The Hunterfly Road Houses, part of the Center, via Wiki Commons
The Weeksville Heritage Center is dedicated to documenting, preserving and interpreting the history of free African American communities in central Brooklyn and beyond. Built on the site of Weeksville, once the second-largest free black community in Antebellum America, the center maintains the landmarked Hunterfly Road Houses, which are the last standing historical remnants of that remarkable community, and mounts exhibitions, installations, and community programs. But rising operational costs have left the Center in a precarious financial position, and without support, the organization may have to close its doors as early as July. To meet its short-term operating costs, the Weeksville Heritage Center has launched a crowd-funding campaign in the hopes of raising at least $200,000 by June 30th.
Rendering of the Noguchi Museum campus by Büro Koray Duman
The original studio and pied-à-terre of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi will open to the public for the first time as part of a new unified campus, the Noguchi Museum announced earlier this month. The Long Island City museum plans to expand its existing museum and sculpture garden, founded by Noguchi in 1985, by adding a new 6,000-square-foot building and restoring the sculptor’s studio.
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Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot. Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Hyla Skopitz.
New York City’s art scene blossoms anew in springtime, with fresh ways to look at classic museum collections, international art fairs, cutting-edge installations and everything in between. And new public works pop up in the city’s parks and gardens, making it possible to enjoy both the outdoors and the art. We’ve rounded up a list of must-see exhibits, fairs, and installations to get you started.
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Photo courtesy of 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The main pieces of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s new monument were laid in place on Saturday at the corner of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The memorial, dubbed the 9/11 Memorial Glade, honors first responders and those who are sick or who have died from 9/11-related illnesses. The Memorial Glade’s six stone monoliths will flank a pathway and point skyward, to represent the “strength and determination through adversity” of rescue and relief workers in the aftermath of September 11.
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On Saturday, May 4th, the Museum of the City of New York will host “Keys to the City: The Ultimate New York City Scavenger Hunt.” Teams of at least three, and up to 10, will have four hours to decipher 50 clues, and visit sites in the Financial District, the Lower East Side, DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. The journey will conclude at MCNY with drinks and a prize ceremony. Winners will snag a private gallery tour of the museum, and family memberships to MCNY.
Image via Pexels
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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