Grateful American™ Radio Show


Hallowed Artifacts Abound at the New-York Historical Society

Bringing visitors to the hallowed ground where the founding fathers and mothers lived is the focus of most of the Grateful American Series.

But at the New-York Historical Society, the focus is on hallowed objects, according to president and CEO Louise Mirrer, who joined the organization in June 2004. Under her guidance, the New-York Historical Society has reinvigorated its commitment to foster greater public understanding of history and its impact on the world of today.

“Our goal is to support and encourage historical scholarship, and to develop education initiatives for young people, students, and adults,” explains Mirrer, who recently led New-York Historical’s campaign for a renovation of its landmark building on Central Park West, which raised more than $100 million.

Under Dr. Mirrer’s direction, the New-York Historical Society has launched groundbreaking exhibitions, including “Slavery in New York,” as well as “French Founding Father: Lafayette’s Return to Washington’s America,” and “WWII & NYC,” as well as an array of intellectually engaging lectures, debates and family programs. 

She also inaugurated the “Saturday Academy,” an American history enhancement program for high school students, and a new Graduate Institute on Constitutional History. 

Prior to joining the New-York Historical Society, Dr. Mirrer was CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. There, she spearheaded the U.S. History Initiative, which strengthened the University’s American history curriculum through faculty development, online course materials, and increased enrollment in American history courses. Her research focuses on how the creation of historical narratives helps to shape and define social institutions.

In this podcast interview with David Bruce Smith and Hope Katz Gibbs you’ll learn:

David Bruce Smith: As we discussed in the intro, like many historians my father, Robert H. Smith, focused on the hallowed ground where the founding fathers and mothers lived and helped form the nation. But here at the New-York Historical Society, you focus on hallowed objects. Tell us more about that.

Hope Katz Gibbs: Tell us more about this amazing place, the New-York Historical Society. It recently underwent a renovation, and the results are not to be missed. What has changed?

David Bruce Smith: You clearly have an impressive resume. What brought you to the New-York Historical Society? And what are your goals for its future?

Hope Katz Gibbs: The Grateful American™ Foundation is focused on helping to restore enthusiasm in American history for kids, and adults. That most definitely is your mission as well. Tell us what kids will love to see here at the New-York Historical Society.

David Bruce Smith: Let’s talk a little more about the wonderful artifacts that are here at the New-York Historical Society. What are some of your favorites, and why?

Hope Katz Gibbs: What would you like visitors to take away from their visit to the New-York Historical Society?

David Bruce Smith: Finally, tell us what’s coming up in the next few months that we won’t want to miss.

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