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“New York Before New York: The Castello Plan of New Amsterdam” exhibition at the New-York Historical Society

@ Jacques Cortelyou, Castello Plan, 1660. Paper. Florence, The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, ms. Carte di Castello 18. Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society
@ Johannes Vingboons (1616-1670), "View of New Amsterdam," 1664. Watercolor on paper. Nationaal Archief, 4.VELH 619.14. Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society
@ Pieter Schagen, Letter describing the "purchase" of Manhattan, November 5, 1626, Nationaal Archief, 1.01.02, 5751B
@ Unidentified maker, Mpungu collection, ca. 1660. Scales, bones, teeth, wood fragments, stoneware marbles, brick fragments, tile fragments, Kaolin pipe bowl and stern fragments, brown-glazed redware, glass fragments, nailsm thimble, pin, shot, oyster shell, wampum, plate fragments. Courtesy of New York State Museum, Albany, NY

Fri, Mar 15 - Sun, Jul 14  2024

New-York Historical Society - New York Consulate Region

From March 15 until July 14, 2024, The Castello Plan, a map depicting New Amsterdam around the peak of its settlement in the 1660s, will be on view at the New York Historical Society!

The New-York Historical Society presents the exhibition New York Before New York: The Castello Plan of New Amsterdam from March 15, 2024 until July 14, 2024.

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Dutch founding of a colony that would give rise to New York, this special installation is organized around the Castello Plan, a map depicting New Amsterdam around the peak of its settlement circa 1660, just before the English took control. While modest in size, the map provides a remarkably rare glimpse of everyday life in New Amsterdam revealing a complex colony of about 1,500 people at the southern tip of the island of Mannahatta. The installation unpacks the Plan, highlighting the remarkable global reach of the tiny settlement, its dense mix of ethnicities and languages, the Dutch ideas of tolerance that undergirded it, and the dark legacies of slavery and of the dispossession of Native Americans that it relied upon. Through documents and objects, and a 3D model, the installation explores how settlers, Indigenous people, and enslaved Africans experienced the world illustrated in the Castello Plan.

Curated by Russell Shorto, director, New Amsterdam Project. Virtual Castello Plan produced by the New Amsterdam History Center. With special thanks to the New Netherland Institute, the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Office of Cultural Education, Dr. Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, Laura Ten Eyck, Dr. Andrew Lipman, and Dr. Joseph Diamond.