MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at MCNY.org

Cymbeline; what’s a love story without some scandal?

It was January 25, 1897, the opening night of William Shakespeare’s romance Cymbeline, based on the legend of an early Celtic British king, at Wallack’s Theatre. The lavish production starred … Continue reading

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Pilfering the Male Wardrobe: The Gibson Girl’s Retort to Fashion Satire

Capricious, evanescent, outrageous: there has always been something to parody about fashion. It has had its moments of sanity, where form has actually nodded to function, but centuries-worth of acrid … Continue reading

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From Dazzling to Dirty and Back Again: A Brief History of Times Square

Originally known as Long Acre (also Longacre) Square after London’s carriage district, Times Square served as the early site for William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange. In the late 1880s, Long … Continue reading

July 14, 2015 · 1 Comment

Rainforest Ramblin': Or a Day in the Life of a Museum Registrar

Registrar! Tell us about the time you traveled to the edge of the rainforest to pick up a guitar? “take off your thirsty boots and stay for a while Your … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

Bittersweet: The American Revolution and New York City’s Sugar Industry

Levi Hanford sat confined in a crowded cell. He dropped a moldy biscuit and a small ration of pork into a kettle filled with water. As the bread slowly broke … Continue reading

June 30, 2015 · 1 Comment

Brides and Debutantes: White Dresses all Around

The start of summer brings with it the beginning of wedding season.  As a bride-to-be myself, I couldn’t help but take a closer look at the numerous wedding invitations that … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Studio 54: Behind the velvet rope

Studio 54 opened on April 26, 1977, at 254 West 54th Street. The space initially served as a home to the Gallo Opera House (pictured to the left), which opened … Continue reading

June 16, 2015 · 1 Comment

The mystery of Mabel E. Johnston, who drew beautiful costumes

In 1978, the Museum received a collection of costume design renderings that featured the work of well-known theatrical designers such as Boris Aronson, Charles Le Maire, and Vincent Minelli.  Also … Continue reading

June 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Company Songs

While cataloging ephemera under the National Endowment for Humanities grant, I couldn’t help but notice how many companies, clubs, societies, and associations had songs written and printed for special occasions. … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Tempest: storms, schemes, and a happy end

On May 27th The Tempest opens the Public Theatre’s annual Shakespeare in the Park season at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre. Refresh your memory of the plot details as we explore images of … Continue reading

May 26, 2015 · 1 Comment

Banjos, Mandolins, Cats, and Dogs

In the 1950s and 1960s, Sunday afternoons were spirited times in Washington Square Park.  For several hours folk singers, accompanied by enthusiasts, performed in the public space.  In a convivial … Continue reading

May 19, 2015 · 5 Comments

Bringing the American Civil War to high school students

This spring the Collections Department has been collaborating with our colleagues in the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Center to use archival material to support education programming. The City Museum developed  Surpass! a … Continue reading

May 12, 2015 · 1 Comment

A cool place in 18th century New York: Excavating a cold storage shed on the Tweed Courthouse grounds

Now that spring is in the air, the City Museum’s Archaeology Project is ready to answer your warm-weather questions!  Obviously, the most pressing question on readers’ minds is: How did New Yorkers … Continue reading

April 30, 2015 · 1 Comment

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