Museums

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Features, Museums, NYC Guides, Top Stories

NYC’s 10 best offbeat and hidden museums

By Rebecca Fishbein, Wed, January 9, 2019

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.

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Events, holidays, Museums

Kwanzaa, American Museum of Natural History, Kwanzaa NYC

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is hosting its annual Kwanzaa festival on Saturday, celebrating African-American heritage with programs that focus on community, culture, and creativity. Free with admission, the event takes place on Dec. 29 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the museum’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

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Museums

Via Wikimedia

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and 12 other New York City institutions should be free of charge for New York residents, claims one local resident. New Yorker Pat Nicholson this week launched a website aimed at educating the city about the “right” to free admission to museums like the Met and others, as Metro reported. According to Nicholson, a 19th-century law states the Met should offer free admission five days a week in exchange for a rent-free lease on city property.

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Museums, New Developments, Starchitecture, Upper West Side 

American Museum of Natural History, Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang, Richard Gilder Center for Science Education and Innovation

Rendering via Studio Gang

In October, plans by Studio Gang to expand the American Museum of Natural History and create the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation were stopped in their tracks after New York State Supreme Court Justice Lynn Kotler issued a temporary restraining order. A lawsuit had been filed by a community group opposed to the expansion on the grounds that it would destroy public parkland and threaten the surrounding environment. Judge Kotler on Monday ruled in favor of the museum in a decision confirming that all appropriate procedures in preparation for the project were followed. The decision will allow the museum to proceed with the $383 million expansion project.

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History, Lower East Side, Museums

Students from Camp Henry at the exhibit, courtesy of The Henry Street Settlement

In honor of its 125th anniversary, the Henry Street Settlement, the community hub and social services organization at 265 Henry Street, has mounted a new permanent exhibit in its historic 1830 landmarked headquarters. “The House on Henry Street” is a multi-media exhibit that highlights the legacy of the Settlement’s founder, Lillian Wald, and explores over a century of social activism, urban poverty, and public health on the Lower East Side through the lens of the Settlement’s own history. Incorporating archival photos, video and sound recordings, historic objects, and quotations from both settlement workers and clients, the exhibit distills over a century of history into a stunningly rich and deeply moving meditation on the vital importance of community-oriented social activism.

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Events, Museums

John, a third generation Mohawk ironworker who helped raise One World Trade, photographed by Melissa Cacciola, via Melisssa Cacciola

“Skywalkers: a Portrait of Mohawk Ironworkers at the World Trade Center,” opens today at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The exhibit features photographer Melissa Cacciola’s tintype portraits of Kahnawake Mohawk ironworkers who volunteered in rescue efforts after 9/11 and helped raise One World Trade Center, Towers 2, 3, and 4, and the Calatrava Transportation Hub.

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Museums, New Developments, Starchitecture, Upper West Side 

American Museum of Natural History, Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang, Richard Gilder Center for Science Education and Innovation

Rendering via Studio Gang

As 6sqft previously reported, last October the architects at Studio Gang tweaked their proposal for the American Museum of Natural History expansion to preserve more public parkland–and the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the plans. Now, Curbed reports, those expansion plans have been put on hold after a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued against the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation by New York State Supreme Court justice Lynn Kotler. The TRO follows a lawsuit filed by a community group that has been opposed to the expansion, saying it will destroy the park, cause trees to be removed and endanger the safety and environment surrounding the construction area.

How big a setback is this?

Brooklyn, Events, holidays, Museums

Photo via WinterFest at Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn is getting a new winter festival and market this holiday season full of family-fun events, shopping, wine and beer tastings, and more. Dubbed WinterFest, the pop-up will take over 40,000 square feet of outdoor space at the Brooklyn Museum from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31 and feature more than 50 holiday-decorated wooden chalets with local crafts and handmade gifts inside.

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Featured Story

Construction Update, Design, Features, Museums

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

With the construction of the new Statue of Liberty Museum in its final stages, 6sqft on Tuesday toured the 26,000-square-foot site and its landscaped rooftop. This is the first ground-up building overseen by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the nonprofit which has raised $100 million in private funds for the project. Designed by FXCollaborative with exhibits created by ESI Design, the angular-shaped museum will feature three immersive gallery spaces with one wing showcasing the Statue of Liberty’s original torch and the iconic monument framed behind it through floor-to-ceiling glass.

See its progress

Events, Greenwich Village, holidays, Museums

Photo via MHM

What better way to celebrate Halloween this year than a history lesson in 19th-century death and mourning? The Merchant’s House Museum released its list of “events to die for” happening in October, all of which promise to be a ghostly good time. Spooky events include a walking tour following Edgar Allan Poe’s life in Greenwich Village, a reenactment of an 1865 funeral, candlelight ghost tours of the most haunted house in Manhattan, and much more.

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