Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
Books Features Timeline Archive
ARTICLES

THE STUFF OF CITY LIFE
BY STEVEN H. JAFFE


October 17, 2004 - The New York Times

As a former New-York Historical Society staff member, I applaud James Traub for puncturing the glitzy
superficiality of the current Alexander Hamilton extravaganza. I would also call attention to the fact that prior
to the accession of its new regime, the society mounted an array of exhibitions that struck a salutary balance
between the edgy and the traditional and between New York and America as subjects. Exhibits on lynching,
the culture of Bowery flophouses and Sept. 11 complemented displays of works by Cole, Audubon, Tiffany,
Hine and other masters, collected over the course of two centuries. The trustees should have backed this
balanced repertory with financing, advertising budgets and energetic moral support rather than have sold the
institution to wealthy new board members who seem bent on effacing much of the society's identity.
Steven H. Jaffe
Maplewood, N.J.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

URL: http//www.nytimes.com