Dead White Men

2009 October 5
by Ellen Noonan
Jerry Garcia in Haight-Ashbury, 1967

Jerry Garcia in Haight-Ashbury, 1967

The New-York Historical Society has in recent years displayed a penchant for mounting lavish exhibits about the contributions of dead white men to U.S. history. (In fairness, N-YHS has also mounted excellent shows on the history of slavery in New York City.) Now they’ve taken that tendency to a logical, and sure to be revenue-generating, conclusion with the announcement of their upcoming exhibit on the Grateful Dead. From dead white men to the white men of The Dead: it’s time to add Jerry Garcia to the N-YHS pantheon of Hamilton, Lincoln, Grant, and Lee. If the New York City connection is less than clear, no matter—for the first time, my husband won’t complain about accompanying me to an exhibit there.

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