Tag: New York

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum   2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum 2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

2 East 91st Street

New York, NY  10128

(212) 849-8400

Home

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $18.00/People with Disabilities & Seniors $10.00/Children Under 18 Free/Students $9.00. Check the prices online as they change.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106188-Reviews-Cooper_Hewitt_Smithsonian_Design_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

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The Second Floor Design floor

I recently visited the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for the first time. I can’t believe that all those years visiting the Met just down the road I had never stopped in the museum to take a peak. I went into see the “Nature-Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” exhibition that was showing on all three floors of the museum. It was an interesting look on how nature plays a role in design and there is a beauty in the unusual shapes and colors that nature provides us.

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Third Floor studio

The first floor was composed of design found in nature. You will see blood samples that move and shiver, electric movements and the role of it in nature and how plants and animals can be shown in simplest terms. On the second floor, you will see the prints in clothing and in home décor and see how color and design enhance beauty in an every day environment. The third floor will show more home décor and design objects.

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The First Floor Elements

What is unique about the museum is how the mansion was converted into display areas and the use of the interior was blended into fabric of the museum. Take time to look at the areas around the staircases to admire the ceiling and the walls. It must have been a very grand home in its day.

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The stairs of the mansion

Purpose of the Museum:

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is a design museum located in the Upper East side’s Museum Mile in Manhattan. It is the only museum in the United States devoted to historical and contemporary design. Its collections and exhibitions explore approximately 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity. In June 2014, the museum changed its name from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and reopened to the public that December (Wiki).

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History of the Museum: (Provided by Wiki)

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum was founded in 1896. It was originally named Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration and it fell under the wing of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. In 1895, the granddaughters of Peter Cooper, Sarah Cooper Hewitt, Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and Amy Hewitt Green, asked the Cooper Union for a space to create a Museum for the Arts of Decoration. The museum would take its inspiration from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. The museum would serve as a place for Cooper Union students and professional designers to study decorative arts collections. Cooper Union trustees provided the fourth floor of the Foundation Building. It opened in 1897. It was free and open three days a week (Wiki).

The museum and the art school started to distance themselves from on another in regards to programming. Other departments of the Cooper Union were making financial demands and the Cooper Union announced that they would close the museum. This led to the museum being closed on July 3, 1963. Public outcry was strong against the closing. A committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum was formed by Henry Francis Du Pont (Wiki).

The American Association of Museums developed a case study about the future of the museum. Negotiations then began between the Cooper Union and the Smithsonian Institution. On October 9, 1967, Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley and Daniel Maggin, the chair of the Board of Trustees signed an agreement turning over the collection and library of the museum to the Smithsonian. On May 14, 1968, the New York Supreme Court transferred to the Smithsonian and the museum was renamed the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design. The following year, 1969, it was renamed as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. In October of that year, Lisa Taylor became the Director (Wiki).

The museum, which was the first Smithsonian museum outside of Washington DC, moved to its home at the Andrew Carnegie Mansion in 1970. The Mansion was renovated and the museum opened to the public on October 7, 1976 with the exhibition “Man transFORMs”. A conservation laboratory was opened in July 1978. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation funded the lab and it focuses on textile and paper conversation. Lisa Taylor retired in 1987 and in 1988 Dianne H. Pilgrim took her place as Director. In 1994, the museum’s name was changed again to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Pilgrim retired from the museum in 2000. In 2000, Paul W. Thompson became Director. On June 17, 2014, the museum’s name was changed again to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. A new graphic identity, wordmark and new website was launched on this day. This identity was designed by Eddie Opara (Wiki).

The building is located in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion. The Georgian style mansion was built over the course of years 1899 to 1902 and has sixty rooms. The home served as not only the home for Andrew Carnegie, his wife and daughter but also as his office for his philanthropic work after his retirement. The mansion was designed by  Babb, Cook & Willard. It was the first private residence in the United States to have a structural steel frame. It was the first home in New York to have an Otis elevator (Wiki).

