The City Reliquary Museum will be Closed in light of COVID-19

Dear friends and neighbors,

Today, the City Reliquary Museum will join the host of countless museums citywide by closing our doors to help encourage our fellow citizens to stay in place and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. While we recognize the strength of our community to come together in times of tragedy, we also support the science that warns us of the very real threat to health and safety that we are now facing. Our city will stay strong and weather this viral outbreak soon, but for now we can all do our part to make that sooner than later.

As a history museum, we recognize the significance of this outbreak as history in the making. You may have recently learned of the importance of “flattening of the curve”. Is all of this public action necessary? NYC history proves it is! The time is now to act as a true community, and act together by being alone.

By refraining from visiting our beloved cultural institutions for a limited time, we all help to free a little space on the crowded subways, buses, and streets for the doctors, nurses, and first-responders who could use a little extra room to work right now. We’ll help reduce the draw on our supply chain of goods, and save the sanitizers, disposable paper products, latex gloves, and N95 masks for the service providers that need them the most. We’ll self-ration the food and products we do have and share with our neighbors to make sure there is enough for all.  

Our responsibility as New Yorkers and citizens of the world is not one to be taken lightly now.  Help us do the right thing now, and when we all come back together to celebrate the passing of this public health threat, please come back to the City Reliquary Museum. We will be here with you, neighbor. Until then, stay safe, healthy, and civic!

Always civic,

Dave Herman

Founder, City Reliquary Museum and Civic Organization

POSTPONED: The 13th Annual Panorama Challenge

2019 winning team hosting the Panorama Challenge trophy
2019 Panorama Pro winners, the Dutch Killers!

The Panorama Challenge is postponed in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We hope to reschedule this event later in the year when we can once again safely gather to celebrate our love of New York City, and we hope to see you there. We’ll announce a new date when we have more information.

The 13th Annual Panorama Challenge
Friday, April 17, 2020: Doors 5 PM, Open Museum Galleries 5-7pm, Game 7 PM
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

General Admission: $15 advance/$20 day of game

City Reliquary & Queens Museum members: $12 advance/$15 day of game


It’s almost time for the 13th Annual Panorama Challenge! Once again, The City Reliquary, Queens Museum, & The Levys’ Unique New York! have partnered for an exciting evening of trivia with the whole city at your feet. Meet us at the world’s largest architectural scale model – The Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum!

On the occasion of this year’s Panorama Challenge the Queens Museum’s galleries will be open after hours from 5 – 7pm, so that participants can visit the newly opened exhibition season, which features a wide range of perspectives and explorations of the city of New York.  Exhibitions on view include After the Plaster Foundation, a show on artists’ experiences with home, displacement and real estate in the city, Ridgewood Reservoir for the 21st Century (Community Partnership Exhibition in the Watershed Gallery), and Bruce Davidson: People in Public Places. Make sure to visit the exhibitions and expect a few related questions in the Challenge!

Panorama Challenge quizzes players on all things NYC. MC Gary Dennis reads questions while our judges highlight clues on the Panorama using lasers (well, laser pointers). Players in teams of 10 (or so) use those clues ​to determine the correct answer.

Quizmaster Jonathan Turer returns for his ninth year with another fresh batch of questions. This year, categories may include: ‘Women in Song’ (audio clues), ‘Brush Up on Your Shakespeare’ and ‘Bruce (Davidson) in NYC’ which will focus on works from the photographer’s exhibit at the Museum. And, to celebrate the 13th Challenge: ‘Unlucky’. Start building your teams accordingly!

Teams may organize as Panorama Challengers or Panorama Pros. Challengers are first‐timers or casual trivia fans. Their questions will be easier!  Pros are returning contestants and dedicated enthusiasts of our city’s hidden corners. They answer twice as many questions per round (60 total!) Friendly tour guides from The Levys’ Unique New York! will help match contestants to teams.

The winning Pro team will join the ranks of legendary past winners when its name is etched on the Panorama Challenge Trophy housed at the Queens Museum!

A new prize will be awarded this year in honor of the late Lee Gelber, long-time Panorama Challenge judge and ‘Dean of New York Guides’. To commemorate his love of jokes and puns, the team with the funniest or cleverest name will be added to “The Dean’s List”, a trophy that will live at the museum along with the ‘big prize’. 

