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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.


[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. 


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…)

Roz Chast Museum of the City of New York Untapped Cities AFineLyne

When your New Yorker magazine arrives in the mail, do you go to the cartoons first? If you do, than we won’t have to introduce you to Roz Chast, cartoonist. Her cartoons first appeared in The New Yorker in 1978 in the form of a cartoon named Little Things, which was a collection of small objects named Chent, Spak and Tiv. From black-and-white cartoons, color spreads, back pages and New Yorker covers, we have enjoyed her cartoons ever since. Next week, The Museum of the City of New York will present the exhibit Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, featuring over 200 works, many of which have never been published. Curated by Fran Rosenfeld, the exhibit will open to the public on April 14. Untapped Cities was there today to get a sneak-peak of Roz preparing for her installation.


Adler-Merchant of Venice-MCNY-NYC-Untapped Cities-001Jacob P. Adler as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, 1903. Image via MCNY

On Wednesday March 9, 2016, the Museum of the City of New York opened the new exhibit New York’s Yiddish Theater: From Bowery to Broadway curated by Professor Edna Nahshon. The exhibit is a lively and colorful compilation of the history of Yiddish theater in New York City, featuring costumes, film clips, posters, playbills, and photographs. (more…)