 

 

 

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Jewish Museum  1109 Fifth Avenue        New York, NY 10128

Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10128

Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY   10128

(212) 423-3200

https://thejewishmuseum.org/

Open: Monday-Tuesday 11:00am-5:45pm/Wednesday Closed/Thursday 11:00am-8:00pm/Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-5:45pm

Fee: Adults $18.00/Seniors (over 65) $12.00/Students $8.00/Children under 18 Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106187-Reviews-The_Jewish_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Jewish Museum for the first time this week to see the Leonard Cohen exhibition which had gotten good review online ( I had never heard of him before). It was a combination of video and pictures. The videos were on concerts, interviews, poetry readings and documentaries on his life.

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The Leonard Cohen exhibition

After seeing his videos on each floor, which was nice because there were bean bags all over the galleries, I visited the other galleries. There was an gallery dedicated to Jewish religious symbols, Contemporary Jewish Artists and items by Jewish craftsman.

The one gallery that I thought was quite amusing was the depictions of Jews on TV and how stereotypes play a role in comedy. It had everyone in the gallery laughing their heads off. It is good when you can laugh at yourself.

There is some interesting silver works from the Eighteen century on exhibition and the contemporary works were very lively. The museum is not that big so you can visit all the galleries in one afternoon. There is also a branch of Russ & Daughters in the basement level that is very popular with visitors.

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The music gallery of the Leonard Cohen exhibition

 

History of the Jewish Museum:

The Collection that seeded the museum began with a gift of Jewish ceremonial art objects from Judge Mayer Sulzberger to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on January 20, 1904, where it was housed in the seminary’s library. The collection was moved in 1931, with the Seminary to 122nd Street and Broadway. The Jewish Theological received over 400 Jewish ceremonial items and created. The Museum of Jewish Ceremonial Objects’, previously the Jacob Schiff Library. The collection was subsequently expanded by major donation from Hadji Ephrain Benquiat and Harry G. Friedman. In 1939, in light of WWII, Poland sent about 350 objects to New York City from homes and synagogues in order to preserve them.

Following Felix Warburg’s death in 1937, in January 1944 his widow Frieda donated the family mansion to the seminary as a permanent home for the museum and the site opened to the public as “The Jewish Museum” in May 1947. Frieda Warburg said at the opening that the museum would not be a somber memorial but rather a celebration of the Jewish faith and traditions. The first expansive of the museum was the addition of a sculpture garden in 1959 by Adam List. The building was expanded in 1963 and further by architect Kevin Roche in 1993.

In the 1960’s, the museum took a more active role in the general world of contemporary art with exhibitions such as Primary Structures, which helped to launch the Minimalist art movement. In the decades since, the museum has had a renewed focus on Jewish culture and Jewish artists. From 1990 through 1993, director Joan Rosenbaum led the project to renovate and expand the building and carry out the museum’s first major capital campaign of sixty million. The project designed by architect Kevin Roche, doubled the side of the museum, providing it with a seven story addition. In 1992, the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center teamed up to create the New York Jewish Film Festival, which presents narrative features, short films and documentaries.

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Contemporary art galleries

Today, the museum also provides educational programs for adults and families organizing concerts, films, symposiums and lectures related to its exhibitions. In 2011, the museum named Claudia Gould as its new director.

Jewish Museum

The Warburg Mansion

Architecture:

Felix M. Warburg House  was constructed in Francois I style in 1906-1908 for Felix and Frieda Warburg, designed by C.P.H. Gilbert. Francois I style was originally found in New York City in the late 19th century through the works of Richard Morris Hunt. Hunt was a renowned architect throughout the Northeast, particularly in New England and was one of the first American architects to study at the elite Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

The original house is built in limestone with mansard roofs, dripping moldings and gables. This architectural style was based on French revivalism and exuded wealth, a point which Felix Warburg wanted to make to his neighbors. It featured a green yard in front of the house, which was later converted into the museum’s entrance.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Wiki story on The Jewish Museum and I give the site full credit for it.)

