Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at MCNY.org
An exhibition like Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks is not only the kind of thought-provoking show the Museum of the City of New York is adept at presenting, but also one that I personally love to organize. That’s because the show takes a topic rooted in the city’s history and gives it contemporary relevance.
Co-curated by me and Andrew S. Dolkart, associate professor and director of the historic preservation program at Columbia University, the exhibition will open in April of 2015—the 50th anniversary of the pioneering legislation that established New York’s Landmarks Law. While the show will display a wealth of historic documents, photographs, and building fragments that we’ve researched and gathered from individuals and institutions, it will also explore the city’s historic landmarks in action.
Under commission from the museum, Iwan Baan, one of the world’s leading photographers, traveled the entire breadth of the city over a two-week period last October. He traversed all five boroughs during the day and the night, equipped with a Google map of landmark sites. He even rented a helicopter to capture aerial views that provide his street views with panoramic context.
Iwan’s photographs, a small selection of which are shown here, will be featured in the exhibition as well as an accompanying book.
All told, they underscore how landmark structures and districts, some of which house remarkably innovative, new buildings, contribute to New York’s dynamic mix of old and new.
Iwan’s images also demonstrate how civic and business leaders, grassroots activists, and design professionals have come together over the last 50 years to create a living New York that respects the city’s heritage and advances its future.
–Donald Albrecht, Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of the City of New York