In 100 Years in New York City, So Much Has Changed, and Yet …

This article is part of the museum’s special section on how the museum is reaching out to new artists and attracting new audiences.

We all know that life in the Big Apple has changed in the last 100 years. But when was the last time you stopped and thought how much?

A new exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Museum of the City of New York is a reminder.

For example, Speedy, the commuter played by Harold Lloyd in the 1928 silent film of the same name, and Kramer, played by Michael Richards in the long-running television series Seinfeld. Both face the decades-long problem of finding satisfying seats on subway trains, as clips from the actors’ work show.

Or consider the costumes worn by the cast Robes and gloves worn by Robert De Niro, who starred in Pose, a TV series about the city’s underground ball culture, and Raging Bull, a movie about boxer Jake LaMotta. These characters from different eras are synonymous with the city in their own way.

The oldest on display is a lithograph of a George Bellows painting from 1923-1924. “Dempsey and Firpo” Cheyenne Julien’s 2023 latest work, Salsa Sundays at Orchard Beach, shows how New York has inspired the creativity of countless artists over the past century.

“This is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture,” an exhibition that occupies the entire third floor of the museum on Fifth Avenue, at the top of Manhattan’s Museum Mile, between 103rd and 104th Streets will be Displayed from May 26, 2023 to July 31, 2024.

Among the subjects it explores are New York’s streets and subways. its songs; its representation by artists, photographers and filmmakers; homely space there.

The museum was founded in 1923 by Scottish-born author and conservationist Henry Collins Brown. The original goal was to appeal to children and immigrants, focus the exhibits, and “highlight the lives of ordinary New Yorkers.” recently published research By the Gotham Center for New York City History, sponsored by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

first occupied Gracie Mansiona historic home owned by the Park Service and today the mayor’s official residence.

In 1928, the city provided the museum with the site where the current house was built. The building is a Georgian Colonial Revival building built from 1929 to his 1932 and designated a landmark in 1967. A 10-year renovation and modernization project was completed in 2015.

Today, the museum’s collection includes more than 750,000 objects ranging from paintings, prints and photographs to decorative arts, toys and theatrical memorabilia.

Among the notable possessions are handwritten manuscripts of several plays by Eugene O’Neill.Her 412 glass negatives from the pioneering photographer’s collection Jacob Reese It records the living conditions of the urban poor.and the Stettheimer Dollhousecontains miniatures by Marcel Duchamp.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is an exploration of New York songs, featuring music from five New York neighborhoods inspired by the subways and streets.

Each ward is represented by an outline on the gallery floor. When people walk into a particular ward, a snippet of the song is played through the ceiling speakers, and images, videos and information about the song are projected onto the walls of the gallery. The music featured here ranges from his 1931 production of The Mills Brothers. “Coney Island Washboard” Celebrate Brooklyn, to Jennifer Lopez’s 2002 hymn to the Bronx, “Block Jenny”

A unique feature of the “At Home in New York” section of the exhibition is a reading room with what the museum describes as a “digital bookshelf.” Towards the end of the gallery, it’s filled with boxes of books and VHS or DVDs, all embedded with radio frequency identification tags. Visitors can select an item from the bookshelf, read the tag’s barcode, and place it in a docking station at the end of the gallery that projects the appropriate audio or video.

Among the more than 20 books on the shelves are John Cheever’s The Enormous Radio, read by Matthew Broderick, and Harriet the Spy, written and illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh and read by Lee DeLaria. I have. TV shows range from “Honeymooners” and “I Love Lucy” to “Seinfeld” and “Living Singles.” All the works on display are set in New York and depict life there.

The “Destination NYC” section of the exhibition explores restaurants, nightclubs, bars, parks, fire escapes, rooftops and waterfronts such as Coney Island and Orchard Beach.

Another highlight is “You Are Here”. radical media, A media and telecommunications company based in Lower Manhattan. RadicalMedia worked with a curatorial panel of filmmakers and other professionals to select over 400 of his films made since the museum’s founding.

According to John Kamen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RadicalMedia, these film “pieces” represent “all the soundbites we appreciate and love about New York” and are pieced together to create 20 A minute movie is created and shown. On 16 screens in his one of the exhibition galleries.

The oldest film featured is the 1924 silent film “Manhandled” starring Gloria Swanson, and the latest is Questlove’s 2021 film. “Summer of Soul” For the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Kamen served as executive producer.

The museum’s interim director and chief curator, Sarah Henry, said the museum’s goal since its inception has been to “preserve and interpret the memories of the past and engage with the contemporary life of the city.”

Noting that “everyone has a love-hate relationship with this city,” he added, “Now is the perfect time to celebrate and rediscover New York as we recover from the blow of the pandemic and consider where to go next.”

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