New York:
An Illustrated History (Revised and Expanded)

Tue, Mar 8, 2022
Knopf, 2021

Twenty-two years after the original New York: An Illustrated History – first published in 1999 as a companion volume to the acclaimed 17 ½-hour PBS series "New York: A Documentary Film," directed by Ric Burns and co-written with James Sanders – the dynamic duo is back with an even bigger book and soon-to-be aired coda on New York since the millennium. In this program JAMES SANDERS and RIC BURNS will describe the project to revise and update their epic compendium and answer questions in dialogue with Museum Director Carol Willis.

The new 2021 edition of New York: An Illustrated History, written by Burns and Sanders, moves on from the aftermath of 9/11 to the financial crisis of 2008, the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, the continual struggle with racial injustice, and the still unfolding cataclysm of the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents a lively portrait of the city’s vibrant street life and culture: the physical transformation of the city's streets, skyline, and waterfront, the birth of hip-hop in the South Bronx, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Gates in Central Park, the musicals of Broadway, the explosion in location filmmaking in every borough, the pivotal rise of the tech industry, in an epic story of urban rebirth and growth.

Ric Burns and James Sanders

RIC BURNS is a documentary filmmaker. In addition to directing the award-winning PBS series New York, written with James Sanders, Ric is known for his work on The Civil War, which he produced with his brother, Ken. Since 1990, he has directed nearly fifty hours of prime-time programming for PBS in films that have received seven Emmy Awards, three Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards, and two Peabody Awards, among others.

JAMES SANDERS, FAIA is an architect, author, and filmmaker. His landmark study of the city and film, Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies, won a Theatre Library Association Award. He has written for the New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Vanity Fair, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Emmy Award, and in 2021 was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the AIA"s highest membership honor.



The video begins with brief introductions by Museum Director Carol Willis. It is followed by a dialogue with director Ric Burns, co-writer James Sanders and Carol Willis.