Food and beverages will be available by suggested donation. A free shuttle, generously provided by DaVinci Limo & Tours, will travel between the Queens Museum and under the Mets‐Willets Point 7 stop from 5:30-7 pm and 9-10 pm.

POSTPONED: Time Capsules: Relics of History & Hope

Westinghouse workers admire the time capsule created by the company for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York


In light of the changing COVID-19 situation in NYC and to allow our speaker to avoid unnecessary air travel, we have decided to postpone Time Capsules: Relics of History and Hope until Fall 2020, when we’ll celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Westinghouse time capsule. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 pm at the City Reliquary

$10 AdmissionMembers free (Join Today!) – Space is limited and advance tickets are recommended!

Precious antiques and relics are usually either handed down from generation to generation, traded by collectors, or preserved and exhibited in museums such as the City Reliquary.  But with time capsules, one can transform an ordinary artifact of the present into an instant relic, packaged and sealed for future antiquarians

In this talk, Prof. Nick Yablon will discuss the origins of this practice in Gilded Age America, drawing on his new book, Remembrance of Things Present: The Invention of the Time Capsule. In keeping with this museum’s emphasis on cultural ephemera, he will focus less on the written messages than on the artifacts that he found in various chests and boxes around the country—from handcrafted objects and exotic oddities (such as Robespierre’s molar) to manufactured items such as shoes or a telephone.

What kinds of insights or hopes did people hope to convey by depositing these things?  Why did historians and museum curators disdain such ordinary artifacts until well into the twentieth century?  And could such deposits, as material links spanning the centuries, foster respect for the rights of posterity?

Copies of Remembrance of Things Present will be available for purchase and signing, and the Museum will have a special selection of rarely-displayed artifacts on view in keeping with the time capsule spirit of the event.

Opening Reception for Glen Eden Einbinder’s Glen Eden Collection on February 20!

Thursday, February 20 at 6:30 pm at the City Reliquary Museum

The City Reliquary and Glen Eden Einbinder invite you to an opening reception for our latest Community Collections exhibit of Glen Eden items! Glen’s eponymous collection (and potentially some extras) will be on view and Glen will be on hand to talk about the many and varied Glen Eden representations he has found from across the world. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is pay-what-you-wish, and all are welcome.

See the 1950s in 3D at Stereopanorama March 5!

The stereo viewer, aka gateway to the past

Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 7 PM

General Admission $15City Reliquary Members $10 (Join Today!)

Come and experience a retro-tech time-travel experience unlike any other! (Perhaps you read about it in the New York Times?) Immerse yourself in the 1950s through incredible Midcentury 3-D photographs — taken mostly by amateurs with the Stereo Realist Camera system. Emmy-winning writer and comedian Eric Drysdale has been collecting the amazing images produced by this largely-forgotten technology for 25 years and will share them with you in your own (for the night) high-quality restored vintage stereo viewer. New York City will be highlighted, but all of America is the star. Don’t miss this intimate yet spectacular trip to the past!

There are only 12 tickets available for this evening, so we highly recommend purchasing in advance to guarantee your seat (and stereo-viewer)!

Community Collection: Glen Eden Einbinder’s Glen Eden Collection

Travel brochures and postcards form places named Glen Eden, and fabric in a floral pattern called Glen Eden, from Glen Eden Einbinder's collection.
Some of the many places and things bearing the Glen Eden name.

The City Reliquary welcomes Glen Eden Einbinder and his eponymous collection to our Community Collections case! His wide-ranging artifacts – china, fabric, postcards, camp photos, soap, road maps, and more – share something with each other and their collector: all are named Glen Eden.

Glen started his collection in college when he came across a bottle of Glen Eden whiskey, a now-defunct brand. While the quality of the whiskey was not much to speak of, the coincidence of its name and Glen’s inspired him to keep the label. He subsequently took notice of other instances of objects or places sharing his first and middle name and began to collect their physical representations. The evocative pastoral, idyllic quality of the name Glen Eden lends itself well to a wide variety of products and places, a sample of which are now on view. Glen’s full collection includes numerous postcards and photos of street signs from across the U.S. and from as far away as New Zealand. Closer to home is the Glen Eden girls’ finishing school in Poughkeepsie, NY, represented by vintage magazine advertisements and a painting of an ice skater in a Glen Eden sweater.

