Nueva York Opens At The Gotham Center

NUEVA YORK (1613-1945)

The exhibition, on which Gotham Center founder Mike Wallace served as Chief Historian, and City Lore’s Marci Reaven served as Chief Curator, is a joint venture of the New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio. It will be held at El Museo del Barrio, at 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street), and run from September 17, 2010 through January 9, 2011.

The bilingual exhibit explores the history of New York City’s relations with the Spanish-speaking world over more than three centuries. If you assumed that the Latino presence in New York began with the Puerto Rican migration after World War II, this exhibit invites you to think again.

At first, being a colony of the Dutch and then the English (both hostile to Spain), the welcome mat was not out for Spaniards (or Catholics), and the town was a virtually Spanish-free zone. But after the American Revolution, and the Latin American Wars of Independence whose Bicentennials are being celebrated this year, expanding commercial connections brought a growing stream of Spanish-speaking immigrants to New York.

The exhibit traces the subsequent growth of their communities; looks at Gotham’s emergence as a center of Cuban and Puerto Rican resistance to the Spanish empire; explores the city’s role in the Spanish-Cuban-American War of 1898; and tracks developments in the expanding Latino and Spanish city through the Second World War.

At the same time, it looks at the ways in which New York’s long and deep involvement with Spain and Latin America affected virtually every aspect of the larger city’s development, from commerce and communications, to manufacturing and finance, to entertainment and the arts, with many of the city’s greatest economic, political, and cultural fortunes being amassed in the process.

For more information on this exhibition, click here.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue titled Nueva York (1613-1945), edited by Edward J. Sullivan, containing illustrated essays by ten noted scholars, including Nueva York: the Back Story by Mike Wallace, an overview essay whose narrative underlies the exhibition. For more information, click here.

The principal advisors to Nueva York were Carmen Boullosa (City College); Emilio Cueto (formerly of the Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC); Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones (Princeton University); James D. Fernández (NYU); Juan Flores (NYU); Juan González (New York Daily News); Gabriel Haslip-Viera (City College); Ramona Hernández (Dominican Studies Institute); Miriam Jiménez-Román (NYU); Richard Kagan (Johns Hopkins University); Enrique López Mesa (Center for Martí Studies in Havana); Cathy Matson (University of Delaware); Lisandro Pérez (John Jay College); Virginia Sánchez Korrol (Professor Emerita, Brooklyn College); Robert Smith (Baruch College); Edward Sullivan (NYU); and Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University).

 Several of these advisers will be featured in two Gotham Center History Forums, keyed to the exhibition, that are coming up this fall:

 October 13th – “Old Nueva York (1613-1945) and New Nueva York (1945-2010): Acorn and Tree?” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mike Wallace (John Jay College) will give a brief illustrated overview of the exhibition, Nueva York (1613-1945), currently at El Museo Del Barrio. Co-sponsored with the New-York Historical Society, it looks at the relationship between New York City and the Spanish-speaking world over more than three centuries. Wallace will be followed by a conversation – moderated by Maria Hinojosa (PBS) – on the relationship between the pre ‘45 and post ‘45 periods. Panelists include Juan Gonzalez (NY Daily News), Lisandro Pérez (John Jay College), Virginia Sánchez-Korrol (Brooklyn College), Robert Smith (Baruch College), and Silvio Torres-Salliant (Syracuse University).

 November 3rd – “New York City and the Spanish-Speaking World, Part II: Cultural Connections.” Historian Mike Wallace (John Jay College) will moderate a panel that explores the impact on New York City, over the last two centuries, of cultural producers from the Spanish-speaking world. The panelists will discuss and display developments in: Latin American literature – Carmen Boullosa (CCNY); film – Jim Fernández (NYU); music – Juan Flores (NYU); Spanish literature – Regina Galasso (BMCC); and Spanish and Latin-American art – Edward Sullivan (NYU).


The CUNY-Graduate Center has instituted a fee for all Gotham Center Forums. Tickets are $8, Members, $6. No Surcharges. To purchase tickets to this and other upcoming forums, call 212-868-4444 or click here. To join the Graduate Center’s Membership Program and receive an instant 25% discount code, click here. Reservations must be made online. No phone or e-mail reservations are possible.

As usual, there will be a stand-by line for each event in case a particular Forum is sold out. You must appear in person the day of the event and get your name on the stand-by list that will be kept at the ticket table. That list is first come, first served and the seats will be made available at 6:15 p.m.

Posted Under: The Politics of Preservation, Uncategorized

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