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When the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced it would start charging non-New Yorkers $25 for admission and waive its pay-what-you-wish policy for the first time since 1970, most people reacted with disapproval. But there was an under-the-radar benefit to this new policy: The Met agreed to share a portion of the new revenue from admission fees with the city, to be used by the Department of Cultural Affairs in support of the CreateNYC plan. A year after the admission fees went into effect, the de Blasio administration has announced that $2.8 million in additional funding will be allocated to over 175 cultural organizations in underserved communities throughout the five boroughs.
“Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, half-length portrait, standing with statue of soldiers,” 1920, via, The Library of Congress
When the first Armory Show came to New York City in 1913, it marked the dawn of Modernism in America, displaying work by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, and Duchamp for the very first time. Not only did female art patrons provide 80 percent of the funding for the show, but since that time, women have continued to be the central champions of American modern and contemporary art. It was Abby Aldrich Rockefeller who founded MoMA; Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney the Whitney; Hilla von Rebay the Guggenheim; Aileen Osborn Webb the Museum of Art and Design; and Marcia Tucker the New Museum. Read on to meet the modern women who founded virtually all of New York City’s most prestigious modern and contemporary art museums.
More Modern Women
Image courtesy of MCR and Morse Development
Guests of the TWA Flight Center Hotel—set to open on May 15—will be able to experience the Jet Age through exhibitions of Trans World Airlines artifacts curated by the New-York Historical Society. Flight attendant’s logs, vintage furniture from TWA headquarters, in-flight amenities—like gilded playing cards and custom matchbooks—are some of the types of objects that will be on view in a rotating series of exhibitions dedicated to the former TWA terminal, a historic landmark designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962.
New York Awheel―On the Riverside Drive, Near the Great Monument, Munsey’s Magazine, May 1896, Illustrator: J.M. Gleeson, Private collection courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York
With 100+ miles of protected bike lanes, a flotilla of Citi Bikes, and the robust Five Boro Bike Tour, New York City ranks as one of the top 10 cycling cities in the country. In fact, the nation’s very first bike lane was designated on Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway in 1894, and the city’s cycling history reaches back two centuries. Beginning March 14th, the Museum of the City of New York will celebrate and explore that history in the new exhibit, “Cycling in the City: A 200 Year History.”
Inside the KGB Spy Museum. All photos in this post are courtesy of the KGB Spy Museum
After entering the new KGB Spy Museum on 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues on a recent afternoon, a young Russian man wearing all black said, “Do you know who that is?” Pointing to a stoic portrait of Vladimir Lenin on the wall, he added, “He is like a God to the Soviet people.” The Soviet Era is the stock-in-trade of New York’s new KGB Spy Museum, which houses a staggering collection of never-before-seen Soviet espionage artifacts used by the KGB, Soviet Russia’s spy organization or “State Security Committee,” once known as “the sword and shield of the Communist Party.”
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When living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, it’s helpful to know the places in New York City that offer discounts and freebies. Thankfully, many of the Big Apple’s world-class museums and galleries offer free admission on some days, from the one-bedroom-sized Mmuseumm in Chinatown to architectural-icon the Guggenheim Museum. Ahead, we’ve rounded up all of the free museum days in NYC to let you pinch pennies and get your culture fix at the same time.
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Exterior view of The Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street. Rendering by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of MoMA.
The Museum of Modern Art will be closed throughout the summer as it prepares to open its expanded campus on October 21st. The $400 million expansion, developed by MoMA with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, will add more than 40,000 square feet of gallery spaces and allow the Museum to exhibit more art in new, interdisciplinary ways. The final phase of construction will expand into Jean Nouvel’s new residential tower 53W53 and into the site of the demolished American Folk Art Museum. It will add innovative performance and education spaces, expand the MoMA Design and Bookstore, and add free street-level galleries on the ground floor that will make art more accessible for all.
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Rendering by Moso Studio.
As 6sqft previously reported, after the rescue and recovery effort for the September 11th attacks ended, an estimated 400,000 people were exposed to life-threatening toxins, and since then, nearly 70,000 first responders and more than 14,000 survivors enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program. Last May, 9/11 Memorial & Museum president Alice Greenwald revealed the official design for Memorial Glade, a monument to all those who have lost their lives or are sick due to these related illnesses. The New York Post now reports that work is underway at Liberty and West streets.
Find out more about Memorial Glade
New York City is stepping up to help furloughed federal employees who have been affected by the government shutdown, now on its 35th day. Federal workers who have missed paychecks due to the shutdown, the longest ever in history, qualify for perks at various spots across the five boroughs. With a valid government ID, federal workers can enjoy complimentary goodies, including free admission to museums, a free Broadway show, free food, and even free hotel rooms. And after filling up on freebies, join federal employees and their supporters at a rally to end the shutdown on Friday in Lower Manhattan.
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New York is home to world-class institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, and MoMA. But this city’s museum scene has more to offer than just the Temple of Dendur—in fact, it’s full of smaller, way funkier spots serving up found art, oddities, and history, including the history of this ever-odd city itself. Here are 10 of our favorites.