As the first city museum in the United States, the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) has officially been a New Yorker for one hundred years! To mark the milestone, curators created an exhibition that celebrates the Museum and explores the many ways that the city has inspired storytelling across a variety of different art forms. This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture is a full-floor exhibition showcasing more than 400 objects that span the last 100 years.
The first section that guests will encounter is “Tempo of the City,” which highlights the duality of New York. It illustrates the joy and struggles at the street level through objects like Jimi Hendrix’s notebook and the tutu getup worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the pilot episode of Sex and the City. This section also offers Songs of New York, an interactive map that illustrates spots in the city that have inspired songs ranging from 1920s tunes to top hits of today.
The second section of This Is New York, named “Destination NYC,” pays homage to the many artistic representations of places in New York City. Everywhere from iconic sites like Times Square and Central Park, to miscellaneous restaurants, dance clubs, and beaches are represented.
The third section, “At Home in New York” is dedicated to living spaces in New York City. It celebrates both their oddities and their upsides. This is where that talking bookshelf comes into play. The bookshelf illuminates scenes from NYC-centered TV shows like The Jeffersons. At Home in New York” also showcases various depictions of home in paintings, photographs, and manuscripts.
The fourth and final section of This Is New York, “You Are Here,” is an immersive film experience. The 16-screen, immersive experience features a mashup of iconic movies from not only each decade of the past 100 years but also each borough of New York City. Examples of the famous films highlighted include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Coming to America, Saturday Night Fever, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Uncut Gems.
As a proud New Yorker, I am truly looking forward to visiting this exhibition.