Museum of the City of New York – Documenting the 400 years of New York’s history

When most locals and tourists list off museums that the know of within New York City, most will include the MET, the Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, and the MOMA. All of these places are world renown and play host to some of the most beautiful and intriguing exhibits you will likely find anywhere in the world as well as the most famous in the city.  These world famous venues tell the worlds stories with exhibits as old as time and  the history from all over the world.  What about the stories that can be found in the city around these museums?  Settlement of the city started in 1609 with the Dutch and New York City has never stopped growing from that point forward.  With over 400 years of history, you can only imagine what interesting narrative a museum could tell and that’s what the Museum of the City of New York has been trying to do. Within this museum are the forgotten stories of the city that never sleeps.

Like the city of New York, the museum has its own unique and storied history.  Having had its first original location within the Gracie Mansion in 1923, it eventually found its more permanent home in East Harlem around 1932.  It also boasts a very unique structure when it comes to the art and artifacts it displays as it doesn’t have a permanent exhibit showing but instead rotates and creates new and unique exhibits that feature the historic and vibrant culture that has been New York City.  Exhibits change every few months, which changes the dynamic of the museum and makes every single visit unique.  There are very few museums that can boast this kind of originality but it also means that you need to ensure you visit in a timely manor if there is ever something you definitely want to see.

So why visit here if there are so many world-renowned museums in the city?  The answer is in the uniqueness of what this museum contains.  When ExploringNY visited, we were greeted by instillations that truly displayed the character of the city.  A photo gallery of Coney Island from the 60’s when it was the north easts version of Miami Beach, the graffiti art collection of Martin Wong that displays graffiti and graffiti culture of the 70’s and 80’s, and even the doll house Carrie Stetheimer which is so detailed that it has original miniature paintings by master artist Marcel Duchamp among many others.  The true flavor of New York really bleeds through in its history and the Museum of New York truly does the city justice in the way it portrays its past.

The Museum of the City of New York is truly a must visit for anyone looking for a unique prospective on the city and a museum unlike any other you will find in the city.

New Yorker Tip: As the museum never has a permanent exhibit showing, make sure to always check online to see what currently is there.  Exhibits change every few months, which makes every single visit unique.