Posts Tagged ‘exhibition’

The City Reliquary Proudly Presents: The Call of Candy!

Candy is the fifth food group, the fourth meal of the day, the one that you eat in between all the other meals. And as candy changed from treats sold by the pound from jars atop counters to mass-produced, mass-marketed chews and bars with colorful names, New York City was home to a thriving collection of candy and chocolate manufacturers, employing thousands of New Yorkers. 
America was growing into a candy-eating and candy-producing nation, and that candy (along with the American practice of eating it other than at mealtimes) would be exported all over the globe, much of it originating from here in the Big Apple. At the beginning of the 20th Century, the waterfronts of the East River were lined with sugar refineries, such as the Domino Sugar Corporation on Kent Street, started by the Havemeyer family, namesake of the street not ten yards from the Reliquary’s front door. 

The refined sugar was used by candy manufacturers all over Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs. In 1908, Brooklyn produced 130,000,000 pounds of confections, serving not only the 560 candy shops across Kings County, but also for national and international export and sale to the U.S. government for use as military rations.

Female employees wrapping candies at large tables in a factory for Wallace Candies in 1914.
Wallace Candy Factory, 1918

From the Rockwood Candy Company near the Navy Yards, to Phoenix Candy Company of Greenwood Heights and the nearby Topps Chewing Gum of Industry City, to Manhattan’s Huyler’s Candy on Irving Place near Union Square, this exhibition displays wrappers, packages, and ephemera of NYC’s boisterous history of candy-making on an industrial scale.
As declared by the National Confectioners Association in the 1920s, “Candy is delicious food—enjoy some every day!”

Bazooka Joe comics on bubblegum wrappers
Bazooka Joe bubblegum wrappers, manufactured by Topps in Brooklyn, NY

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.