Exhibit

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.

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.

Chocolate Milk by Mo Pepin Opens on Friday, November 15!

Opening Reception Friday, November 15 from 6-8 pm

On view in the front window of the City Reliquary Museum through January 2020

The City Reliquary Museum proudly presents a new window exhibit, Chocolate Milk! A photo documentary series by Mo Pepin, this display follows the extraordinary perseverance of a small carton of chocolate milk on the top of a phone booth on 1st Avenue and 21st Street.

Mo first spotted the carton on March 8, 2017 on her commute and kept an eye on it in the following weeks, watching it expand in the heat and then slowly shrink. Four months later, the carton remained untouched on the phone booth, and from this point Mo kept a closer eye on this marvel, photographing it about once a month. Through snow, rain, 45-mph winds, and other vagaries of the NYC streets, the chocolate milk carton remained atop the phone booth for 405 days, through April 2018.

Chocolate Milk is a story of endurance and decay, emblematic of the persistence necessary to survive in the city on a day-to-day basis and also of the lapses in our infrastructure that feed growing inequality. It is an example of an everyday object becoming iconic, an ephemeral item gaining unexpected permanence. We are the chocolate milk carton, yet we also call for the elimination of the conditions that allow the chocolate milk cartons to exist.

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.

The City Reliquary Proudly Presents: P.S. NYC: Artifacts from New York City Public Schools 1850-1970

As students and teachers return to their classrooms this fall, they follow a 215-year-old tradition of free public schools in New York City. Marty Raskin, lifelong New Yorker, proud alumnus of New York City’s public school system, and retired schoolteacher, has spent decades amassing a collection of NYC Board of Education materials reflecting a significant period of this history, now on view at the City Reliquary Museum. 

Mr. Raskin’s interest in collecting NYC public school memorabilia stems from his own fondly-remembered student experience. Attending P.S. 202 in East New York, he recalls, was deeply formative: “The teachers, principals, and youngsters I grew up with made school an essential part of my life, and helped make me who I am. There was an incredible loving, caring atmosphere there. I became friends with some of my teachers and remained friends with them my entire life.” Mr. Raskin began by collecting Parker Duofold fountain pens of the style used by one of his instructors, and his collection grew from there to include school records, class photos, clothing, building fixtures, furniture, and teaching equipment. A dunce chair, used in the 1850s when pupils were taught in one large schoolroom, and a mechanical eraser cleaner, used in the now-bygone days of chalkboards, are two highlights of the collection on display.

This exhibition illustrates the lived experience of generations of NYC public school students: their fashions, tokens of school spirit, classroom decorations and attendance records. It inevitably invites comparison to the visitor’s own school experience, whether in New York City or abroad. Mr. Raskin’s positive schooling experience inspired a devotion to preserving the history of NYC public education. In prompting visitors to reflect on the similarities and differences with their own education, the exhibition asks them also to consider how to provide to all students the supportive atmosphere experienced by Mr. Raskin, and what those students might achieve as a result.

Mr. Raskin gladly accepts donations of NYC public school memorabilia. He can be reached at memorabuti@gmail.com.

The Art Neighborhood: Celebrating Ten Years of Action 2009-2019

The City Reliquary is proud to present The Art Neighborhood’s 10th Anniversary installation! Throughout June and July, the Neighborhood will grow in our gallery space and be populated with action figures made by our visitors. Come watch the installation take shape during our open hours, and join us for action figure making workshops on Saturday, June 15 and Saturday, July 13!

The Art Neighborhood is an interactive and collaborative art installation created by Brooklyn artist Lisa Ludwig. It depicts an alternate universe shantytown populated by superhero action figures built by community participants over the past 10 years.

Built from found materials, the world of the Art Neighborhood reflects the themes of struggle, beauty, hope, and transformation. It embodies the call to action necessary to address problems of poverty and conflict. Visitors participate by creating action figures – of themselves or alter egos – to add to the Art Neighborhood community installation with the understanding that artistic expression is one of many ways to answer a call to action.

Lisa will begin building this incarnation of the Art Neighborhood at the Reliquary on Thursday, May 30. Everyone is invited to come watch its progress and to create their own action figure to populate the town! Action figure workshops will take place on June 15 and July 13. The complete set of action figures, built by artists, children, musicians, activists, and museum-goers over the past decade, will be on rotating view in the front gallery space.

If you are a past participant in the Art Neighborhood, we especially hope to see you over the course of the exhibition, and hope you’ll add to your character’s story.

Patrick O’Hare: New York Landscapes Film Screening Friday, May 17

Shadowed skyline of buildings and trees against a darkening sky at dusk. Two vapor trails cross each other overhead.
Still from Chimera, New York City Landscapes

The City Reliquary Proudly Presents:

Patrick O’Hare: New York Landscapes

Film Screening & Reception: Friday, May 17th, 7 PM

Patrick O’Hare is a photographer and filmmaker who explores the architecture and landscape of the modern world. His films evoke that strange language of merging and omission that allows reality to slip and hints at the invisible. Through the cracks, something startles and vanishes – the shape-shifting riddle of inside and outside.

