Tag: Small Museums in NYC

City Island Nautical Museum/City Island Historical Society                                                  190 Fordham Street                                              City Island, NY 10464

City Island Nautical Museum/City Island Historical Society 190 Fordham Street City Island, NY 10464

City Island Nautical Museum/City Island Historical Society

190 Fordham Street

City Island, NY 10464

(718) 885-0008

https://www.cityislandmuseum.org/

https://www.facebook.com/City-Island-Nautical-Museum-120813594596346/

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 1:00pm-4:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47475-d109882-Reviews-City_Island_Nautical_Museum-City_Island_Bronx_New_York.html

The City Island Nautical Museum at 190 Fordham Street

The City Island Nautical Museum

I recently took a trip to City Island, a small community just off the coast off the mainland of The Bronx (which is part of The Bronx) to visit the City Island Nautical Museum. This tiny museum located in the heart of the island is noted for its collection of ship building artifacts and items that are native to a community that once built the vessels for the America’s Cup.

City Island has a rich history in ship building, sail making and fishing it is reflected in the collection of materials in the museum and its archives. The museum really details the growth and history of the boating industry on the island and its importance in the local economy. What I found interesting was the rich history of the creation of the sailing ships for the America’s Cup tournament and how all the winning boats up until the 1980’s were built on the island and the one that lost the cup for us against Australia was the first one not built on the island.

Even Ted Turner’s boat “Courageous” was built on the island. There was a picture of the reunion of the boat winning twice at the museum with the crew’s signatures (The tour guide even said how he ‘freaked out’ members of the New York Yacht Club who did not consider him one of their own). All the sailing vessels lined the walls of the hallway of the museum.

Each room of the museum was dedicated to a different theme. When I toured the Community Room in the back of the museum, it held the records of a lot of old businesses of City Island with pictures and items that were once part of the businesses. There was a small FDNY display, a small WWII display about local residents who fought in the war, wedding garments, maps of the island and a small display of arrowheads.

In the School Room, the concentration was on PS 17, which the museum is now housed in and its history with all the classroom group shot pictures, graduation pictures and a small classroom set up. There were more records and event items of the current PS 175, which is the K-8 school that the residents attend. There were also records and pictures of St. Mary, Star of the Sea School, the former Catholic school that used to be on the island as well.

The Nautical Room needed an overall as there was too much going on in the room with pictures all over the walls, equipment for navigation and for fishing and records of the ship building companies that used to dot the island. There were boats in various shapes and sizes on display and the companies that built them like Wood Yacht, Nevins Yacht and Minneford Yacht. There was also the history of shipbuilding and sail making on the island. The tour guide told me there were no more ship builders on the island, but one sail maker left.

The Library where all the research is done on the island and on the families and businesses that were once here was dominated by yachting pictures and nautical photography. It held all the City Island records and even the ship building plans.

The museum has a lot to see but it needs to be a bit more organized to really showcase the collections properly. Still, it is one of the best museums I have seen with a nautical history theme. The best part is that you can see the whole museum in about an hour and this leaves you time to tour the island and see how the museum better explains why the island is the way it is right now.

The History and set up of the City Island Nautical Museum:

(From the Museum pamphlet)

History of the Museum:

(From the Museum Pamphlet)

The City Island Nautical Museum is located in one of the island’s most picturesque and historic buildings, the former Public School 17, built in 1897 on one of the highest points on the island. When the residents of City Island voted in 1895 to separate from the town of Pelham in Westchester County and to become part of New York City, the City administration built the school, which continued in use until 1975. When the building was sold in 1986, the City reserved space for use by the City Island Historical Society and the Community Center and several old classrooms now serve as galleries for the museum.

The Main Hall and Gallery:

The Main Hall is lined with photographic essays featuring maps, the America’s Cup, City Island’s most beautiful boats, the City Island Bridges and historic buildings as well as a history timeline, models of a minesweeper and several rum runners, built during Prohibition and a handsome wooden kayak built in the 1930’s. The foyer contains the museum’s gift shop, featuring articles for sale such as books, t-shirts, photographs, postcards and nautical gifts and the desk where the docents greet visitors.

The Gallery features display cases with antique shipbuilding and sailmaking tools and the walls are covered with photographs of yachts built or serviced here and portraits of legendary City Islanders who contributed so much to the life and work on the island.

The Walsh Library:

The recently refurbished library features a collection of books devoted to maritime history and many binders and scrapbooks featuring newspaper clippings, postcards and articles about City Island, Pelham Bay Park and Hart Island. There is an extensive selection of nautical magazines, including Yachting, Rudder, Wooden Boat and Classic Yacht, a data base of all boats built on City Island since 1848 and an impressive display of ship models. Special exhibitions regularly mounted in the library feature the work of local artists and photographs documenting aspects of City Island history.