 

 

 

MoMA PS 1   22-25 Jackson Avenue  Long Island City New York, NY 11101

MoMA PS 1 22-25 Jackson Avenue Long Island City New York, NY 11101

MoMA PS 1

22-25 Jackson Avenue

Long Island City, NY  11101

(718) 784-2084

https://momaps1.org/

Open: Sunday-Monday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $10.00/Seniors & Students $5.00/Children Under 16 Free/Free to NYC Residents  & MoMA members

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48080-d107822-Reviews-MoMA_PS1-Long_Island_City_Queens_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I recently visited the MoMa PS 1 in Long Island City for a private members night and was really blown away by the exhibitions that I saw there. It is all contemporary art but really edgy, probably more innovative than some of the things in the main branch of the museum. Even the clientele was different. I was one of the oldest people there and I am in my early 50’s. There must have been three people older than me.

The museum is built into an old elementary school and with the rooms there some have  been merged together for bigger exhibitions and others were smaller and showcased a newer artist or an individual work. The works from current artists are very unusual and I guess you have to like very contemporary art.

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Some of the pottery from artist Simone Fattal “Works and Days”

I saw the work from artist Simone Fattal who is from Lebanon. I have to admit her works are eclectic. Her pottery looks like a third grader did it. I was not very impressed even though everyone oohhed and aahhed. It was very unusual.

I also saw the work of artist Gina Beavers whose works have someone always looking at you. Her eye portraits were different but they reminded me of some of Salvatore Dali works of the 50’s. Her works look at you from every direction with a look of judgement.

 

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Artist Gina Beavers works “The Life I Deserve”

One exhibition which was loosely based on the movie “The Shining” by artist Julie Becker. The whole exhibition is made of works that looked like someone just left the room. There were creepy office set ups and hallways. The work was almost surreal itself by trying to confuse you and throw you off balance with her art.

 

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Artist Jule Becker “I must Create a Masterpiece to pay the Rent”

I was able to quickly tour the whole museum which is not as big as its counterpart in Manhattan. It just has a different feel and direction to it.

What was nice about the evening was there was music outside for people to enjoy and there were hammocks that were art of a display at the entrance of the museum. It is a smaller museum that showcases the newer artists and gives them a voice. I have to say one thing is that the museum does fit into the neighborhood as Long Island City is going through a huge building boom and renovation/gentrification of the surrounding area. There is a lot of street art in the area and a lot of residents who look ‘bohemian’ to say the least. It was enlightening night of music and art.

History of MoMA PS 1:

MoMA PS q is one of the oldest and largest non-profit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS 1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS 1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres and adventurous new work by recognized artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art. MoMA PS 1 achieves this mission by presenting its diverse program to a broad audience in a unique and welcoming environment in which visitors can discover and explore the work of contemporary artists. Exhibitions at MoMa PS 1 include artist’s retrospectives, site-specific installations, historically surveys, arts from across the United States and the world and a full schedule of music and performance programming.

MoMA PS 1 was founded by Alanna Heiss as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., an organization devoted to organizing exhibitions in underutilized and abandoned spaces across New York City. In 1976, it opened the first major exhibition in its permanent location in Long Island City, Queens with the seminal Rooms exhibition. An invitation for artists to transform the building’s unique spaces. Rooms established the MoMA PS 1 tradition of transforming the building’s spaces into site-specific art that continues today with long term installation by James Turrell, William Kentridge, Pipilotti Rist, Lawrence Weiner and others.

For the next twenty years, the building was used as studio, performance and exhibition spaces in support of artists from around the world. After a building-wide renovation, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS 1) reopened in 1997, confirming its position as the leading contemporary art center in New York. True to the building’s history and form, the renovation preserved much of the original architecture as well as most of its unique classroom-sized galleries.

In 2000, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center became an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art to extend the reach of both institutions and combine MoMA PS 1’s contemporary mission with MoMa’s strength as one of the greatest collecting museums of modern art.

A true artistic laboratory, MoMa PS 1 aspires to maintain its diverse and innovative activities to continue to bring contemporary art to international audiences.

(This information was taken from the MoMA PS 1 website and I give them full credit for the information. Please see the web link above for more information).

