New York is no stranger to acts of protest, and the Museum of the City of New York's newest exhibition, Activist New York, which opened over the weekend, focuses on how activists and episodes of social, political and religious activism have shaped the city over time.
The exhibition, which is the first to be held in the museum's brand new Puffin Foundation Gallery, is also the first exhibition of its kind, featuring artifacts, photographs and interactive installations from 14 different protest-heavy periods. This includes the abolitionist era, women's suffrage, and the Settlement House movement, in addition to more contemporary issues like the push for equality for gays and lesbians, bicycle advocacy, and the recent controversy over the Park51 Islamic community center near Ground Zero. And for the first three weeks only, visitors can take a look at the original "Flushing Remonstrance," the city's first recorded protest document from 1657, which spoke against restrictions against Quakers in then-New Amsterdam.
"An understanding of New York City's historic distinctiveness is incomplete without grasping the motivations and issues for which activists have struggled and fought to bring about change," Susan Henshaw Jones, the museum's director, said in a press release. "Virtually every aspect of life in the city has been affected by the actions of passionate and committed New Yorkers who have not been content with the world as they found it."
The exhibition is ongoing, and the public is welcome to submit photos of modern activists on the museum's website, which will later be put online.