The Nautical Room:

Shipyards, sail lofts, yachts and the people behind them are all honored here. Historical photographs, memorabilia and artifacts fill the room and tell the story of City Island’s rich nautical past. Also on display are tools used by sailmakers and shipbuilders, several ship models and some vintage outboard motors. Of particular interest in the room are several skiffs, a partially completed boat and a Buchman sailing canoe from the early 1930’s (all built on City Island).

Ship building on City Island

The Community Room:

Celebrating City Island from its earliest days, the Community Room displays photographs, maps and memorabilia, including Native American arrowheads found in the area. The walls are covered with images of street scenes, stores, restaurants, private houses, and the waterfront then and now. Displays include a large relief map of City Island in about 1867, a diorama of the Battle of Pell’s Point that took place in October 1776, a niche devoted to City Island’s religious institutions and many antique home furnishings, including sewing machines, an ice box, and a 100-year-old typewriter. A large counter from Gilbert’s Pharmacy serves as a display case in the center of the room.

The School Room:

Student registers, graduation pictures, autograph books, report cards, the old school bell, and the other artifacts tell the story of City Island’s schools from the first schoolhouse built in 1838 to the present school, P.S. 175, built in 1975 and St. Mary, Star of the Sea RC School, which served the island for over 75 years. A section of the room is set up like a traditional school room, and a unique map of the naval training station that was located in Pelham Bay Park from 1917 to 1918 hangs on the wall.

The classroom set up in The School Room

Poster House                                                         119 West 23rd Street                                          New York, NY 10011

Poster House 119 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011

Poster House

119 West 23rd Street

New York, NY 10011

(917) 722-2439

https://www.facebook.com/posterhousenyc/

Open: Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/ Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Admission: Adults $12.00/Children Over 18/People with Disabilities/Students & Educators/Veterans $8.00. Children under 18 and Members are free (please check website for changes)

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d17794247-Reviews-Poster_House-New_York_City_New_York.html

The Poster House at 119 West 23rd Street

The Poster House is a little gem of a museum that I must have passed many times and never knew it was a museum. I had never heard of this museum before. The Poster House is dedicated to the history and art of posters and how they impact our lives as a way of communication. I got a chance to see the whole museum in about two hours.

The first exhibition on the first floor of the museum was “Utopian Avant-Guard: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920’s”, a retrospect on the film industry during the Silent Era. It was a time with the fall of the Czar and the coming of Communism where artists tried to shape the new face of Communism before the rigidity of the party controlled the whole film industry from the end of Silents until the Fall of Communism in the early 1990’s.

“The Utopian Avant-Guard: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920’s” exhibition

During the early years of the Communism, the country was going through radical changes that were not facing the rigid standards of the future Communist Party. Artists and film makers were getting their creativity from the West from countries in Europe and the United States. The creative class got to experiment with film and adapted what they saw to their own markets. This did not last long as Communism took hold and then started to control the content that was shown in the country. This continued from the Silent Era until the mid 1990’s when Communism fell.

Movie Poster from the 1920’s: ‘Six Girls Seeking Shelter’ from 1928

There were two interesting exhibitions on the lower level on artist and poster maker Ethel Reed. The exhibition was a collection of her work for magazines, books and film. She handled all sorts of mediums and was prominent for many years in the industry until her work fell out of fashion and her behavior became erratic with addiction.

“Ethel Reed: I am my own Woman”

The last exhibition that I toured was “Experimental Marriage: Women in Early Hollywood”, women whose role in in the film industry included writers, directors and producers. It showed how the influential women were in the industry before it became corporate. It also showed how actors had a lot of say in their films and the themes of the films were more female based. As things got concentrated in California and became more unionized, it became more of ‘Good Old Boys’ network as the industry became more streamlined.

“Experimental Marriage: Women in Early Hollywood” exhibition

What I liked about the museum is that it showed the politics from all angles and explained its progression and future in these industries.

The museum also has a nice gift shop and bookstore and a small restaurant, Café des Affiches.

History & Mission of the Poster House:

(From the Museum website)

The Poster House is dedicated to presenting the impact, culture and design of posters, both as historical documents and contemporary visual communication.

Through temporary exhibitions, a growing permanent collection and educational events, Poster House explores the enormous impact of posters on society and culture and how they have been adapted to contemporary use. As the first poster museum in the United States, The Poster House provides a space for inquiry for all those interested in design, advertising and public interventions with an aim to improve design literacy among the general public.