Glen’s Glen Eden collection will be on view at the City Reliquary through Fall 2020. He will also be making a special guest appearance at the City Reliquary & Museum of Interesting Things’ Secret Speakeasy on Sunday, January 26 to discuss his collection!

You can also see a video of Glen’s collection at his website.

A Secret Speakeasy Benefit for the City Reliquary – Sunday, January 26 at 4 pm!

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 4 pm

The Loft at Prince Street – 177 Prince Street, Manhattan

Advance Tickets $20 – Includes admission to the Museum of Interesting Things vintage film event following at 6 pm

Proceeds benefit the City Reliquary Museum

Your favorite collectors of historical curiosities are joining forces! We hope you’ll join us for a very special benefit event hosted by the Museum of Interesting Things! On Sunday, January 26 from 4 to 6 pm, the City Reliquary Museum will hold a Secret Speakeasy pre-show at The Loft on Prince Street. We’ll have unusual facts and artifacts from the collection of our founder Dave Herman, plus additional surprises! And your ticket includes admission to the Museum of Interesting Things vintage 16mm film jukebox (and more) at 6 pm. Refreshments will be available (it is a speakeasy, after all!) and there will be many marvels to see in this beautiful Soho space.

Advance tickets are highly recommended and available here! Your purchase will benefit the City Reliquary Museum and help us produce events and exhibits throughout 2020!

Many thanks to Denny Daniel and the Museum of Interesting Things!

Cinema City Continues with Bad New York Geography on November 16!

Saturday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Reliquary

$20 General Admission$15 for City Reliquary Members (Join Today!)

The City Reliquary’s Fall event series, Cinema City, continues on Saturday, November 16! Presented by Screen Slate contributor and NYC trivia expert (part of the reigning Panorama Challenge championship team!) Cosmo Bjorkenheim, each Cinema City program will explore New York City’s many and varied depictions in film through clips and discussion. From early Edison experiments to recent blockbusters, studio standards to cult favorites, you’ll see New York in a whole new light!

Our third Cinema City program examines cinematic errors in NYC’s geography. Nothing gets New Yorkers’ goats quite like filmmakers (especially non-New Yorker filmmakers) disrespecting the physical reality of our beloved city, like placing the Guggenheim around the corner from Penn Station or putting waiters in Katz’s Deli. Movies with egregious errors (ahem, Ghostbusters II) have the power to infuriate us proportional to the power of accurate NYC geography (as in the original Ghostbusters) to delight us. Prepare to boo the worst of the worst with us on Saturday, November 16 at 6:30 pm!

Once again, your $20 ticket includes unique program-themed snacks from Forest Dinners’ Lucia Jazayeri and Anna Gelb and a beer from Brooklyn Brewery! Lucia is the Creative Director for Clover Food Lab. Anna is the Director of Events for Outstanding in the Field.

Discover Barren Island with Author Miriam Sicherman on November 21!

On a now-vanished island in Jamaica Bay, a community of new immigrants and African-Americans transformed the city’s waste into industrial products and built a neighborhood from scratch. In her book Brooklyn’s Barren Island: A Forgotten History, author Miriam Sicherman (of Closet Archaeology fame) traces the development of this oft-forgotten community from the 1850s to 1936, when they were evicted to create New York City’s first municipal airport.

We will celebrate the release of Brooklyn’s Barren Island with a talk and book signing by Miriam Sicherman at the City Reliquary Museum on Thursday, November 21 at 7 pm! Join us to learn more about this fascinating fragment of NYC history.

RSVP on Facebook!

Opening Reception for P.S. NYC – October 24!

Installation view of P.S. NYC

Join us on Thursday, October 24 from 6:30-8:30 pm to celebrate our new exhibition P.S. NYC: Artifacts from NYC Public Schools 1850-1970! Marty Raskin, the inspiration for this show and longtime collector of Board of Education memorabilia, will be on hand to discuss his time attending and working in NYC’s public schools and how he has come to amass this wide-ranging archive. Light refreshments will be available. You can RSVP for the reception on Facebook.