Posts Tagged ‘Exhibits’

The Triangle Waist Factory Fire Memorial Quilt

To commemorate the 106th anniversary of the Triangle Waist Factory Fire, The City Reliquary will display Robin Berson’s memorial quilt in its front room exhibition space until May 2017.

The Triangle Waist Factory Fire
On Saturday, March 25, 1911, at 4:45 pm, almost closing time, a fire broke out on the 8th floor of the Triangle Waist Company located one block east of Washington Square Park at Washington Place and Greene Street. The owners had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and to reduce theft. Fire escapes collapsed by the weight of the workers dropping them to their deaths. Workers on the 10th floor were warned by telephone and escaped to the roof. No one warned the workers on the 9th floor. A locked exit door trapped the workers on the 9th floor. Surrounded by flames many of the workers jumped to their death. Fire trucks arrived but their ladders only reached the 6th floor and the rescue nets could not hold the force of the bodies jumping from such a height. The heroic elevator operators ran the elevators as long as they could as workers pressed into the cars; some tumbled down the elevator shaft. In the end, 146 people died.

Triangle 3 Triangle 2

 

 

The Triangle Fire—and the memorial quilt—represent an appalling moment in history, but one that drew an intelligent, far-reaching reform response across America. The fire became a rallying cry for the international labor movement and resulted in numerous state and national workplace reforms. Many of our fire safety laws were created in response to this tragic event. That is the history we must keep alive, for the sake of every working person in the country (and, in this globalized world, every worker everywhere). The need is greater than ever.

The Memorial Quilt

The Triangle Factory Fire Memorial quilt is one of two quilts in the series Workers Memorial Quilts created by quilter, author, and historian Robin Berson. The two quilts honor garment workers who died in twin workplace disasters that bookended the past century: the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 and the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse of 2012 and 2013 in Bangladesh.

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Conceived, Designed, and Sewn: Robin Berson
Contributors: Sandra Cain, Donna Choi, Deanna Gates, Pauline Hazard, Genevieve Hitchings, Maureen Hyslop, Jennifer Merz, Rena Rappaport, and Lea Williams Rose

To make this quilt, Robin Berson put out a call to a number of quilters’ guilds, assorted artists’ circles—and quite a few women. The quilt includes blocks by four quilter’s guild members: Sandra Cain, Pauline Hazard, Maureen Hyslop, and Rena Rappaport; two members of Robin’s knitters’ circle: Lea Williams Rose and Deanna Gates; and three students from an FIT class on illustration: Donna Choi, Jennifer Merz, and Genevieve Hitchings.  Robin created the rest of the blocks herself, in some cases working from old family portraits and archival photos, but in most cases tinkering elaborately with enlarged images from small photos in 110-year-old newspaper clippings.

In addition to the factory worker victims, the quilt also depicts the two heroic elevator operators, Joey Zito and Gaspare Mortilalo; and the African American porter, Thomas Horton.

Texts on the quilt include passages from beloved labor songs and quotes from notable American figures on the rights of workers—from Frederick Douglass to Dwight Eisenhower to Myles Horton—plus a listing of all the victims’ names.

The memorial quilts have been displayed at numerous small museums and galleries in New York City; the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; Iona College; the Virginia Arts of the Book Center, through the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. In March 2015 they were featured at the conference of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, hosted by Fordham Law School. For International Women’s Day 2016 they were part of a day-long presentation on the Triangle Fire at Hofstra University. The Triangle Quilt is featured in the book Quilts and Human Rights, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu.

For more information see:
www.rememberthetrianglefire.org
http://www.workermemorialquilts.org/

Heroes of the Knish covered in the Forward!

Photo Credit: Barbara Pfeffer

Photo Credit: Barbara Pfeffer

Our upcoming exhibition, Heroes of the Knish just received this excellent writeup in the Forward! Don’t miss the opening reception this Sunday, Feb. 12 @ 2 PM!

The Forward is a periodical delivering incisive coverage of the issues, ideas and institutions that matter to American Jews. Now in its 120th year of operation, and with digital and print editions in both English and Yiddish, the Forward reaches more than 1.2 million average monthly users. Its public service mission is to promote an informed, connected and inspired American Jewish citizenry through outstanding journalism.

Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life

Photo Credit: Barbara Pfeffer

Photo Credit: Barbara Pfeffer

The City Reliquary presents:
Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life
Sunday, Feb. 12 – May 7
Opening reception: Sunday, February 12 @ 2 PM
(Curator’s talk and Knish Trivia @ 3PM)
$10/$8 Reliquary members

Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life tells the story of courageous women and men who churned out potato pies and paved lives for themselves and their families. The exhibit is curated by Laura Silver, award-winning author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food (Brandeis, 2014).

