We here at Untapped Cities are always interested in uncovering the unseen, unnoticed, or misunderstood aspects of urban life. We were super excited to speak with Morbid Anatomy Museum founder Joanna Ebenstein. Along with a community of “rogue scholars”, Ebenstein is dedicated to harboring some of the weirdest and most obscure artifacts in the world. We got a chance to chat with her about the roots of her unorthodox museum, which just opened two weeks ago in Gowanus, and its newest exhibit, The Art of Mourning.
Born Charles Martin Jones, the artist and animation director is behind some of the most iconic animated short films in the medium’s history. From his time in “Termite Terrace” to bringing Dr. Seuss’s vision to animated life. David Schwartz,the Chief Curator of the MOMI, who curated this exhibition along with the Museums Curator of The Collections and Exhibitions Barbara Miller, speaks about Jones’s influence; “Chuck Jones is one of the enduring geniuses of American comedy, as accomplished in the art of animation as his hero Mark Twain was in literature.” It is not an outrageous comparison for Jones, much like Twain, is highly respected by his peers and fans for furthering the timeless quality of his art-form; he is responsible for entertaining countless children (and adults) both in theaters and on television for decades, and Jones has helped his platform live on by inspiring future generations of animators. (more…)
Rooftop theater of the Second Madison Square Garden. Image via Lost New York
We’ve seen a lot of images of the famous rooftop of the second Madison Square Garden where architect Stanford White was murdered in cold blood in 1906. But reading through the great book Lost New York, we came across one we hadn’t seen before. Most reports about this theater and pleasure garden speak to the Parisian influence, but this photo clearly shows a Japanese design. Was it built specifically for the theatrical performance? Either way, it’s undeniable that Americans were particularly fascinated with Asian culture at the turn of the 19th century.
Originally built in 1883-84, this Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival structure was designed by architects Lamb & Rich at a time when Harlem was a suburb and 81 East 125th Street was conveniently located next to a ground-level Metro Station. The main floors were occupied by the Mount Morris Bank and Safe Deposit Company, with luxury apartments on the floors above. The structure had three arched entrances. One used for the apartments, one for the lower-level bank vault and a grand entrance to the main level of the bank. In 1913, the Mount Morris Bank became a branch of the Corn Exchange Bank.