Posters explore:

*Mass communication and persuasion

*the intersection of art and commerce

*control of the public domain

Poster House was founded in 2015 with an eye towards filling a long-acknowledged gap in the New York cultural landscape for accessible art and design. After several years of planning and construction, Poster House opened its doors on June 20th, 2019.

Poster House is proud to receive support from the New York State Council of the Arts. Poster House is an affiliate member of the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association.

New York Transit Museum Gallery                        89 East 42nd Street                                             New York, NY 10001

New York Transit Museum Gallery 89 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10001

New York Transit Museum Gallery

89 East 42nd Street

New York, NY 10001

(212) 878-0106

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

Open: Sunday-Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Friday 11:30am-6:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d9873833-Reviews-New_York_Transit_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html

It is amazing to be in a building a record number of times and miss a small gallery that makes an impact on a visitor. This is how I felt when I entered Grand Central Station recently and discovered the New York Transit Museum Gallery. This little gem is tucked into a corner away from the ticket booths and Grand Hall and is free to the public.

The Gallery is a branch of the larger New York Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn. This smaller space can be toured in about an hour which is perfect in case you need to spend some time in the terminal before your train.

The Gallery was showing an exhibition entitled “Transit Sketches” by six artists who were based in New York City over the last 100 years. It was nice to see different perspectives of the artist though the overall theme was still the same.

“Transit Sketches” at the New York Transit Gallery

Video by Burning Hammer Productions

Tired people going to and from work. Works featured were from artists Ebony Bolt, Marvin Franklin, Naomi Grossman, Joseph Solman, Amy Tenenouser and Hank Virgona. Each artist represented a different time in the subway system, and it was nice to see that nothing really has changed over the years with the exception of the iPhone has replaced the newspaper as a place to do your work on the subway.

Each artist had their own mini gallery show in each section of the museum gallery and all the works showed people after either getting to work in the morning or after a long day at work. It showed the human side of riding the subway and just wanting to get to our destination.

Artist Ebony Bolt created a series entitled “The Bolt Dairies”, where she drew sketches of people either reading or sleeping on the subways and most of the faces were looking down. I took this that she was secretly drawing them while they were content being distracted by whatever means possible from the other riders and the books were full of overlapping faces.

Artist Ebony Bolt on her work on the inspiration of the people on the subway

https://www.theboltdiaries.com/

Artist Naomi Grossman show her works with an interesting approach of capturing the moods of the passengers as they spent their time on the train almost wishing to get off at the next stop. It was a way of looking at the patrons and capturing them after a long day at work.

Artist Naomi Grossman

https://www.naomigrossman.com/

MTA worker and Artist Marvin Franklin’s work

Artist Marvin Franklin

http://thejadesphinx.blogspot.com/2015/06/sketches-of-marvin-franklin.html

Artist Marvin Franklin was an MTA worker who worked the lines as a track worker who died on the job in 2007. He was on the job with another worker picking up a non-working dolly on the track whose lights were out and the train operator who hit them did not see them (NY Times.com). His vision to see the people who disappeared after work and became part of the fabric of the City. He showed their stories in his art.

Joseph Solman Artist

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

Joseph Solman work on riders on the subway

Joseph Solman used to sketch people when they were involved in just trying to ignore what was going on around them. He caught people in a part of time of just trying to keep their space on the subway.

Artist Amy Tenenouser

https://amytenenouser.com/home.html

https://www.facebook.com/people/Amy-Tenenouser/646628208/

Artist Amy Tenenouser’s work also gives the patron a Birdseye view of average people living their lives and capturing them in a moment in time. She has a good view of the riders on the subway and a whimsical approach.

Artist Amy Tenenouser captures the everyday person.

Artist Hank Virgona

https://www.hankvirgonaart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HankVirgona/

Hank Virgona’s work shows people in a state of mind

Hank Virgona’s career goes back to the Great Depression, and he captures like many of the artists in the exhibition the everyday person on the subway. Being a native New Yorker, he looks at the riders keeping an uncomfortable position keeping their space. I liked his work on the written word.

In the corner of the gallery there is a very extensive gift shop that features hats with subway numbers and letters representing the routes they take, games, puzzles and books that are all railroad themed catering to both children and adults. It has a nice selection of products to choose from.

The best part of the New York Transit Gallery is that it is free and a nice way to spend the afternoon while waiting to get on your train.

The History of the Transit Museum:

(From the museum’s website)

Founded in 1976, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to telling and preserving the stories of mass transportation-extraordinary engineering feats, workers who labored in the tunnels over 100 years ago, communities that were drastically transformed and the ever-evolving technology, design and ridership of a system that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Housed underground in a authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the Transit Museum’s working platform level spans a full city block and is home to a rotating selection of twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907.

