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.
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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.”
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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.
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(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.
Image via Google Maps
Preservationists who have long fought against the Frick Collection’s planned expansion are proposing a rather unique solution: the museum could take over Jeffrey Epstein’s “cursed mansion” across the street instead. “The fact that it’s so convenient to the museum means that the Frick could potentially lay Jeffrey Epstein’s name to rest by purchasing it and changing the function,” architect Theodore Grunewald, who runs preservationist group Save The Frick, told the Daily News. “It could essentially be cleansing the house.”
An aerial view of Battery Park City showing the Museum of Jewish Heritage, via Wikimedia Commons
“To address the disturbing number of anti-Semitic and other discriminatory attacks in New York, the Governor is proposing a first-in-the-nation domestic terrorism law,” reads a bullet point from Cuomo’s 2020 agenda. As part of this larger hate crime anti-terrorism act, the Governor has directed the Battery Park City Authority to develop an expansion plan for the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust so that it will become a “learning destination for school children across the state.”
Photos by Anna-Marie Kellen
Two new paintings by Canadian Cree artist Kent Monkman are now on view in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Great Hall. As part of a new series in which the museum invites contemporary artists to make work in response to the Met collection, Monkman reappropriated motifs from Western artists such as Emanuel Leutze and Eugéne Delacroix to tell a different narrative that foregrounds themes of arrival, migration, displacement, and the Indigenous experience.
Renderings courtesy of CetraRuddy
Stockholm-based photography museum Fotografiska is opening its first stateside outpost in New York City this month. Housed inside the former Church Missions House at 281 Park Avenue South, the organization will bring 45,000 square feet of exhibition and event spaces, alongside a restaurant inspired by European “grand cafés.” New York firm CetraRuddy led the restoration and redesign of the landmarked space, working with Higgins Quasebarth & Partners to preserve the stained-glass windows and limestone and granite facade of the Renaissance Revival building.
Google Street View of the 9/11 Tribute Museum in October 2017; Map data © Google
The 9/11 Tribute Museum—perhaps “overshadowed” by the better-known Memorial Museum just a few blocks away—might be closing its 92 Greenwich Street location, as Crain’s reports. Real estate investment firm Thor Equities has placed the museum’s three-story space on the market for $30 million. It’s not yet clear whether the museum will close down completely or be able to relocate.
Photo by Ajay Suresh via Wikimedia Commons
Beginning in 2020, the list of 50+ cultural institutions offering free membership through the city’s IDNYC program will grow to include the Apollo Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, The Shed, and the Whitney Museum. Started in 2015 as a way to provide identification cards to those who may not otherwise have access, such as the homeless and undocumented immigrants, IDNYC now has more than 1.3 million cardholders (it’s the country’s largest municipal ID program) who have saved over $55 million on memberships, discounts, and other fees.