In times of uncertainty, rely on friends, family, and your favorite New York City cultural institution. Although the coronavirus has shuttered most of the city, many museums, performance centers, libraries, and other organizations are offering free (or nearly free) online resources to entertain New Yorkers throughout this difficult period. From virtual storytime with Brooklyn Public Library librarians to live-streamed performances by the Metropolitan Opera, support local organizations safely from your home. This list was lasted updated at 3:30 p.m. on March 26, 2020.
With city and state government closing schools until at least the end of April and shutting down restaurants and bars aside from takeout and delivery, NYC is in unprecedented times. 6sqft has begun compiling a list of closures, cancellations, and postponements, as well as information on how the subway, ride-share companies, and public entities like libraries are handling the outbreak and how refunds or credits are being issued. As the situation develops, we’ll be updating this list to the best of our knowledge. This list was last updated at 2:30 pm on Thursday, March 26.
Two Brooklyn institutions are joining forces to broaden their impact and create “the premiere collection” of archival materials related to the history of the borough. The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) have announced a plan to unify their resources, which was approved by the boards of both organizations this week. The library will serve as the parent institution and the partnership is expected to bring greater financial stability to both while expanding the historical society’s reach through the library’s 59 branches.
A conceptual rendering of the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, opening in fall 2020 at the American Museum of Natural History. Rendering courtesy American Museum of Natural History.
The American Museum of Natural History announced this week that the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will be opening in fall of 2020. Named for longtime museum supporters Roberto and Allison Mignone, the long-awaited redesign will be a dazzling showcase for one of the greatest collections of its kind. The new Halls will be connected to Studio Gang’s 235,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced two new sculpture commissions to be installed in the museum’s facade niches and the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden later this year. Mexican artist Héctor Zamora will create a site-specific intervention on the roof titled Lattice Detour that’s set to open on April 21. On September 9, American artist Carol Bove will unveil new sculptures in the building’s Fifth Avenue facade niches, becoming only the second artist to activate the building’s exterior in this way. The works are still in progress but Sheena Wagstaff, the Met’s Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, hinted that Zamora’s piece will “invite us to reconsider the panoramic view of the city skyline” and Bove’s installation will feature “colorful stylized abstractions.”
Photo by Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society
This Presidents’ Day, visit Washington, D.C. without leaving New York City. The New-York Historical Society on Friday opened a special permanent gallery that features a detailed replica of the White House Oval Office. The “Meet the Presidents” exhibit allows visitors to play POTUS for a day, with the classic Resolute Desk set up for photo ops.
Lexington Avenue, between 105th and 106th Streets, Manhattan, 1913. Photograph by Pierre P. Pullis, Lundin Collection, Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
A new photo exhibit at the New York Transit Museum provides a unique look at the construction of the city’s subway system, as well as its enduring impact. Opening Thursday, Streetscapes & Subways: Photographs by Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis shows what it was like before and after the subway system was constructed, as well as the architectural and cultural changes occurring simultaneously above ground.
‘Pressed: Images from the Jewish Daily Forward’ tells the story of American Jews in the early 20th century, Wed, February 5, 2020
Lower East Side Matzoh Line, 1930; image courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street.
An exhibition now on view at the Museum at Eldridge Street shares a treasure trove of photographs and documents from the Jewish Daily Forward, a newspaper that has been published on the Lower East Sid since 1897–and today still thrives in digital format. For over 120 years, the Forward was the go-to source for news, culture, and opinion both global and everyday for New York City’s Jewish community. The printed paper’s deep archives trace its history and the stories it covered in “Pressed: Images from the Jewish Daily Forward.”
70 Mulberry Street, Map data © 2020 Google
The Museum of Chinese in America has launched an online fundraiser after a fire likely destroyed most of its extensive archive. Last Thursday night, a fire broke out at 70 Mulberry Street in Chinatown, in a building that housed a number of nonprofits, including about 85,000 irreplaceable items from the museum’s collection. According to the New York Times, priceless artifacts like traditional wedding dresses from the early 1900s and documents from 1883 about the Chinese Exclusion Act are thought to be among items lost.
(L) “Barack Obama” by Kehinde Wiley, oil on canvas, 2019. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; (R) “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama” by Amy Sherald, oil on linen, 2018. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
The portraits of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are coming to Brooklyn next year. The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery on Thursday announced a five-city tour for the two popular paintings, including a stop at the Brooklyn Museum in Prospect Heights in the summer of 2021. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald are the first African American artists selected by the Portrait Gallery for its official portraits of a president or first lady.