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Guide to the "William Meyers: Civics" Exhibition Photographs
 PR 394

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 31, 2019
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

"William Meyers: Civics," an exhibition originally shown at Nailya Alexander Gallery, October 5–29, 2016, explores the ways in which individual citizens involve themselves in the procedures, rituals, symbols, and rhetoric of American democracy. Taking as its epigraph a quote from an essay by David and Nathan Tucker—"Civic life is the life we live in dealing with problems of common concern" (Music and Civic Life in America, 2013)—the four-part exhibition includes images of the formal political process, from volunteers and voters to the politicians themselves, and also covers lectures, conferences, protests, demonstrations, charitable activities, and symbolic expressions of civic engagement. Part I, "Politics," addresses the formal processes for dealing with the issues of civic life. Part II, "Demonstrations," probes the manner in which groups make known their particular concerns. Part III, "Press," addresses how these concerns are reported to the public, and Part IV, "Powwows," is a study of the lectures, conferences, meetings, and social gatherings where problems and plans are discussed. Meyers' photographs track more than a decade of New York City's civic life, from the cramped newsroom of a neighborhood newspaper in Queens in 2002 to the events surrounding the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in 2010, and from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in 2011 to a rally against the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. The project, Meyers writes, "is not so much about politicians or ideology as it is about the way individual citizens involve themselves in civic processes . . . Civics is about the organs of government, but also what people take upon themselves to do for the communities in which they live."

[This note is drawn from a press release issued by Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York.]


The photographs in "William Meyers: Civics" are sorted in the four sections in which they were exhibited at Nailya Alexander Gallery in October 2016:

I. Politics

II. Demonstrations

III. Press

IV. Powwows

The prints were numbered consecutively, from 1 to 37, in the exhibit's object list; the archivist has copied these numbers (in pencil) on the back of each mat, and included them in the container list, below. All prints measure 11 x 14 inches, with the exception of numbers 10, 20, 23, and 28, each of which measures 16 x 20 inches.