Monumental Histories: Three New York City Case Studies with E.Y. Zipris

Monumental Histories: Three New York City Case Studies with E.Y. Zipris


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This seminar will look at three examples of monuments - one recently erected, one removed, and one slated for removal - as a lens to examine the recent controversies, motivations, and perspectives on monuments and memorials.

Following the 2018 review of New York City monuments, only one was removed from public view: that of the nineteenth-century physician, J. Marion Sims. In the months preceding and following this decision, numerous monuments nationwide were rebuked or removed, with many becoming protest sites. In New York, two additional sculptures have garnered attention: the slated removal of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History and the installation of statues of Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Central Park. This seminar will take an in-depth look at these three examples to expand to the larger contemporary nationwide conversation. This seminar aims to place this topic into a historical perspective while analyzing the ideas presented from multiple viewpoints.

Led by an expert on museum anthropology, E.Y. Zipris, this interactive seminar will explore the current debate about monuments and their erection and removal. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the broader topic by looking closely at three examples in New York.

For over two decades, E.Y. Zipris has studied, worked in, lectured, and written about museums and history. Formerly the Director of Education at the Museum of the City of New York, E.Y. played a leading role in developing its groundbreaking exhibition, New York at Its Core – the city’s first-ever comprehensive exhibition. Currently, on faculty at the City University of New York and Teachers College, Columbia University, E.Y. brings her passion for storytelling to audiences of all ages. E.Y. has an EdM in Art Education and Museum Studies from Teachers College and an MA in Museum Anthropology from Columbia University and lives in the Upper West Side with her husband and daughter.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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