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Center for Women's History

Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.

About the Center

In 2017, a substantial portion of the New-York Historical Society’s fourth floor will reopen as the Center for the Study of Women’s History, a cutting-edge museum and hub for scholarship. This landmark initiative will be the country’s first permanent, public exhibition and educational center dedicated to women’s history. It will highlight the significance of women’s history to the study of the American past, and demonstrate how women across the spectrum of race, class and culture exercised power and brought about change even before they could access the ballot box. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians, and informed by the latest research, the Center will combine permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant program of talks and debates to enrich the cultural landscape of New York City.

Contact us

"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.

Major funding for the Center for the Study of Women’s History is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Joyce B. Cowin, and Jean Margo Reid. Corporate support provided by Hogan Lovells.

The Future of Fashion: From Consumption to Sustainability" panel at the Sweat Equity conference, March 6 2016. Parsons School of Design professor Timo Rissanen with students Nora Maloney and Casey Barber. Photo: Don Pollard

The annual Diane and Adam E. Max Women’s History Conference convenes scholars and thinkers around key topics in women’s history, selected in collaboration with its scholarly advisors. For its inaugural event in March 2016, the Center chose the female-dominated garment industry as the focus for its day-long event, organized in memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, daughter of labor organizer David Dubinsky. Sweat Equity: Women in the Garment Industry featured keynote addresses from historian Alice Kessler-Harris and labor leader Julie Kushner, and a series of panel discussions on the past, present, and future of the industry.

In 2017  the conference will focus on reproductive rights, featuring a keynote address and a series of panel discussions exploring the history of this fundamental women’s-rights issue. Topics to be addressed include the fluctuating legal and cultural status of contraception throughout American history, the politics of sex education, the evolution of obstetrics and gynecological care, the role of race and class in the birth control movement, and the depiction of reproductive rights in popular culture.

*Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a ticket, please call (212) 485-9268.

Creative: Tronvig Group