The Museum of Sex                                       233 Fifth Avenue (@27th Street) New York, NY 10016

The Museum of Sex 233 Fifth Avenue (@27th Street) New York, NY 10016

The Museum of Sex

233 Fifth Avenue (@27th Street)

New York, NY  10016

(212) 689-6337

Open: Sunday-Thursday 10:30am-11:00pm/Friday & Saturday 10:30am-12:00am

Fee: General Admission $20.50/$3.00 off for Students, Seniors and Military

https://www.museumofsex.com/

https://www.museumofsex.com/museum/about/

 

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d525259-Reviews-Museum_of_Sex-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I made my first visit to the Museum of Sex in New York City and highly recommend it. I have to admit it is different but what I like about the museum is that it doesn’t try to hide the subject and it also just doesn’t jump out at you. It is an interesting progression in art and I saw this in the exhibition “The History of Pornography”,  where the films were set up in order since the Victorian times. Sometimes it had to go underground due the times but pornography has been around since the days of the media.

The exhibition shows early pictures and viascopes of sexual acts and the early films date back to the Silent era. The exhibition covers from the Silent era to present times and the advancement of sex in films once the Hayes Code was broken in the 1960’s. With the relaxed rules and the mainstream films of “Tie Me Up Tie Me Down” and “Deep Throat”, you can see the progression of this as an art form and progression of the way the films were made.

Another great exhibition that I saw was “Punk Lust: Raw Provocation 1971-1985”. This show matches nicely with the current show on the “Punk Movement” at the Museum of Arts & Design. It was interesting to see the posters, flyers, clothes and hear the music of the era. Just at the height of the ‘Sexual Revolution’ and into the fragments of the Disco era came a new sound and way to dress that started in the early 80’s before the progression of the Reagan years in Washington DC, this movement came with a new sound with Punk, New Wave and Technographic and a new way to dress provocative without being too revealing.

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“Punk Lust” exhibition

As the museum was quoted saying: “The survey looking at the way Punk Culture used the language of sexuality, both visually and lyrically, to transgress and defy, whether in the service of political provocation, raw desire or just to break through the stifling gender norms and social expectations that punks refused to let define them.”

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“Punk Lust” exhibition

 

History of the Museum of Sex:

(This comes from the Museum of Sex History Website)

The Mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and culture significance of human sexuality. The museum produces exhibitions, publications and programs that bring  the best of current scholarship to the wildest possible audiences and is committed to encouraging public enlightenment, discourse and engagement.

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The Museum of Sex

The Beginning:

When the Museum of Sex first emerged on New York City’s Fifth Avenue on October 5th, 2002, it was without precedent in the museum world. In the development of its inaugural award winning exhibition NYCSEX: How New York Transformed Sex in America, the Museum created a board of comprised of leading scholars and historians. The Museum’s advisory board has guided curators and guest curators towards research resources, pertinent collections and exhibition relevant artists. Advisors such as Steven Heller, Timothy J. Gilfoyle, PhD, Mike Wallace PhD and June Reinisch, Director Emeritus for The Kinsey Institute  for Research on Sex, Gender and Reproduction as well as institutional collaborations with New York University’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York Historical Society and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum have contributed to making the Museum of Sex one of the most dynamic and innovative institutions in the world.

Design has played a pivotal role in both exhibition development and execution with world-renowned design firms such as Pentagram Design Inc, Casson Mannand 2×4, helping to transform the galleries and historic building over the last six years. The museum’s building, built in the area of New York formerly known as the “Tenderloin,” a district of NYC made notorious by the 19th century for its bordellos, dance halls, theaters and saloons, serves as a New York City landmarked site.

Our Work:

Since its inception, the Museum of Sex has generated over 30 exhibitions and 6 virtual installments, each in keeping with the Museum’s mission of advocating open discourse surrounding sex and sexuality as well as striving to present to the public the best in current scholarship, unhindered by self-censorship. With each new exhibition, lecture series, event and publication, the Museum of Sex is committed to addressing a wide range of topics, while simultaneously highlighting material and artifacts from different continents, cultures, time periods and media.

