MCNY Blog: New York Stories

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

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

Featured · 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

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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

Napoleon Sarony: Celebrity Photographer

  Before paparazzi and the celebrity media we all live with today, there were 19th century photographers, like Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896), who became internationally renowned for their celebrity portraits. Born in Québec, Sarony began his … Continue reading

April 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

Rufus King: Early New York, lawyer, diplomat and statesman

If you have found yourself wandering around the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, anytime in the last two centuries, you’ve possibly happened upon a farmhouse, situated between 89th Avenue, 150th street, … Continue reading

April 21, 2015 · 2 Comments

Reblog via Untapped Cities ~ Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks, Interview with the Curators

On April 21, 2015, the Museum of the City of New York will open Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks, exploring how the pioneering landmarks legislation, passed in 1965, … Continue reading

April 17, 2015 · 2 Comments

A Call to Serve: Scenes from the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service

With fresh tears in her eyes, a young girl approached Lillian Wald, a graduate of New York Hospital School of Nursing. Concerned for the girl’s well-being, Wald followed the child … Continue reading

April 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

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