Defying Victorianism and New York at Its Core: Port City, 1609-1898
New York women have a history of pushing the envelope. We may think of the Victorian era as a period of constraints on women’s lives, but 19th-century New York City was full of women who defied expectations. Join us on a tour of Rebel Women: Defying Victorianism which explores the lives of activists like Elizabeth Jennings Graham, an African-American New Yorker who refused to get off a segregated trolley in 1854; professionals like Hetty Green, a wealthy businesswoman branded “the witch of Wall Street”; and working women like Helen Jewett, New York’s most prominent courtesan—all of whom challenged the Victorian ideal. Featuring photographs, garments, paintings, and prints from the Museum’s collections, the exhibition brings to light the compelling and often untold stories of the city’s independent, unconventional, and path-breaking women who had an indelible impact on New York’s society, culture, and economy by the turn of the 20th century. We will then travel further back in time on a special British-themed tour created for Royal Oak of New York at Its Core: Port City, 1609-1898 to Henry Hudson’s voyage into New York Harbor and follow the story of the city as it grew into the nation’s economic and cultural capital.