From Laurel Graeber’s article for The New York Times:
The accused witches of Salem still cast a powerful spell.
That lingering enchantment, which draws more from martyrdom than from black magic, captivated Valerie Paley and Anna Danziger Halperin last year when they viewed the exhibition “The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming” at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. Dr. Paley, the founding director of the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society, and Dr. Danziger Halperin, the associate director, felt compelled to bring the show to New York.
“Certainly, Peabody Essex did not think of this necessarily as a women’s history story,” Dr. Paley said in a phone interview. “But we did.”
Now the show has come to Manhattan, after some shape-shifting of its own. At the historical society through Jan. 22, the exhibition still chronicles the 1692-93 trials and how two 21st-century interpreters — the fashion designer Alexander McQueen and the New York photographer Frances F. Denny — have tried to redeem the image of witches. But the society, which has rewritten labels, introduced pop-culture references and added artifacts, takes the show in new directions. Its atmosphere has also become, well, witchier.