A river ‘Rising’

“Hudson Rising,” a new exhibition at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library in Manhattan, explores 200 years of ecological change and environmental activism on the Hudson River.

We didn’t expect to turn a corner and see a tank filled with fish – but quickly realized those Atlantic striped bass made perfect sense.

We were, after all, in the midst of “Hudson Rising,” attending the press preview for this latest exhibition at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library in Manhattan.

And it’s a tour-de-force show filled with all things related to the Hudson River, including its fish.

The sweeping exhibition – divided into themed sections starting with “Journeys Upriver: The 1800s” and concluding with “A Rising Tide: Today” – includes everything from Hudson River School paintings to historic maps and brochures, steamboat models to surveyors’ tools, taxidermy specimens of native creatures to a song recorded by the late longtime singer and activist Pete Seeger – and a captivating showcase of innovative projects addressing climate change.

We are, as the opening text panel states, invited to “Journey…up the Hudson River as we explore two centuries of life on and along the river.”

But it’s much more than a casual trip, as Louise Mirrer, the society’s president and CEO noted in the preview’s opening remarks: “The exhibition addresses important environmental issues of the past 200 years, many of which continue to resonate today.”

Curated by Marci Reaven, the society’s vice president of history exhibitions, and Jeanne Haffner, associate curator, it continues, with related programming, through Aug. 4 at the museum, 170 Central Park West.

We’ll dig a little deeper into the exhibition in our May issue, themed “Fascinating Flora,” but until then, you’ll likely want to add “Hudson Rising” to your list of must-see exhibitions.

For more, visit nyhistory.org.

– Mary Shustack

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