03/26/14 10:00am

Abandoned-City Hall Subway Station-MTA-Transit Museum-NYCGuastavino Tile in the decommissioned City Hall Subway Station

Guastavino was once a name that was a household word amongst architects. The Guastavino Company, led by a father-son team of Spanish Immigrants, oversaw the construction of thousands of thin-tile vaults across the United States, including over 200 in New York City, between the 1880s and 1950s. From Grand Central Terminal’s Oyster Bar and Whispering Gallery to the Municipal Building to the Queensborough Bridge, we walk amidst Gustavino’s tiles every day without noticing.

Opening today at the Museum of the City of New York is the exhibition “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile,” paying homage to the artisanal family.

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02/03/14 4:00pm

FUTURA 2000, in front of a site specific painting done for the exhibition.
Chris “Daze” Ellis, in front of a site specific painting done for the exhibition

The Museum of City of New York’s upcoming City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, is the first exhibition of the 1970s and ’80s graffiti art amassed by artist and pioneering collector Martin Wong. The exhibition, which opens Tuesday February 4, features important paintings and “black book” drawings by some of the earliest graffiti artists in New York City, including DONDI, DAZE, FUTURA 2000, Keith Haring, LA2, LADY PINK, LEE,  SHARP, ZEPHYR, and many more.  We had a chance to preview the exhibit and meet some of the artists.

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01/21/14 11:00am

Lady Pink, Death of Graffiti, acrylic on masonite, 1982.

The Museum of City of New York’s upcoming City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, is the first exhibition of the 1970s and ’80s graffiti art amassed by artist and pioneering collector Martin Wong. The exhibition features important paintings and “black book” drawings by some of the earliest graffiti artists in New York City, including DONDI, DAZE, FUTURA 2000, Keith Haring, LA2,  LADY PINK, LEE,  SHARP, ZEPHYR, and many more.  We recently had a chance to chat with Sean Corcoran, who curated the upcoming exhibition.

Untapped Cities: Tell us a little bit about the artwork in the exhibit.

Sean Corcoran: The exhibition will have about 130 objects from the collection. There will be a combination of works on canvas, works on paper, blackbook drawings, photographs and other media. There is even a painting on a refrigerator door by an artist named Quik!

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01/09/14 12:00pm

Futurama Exhibit-Normal Bel Geddes-General Motors-New York Worlds Fair 1939Norman Bel Geddes with the model of Futurama Exhibit for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Image from Edith Lutyens and Normal Bel Geddes Foundation/Harry Ransom Center

You might recognize the design and aesthetic of Normal Bel Geddes from the Futurama exhibit and the City of Tomorrow from the 1939 New York World’s Fair, but he has largely been forgotten today. Once dubbed “the Leonardo da Vinci of the 20th century,” Geddes began his career designing sets for films, Broadway shows, and even operas at the Old Metropolitan Opera House. He later became the “go-to designer” for brands that now represent the consumer boom in the United States like General Motors, Chrysler, RCA, and Electrolux.

Norman Bel Geddes MCNY NYC Untapped Cities

The Museum of the City of New York exhibit Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future looks at the legacy of Geddes as a visionary and innovator in the field of industrial design. The exhibit focuses on Geddes’ role in envisioning the “streamlined, technocratic, and optimistic” future of the United States.

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01/02/14 3:00pm

City as Canvas-Museum of City of NY-Keith Haring

Martin Wong, an East Village artist and collector of graffiti art, amassed a significant body of street art which included works by Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK, FUTURA 2000, Dondi, Christopher “Daze” Ellis, and more. The Museum of City of New York exhibition City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collectionwhich opens on February 4th, is showcasing Wong’s massive collection, beginning with photographs of graffiti writing long lost in New York City’s subways and on buildings.

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12/19/13 1:00pm

Nathan’s Famous still closed on Coney Island in January 2013: “No Hurricane Will Get Us Down”

We were nothing short of amazed by the Rising Waters exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, which featured both pro and amateur photographs of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermaths. Untapped Cities contributor Ben Helmer interviewed the featured photographers in the first exhibit, which included Nathan Kensinger, Wyatt Gallery and  Daniel Avila, of the NYC Parks Department. The exhibit was so popular, MCNY decided to host a special presentation to complement the exhibition, which they’ve dubbed Rising Waters 2.0.

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