On May 17, the City Reliquary will screen three of O’Hare’s recent films: Chimera, New York City Landscapes; The Highlands; and The Ecstasy of Ruins. Shot in 2018 in New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and upstate New York respectively, these works explore the natural and manufactured elements of our landscape, blurring the line between permanence and the evanescent to form a more elusive state of being. A discussion with the artist and reception will follow the screening. Chimera, New York City Landscapes will be on continuous view in the City Reliquary’s gallery in the following weeks.

The May 17 screening is free with late night admission to the City Reliquary Museum, a suggested donation of $7.

Patrick O’Hare’s photographs have been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Parsons School of Design, and Rhode Island School of Design. He has screened his films at UnionDocs in Brooklyn, New York and the Unseen Film Festival in Denver, Colorado.


Synopsis:

Chimera, New York Landscapes (2018). HD, Silent, 18:00

A city as hybrid of public and private, modern efficiency and timeless elements, projected through light and weather, refracted and collaged.

The Highlands (2018). HD, Silent, 18:41

A series of Hudson Valley landscapes, the film asks what a river and its environs evoke as an ancient conduit to a present state of mind.

The Ecstasy of Ruins (2018). HD, Silent, 19:27

The quiet geography of upstate New York reveals an architecture of melancholy and a twilight civilization writ large.

Psychic City: The Medium of Mediums

Exhibit logo for Psychic City: The Medium of Mediums with crystal ball

Solve all your problems! Guaranteed results! Explore the history of New York City psychics, mediums, and fortune tellers with this vast archive of handbills and flyers collected by Harley J. Spiller. This exhibition — curated and designed by Parsons students — is a multi-sensory experience that allows visitors to ponder the past and seek their future. One visit will show you the way!

Exhibition on view April 4, 2019 – May 26, 2019

Hand-drawn flyers advertising psychic advice by phone, created by the exhibit designers.
The interactive exhibit invites you to get a reading of your own by phone.

What’s New in our Making A Museum Exhibit? Walk/Dont Walk Pedestrian Signal

The humble pedestrian signal: a street design standard of such obvious utility (albeit habitually ignored by New Yorkers) that it seems to have existed forever. But our streets have not always been ruled by incandescent dictates. In the early 20th century, pedestrians freely used street space to cross and walk in. As automobile usage became more common, so did pedestrian deaths. In an effort to improve safety and reduce gridlock, the first permanent traffic lights in New York, on 5th Avenue between 14th and 57th Streets, were installed in 1920. Separate pedestrian signals were first introduced at a few intersections in the late 1930s.

The yellow box “walk/dont walk” signal we have on view was installed throughout the city in the 1950s. Note the lack of an apostrophe in “dont”: possibly because the first such signs were neon, with “dont” made out of a single glass tube that made it difficult to include. The idiosyncratic punctuation helped to make the signal a beloved part of NYC’s visual fabric. “The apostrophe missing from DONT WALK” was one of the 101 reasons to love New York City cited by the Times in 1976 (please read the entire incredible list), and a Times writer later effused “[i]t is to Martin Scorsese’s midcentury Manhattan what the gas lamp is to Edith Wharton’s gilded age.” The sign was the titular component of Pratt alum George Segal’s sculpture revealing “passionate honesty and existential weight.” And the sign’s instructions were sometimes the first words young New Yorkers learned to read.

Following federal specifications, walk/dont walk signals were exchanged for pictograms, commonly referred to as the man and the hand, beginning in 1999 (though some escaped replacement until 2006!). Initially derided as another way New York was coming to look more like every other U.S. city, our ever inventive citizenry have made the man and hand our own. Unlike other cities worldwide, our alterations have so far been unofficial – another example of New Yorkers always going their own way.

Many thanks to Reliquary friend Steven Gerraro, who donated a pedestrian signal to the Museum in 2017!

What’s New in Our Making A Museum Exhibit? From the Archives: A Lost Ticket From Katz’s Deli

The Lower East Side landmark and makers of famously large and delicious sandwiches, Katz’s Deli, is undoubtedly well known to readers of this blog. Founded in 1888, family owned and operated, When Harry Met Sally, “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army,” etc. All old hat to you experienced New Yorkers, who would never order mayonnaise on your pastrami and always tip your cutter.

And veteran Katz’s patrons are naturally familiar with the ticket system used to ensure everyone pays their check: every adult receives a ticket, printed with a grid of numbers, upon entry; each adult must return that ticket when exiting, even if unused. Lose the ticket, and it’s a $50 fee. It’s an archaic system that has induced curiosity, rage, and panic in customers, and has become as integral to the Katz’s experience as pickles, shared tables, and fading celebrity photos on the walls.

While you can display your Katz’s ticket knowledge with a t-shirt or socks, the high price for a lost ticket makes the ticket itself a highly unusual item to find outside the confines of Katz’s. Truly lost tickets are a rare occurrence, according to Jake Dell, Katz’s current owner, and indeed the historical timeline posted in the deli’s window states that the first lost ticket didn’t happen until 1962. We don’t know the story of how this ticket, found on the street, escaped – did it cost the erstwhile owner $50 or an hour or two of dishwashing work, or did the staff take pity and let them go? – but it represents a slice of New York life that can only be found one other place in the city.