Our Collection:

The Museum’s permanent collection of over 20,000 artifacts is comprised of works of art, photography, clothing and costumes, technological inventions and historical ephemera. Additionally, the museum houses both a research library as well as an extensive multimedia library, which includes 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, BETA, VHS and DVD’s. From fine art to historical ephemera to film, the Museum of Sex preserves an ever-growing collection of sexually related objects that would otherwise be destroyed and discarded due to their sexual content.

Our Public:

In a short time, the Museum has received attention from academic institutions, major publications, media outlets and celebrities, positioning the Museum of Sex within the realm of academia and pop culture alike. The Museum has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire and Time and on television broadcasts ranging from CNN to IFC to NBC’s Law & Order Criminal Intent. Award-winning advertising campaigns in print and television media have sealed the Museum’s arrival as a cultural touchstone.

Accolades continue to pour in from visitors and the press in every corner of the world, inspiring the Museum of Sex to continually surpass its own high expectations. Future planned exhibitions and events-the likes of which have never been offered by any other institution-are guaranteed to captivate and resonate, securing the Museum of Sex a well-deserved, distinguished place in history (Museum of Sex History)

 

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art         26 Wooster Street                New York, NY 10013

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster Street New York, NY 10013

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

26 Wooster Street

New York, NY  10013

(212) 431-2609

LeslieLohman.org

HOME

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Thursday 12:00pm-8:00pm/Friday & Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm

Fee: Suggested donation of $10.00

I recently visited the Leslie-Lohman Museum to see the second half of the “Art After Stonewall” exhibition that I saw at the Grey Gallery at New York University. The art is from just before the Gay Rights Movement just before the Stonewall Uprising and into the depths of the AIDS crisis of the early to mid-80’s.

It was interesting to see the perspective of people ‘coming out’ after the suppression of the 50’s and early 60’s and the wanting to conform to societies standards. People gravitated to the cities to find themselves and found an embracing community that was not always accepted by the status quo of the City. It was that suppression building up on conformity to be a certain type person that lead to riots, that being tired of being harassed all the time.

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‘Art After Stonewall’ (picture of Devine)

There was a lot of lesbian art and the changes women felt at the time. Some was the changes in attitude and some of it was militant to the way the outside community treated these women. It was interesting to see the changes in less than a decade of how people saw themselves and the changes that people were capable of making.

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‘Art After Stonewall’

The show closed on July 21st, 2019 but there are more shows in the future. The best part of the museum is that they have a suggested donation so if you do not have a lot of money it is a nice way to spend the afternoon and then explore SoHo and Chinatown.

 

History of the Leslie-Lohman Museum:

We can trace the origins of the Leslie-Lohman Museum back to the civil rights movement of the late 1960’s. In the moment of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the Stonewall Inn Uprising, gay art collectors Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman presented their first exhibition in their SoHo loft in the summer of 1969. This weekend show featured downtown gay artists and was a complete success in attracting over 300 visitors-it because a seminal moment in the history of the Leslie-Lohman Museum and LGBTQ arts and culture.

In the midst of the 70’s gay liberation movement, our founders continued to collect and display the work of gay artists in various storefronts in SoHo while advocating for the preservation of the neighborhood, its unique architecture and the nascent community of artists living and working in its spacious lofts. Finally, settling in a basement gallery at 127-B Prince Street, this space became host to many art exhibitions and various cultural programs.

During the AIDS pandemic of the 80’s, Charles and Fritz created a refuge for ailing artists and their work. Along with providing care and lodging for them, they rescued the work of dying artists from families who, out of shame ignorance, wanted to destroy it. This led to the creation of the Leslie-Lohman Art Foundation in 1987 and to its ever-expanding collection of art. Through perseverance against the federal government, averse to approving a “gay art” organization, the foundation was finally granted tax-exempt in 1990.

Today, thanks to the hard work of generations of activities and artists, our community has gained greater visibility. However, the fight for our rights is not over. The foundation has transitioned into a museum that aims to preserve LGBTQ cultural identity and build community, reclaim scholarship from a queer artists and cultural workers. As we continue to stand at the intersection of art and social justice, we act as a cultural hub for LGBTQ individuals and their communities.

