Tuesday, December 1, 2015

At the Museum of the City of New York

After just two visits, the Museum of the City of New York, or the City Museum, has become one of our household’s favorite museums. We visited last week for the Folk City and Jacob Riis exhibits. A surprise: an exhibit of photographs by Carl Van Vechten. One reason I like smaller museums: they change the pace of museum-going. With less schlepping about, I find it easier to take my time. Elaine and I spent a good two-and-a-half hours in the Museum and could easily have spent more. (There are at least seven other exhibits now on view, three of which we had already seen.)

Even getting around the City Museum has its attractions. A spiral staircase is likely to wow younger and older visitors alike. A plain old stairwell is an exhibit in itself, with photographs and observations about New York on its walls. (The entryway reads: “This Is New York’s Most Exciting Stairwell.”) From Lewis Mumford (1979): “New York is the perfect model of a city, not the model of a perfect city.”

Here’s a photograph that gives a good idea of the stairwell. And here’s an OCA post from 2014, also singing the Museum’s praises.

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