Category: Small Museums and Galleries in NYC

The Morgan Library & Museum                                                                                                225 Madison Avenue          New York, NY 10016

The Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016

The Morgan Museum & Library

225 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10016

(212) 685-3484

Open: Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Friday 10:30am-5:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $22.00/Seniors (over 65) $14.00/Current Students with ID $13.00/Free to Members and Children under 12 accompanied by a parent. Free on Friday Nights from 7:00pm-9:00pm. Discount for people with disabilities $13.00-Caregiver Free.

https://www.themorgan.org/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d107356-Reviews-The_Morgan_Library_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

The Morgan Restaurant:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d502683-Reviews-Morgan_Cafe-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

What I love about the Morgan Library & Museum is the level of sophistication and quality of their exhibitions. The museum really makes you think when you tour their galleries and attend their lectures and gallery talks. Their docents and curators bring an exhibition to a whole new level. I always feel like I am taking a college course and will be graded afterwards. They really make you think about the work or what the author or artist is trying to say.

Two of my favorite exhibitions were the “150th Anniversary Celebration of Alice in Wonderland”, which is why I joined the Morgan Library & Museum. I loved the novel and I wanted to get some ideas for our library’s own celebration. They had the original manuscript written by Lewis Carroll, some original prints and memorabilia from various times including posters, books, artwork and decorative items.

The entrance to the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibition

Another wonderful and interesting exhibition was on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” which was a celebration of her life, her works and of the novel through the ages in both context of the novel and in Hollywood. There were various copies of the books in the exhibition as well as the history of the author’s life.

The Frankenstein print

The exhibition showed the clips of the original silent version of the film, the 1931 version with Boris Karloff and the modern version “Young Frankenstein” with Gene Wilder from 1974. I learned from the exhibition that the set used in the 1974 version of the film was from the original 1931 film and it had been in the director’s basement all those years.

The entrance to “It’s Alive: Frankenstein at 200” exhibition at the museum

Another exhibition that was very interesting was the recent American artist Al Taylor with an showing of his drawings. The works were unusual but really stood out was his time in Hawaii and the drawings that inspired him.

Duck Bondage Study by Al Taylor

Untitled by Al Taylor

American artist Al Taylor

It is nice to walk among the permanent collection of prints in the lower level and to visit the former private areas of Mr. Morgan’s home. It adds to who he was as a financier and as a homeowner. The home was not as elaborate as you would have thought.

The private part of the museum

I also enjoy the Morgan Cafe on the main level of the museum in the courtyard area of the first floor. The food is a little pricey and a limited menu but the service is wonderful and the quality of the food is very good. You will enjoy the meal and I have heard from other patrons that the Afternoon Tea is very nice as well.

The Morgan’s foyer and restaurant

They also have a Dining Room in the Library area that I have heard is very nice as well.

The Morgan Dining Room

They have a nice selection of books, cards and gifts in their Gift Shop just beyond The Morgan Dining Room. I really like their selections at the holidays and their theme books to the exhibitions especially for the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibition.

The Morgan Library & Museum gift shop

It is a nice place to take a gallery talk, then a light lunch in the main hall and then a lecture at night. It’s a great way to spend the day.

The History of the Morgan Library & Museum:

(from the Morgan Library & Museum website)

The Museum is a complex of buildings in the heart of New York City and began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890, Mr. Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary and historical manuscripts, early printed books and old master drawings and prints.

Mr. Morgan’s library was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings.

The result was an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America’s Age of Elegance. Completed three years before McKim’s death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Mr. Morgan’s passing, his son, J.P. Morgan Jr., known as Jack, realized that the library had become too important to remain in private hands. It what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in the United States history. He fulfilled his father’s dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.

Mr. Morgan’s private areas are part of the museum

Over the years, through purchases and generous gifts, The Morgan Library & Museum has continued to acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, early children’s books, Americana and materials from the twentieth century. Without loosing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Morgan also has expanded its physical space considerably.

In 1928, the Annex building was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street, replacing Pierpont Morgan’s residence. The Annex connected to the original McKim library by means of a gallery. In 1988, Jack Morgan’s former residence, a mid-nineteenth century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street was added to the complex. The 1991 garden court was constructed as a means to unite the various elements of the Morgan campus.

The largest expansion in the Morgan’s history, adding 75,000 sq ft to the campus was completed in 2006. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increases exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adds more important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new cafe and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room and collections storage. Piano’s design integrates the Morgan’s three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel and glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.

The Morgan Library & Museum expansion by Renzo Piano

The Morgan Library & Museum Mission:

The mission of The Morgan Library & Museum is to preserve, build, study, present and interpret a collection of extraordinary quality, in order to stimulate enjoyment, excite the imagination, advance learning and nurture creativity.

