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Broadway and 42nd Street circa 1947 – Courtesy of MCNY

Photographs have the ability to capture the zeitgeist of an era and transport the viewer from the present to a completely different time. The Museum of the City of New York is hosting an exhibit called “Lost in Old New York.” The series of eight interactive black and white photos gives a glimpse into New York City in the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibit also gives museum guests a special chance to win a year of free admission at the MCNY. To enter the visitors must take a selfie or ask someone to take their picture in front of the photographs and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #LostInOldNY. The museum will choose a winner every month from now until the exhibit closes on October 1st.

“Lost in Old New York” is a precursor to the museum’s first ever permanent exhibit “New York at Its Core,” a three-gallery exhibition that tells the story of New York’s 400-year history. “New York at Its Core” will open on November 18, 2016. Preview the pictures for “Lost in Old New York” below.

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Life carries on in the War ZonePhoto by Mel Rosenthal/Museum of the City of New York

In the 1970s and 1980s, the South Bronx was slowly brought to ruin by industrialization, trash dumping and arson. But photographer Mel Rosenthal wanted to show another side of the notorious borough. “In the South Bronx of America” is a new exhibit displayed in the Museum of the City of New York, featuring photos taken by Rosenthal. The series of black and white photographs depicts the state of life of everyday people in the South Bronx, which includes the neighborhood of Morrisania where Rosenthal grew up.

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The exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York seem to just be getting better and better, and Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs is an engaging, fun exhibit inspiring for both adults and kids. Even if you don’t know Roz Chast by name, you’re likely familiar with her prolific illustration work for The New Yorker – after all the Brooklyn-born artist has been producing cartoons for the magazine since 1978. The new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York has a wondrously New York City bent with sections in the exhibit entitled “When You Live In New York” and “You Are Now Leaving New York,” among others.

At the end of March, we were lucky to have witnessed Chast producing the piece “Subway Sofa” live at the museum in preparation for the exhibit opening and we’re excited to share the above timelapse video of the process.

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[Bethesda Fountain.]Bethesda Terrace, 1870s. Photo by Augustus Hepp via Museum of the City of New York

A few years after Central Park was completed, Augustus Hepp, the head gardener for the park was commissioned by the U. S. Secretary of State William Maxwell Evarts to create a portfolio of images – which appear today in a striking blue color. These images, available in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, were originally used to American politicians to “convince their Continental counterparts that New York was not just an industrial powerhouse but also a mature and cultured city that could create great urban parks on par with those in Europe,” writes Sean Corcoran from the Museum. These photographs were even given as a gift to the French government in 1879. 

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battery wall-south ferry terminal project-archaeology-nyc-untapped citiesSouthern tip of Manhattan in the 1730s just before the Battery Wall was built, painting by John Carwitham/William Burgis. Image via MCNY Blog

Since the 1990s, the increased amount of construction work in New York City has allowed previously unseen markers of the city’s colonial past to be unearthed. We’ve brought you highlights from the NYC Archaeological Repository and 5 notable archaeological sites unearthed in Manhattan. But beginning in 2005, the Museum of the City of New York‘s archaeological team started excavating for the South Ferry Terminal Project. Those excavations have yielded thousands of artifacts along with structural remains of the colonial New York’s Battery Wall and Whitehall Slip. (more…)

Cartoon Memories Roz Chast AFineLyne Untapped CitiesIn her own hand, the title of her book “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” by Roz Chast

Hey, New Yorkers, are we really defined by our obsessions, anxieties, quirks and values? Not to worry. Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, which opened today at The Museum of the City of New York, explores the lighter side of our offbeat sensibilities. With more than 200 works, some of which have never been published, Roz chronicles the follies of contemporary urban life in our city. Her illustrations and captions, written in her own hand, are a personal examination of what it means to be a New Yorker, and what makes stressed-out city dwellers eccentric, awkward and even uncomfortable. Roz explained that her cartoons tell the story of things that have happened in her life, but if you live in New York, you are sure to recognize yourself somewhere in this exhibit. (more…)