At the opening reception on Sunday, February 12, Silver, known as the world’s leading expert on the knish, will deliver an illustrated talk on the sultry side of the potato pie. Aphrodisiac, inspiration for off-color jokes, and fount of feminism, the knish has been a hot commodity in New York City for over a decade.

Attendees can cut their teeth on knish trivia while noshing on round and square versions of this classic street food from Knishery NYC and Gabila’s Knishes! Tickets on sale now! Admission includes one knish and pickles. Beverages available by suggested donation.

From the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Brooklyn seaside, the knish has become a standby on sidewalk carts and at ethnic eateries in the five boroughs and beyond. Since its arrival on these shores with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, the knish — whose origins can be traced to rural Poland of the 1600s — has wedged itself into the hearts, guts, and psyches of New Yorkers of all stripes.

The exhibit introduces legendary and lesser-known knish kings and queens who have made their mark on New York City over the last century. It showcases a never-before-assembled collection of artifacts, archival materials, and stories from knish purveyors past and present. Items on display include a stock certificate from Mrs. Stahl’s Knishes of Brighton Beach, the knish correspondence of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; a song about Ruby the Knishman, who sold potato pies to schoolkids in Canarsie; and chronicles of the Knish Crisis of 2013, when, following a factory fire, Gabila’s was forced to stop production of square, Coney Island-style knishes for nearly six months.

See a few images from this show:

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About the Curator:
Laura Silver is a third-generation New Yorker and the award-winning author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food (Brandeis, 2014). Her research on the humble hunk of dough spanned seven years, three continents and all five boroughs of her hometown. Silver’s work on the knish has been featured on NPR, WNYC,  in major outlets in Canada, Germany and Poland, and on Al-Jazeera America. The New York Times called her book “whimsical, mouthwatering and edifying.”


About The City Reliquary Museum:
The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization preserves the everyday artifacts that connect visitors to the past and present of New York City. It was originally established as an apartment window display in 2002 at the corner of Grand and Havemeyer Streets and relocated to 370 Metropolitan Avenue in 2006. The Reliquary also hosts public events that invite neighbors and visitors to meet, exchange ideas, and celebrate the diversity of our city.

Location: 370 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211; Hours: Thursday–Sunday, 12pm–6pm. Admission: $5 general; $4 college students/educators/seniors; children 12 & under free; Website: cityreliquary.org; Phone: 718-782-4842; Email: info@cityreliquary.org

THurd THursday & New Shows at CR

Hello Friends of The City Reliquary,

We are happy to announce the return of our spectacular THurd THursdays events. This week, on THursday January 21st, from 7:00-10:00 PM we will host a reception for TWO new exhibits at the museum.

In our Exhibition Hall, we are proud to announce the opening of “Company Journals of the Southside Firehouse”
An exhibit of historic logbooks detailing the daily work of Williamsburgh companies Engine 221 and Hook & Ladder 104 since the turn of the century, beautifully hand-written with fountain pen in calligraphic form and displayed with photographic and printed support materials of the era; Curated by Firefighter Patrick D’Emic L104.

Also, in the COMMUNITY COLLECTIONS window we are proud to present, Amanda B. Friedman’s Unicorn Collection.

We hope you’ll join us THis THurd THursday at 7:00 for refreshments courtesy of the Brooklyn Brewery.

This THurd THursday

Its time again for our monthly THurd THursday event again. We have a terrific line up for you, featuring:

In the Exhibition Hall:
Opening reception of Miss Subways, Past and Present, with current photographic portraits of the past Miss Subways by Fiona Gardner, along side archival photographs and posters. View a sample of Fiona’s work or visit the NY Times slideshow

In the Community Collection Window:
Closing reception of Amy Von Harrington’s Copper Mold Collection. Come see this spectacular eye-catching display during its last few days on view in our front window display case.

In the Urban Greenspace (aka; backyard)
The amazingly talented band, Frankenpine. This band has been described as a blend of folk, indie, and bluegrass which may help to explain their namesake: the large cellular towers thinly veiled with semi-realistic tree limbs. Frankenpine is also native to our corner of Williamsburgh having been founded on and recorded their first album here on Havemeyer Street.  Don’t miss these hometown heroes! For a sample of their music go to:
http://www.myspace.com/frankenpine
Expect an even more impressive live presence in our own backyard! (Band @ 7:30 PM)

And of course:
Brooklyn Brewery beers for just $3 a bottle!

Hope to see you at the next THURD THURSDAY, September 17th from 7-10 PM at your community museum, The City Reliquary.