(Leslie-Lohman Museum pamphlet)

The Museum is a non-profit, emempt 501C3.

American Folk Art Museum 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets) New York, NY 10023

American Folk Art Museum 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets) New York, NY 10023

American Folk Art Museum

2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets)

New York, NY 10023

(212) 595-9533

https://folkartmuseum.org/

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-7:30pm/Friday 12:00pm-7:30pm/Saturday 11:30am-7:30pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d266582-Reviews-American_Folk_Art_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I recently visited the American Folk Art Museum in New York City for the “Made in New York City” exhibition and it is a very interesting and engaging museum. The artwork for the museum was a combination of painting, sculpture, pottery and metal work created at different periods of the City’s history. It really showed the extent of manufacturing in New York City and the craftsmanship that was once here.

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The paintings of Colonial New York

Some of the interesting things you will see are the paintings by artists in both Colonial New York and from the Hudson River School of prominent New Yorkers through its first 200 years of history. You will see how the styles of art have changed over the years.

Also there is a lot of metal work in the ways of signs and rods for the front of doors and for the roofs. The woodwork carvings that once graced the front doors of merchants all over the City is now a lost art. Here you could see the works of German and Russian carvers and the craftsmanship that was put into every piece. It was interesting too to see the racial themes and stereotypes that were used in the art.

American Folk Art Museum Made in New York

Wood Carvings and Metal work in the “Made in New York City” exhibition

Another program that the museum does well is they have afternoon Jazz Wednesdays and Free Concerts on Friday nights. There are family programs, walking tours, curator talks and lectures as part of the museum programming so there is something for everyone.

The American Folk Art Mission:

Since 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has been shaping the understanding of art by the self-taught through its exhibitions, publications and educational programs. As a center of scholarship and by showcasing the creativity of individuals whose singular talents have been refined through experience rather than formal artistic training, the museum considers the historical, social and artistic context of American culture. Its collection includes more than seven thousand artworks dating from the eighteenth century to the present, from compelling portraits and dazzling quilts to powerful works by living self-taught artists in a variety of mediums (Museum bio).

Self-Taught art, past and present, tells empowering stories of everyday life. The field of American folk art was first defined at the turn of the twentieth century by collectors, professional artists, critics, dealers and curators whose search for an authentic American Art seemed to be finally answered in works that presented a nuanced  of national identity, faith, progress, ingenuity, community and individuality. Under the umbrella of “folk art” expanded to also include artists working in the present. For the last twenty years, the term self-taught has more regularly come to address these artists, whose inspiration emerges from unsuspected paths and unconventional places, giving voice to individuals who may be situated outside the social mainstream. Those individuals have been active participants in the shaping of American visual culture, influencing generations  of artists and establishing lively artistic traditions (Museum History).

American Folk Art Museum History:

The museum of Early American Folk Arts as it was known initially held its first exhibition in a rented space on 49 West 53rd Street in 1961. The museum’s collection was launched in 1962 with the gift of a gate in the form of an American flag, celebrating the nation’s centennial. The gift reflected the museum’s early focus on eighteenth and nineteenth century vernacular arts from the northeast America.

In 1966, after receiving a permanent charter, the museum expanded its name and mission. As the Museum of American Folk Arts, it looked beyond the traditional definitions of American folk art. Its exhibitions and collection began to reflect “every aspect of the folk arts in America-north, south, east and west.” Founding curator Herbert W. Hemphill Jr. “expanded the notion of folk art beyond traditional, utilitarian and communal expressions.” Under his direction, the museum began to champion idiosyncratic and individualistic artwork from the fields of traditional and contemporary folk art. In doing so, the museum ushered in a new era in the field of twentieth-century folk art (Museum History).

The 1990’s brought new focus to the diversity and multiculturalism of American Folk Art. Offering a more inclusive vision. the museum began to present African American and Latino artworks in their exhibitions and permanent collections. Director Gerard C. Wertikin announced American folk art’s common heritage as “promoting an appreciation of diversity in a way that does not foster ethnic chauvinism or racial division.” (Museum History).