A global institution, focused on the European and American traditions, the Morgan houses one of the world’s foremost collections of manuscripts, rare books, music, drawings and ancient and other works of art. These holdings, which represent the legacy of Pierpont Morgan and numerous later benefactors, comprise a unique and dynamic record of civilization as well as an incomparable repository of ideas and of the creative process.

(From the Morgan Library & Museum website and history)

Castle Williams       Governors Island               New York, NY 10004

Castle Williams Governors Island New York, NY 10004

Castle Williams

Governors Island

New York, NY 10004

(212) 825-3054

Open: Check the website. It varies by season

https://www.nps.gov/gois/learn/historyculture/castle-williams.htm

https://www.nps.gov/gois/planyourvisit/explore-castle-williams.htm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d6952984-Reviews-Castle_Williams-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My trip to Governors Island on MywalkinManhattan.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/7658

I have toured Castle Williams several times when visiting Governors Island over the last two years. The fort sits at a strategic site on the island facing Manhattan. The fort was originally built to protect New York City from the British during the War of 1812. The British knowing that the City had been fortified for battle never attacked New York.

The tour takes place twice a day for about an hour and you tour the first two levels of the fort. There are all sorts of signs around to show the history of the fort and its uses over the years. The one thing they don’t like is you touching the walls as the fort is still pretty fragile.

The nicest part of the tour is the observation deck at the top of the fort and the views of the Lower Manhattan skyline. It is a spectacular view of the harbor. You can see by the view why the fort was built where it was built and for its purpose before the War of 1812.

It really is a treat to see how fortifications mattered for cities in this time of history in this country.

The History of Castle Williams:

Castle Williams as you walk to the front

Castle Williams is a circular defensive work of red sandstone on the west point of Governors Island in New York Harbor. It was designed and erected between 1807 and 1811. It was designed by the Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lieutenant Colonial Jonathan Williams for whom the fort was named after. It was considered a prototype for new forms of coastal fortification.

The castle was one component of a larger defensive system for the inner harbor that included Fort Jay and the South Battery on Governors Island, Castle Clinton at the tip of Manhattan, Fort Gibson at Ellis Island and Fort Wood, which is now the base of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. This system of forts came to be known as the Second American System of coastal defense and existed to protect harbors like the one in New York from British interference with American Shipping.

Castle Williams from the Harbor

Its usefulness as a fort began to end in the 1830’s, so Castle Williams subsequently served as barracks for the island’s garrison and new and transient troops. The castle was then remodeled by the U.S. Army for use as a prison in various forms during the Civil War and through the first half of the 20th Century.

The outside of Castle Williams from the lawn

In 1901, Secretary of War Elihu Root, who worked hard to modernize the Army, made a commitment to preserve the castle and overruled army leaders who wanted to demolish both it and Fort Jay. By 1903, the castle was fitted up as a model, state of art prison facility. In 1947, extensive renovations were carried out with the wooden catwalks replaced by concrete enclosed walk ways, hiding the beautiful stone arches on the third level and resulting in the industrial appearance of the courtyard today. Castle Williams ceased operations as a military prison in 1965 just before the U.S. Army left Governors Island.

The Castle again faced a demolition challenge as Coast Guard officials in Washington DC, who took control of Governors Island in 1966, wanted to demolish it. Instead, the castle was remodeled as a youth community center with a nursery, meeting rooms for Scouts and clubs, a woodworking shop, art studios, a photography laboratory and a museum. By the late 1970’s, the community center moved to another location and the fort became the grounds-keeping shop for the Coast Guard base.

The inside of Castle Williams during the tour of the Castle

Over time, the roof failed and broken windows allowed serious water damage to occur inside the castle. In the mid-1990s, the roof was replaced and new windows stopped further water damage to the structure but the interior remains closed until it can be made safe for public access. The National Park Service proposes to stabilize and restore the castle and eventually provide access to the roof, allowing the public to admire the harbor and the modern skyline of the great city (this has since opened on my last visit).

Governors Island with a view on Lower Manhattan

Castle Williams was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Placed on July 31, 1972. It was recorded by the Historical American Buildings Survey in 1983. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and the New York City Landmarks Historic District in 1996. It has been part of the Governors Island National Monument by Presidential Proclamations signed in 2001 and 2003.

(This information was provided by the National Park System Division of Cultural Affairs).

Governors Island Park (the fort is to your top right)

The Castle has since opened for tourists and touring since my last visit in the summer of 2019.

