News Articles

Bowfin species: A&B - Amia calva from South Carolina, C - A. ocellicauda from Ontario.
Published December 12, 2022 | Ichthyology

Bowfin fishes are recognized as evolutionary relicts or ‘living fossils’ that historically were distributed worldwide, going back almost 150 million years and living alongside dinosaurs. These fishes retain many of the morphological traits of their fossil ancestors and are found only in the...

DNA Research in Ornithology at the NYSM
Published December 12, 2022 | Ornithology

Museum specimens are important sources of DNA, used by researchers to discover the evolutionary relationships among species. NYSM zoology curators save small samples of muscle and other tissues from the specimens they prepare for our collections. The tissue samples from fish, bird, and mammal...

Projectile Points from the McVaugh Collection
Published November 28, 2022 | Native American Archaeology

Over the years, the NYSM has received donations of very large archaeological collections numbering hundreds of thousands of specimens—but small collections can also be important. One such donation, modest in size but rich in content, was made to the NYSM in 2019 by the McVaugh family.

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Erie Canal, double locks in Rexford, NY
Published October 25, 2022 | Economic History

On October 26, 1825, the Erie Canal officially opened from Albany to Buffalo. The canal was an immediate success: shipping costs plummeted, and new services and goods became widely available. Cheap, reliable transportation opened new markets to farmers and businessmen, creating a commercial...

Singer industrial sewing machine, ca. 1972, collection of the NYSM.
Published September 14, 2022 | Social History

One sewing machine, two stories:

Some artifacts in our collection hold the stories of multiple individuals. This ca. 1972 Singer industrial sewing machine, recently donated to the NYSM, belonged to Tsui Ping Chu, an immigrant from Hong Kong. Chu used it in her home to sew clothing for her...

Commeraw Stoneware
Published August 2, 2022 | Historical Archaeology

New York stoneware vessels bearing the name “Commeraw” have been included in collections for years, but more recently they have become recognized for their historical importance. Thomas Commeraw was an African American potter who worked in the Corlear’s Hook area of Manhattan from 1793 until the...

Late Stone Age Crowfield Flute Point
Published July 25, 2022 | Native American Archaeology

Located in the middle reach of the Hudson River, Magdalene Island (Dutchess County, NY) has long been known to archaeologists as a location visited by ancient indigenous peoples. Until now, stone tools and other artifacts curated at the NYSM suggested the site was first occupied about 6,000...

Play Furniture, 1960
Published July 25, 2022 | Cultural History

This set of child-sized furniture was a birthday gift to the donor, Mary Alice Cole, from her parents, in the 1960s. She recalled many families in Watervliet, NY, having play houses in the back yard, where “playing house” was a popular activity for girls. 

Through much of the 20th century...

DeGraff Archaeological Site (credit: Andrea Becker, NYSDOT)
Published July 5, 2022 | CRSP

Staff from the Museum’s Cultural Resource Survey Program (CRSP) recently hosted staff and six student interns from the NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) at the historic period DeGraff archaeological site in the Mohawk Valley of Central New York. The CRSP performs surveys and site...

Martin Van Buren Bust
Published May 24, 2022 | Research & Collections

Dr. Bernard Means, professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and director of the Virtual Curation Lab, has returned to the NYSM to help digitize our collections. From fossils and skeletons to artwork, historic furniture, and even rare books, the 3-D scans will provide a digital archive that...

Stoneware detail
Published May 18, 2022 | Cultural History

This impressive stoneware water cooler is incised and impressed with decorations that depict the celebration of the Great National Jubilee of the Order of the Sons of Temperance, an organization founded in New York City in 1842.

Temperance iconography is portrayed throughout the design....

Published May 3, 2022 | Exhibitions

In 1846, New York State enacted a law requiring African American men to own $250 worth of property to vote. To circumvent this unjust law, radical abolitionist Gerrit Smith gave away 120,000 acres of land in Essex and Franklin Counties, New York, to 3,000 free Black men, thereby qualifying them...

Mohawk steelworkers, 1970 by David Grant Noble
Published March 17, 2022 | Exhibitions

David Grant Noble (1939–present) photographed Mohawk steelworkers at 450 Park Avenue and 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan. They were from the Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve on the St. Lawrence River. During the week most of the men lived in North Gowanus, Brooklyn, driving home to family on the...

Handkerchief by Marion Weeber, 1937
Published March 14, 2022 | Cultural History

This screen-printed linen handkerchief was designed by Marion Weeber (1905-2000) in honor of King George VI’s coronation in England on March 8, 1937. It was manufactured by Burmel and sold at finer department stores. The handkerchief was framed and given as a gift to one of Weeber’s friends who...

Clufffalo: Art Omi, 2017 by Charles Cough
Published January 10, 2022 | Cultural History

A gift to the NYSM last year, Charles Clough's monumental paintingan awe-inspiring 9 x 16 feethas just been installed in New York Hall. To create it, Clough invited visitors to Art Omi, a contemporary art gallery and sculpture park in Ghent,...

Published October 1, 2021 |
Published October 1, 2021 |
Published October 1, 2021 |
Published October 1, 2021 |
Published October 1, 2021 |

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