The museum further established  its broadened outlook with the 1998 formation of the Contemporary  Center, a division of the museum devoted to the work of 20th and 21st century self-taught artists as well as non-American artworks in the tradition of European art brut. In 2001, the museum opened the Henry Darger Center to house 24 self-taught artist’s works as well as a collection of his books, tracings, drawing and source materials (Museum History).

American Folk Art Museum

The new home of the American Folk Art Museum

In 2001, the museum chose its current name, American Folk Art Museum. Recognizing that American Fold Art could be fully understood in an international context, the word American functions as an indication of the museum’s location, emphasis and principal patronage rather than as a limitation on  the kind of art it collects, interprets or presents. The museum’s current programming reflects this shift in focus. Past exhibits have included folk arts of Latin America, England, Norway, among other countries and continents (Museum history).

Don’t miss this amazing little museum on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

 

 

 

New York Historical Society Museum & Library  170 Central Park West  New York, NY 10024

New York Historical Society Museum & Library 170 Central Park West New York, NY 10024

New York Historical Society Museum & Library

170 Central Park West

New York, NY   10024

(212) 873-3400

http://www.nyhistory.org

@nyhistory

https://www.nyhistory.org/

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Thursday 10:00am-6:00pm/Friday 10:00am-8:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $21.00/Seniors & Educators $16.00/Students $13.00/Children (5-13) $6.00/Children (4 and under) Free

On Fridays from 6:00pm-8:00pm are pay as you wish for Museum Admission

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d136143-Reviews-New_York_Historical_Society_Museum_Library-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I have visited the New York Historical Society several times over the years and I have to say that make quite a statement on the history of New York City and the State of New York City. It has a interesting permanent collection of paintings and statuary. There are a lot of things that First Families of New York City have donated to the museum that tell the story of families born and raised here.

I was honored here years ago when a picture I took for the 9/11 Photo Album Book came out in 2002. All the photographers that contributed to it were in attendance. Another time I was here for a private event on John Adams back in the early 2000’s that was injunction with the American Museum of Natural History. Over the years, the Historical Society has brought in more interesting exhibitions. The current exhibition “Hudson Rising” on the history and ecological changes due to humans along the Hudson River. It was an interesting look of the natural changes to the river from manufacturing times today as the river is being reclaimed for recreational uses.

Hudson Rising Exhibition

‘Hudson Rising’ Exhibition

The whole museum is a retrospect on the timeline of the New York City with an array of art out any one time. There are Masters from the Hudson River School, statues from all eras and special exhibitions that tell an interesting story of some part of the City’s past.

NY Historical Society

Hudson River School Paintings for ‘Hudson Rising’

History of the NY Historical Society:

The Historical Society was founded on November 20, 1804 largely through the efforts of John Pintard. He was for some years secretary of the American Academy of Fine Arts as well as the founder of New York’s First Savings Bank. With a group of prominent group of New Yorkers on the founding board including then Mayor DeWitt Clinton, the organization was established on December 10, 1804 (Wiki).

New York Historical Society II

The Collections of the NY Historical Society

The NY Historical Society had its share of growing pains over the years in that it had been in heavy debt during its first couple of decades. It also moved several times over the years as well. It moved from the Government House, which it had been housed in since 1809 to the New York Institution, the formerly the city almshouse on City Hall Park in 1816. In 1857, it moved into the first building constructed specifically for its collection at Second Avenue and 11th Street. The collection moved to its final home to Central Park West in 1908 (Wiki).

The current Society building was designed by architects York & Sawyer, who were known for bank designs. The second part of the building was designed by architects Walker and Gillette. The building has just finished a $65 million dollar renovation in 2011 and all the galleries have been refreshed. The new director of the Society, Louise Mirrer is leading the establishment into the 21st Century.

New York Historical Society

On Friday night’s from 6:00pm-8:00pm it is ‘pay as you wish’ to enter the museum.