High School of Art & Design-John B. Kenny Gallery  245 East 54th Street  New York, NY 10022

High School of Art & Design-John B. Kenny Gallery 245 East 54th Street New York, NY 10022

High School of Art & Design-John B. Kenny Gallery

245 East 54th  Street

New York, NY  10022

(212) 752-4340

http://www.artanddesignhs.org/

https://insideschools.org/school/02M630

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_School_of_Art_and_Design

Open: Seasonal when school is open and only at certain times of the year

Fee: Free-check in with the security guard

 

I passed the High School of Art & Design when I was touring the Turtle Bay neighborhood in Manhattan for my blog, MywalkinManhattan.com. The school was open during the Spring Break and some of the kids were in the school were taking classes. The security guard let me walk around and then he asked me would I like the see the art gallery. I said sure and I was able to explore the John B. Kenny Gallery.

John B. Kenny was Ceramist and an administrator who saved the school and created the school with three other artists in 1936. He founded the school with artists Henry Cordes, Mildred Harston and Jerod Magon.

High School of Art & Design V

The School History:

https://www.biblio.com/the-complete-book-of-pottery-by-kenny-john-b/work/59670

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/598110/pdf

 

 

The School Mission Statement:

The Mission of the High School of Art & Design is to inspire, educate and fully prepare our gifted students to become exceptional artists. Through a unified curriculum that incorporates a broad spectrum of disciplines integrating art, technology and academics, our students are prepared to go on to college and careers with industry-standard mastery in the major of their choice.

With a commitment to promoting strong ethical values and professional demeanor, we strive to foster a sense of community among our students, staff and parents. We are dedicated to engendering student’s productive, creative and innovative participation in the world of visual arts as concerned and caring citizens of the global community (School Mission Statement).

John B. Kenny artist

John B. Kenny artist

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/242318.John_B_Kenny

The Gallery is full with Alumni and student art and it revolves at various times of the year. It is a nice size gallery full of interesting art. There was a combination of sculpture, painting and paper sculpture in the gallery.

High School of Art and Design Gallery Show

The John B. Kenny Gallery is very interesting

I was only able to spend a short time in the gallery but it is a hidden gem tucked in the side of the main entrance and just talk to the security guards at the front of the school and they will let you tour on your own.

Check it out when the school reopens in the Fall.

 

Studio in a School NYC Gallery                     1 East 53rd Street New York, NY 10022

Studio in a School NYC Gallery 1 East 53rd Street New York, NY 10022

Studio in a School NYC Gallery LLC.

1 East 53rd Street

New York, NY  10022

(212) 459-1455

Home Page

Studio Institute

Studio in a School

Open: Sunday & Saturday Closed/Monday-Friday 8:00am-7:00pm

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

 

 

1 East 53rd Street

The entrance to the Gallery is at 1 East 53rd Street

I came across this little gallery full of Public School K-12 art when walking around the Upper East Side for my walking project, “MywalkinManhattan.com” This small gallery space in the lobby of 1 East 53rd Street has a revolving exhibition of works from students in schools all over New York City.

Studio in the School Gallery IV

The revolving art at the Studio in a School Gallery is unique.

The art gallery revolves its art at different times of the year and you get to see the students creativity. There are paintings, sculptures and paperwork objects. It is amazing to see the talent the students have at all ages.

Studio in the School Gallery

These kids have talent

The best part of the gallery is that it is free. Just don’t try to go past the security guards at the desk and you will be fine. Take time to look at the over-hanging paper sculptures. They are very unique. Almost like a surrealist kite.

What is also nice is that it is free and only takes about 45 minutes to get through the whole gallery so it is a nice place to visit on a rainy day or on lunch hour.

 

Congratulations to the student artists.

History of the Studio in a School:

Studio in a School fosters the creative and intellectual development of New York City youth through quality visual arts program, directed by arts professionals. The organizer also collaborates with and develops the ability of those who provide or support arts programming and creative development for youth both in and outside of schools.

Studio in a School serves young people by integrating the visual arts into teaching and learning and provides professional development for artists and teachers.

In 1977, during a financial crisis in New York City, public school arts education budgets were dramatically cut. In response, Agnes Gund, philanthropist and President Emerita of The Museum of Modern Art, founded Studio in a School.

Today, under Ms. Gund’s leadership, together with the support of many, our programs continue to thrive, bringing visual arts education taught by professional artists to students in New York City and beyond. We fulfill out mission through two divisions: the NYC Schools Program, offering programs for students in Pre-K through high school and the Studio Institute, which shares professional learning, partnership programs, arts internships and research grants in local and national forums.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Studio in a School website and I give them full credit for the information.