If you missed Portal, at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan which closed yesterday, we have photographs of one of the most urban of the installations. The papier-mâché New York City street scene by Will Kurtz featured ubiquitous objects like street signs (corner of Myrtle and Broadway, transported to Wall Street), fire hydrants, waste baskets, pigeons and pets.
In December, we reported that the National Trust for Historic Preservation was bringing back New York City’s Federal Hall as “America’s Front Door,” referencing a more bustling time when the building served as the customs house for the United States. It was the first meeting location for the United States Congress and where George Washington was inaugurated as President.
But until recently, a mere 1% of the 15 million people who pass by entered the building. The art exhibit Portal, by the non-profit arts group 4heads (the team behind the Governors Island Art Fair) was part of the effort to change that, mounting the first art exhibition ever inside Federal Hall.
Portal was a collaboration between 4heads and the National Park Service, who manages Federal Hall. The 28 artists exhibited were selected through a competition and admission to Portal is free. Some pieces were up for sale, as seen in the 4heads art catalogue.
Kurtz’ work, entitled Pardon the Interruption Please, is part of a larger series that includes a bench from Brighton Beach, a dog walker, and other quintessential New York City characters.
Stay tuned with 4heads for news on their September 2016 curation of the Governors Island Art Fair.
Next, check out 20 permanent art installation in Lower Manhattan.
Michelle is the founder of Untapped New York. She is the author of Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants, and Broadway. She is a graduate of Harvard College in the History of Art and Architecture and holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she is an Adjunct Professor of Architecture.