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Online Exhibitions


Since 1996, the Library has created websites inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented at its research centers, as well as a number of web-only presentations based on its collections.

  • Milton Avery: The Flying Pig and Other Winged Creatures

    Milton Avery (1885-1965) was one of the foremost modernist American painters, recognized for his uniquely spare style combining figurative realism and lyrical abstraction while utilizing an extraordinary sense of color. In addition to painting, Avery produced nearly sixty drypoints, lithographs, and woodcuts in sporadic periods from 1933 to 1963. In 1946, at the instigation of his friend, painter Mark Rothko, Avery created his only illustrations: a set of eight witty and colorful gouache paintings for a children's book entitled Paul, which remained unpublished during the artist's lifetime.

  • "In thy map securely saile": Maps, Atlases, Charts, and Globes from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection

    Focusing on the New World as it was viewed by the British in the 17th and 18th centuries, this online exhibition examines the ways in which maps and charts were used to provide information on natural resources and settlements in the New World and to reflect the expansion of the British empire across the globe.

  • 500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection

    500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection pays tribute both to the rich history of Italian dance and to the remarkable Cia Fornaroli Collection, a jewel of the Library's Jerome Robbins Dance Division.

  • A War in Perspective, 1898-1998: Public Appeals, Memory, and the Spanish-American Conflict

    This comparative survey of public appeals, popular participation, and national memories provides a re-examination of the Spanish-American War and its consequences beyond traditional military, political, and diplomatic perspectives.

  • African Americans and American Politics: An Exhibition From The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

    Before Barack Obama, there was Crispus Attucks, Frederick Douglass, the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and a host of other heroes and heroines of the African-American struggle for freedom and human dignity, fighting to make America and American Democracy real for all of its citizens. Like Attucks, people of African descent were there at the founding of the nation. And since Attucks, millions have fought, bled, and died to help define, defend, and protect the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. African Americans and American Politics is a brief survey of that quest over the last 200+ years.

  • African Burial Ground

    More than a decade ago in New York City, archaeologists excavated one of the most significant finds in American history: the largest known intact colonial African cemetery in America, the African Burial Ground. This exhibition explores some of the burial sites and artifacts found during the excavations. Slide shows and videos document the Rites of Ancestral Return, which took place in October 2003.

  • Best of Times: The Theatre of Charles Dickens

    Dickens's passion for the theater began in his childhood; his influence upon the theater continues today. Best of Times: The Theatre of Charles Dickens is illustrated with rare 19th-century broadsides, prints, posters, photographs, programs, and the original, annotated promptbooks used by Dickens during his vastly popular public readings. The exhibition highlights Dickens as performer, as playwright, and as the author upon whose works countless adaptations for the theater have been based.

  • Cities in the Americas: A Celebration of The Phelps Stokes Collection

    On the American continent, the 19th century was witness to the rapid expansion of boundaries, the growth of existing cities, and the establishment of new urban centers, all copiously recorded by the growing numbers of printmakers active in the United States and its territories. The exhibition includes examples of 18th-century views of America's founding cities, as well as dramatic 19th-century formats such as the bird's-eye view.

  • Diversity Endangered

    Diversity Endangered, a traveling exhibition from SITES, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, examines the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to the loss of biological diversity. Included are reproductions of color photographs, artists' renderings, and text for 15 posters. Rain forest, coral reefs, and wetlands are among the issues covered. The Smithsonian material will be complemented by materials from the Science, Industry and Business Library's collections.