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Museums Women's History

The Origin of Met Gala and its Surprising Roots in the Lower East Side

The Met Gala is the most outrageously glamorous event in New York City, a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute that also serves as a kickoff party for the museum’s annual costume exhibition. This year’s theme is “Gilded Glamour” so expect some genuine throwback costumery and lots of expensive baubles. (The Gilded Gentleman, sadly, will […]

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Museums Neighborhoods The Immigrant Experience

A Visit to the Ukrainian Museum in the East Village

There’s a small pocket of the East Village still referred to today as “Little Ukraine” (or Ukrainian Village), located at 6th and 7th Streets between First and Third Avenues. Once populated in the late 19th century with thousands of newly arrived Ukrainian immigrants, this area has grown notably smaller in recent years, more distinguished today […]

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Museums

Mona Lisa comes to New York! And she’s almost drowned in a sprinkler malfunction

For more information on the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, check out our podcast from last fall celebrating the museum’s 150th anniversary: Leonardo da Vinci‘s stoic portrait came to America during the winter of 1963, a single-picture loan to the United States (as a special favor to Jackie Kennedy) and accompanied by André Malraux, […]

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Museums Music History

Visit Bill Graham & the Rock and Roll Revolution before it closes

If you’ve listened to our show on Beatlemania in New York and you’re still in the mood for some 1960s music history, head on over to the New-York Historical Society to check out their harmonious exhibition on concert promoter Bill Graham. Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution summons the gods and goddesses of […]

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Museums

New York’s First Art Museum: The City Hall Rotunda

The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains a very unusual piece of art tied to the early history of City Hall. In fact, this piece is responsible for what is sometimes considered New York’s very first art museum — decades older than the Met itself. The strange oil painting is called Panoramic View of the Palace […]

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Museums Podcasts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 150 Years of History on Display

EPISODE 341 Celebrating the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 150th anniversary year of its founding — certainly one of the strangest years in its extraordinary existence.  The Met is really the king of New York attractions, with visitors heading up to Central Park and streaming through the doors by the millions to gasp at […]

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Brooklyn History Museums

The Bushwick Doll Factory: A tour of 538 Johnson, where Brooklyn’s industrial past and punk music collide

There is no place in New York City quite like the converted factory building at 538 Johnson Avenue in Bushwick*, Brooklyn. At the same time, it evokes in mysterious ways a compelling truth about this city — that every building has a story, if only it had a storyteller to share it. For 538 Johnson, that storyteller is Bryan Sears, […]

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Museums

Panoramas! The world’s first widescreen delights, on display at the New-York Historical society

Even in our Instagram age, it remains impossible to completely capture the experience of real life upon a fabricated image. With filters and captions, we can make places looks better than they are, but flat images rarely embody the lushcious expanse of reality. With their whimsical new exhibition Panoramas: The Big Picture, the New-York Historical Society reveals that the attempt […]

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Museums On The Waterfront

The South Street Seaport Museum, at 50 years old, has gotten some tattoos

The under appreciated South Street Seaport Museum has always had a daunting mission to fulfill — preserving a piece of New York City history on the edge of a volatile and ever-changing waterway. Established fifty years ago this year, the museum has been the guiding presence to this remaining vestige of New York’s 19th century waterfront. […]

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Museums

The Crystal Palace: A new gallery show brings its marvels to life

Bryant Park is a rather remarkable physical space. During the winter it becomes a skating rink and outdoor market, while in the summer, its lawn host hundreds of movie buffs every Monday for the park’s popular outdoor film festival. Its neighbor — the main branch of the New York Public Library — keeps millions of volumes […]

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Museums

City of Memory: The Metropolitan Museum’s intimate New York exhibit

Up in one of those difficult-to-find rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — so difficult that perhaps it simply vanishes after you leave it — is a series of 27 small oil paintings that one must view with a magnifying glass. The subjects of the paintings all reside in the same universe — a […]

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Museums

Here’s how to view the new display ‘New York 1942’ at Gracie Mansion

Seventy-five years ago, in 1942, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses convinced Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to move his family from their home in East Harlem (Fifth Avenue and 109th Street) to an old mansion in Carl Schurz Park. It was the former home to merchant Archibald Gracie, built in 1799, to look out at the ships […]

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Museums

New York At Its Core: MCNY’s Past, Present and Future of the city

The Museum of the City of New York finally delivers the ultimate history of New York City in its dazzling new permanent exhibit on the ground floor — New York At Its Core. And yet it feels very strange to classify this as a mere survey of history as though it were a row of […]

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Museums

Saturday is Free Museum Day! A list of NYC’s participating museums

The Smithsonian Magazine-sponsored Museum Day Live!, this Saturday, September 24, provides you with an excellent reason to finally visit that local museum you’ve always wanted to go to or to go catch that exhibit that all your friends have been talking about. This is a national event and includes a great many museums, well beyond those operated […]

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Museums

Photographs of wonder from the American Museum of Natural History

One hundred years ago, the American Museum of Natural History received a massive visitor, one so mighty that the doors of the museum’s delivery room “had to be removed and [the] partition openings enlarged” in order to accommodate it. Was it a dinosaur? A meteorite? Perhaps the remains of a great whale? No, the new […]