Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced the launch of Seneca Village Unearthed, an online exhibit and collection of artifacts from what was once New York City’s largest community of free African-American landowners. Seneca Village was located in what is now Central Park, a scenic landmark. Through this online exhibit and collection, the general public will for the first time have access to nearly 300 artifacts and get a glimpse of what life was like for Seneca villagers in the mid-19th century.
The Central Park Conservancy launched its first major interpretive signage initiative in Central Park to commemorate Seneca Village, a predominantly African American community that existed before the City of New York created Central Park. The interpretive signs build on decades of research, including the work of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History (IESVH) — a group of scholars and archeologists who have been studying Seneca Village — as well as the Conservancy’s deep knowledge of the history of Central Park and long involvement in the study of Seneca Village.
Located at Port Authority, near Ninth Avenue, is an interesting new exhibition by the artist Sara Bunn. We Wore More Than Shackles ~ A Day in the Life of Seneca Village are life size, beautifully clothed figures, inspired by 1830s fashions, representing the people of Seneca Village. Recognizing both Black History Month and Women’s History Month, the exhibition tells a story through fashion, in colorful reproduction period pieces, viewing Seneca Village residents through an expanded lens, not often told.