Center for Women's History
Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.
About the center
Our Center for Women’s History is the first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum. At the Center, we explore the lives and legacies of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience. As a hub for scholarship and education, the Center demonstrates how women across the spectrum of race, class, and sexuality exercised power and effected change. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center features permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant array of talks and programs, enriching the cultural landscape of New York City and creating new opportunities for historical discovery.
"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.
Major funding for the Center for Women's History programs provided by
The Estate of Jean Dubinsky Appleton
Claudine and Fred Bacher
James Basker and Angela Vallot
Joyce B. Cowin
Diana and Joseph DiMenna
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation
Richard Gilder and Lois Chiles
Susan and Roger Hertog
Susan and Robert Klein
The Leonard & Judy Lauder Fund
Diane and Adam E. Max
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Jennifer and John Monsky
Amanda and Neal Moszkowski
Jean Margo Reid
Pan and Scott Schafler
Eric J. and Daria L. Wallach
Leah and Michael R. Weisberg
Public funding for the Center for Women’s History
The New York City Council
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Empire State Development and I Love New York under
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Development Council Initiative
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History
Breaking News, Breaking Barriers: Women in American Journalism
The Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women's History is the cornerstone of the Center for Women's History's public and scholarly programs. Our virtual 2021 conference features a mix of pre-recorded keynote conversations and live panels held via Zoom beginning in March 2021.
Today, as we scrutinize the production, polarization, and power of news, the Center for Women's History explores the complex history of women in journalism from the 19th century to the present day.
Since the early 19th century, women have made vital contributions to American journalism. Many extraordinary practitioners—including activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, investigator Nellie Bly, photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White, foreign correspondent Dorothy Thompson, Washington insider Alice Dunnigan, and publishers such as Mary Ann Shadd Carey, Charlotta Bass, and Katharine Graham—made their marks on the profession while fighting against persistent, systemic sexism and racism.
In conjunction with the exhibition Cover Story: Katharine Graham, CEO—opening in the Joyce B. Cowin Gallery of Women’s History in May 2021—the wide-ranging conversations and panel discussions of the Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will take place as a series of programs throughout the run of the exhibition.
This page will be continually updated as we confirm dates and programs.
What I Saw at the Revolution: A Conversation with Lesley Stahl and Peggy Noonan
Available now | On-Demand Video
Legendary broadcast journalist Lesley Stahl and Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator Peggy Noonan started working in the male-dominated news world in the 1970s and both rose to international acclaim. They discuss their careers and the evolution of women in journalism with moderator Missie Rennie Taylor, former CBS News producer. Recorded on February 8, 2021
She Said, and the World Listened: Breaking News in the #MeToo Era
Available now | On-Demand Video
Megan Twohey is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter with the New York Times and co-author of the book SHE SAID: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement. The book takes readers behind the scenes of Twohey's and Jodi Kantor's 2017 investigation of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, which helped trigger the global reckoning on sexual misconduct. She discusses how to report on these topics with sensitivity and fairness with New York magazine senior correspondent Irin Carmon, whose reporting in the Washington Post on allegations against television host Charlie Rose ended his career.
Women in Journalism Since the "Good Girls Revolt"
Available starting Friday, March 16 | On-demand video
Buoyed by the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, women journalists started to hold the popular press accountable for its dissemination of demeaning gender stereotypes and directly challenged the conventions of the male-dominated news establishment. It’s a battle that continues to this day. Join Lynn Povich, author of the autobiographical The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace, in conversation with columnist Rebecca Traister, author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, about the dynamic relationship between women’s activism and journalism over the past 50 years. Recorded Thursday, March 18, 2021
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, newspapers and magazines turned their gaze towards a new and potentially lucrative body of readers: women. A rising cadre of talented women journalists influenced generations of readers with popular new genres, from stunt reporting to celebrity gossip to advice columns. Explore the evolution of “soft news” journalism and the “women’s page" with our expert panel, and examine both its remarkable potential and its problematic legacies.
Julie Golia (moderator) is the Curator of History, Social Science, and Government Information at The New York Public Library (NYPL). Jean M. Lutes is a professor of English at Villanova University. Kathy Feeley is the associate dean of the college of arts and sciences and professor of history at the University of Redlands. Ayelet Brinn is a historian of American Jewish culture at the Katz Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Writing Great Women for the Public: Intergenerational Storytelling
Featuring: Michelle Duster, Irin Carmon
Biographers have long struggled with telling the complex life stories of women with outsized legacies. Michelle Duster, scholar and author of Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells, and New York magazine’s Irin Carmon, author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, join us to discuss the challenges and rewards of translating monumental figures and cultural icons like Wells and Ginsburg to public, intergenerational, audiences.
Major funding for the programs of the Center for Women’s History has been provided by Joyce B. Cowin, Diane and Adam E. Max, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jean Margo Reid, the Estate of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, Eric J. & Daria L. Wallach, Diana and Joseph DiMenna, Deutsche Bank, Claudine and Fred Bacher, James Basker and Angela Vallot, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Hogan Lovells, and the Caroline M. Lowndes Foundation
Image: Harris & Ewing, Miss Marion Martin, Republican National Committeewoman from Maine, outlined to women reporters the stand of the Republican Party on current issues, 1937. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C.