By LUCAS MAUTNER
The Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery
opened recently with an event to honor Cowin’s
contribution to the New York Historical Society.
Louise Mirrer, President, opened with a few
remarks. “I’m really delighted to see so many
of you at this wonderful celebration…and I am
also delighted to welcome you to the Saving
Washington exhibition,” she said.
The Saving Washington exhibition allows
visitors to look at the early days of the United
States through the eyes of the women of
the period. Books, letters, clothing, and other
important artifacts will be on display to the
public, part of a collection of over 150 objects.
“Saving Washington upends the familiar
narrative of our American founding as a power
struggle among men, offering the story of Dolly
Madison, and women of the early republic
more generally, as an example of how women’s
critical but often behind-the-scenes work gave
rise to the nation’s capital as a beacon for the
world,” Mirrer said.
Cowin, addressing the crowd with audible
emotion and pride, said, “In the end, after seeing
all these exceptional persons of our country—
who propelled us ahead—I strongly believe it is
we the people who try to help each other if we
can. We go forward—we build buildings—cre-
ate schools—support hospitals—we the people
go forward. Each of us will have a major trag-
edy in our lives. We mourn, we remember, and
we go forward. We follow the rules, and some
of us make the rules in the end. But it is we the
people that are the driving force of this great
country; we the people go forward.”
Saving Washington is housed in the new
Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, in
the newly renovated fourth floor. Its doors will
open fully to the public in late April, where it
will host several programs, from conferences to
writing workshops to panel discussions. Some
of the upcoming events include an unveiling
of the personal archives of Billie Jean King
and a discussion about “Women and the White
House” moderated by 60 Minutes correspon-
dent Lesley Stahl. #
Joyce B. Cowin, an alumna of Teachers
College, Columbia University, is a philan-
thropist and founder of the Cowin Financial
Literacy Project, which aims to improve finan-
cial literacy among students.

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