Visitors can board the vintage cars, sit at the wheel of a city bus, step through a time tunnel of turnstiles and explore changing exhibits that highlight the cultural, social and technology history and future of mass transit.

The New York Transit Museum is a self-supporting division of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Friends of the New York Transit Museum, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization was established in 1995 to promote and raise funds for the Museum’s operations and programs.

The National Museum of Mathematics                   11 East 26th Street                                             New York, NY 10010

The National Museum of Mathematics 11 East 26th Street New York, NY 10010

The National Museum of Mathematics

11 East 26th Street

New York, NY 10010

(212) 542-0566

https://www.facebook.com/MoMath1/

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Adults $25.00/Seniors-Children-Students $20.00

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d3726207-Reviews-National_Museum_of_Mathematics-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

COVID had closed this unique little family orientated museum when I visited the NoMAD neighborhood earlier last year and it finally reopened for business right before the holidays. I could see the reasons why in that the museum is very interactive and there are a lot of activities and displays that warrant families touching objects and getting involved with the exhibitions.

Like most museums in Manhattan, the MoMATH or the Museum of Mathematics is quite pricey at $25.00 ($26.00) for an adult and for students, children over 12 and seniors over 60 it is $20.00. While it may be lot for an average family, a trip there is an eye-opening experience at least to me it was that day.

The museum has two full floors of exhibitions with a spiral staircase separating the floors and a gift shop at the entrance. On the main floor there are interesting interactive exhibitions such as the Shapes of Space that show how different shapes fit together on a curved surface. I was not too sure what the point of it was, but the kids seemed to enjoy it and it was interesting to see how they connected. The Square wheeled Trike was interesting as you rode a square wheeled type of bike on a bumpy surface to check velocity. The kids and young parents really liked this.

The “Shapes of Space” exhibition

The displays I enjoyed on the main floor were Motionscape, where you had to walk as fast as you could on the track to check the relationship between velocity, your position and acceleration. It was interesting to see how your body movements when walking affects the way you react. The other display that was really popular was Hoop Curves which was always busy. The exhibit used statistics and a robot arm to shoot the basketball. The kids got a real kick out of this when trying to make a basket.

On the lower level, there were more interactive displays along with an explanation of the math along with the creators of the theory. I found that interesting because you could see who all the mathematicians were who the projects were based on or who had contributed to them.

One of the interactive displays that I enjoyed was the Tessellation Station, where you could create displays with magnetic tiles on a large board. Later I learned about Tessellation as a form of making shapes fit together in a pattern and then the theory behind that. It was a fun way to use your creativity.

The “Tessellation Station” exhibition is a lot of fun

Another was the Tree of Life, where the computer copied the movements of myself and then used them to show the how I moved my arms and legs in a pattern. It was funny to see myself repeated over and over again like a tree with branches. It really did measure the movement of my body.

The Twist and Roll display showed how to put different shapes and sizes together and show their movement on the board. The one display that all the kids got a kick out of was the Math Board, where the colors and shapes of the section of the floor lit up when you walked on them and was controlled by the way you walked on them.

The “Math Board”

The Museum of Mathematics is a great museum for younger children who want to get physical and have a good time and like the interaction. I learned a few things too about the fundamentals of math and some of its background theories.

Still, it is a great museum for kids under the age of twelve and their younger parents. I think anything over that age would warrant a trip to the American Museum of Natural History or the Liberty Science Center with more exhibits that are age appropriate. It is a museum you should visit once or twice with small children who are at the learning stage and just want to have fun.

The History of the National Museum of Mathematics:

(From the museum website)

The National Museum of Mathematics began in response to the closing of a small museum of mathematics on Long Island, the Goudreau Museum. A group of interested parties (the “working group”) met in August 2008 to explore the creation of a new museum of mathematics-one that would go well beyond the Goudreau in both its scope and methodology. The group quickly discovered that there was no museum of mathematics in the United States, and yet there was a incredible demand for hands0n math programming.

Accomplishments to date include: opening Manhattan’s only hands-on science center, welcoming more than one million visitors; creating the popular Math Midway exhibition, which has delighted millions of visitors at museums throughout the United States and internationally; leading math tours in various U.S. cities; running dozens of Math Encounters and Family Fridays events; delivering a broad array of diverse and engaging programs for students, teachers, and the public to increase appreciation of mathematics and creating the largest public outdoor demonstration of the Pythagorean Theorem ever.

Mission:

Mathematics illuminates the patterns that abound in our world. The National Museum of Mathematics strives to enhance public understanding and perception of mathematics. Its dynamic exhibits and programs stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity and reveal the wonders of mathematics. The Museum’s activities lead a broad and diverse audience to understand the evolving, creative, human and aesthetic nature of mathematics.