her presence and object to desegregation.
White Dress Worn By Model Lynda Gunn
Rockwell commissioned this white dress, and two others like it, in different sizes from a local Stockbridge, Massachusetts seamstress. He was not sure yet of the age or size of his model, and he typically posed several people in the same role before deciding who best fit the part. For the child in The Problem We All Live With, he ultimately selected his neighbor, Lynda Gunn.
All Photos Taken at The New York Historical Society in Manhattan.
By the end of the 17th Century, high heels were considered women’s shoes. Indeed, so strong was the connection between shoes and gender that a man wearing high heels could be arrested in New York under a law that forbade people from congregating in public while “disguised by unusual or unnatural attire.” First passed in 1845 to suppress masked political protests, this law was later used to justify the arrest of cross-dressing performers and bar patrons. Many similar laws persisted until the late twentieth century, when changing fashions and cultural norms rendered them unenforceable
Kinky Boots Worn By Actor Billy Porter
Today, high-heeled shoes have appeared everywhere, from boardrooms to bedrooms to courtrooms. They have been called many things: Ultra-feminine, aggressive, provocative, misogynistic, glamorous, fetishistic, immobilizing, erotic, empowering, stylish — just about everything but comfortable.
Gregg Barnes designed these patent metallic leather high-heeled platform lace-up boots in 2013 for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which is based on the true story of a struggling shoe factory that survived by producing high-heeled fetish footwear in men’s sizes.
Photographed as Part of Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes, on Exhibit Through October 8th, 2018, at the New York Historical Society, Located at 77th Street and CPW in NYC.
More than a few times in my life, I have found myself in relationships with really great guys who are also hardcore Deadheads. Hard to believe, yes, but it can happen to the best of us. Over the course of these otherwise happy relationships, I was often subjected to the unimaginable multi-sensory torture that is a live Grateful Dead concert. I was never able to really grok the attraction to this band of profoundly unattractive men that played meandering, soporific and somewhat dissonant music. Then one night at Madison Square Garden, a certain vital ingredient that had been missing from all previous Dead concert experiences was thrown into the mix. Finally, at long last, I “got” The Dead. Since that time, I have been much more tolerant of The Grateful Dead and its vast legion of unwashed fans, because “China Cat-Rider” is awesome.
Love them or hate them, there is no denying that The Grateful Dead is a legendary band that made an indelible impact on rock music; not just aurally but visually and socially as well. Through July 4, 2010, The New York Historical Society (located at Central Park West and 77th Street), presents a very fun exhibit, Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society, which I strongly recommend not just to Deadheads but any fan of rock culture. While the exhibit is smaller than I was lead to believe, Geoffrey and I really enjoyed looking through the displayed archives of vintage concert posters, tickets, backstage passes and assorted memorabilia as well as a fascinating collection of psychedelic, hand-drawn fan art collected by members of The Dead over their lengthy career. It was also surprising to learn about how The Dead revolutionized live concert sound with the invention of their “Wall of Sound” monitor system. Grateful Dead tunes are piped into the room as you browse the exhibits and I actually found myself digging the music in a nostalgic, comforting way. Oldness!
Geoffrey never had the chance to see The Dead, as Jerry Garcia passed away on the very day he purchased a ticket for one of their upcoming concerts. Crazy. While I thought that the $12 admission price was a little steep for this exhibit alone, we did venture up to one of the higher floors, where a mind-blowing collection of antique Tiffany glass lamps made the trip uptown more that worth it. Afterward, we walked a couple of blocks over to the American Museum of Natural History (free admission provided courtesy of my day gig), where we spent the remainder of a very rainy afternoon gleefully enjoying the Dinosaur bones and my personal favorite, the Hall of Ocean Life. Have a great weekend, everybody!