Photograph shows Shirley Chisholm smiling at microphone.

Changing The Face of Democracy: Shirley Chisholm at 100

June 3, 2024

To commemorate the centennial of the birth of Shirley Chisholm (1924 – 2005), The Museum of the City of New York, in collaboration with The Shirley Chisholm Project at Brooklyn College, will present a major exhibition detailing her life and legacy. At this Puffin-supported exhibition, attendees will get a firsthand look at Chisholm’s path to politics and learn why leaders like her are still needed today. Shirley Chisholm at 100 opens on June 14, 2024.

The exhibition presents an in-depth exploration of Chisholm’s journey, weaving a tapestry of her life and times using historical artifacts, music, archival footage, photographs, as well as art, including rarely exhibited Faith Ringgold paintings from the 1970s. Ultimately, Shirley Chisholm at 100 will explore the impact of a woman whose advocacy shaped American politics and policy, highlighting her significance as the first African-American woman elected to Congress and to seek the nomination for President of the United States from a major political party. 

Dr. Sarah Seidman, Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism at the Museum, and co-curator of the exhibition, notes, “The goal of Honoring Shirley Chisholm at 100 is to dig deeper – looking at the substance about who she was, what she worked on, and her lasting impact today, including her work on a range of issues such as reproductive justice, food insecurity, and voting rights. It examines how a seemingly singular individual rose out of a range of unique New York networks; how those networks functioned as tools for change while spotlighting Chisholm’s broader influence across the past, present, and future of New York City.”

Shirley Chisholm at 100 will be accompanied by panel discussions, walking tours, performances, and more. The Museum’s FAO Schwarz Education Center will organize field trips, webinars, and professional development seminars that will connect students and teachers to what Chisholm experienced, stood for, and accomplished throughout her life. More details to be announced at

About The Museum of the City of New York

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, the Museum of the City of New York fosters an understanding of the distinctive nature of urban life in the world’s most influential metropolis. Time Out New York named its blockbuster centennial show, This Is New York: NYC in Art and Pop Culture, as the best exhibition of 2023. Moreover, the Museum previously earned the title of “Best Museum” in Time Out New York’s “Best of the City 2021” as well as multiple American Alliance of Museums (AAM) awards. The Museum also hosts the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism and its current exhibit, Activist New York.

Featured photo: Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd session Shirley Chisholm / / WKL. Photographer Warren K. Leffler, July 12, 1972.

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