An Odd Couple, Indeed: The Grateful Dead and a New York Institution

A Grateful Dead PosterOK, Deadheads, this one’s for you: The New York Historical Society is presenting “Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society.”
The New York Historical Society? You read it right.
The material has been taken in large part from the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California Santa Cruz; it’s the first large-scale exhibition featuring materials from that source.
The exhibition includes posters, album art, marionettes, fan mail, stage props, and banners. It looks at the band’s beginnings in northern California in the 1960s, and follows their surprisingly strong business savvy as well as their influences from the cultures of the 1960s.
The exhibition highlights the main parts of the band’s identity and their success: Their huge connection with their fans, and their emphasis on live performance. The band often performed in New York (ah, now we know why the exhibition is at the Historical Society…), with performances at venues ranging from Village coffeehouses to Central Park to the 46th Street Rock Palace in Brooklyn in the 1970s, culminating in gigantic stadiums like Giants Stadium and Madison Square Garden.
The exhibit will also look at the group’s incredible longevity, as well as their foray into the, um, drug years.
The New York Historical Society is at 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Streets. For more information, call (212) 873-3400.
By the way, you can file this under the since-you’re-already-there category: For a complete change of pace, it’s also your last chance to catch the exhibition “Lincoln and New York” which closes tomorrow.

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