The Museum of the City of New York is an art gallery and history museum founded in 1923 to present the history of New York CityUSA and its people. In 1982, the Museum received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York." It is located at the northern end of the Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, between 103rd and 104th Streets, facing Central Park. The brick and limestone building it occupies was designed by Joseph J. Freedlander in the neo-Georgian style. Construction began in 1928 and was completed in 1930.

The Museum is a private non-profit organization which receives government support as a member of New York City's Cultural Institutions Group, commonly known as CIGs.[1]


The museum's collections include paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs featuring New York City and its residents, as well as costumes, decorative objects and furniture, toys, rare books and manuscripts, marine and military collections, police and fire collections, and a theater collection (documenting the golden age of Broadway theater).

Among the rare items in the museum's collection is a chair that once belonged to Sarah Rapelje, daughter of Joris Jansen Rapelje of Nieuw Amsterdam, and said to be the first child born in New York State of European parentage.[2] The chair was donated by her Brinckerhoff descendants.

The museum is known for its comprehensive collection of photographs, which includes works by Stanley Kubrick,[3] Jacob Riis and Berenice Abbott, as well as many Depression-era Federal Art Projectphotographs. The museum is also home to several recreated furnished rooms from the house of John D. Rockefeller, donated by his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr..

Tweed Courthouse move and museum expansion

In 2000 a plan was floated for the museum to relocate to the historic Tweed Courthouse by City Hall in Lower Manhattan. El Museo del Barrio would then have moved across the street to occupy the former Museum of the City of New York building. In the end, Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to site the new New York City Department of Education in the Tweed Courthouse instead, causing then-director Robert R. McDonald to tender his resignation.[citation needed]

The Museum's new director, Susan Henshaw Jones, recommitted MCNY to its Upper East Side neighborhood by planning an extension to the Museum. The groundbreaking for this extension, which includes new gallery space, took place on August 2, 2006;[4] and it was completed in February 2008 with a ribbon cutting later that same year.

The pavilion gallery is 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) glass addition, which has two levels for which to display artifacts. The original 1932 Georgian Revival building was also restored during this project as well as additions including a vault for the museum's silver collection, a research room and a room for the handling of artifacts. The total costs for the first phase of refurbishments came to $28 million.[5]

In late 2011, the Museum temporarily took over operation of the South Street Seaport Museum which reopened in January 2012.[6]

Notable exhibits

From October 2004 through July 2009, Perform was the only permanent exhibition in New York City focused on theater in New York. It included objects ranging from Bill "Bojangles" Robinson’s tap shoes to advertising materials from Avenue Q.[7] In June 2007, the museum opened its temporary "The Glory Days, 1947-1957", an in-depth photographic look at the history of professional baseball in New York City. The exhibit included clips of Ed Sullivan, a pioneer of CBS television entertainment, interviewing many of the players of the era, including Mickey Mantle and Phil Rizzuto. A section was devoted to Jackie Robinson, who broke the color line in 1947 when he joined the former Brooklyn Dodgers and became a leading figure in the civil rights movement both during.and after his playing career. In May 2012, the Museum opened a new space devoted to the Puffin Foundation and its collection. The inaugural exhibit, which focused on social activism and NYC's activist roots, opened in May 2012.


1.      ^ "City-Owned Institutions - History of City-Owned Cultural Institutions". NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 2012-05-04.

2.      ^ Sarah Rapalje (1625-1685), The New Netherland Institute, New York State Library, Albany, New York

3.      ^ "Stanley Kubrick's 'Life And Love On The New York City Subway'"Huffington Post. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-05-4.

4.      ^ Pogrebin, Robin (2006-09-28). "The City Changes. Its Museum Will, Too.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29.

5.      ^ Pogrebin, Robin (2008-08-11). "Museum of History Unveils Its Future". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-11.

6.      ^ Del Signore, John (2012-01-26). "New South Street Seaport Museum Reopens With Occupy Wall Street Show". Gothamist. Retrieved 2012-05-04.

7.      ^ "Perform". WNET. 2008-06-15. Retrieved 200-11-30.

Source: Wikipedia
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