Lately the words “Black Swan” are more closely associated with Hollywood, but those familiar with the history of performing arts in New York City might know them in reference to Elizabeth T. Greenfield and her memorable performance at Metropolitan Hall in 1853.
Metropolitan Hall, Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, June 1882.
Greenfield was born a slave in Natchez, Mississippi in the early years of the nineteenth century. Granted her freedom by her widowed mistress in the 1820s, she...Read More
This post is written by Joe Festa, Print Room Reference Assistant
As my colleague Ted pointed out in his previous blog post, the electric tattoo machine revolutionized tattooing at the end of the 19th century. However, it wasn’t just electric current that propelled the industry; another factor can be attributed to the circulation of what’s called “flash” today: sheets of pre-drawn designs displayed in a portfolio, or more commonly, on the walls of tattoo shops.
According to...Read More
“Forgotten” -- undeservedly -- is the adjective most commonly applied to Swiss-born statesman Albert Gallatin, whose personal papers reside in the N-YHS library.
Born to a highly regarded but not particularly wealthy family in Geneva in 1761, he left nineteen years later to seek his fortune in America while the budding nation was still in the throes of war. Though too young to play a direct role in the country’s founding, as a congressman and secretary...Read More
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