MCNY Blog: New York Stories

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

Category Archives: Theater Collection

The Crown Jewel of Brooklyn – Prospect Park

What is it I associate so keenly with the summer smell and sensual keenness of Prospect Park? – Alfred Kazin[1] The construction of Central Park prompted the city of Brooklyn … Continue reading

September 15, 2015 · 1 Comment

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

July 28, 2015 · 1 Comment

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 · 4 Comments

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 · 3 Comments

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

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

Vandamm Studio

27 years. Over 2,000 Broadway productions. Countless negatives of every conceivable actor who graced the New York stage. Saying that the Vandamm Studio was the photograph studio for Broadway would … Continue reading

April 7, 2015 · 2 Comments

Benjamin J. Falk, photographer and master of light

It’s 1881. You’re an actor in the latest smash-hit sensation. Wanting to gain a little publicity for yourself, the show, and a potential national tour, the producers send you off to … Continue reading

March 24, 2015 · 1 Comment

Unidentified: Lingering mysteries in the Theater Collection

Since fall of 2013, the City Museum has been involved in a large scale digitization project to digitally capture and describe over 30,000 images of theatrical production. It gives me … Continue reading

February 24, 2015 · 7 Comments

Buffalo Bill’s New York

Running up and down Brooklyn’s Seventh Avenue in 1894, little boys snatched their mothers’ clotheslines, fashioning them into lassoes to rope their younger sisters [1]. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was … Continue reading

January 6, 2015 · 2 Comments

Adolph Green: The boy from the Bronx makes good

Last Tuesday, December 2, 2014, marked the 100th birthday of Adolph Green, writer and lyricist. With his creative partner Betty Comden, Green composed lyrics for over 200 songs, wrote ten … Continue reading

December 9, 2014 · 4 Comments

Alice in Wonderland: La Gallienne’s Living Pictures

Actress, producer, and director Eva Le Gallienne built a reputation for taking classic works of literature and bringing them to life in the theater. In her 1932 production of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures … Continue reading

October 14, 2014 · 2 Comments

Flops: when good theater goes bad

Broadway is a magical place. Through the dreams, combined talents, and sheer luck of a group of people, audiences are transported into another world brought to life right before them. At … Continue reading

October 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

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