GIVE A NEW-YORK HISTORICAL PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR!
Private guided tours at the Museum make excellent gifts! Led by our expertly trained docents, New-York Historical Society group tours are memorable and provide a unique and personalized experience.
Send your friends or family a New-York Historical Society Tour Experience package, and they can choose the tour that interests them—either a general highlights tour of our permanent collection or a special exhibition tour of their choice. Guided tour gift packages include Museum Admission for the day for up 10 people, plus 10 percent off at the NYHistory Store and access to watch New York Story and our Center for Women's History film We Rise.
To learn more about Private Guided Gift Tour rates and experiences, please call (212) 873-3400 ext. 352 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Group Tour Pricing
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Reserve a 60-minute private Guided Tour with one of our curator-trained docents. Our docent-led tours are un-scripted and unique—each tour is a new experience!
For more information, call (212) 873-3400 x352 or email Group.Tours@nyhistory.org
Special Exhibition Tours
Unlock the secret history of the city in a whirlwind romp through the Museum! The hunt leads you along a trail of quirky clues and challenges you to answer fun, funny questions about the Museum’s countless artifacts. Your team will follow a trail of clues through the Luce Center and the new Center for Women’s History, plus an array of special exhibits. No knowledge of the museum or New York history required: you just need sharp eyes and comfy shoes. This exciting 45-minute game will show you the New-York Historical Society in surprising new ways!
When slavery ended in 1865, a period of Reconstruction began, leading to such achievements as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. By 1868, all persons born in the United States were citizens and equal under the law. But efforts to create an interracial democracy were contested from the start. A harsh backlash ensued, ushering in a half century of the “separate but equal” age of Jim Crow. On this Docent-led tour, journey through the transformative decades in American history that unfolded in the 50 years following the Civil War and learn about the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights.
Immerse yourself in the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Tours of Harry Potter: A History of Magic feature rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library, New-York Historical Society, U.S. Harry Potter-publisher Scholastic, and other special collections. Explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrators Mary GrandPré and Jim Kay. Special rates and booking policies apply.
Contemporary artist Betye Saar has shaped the development of assemblage art in the United States, particularly as a device to illuminate social and political concerns. A key figure in the Black Arts Movement and the feminist art movement of the 1960-70s, Saar’s distinct vision harmonizes the personal and the political. Docent-led tours will explore one facet of Saar’s work—washboards—created between 1997 and 2017. Object Highlights include Extreme Times Call for Extreme Heroines, A Call to Arms and National Racism: We Was Mostly ‘Bout Survival. Discover the washboard as a symbol of the unresolved legacy of slavery and the subsequent oppressive systems facing Black Americans today, particularly Black women.
Permanent Exhibition Tours
For more than 200 years, the New-York Historical Society has been preserving and exhibiting artwork. Dive into the stories of many illustrious artworks on our docent-led gallery tour. Learn about some of the most renowned works in our collection, ranging in date from the 14th through the 21st centuries, including Thomas Cole's iconic "Course of Empire" series and Charles Willson Peale's Peale Family Portrait. Plus, marvel at Picasso’s magnificent Le Tricorne ballet curtain, the largest piece on view in the United States by the Spanish artist.
Explore our world-renowned permanent collection on our one-of-a-kind highlights tour. Our specially trained guides lead you through the Smith Gallery, showcasing New York’s central role in the creation of the United States. The tour continues on the second floor where a selection of our more than 40,000 historic objects tells the story of Gotham, from its early days as a Dutch colony to the cosmopolitan metropolis of today.
Despite enormous obstacles, women across the spectrum of race and class exercised power and effected change even before they could access the ballot box. Discover the untold stories of women whose contributions to American culture, politics, and society altered the course of history.
Experience our collection of Tiffany lamps—one of the world’s largest and most encyclopedic—in a dazzling new two-story gallery. See more than 100 examples of this elegant American art form and hear the personal stories of head designer Clara Driscoll and her team in the Glassmaking Department known as the “Tiffany Girls,” whose contributions were nearly lost to history.
New York’s unique entrepreneurial spirit has inspired objects that stand alone in design and functionality. Hear the dynamic stories of American history as told through extraordinary and everyday objects from our collection. Discover what makes New York the capital of creativity!
The forgotten, often perplexing histories of the United States can be told through artifacts left behind. Since 1804, the New-York Historical Society has been preserving and exhibiting objects that tell captivating stories. History uncovered on this tour will include the 19th-century fascination with phrenology, or skull-reading; the lost art of cigar ribbon manufacturing; and the 1863 draft lottery that sparked the deadliest civil disturbance in our nation’s history.
How can the past inform our present? Discover the New York of yesterday and today through artifacts and works of art from our collection, excavated from city streets and donated by illustrious New Yorkers. Select the century in New York history that most interests you and we’ll tailor a tour to fit!
1600–1700: Before the city was New York, it was New Amsterdam—a remote New World trading outpost in a global Dutch empire. After coming under British rule in 1664, New York retained its diverse, multilingual population and entrepreneurial spirit, remaining a city that existed first and foremost as a financial and trading center.
1700–1800: Under British occupation from 1776 to 1783, New York—a hotbed of contention between Patriots and Loyalists—felt the effects of nearby battles. After the Revolution, New Yorkers witnessed Washington’s inauguration and the city became the first U.S. capital. During this period, one in five New Yorkers lived in bondage.
1800–1900: Fueled by immigration and innovations like the Erie Canal and Brooklyn Bridge, New York grew from a port city concentrated in lower Manhattan to a unified metropolis. During and after the Civil War, New York politics became increasingly contentious. As the 19th century came to a close, the Progressive Movement emerged in response to the excesses of Tammany Hall and the Gilded Age.
1900–2000: During the tumult of the 20th century’s traumatic world wars, ordinary New Yorkers contributed to the war effort. Following World War II, New York emerged on the international stage as a global capital with a unique identity, and its landmarks became recognizable worldwide as New York culture was captured in song, on stage, and on film.