Shows

The History of Bazooka Joe! Thursday June 10 at 8 pm

The History of Bazooka Joe

Thursday, June 10 – Presentation at 8 – Doors at 7

$7 General Admission – Free for City Reliquary Members (tickets required)

The City Reliquary is proud to present a very special event celebrating America’s favorite eyepatched rascal Bazooka Joe! A distinguished panel of candy and comics experts will discuss the history of the iconic character and his lasting impact on marketing and design.

Our guests include:

Ira Friedman has spent his career on the merchandising side of pop culture. Since his early days at Starlog and Fangoria magazines, to a stint at Lucasfilm during the original release of The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ira landed at Topps in 1988 as the director of new product development. Since that time, Ira has been a fixture at the famed bubble gum and trading card company involved in hundreds of different projects, publishing, and confectionery products – ‘homegrown’ and licensed.

Charles Kochman is the Editorial Director of Abrams ComicArts and editor of the #1 bestselling series Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. For thirty-five years, Kochman has edited several hundred books for all age groups, including award-winning picture books, middle-grade novels, retrospectives, monographs, graphic novels, and art book collections published by Abrams, DC Comics, MAD magazine, Bantam Books, and Putnam. He is a recipient of the Inkpot Award, presented by Comic-Con International for achievement in comics.

Jason Liebig is regarded as one of the nation’s foremost experts on candy and snack food brand history and is considered an arbiter of candy as pop culture and nostalgia.  As such, he has written hundreds of articles on the subject matter and has served as a brand consultant as well as period television consultant for shows such as Stranger Things, Young Sheldon, Mad Men, and more.  His unique perspective and expert knowledge have led him to become an occasional television host and frequent guest, sharing his love of the candy and snack worlds he loves.  Blog: http://www.collectingcandy.com/wordpress/

R. Sikoryak is a cartoonist and author of the graphic novels Constitution Illustrated, The Unquotable Trump, Masterpiece Comics, and Terms and Conditions (Drawn & Quarterly). His comics and illustrations have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times Book ReviewThe NationThe Onion, and more. Sikoryak presents his live comics performance series, Carousel, around the U.S. and Canada. 

Special guest appearance by M. Sweeney Lawless, writer of ill repute. Twitter: @Specky4Eyes

Bazooka Joe and his Gang appeared in mini-comics on Bazooka bubble gum wrappers starting in 1954. The comic concept was the brainchild of Woody Gelman and Ben Solomon, heads of product development at Topps, and the original comic artist was Wesley Morse. Topps, the king of trading card companies, has been based in NYC since 1947.

Admission to the Museum and The Call of Candy exhibit included – come early to check out vintage Topps and Bazooka Joe ephemera as well as that of other NYC candy manufacturers from the 1800s to today!

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

Digital Exhibition: Mediocre Portraits of Outstanding People

Mediocre Portraits of Outstanding People is the most recent series in the City Reliquary’s slate of digital programming on Instagram! From June 12, 2020 to September 4, 2020, the City Reliquary’s neighborhood artist-in-residence, George Ferrandi, appeared on Instagram Live for an hour on to create a sketch of an reflect on someone who had been influencing her thinking during this remarkable cultural moment.

During this series, George listened to and learned from Black thinkers while attempting to honor them through portraiture, and shared the experience live with our audience.

The full series of drawings-in-process can be viewed on the City Reliquary’s Instagram Stories. You can watch and draw along if you like! – and listen to and learn from these visionary ideas. The completed portraits can also be viewed on Instagram, and will be archived in this album on our Flickr page as well.

Week 1: Civil rights lawyer and legal scholar Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. While drawing this portrait on Instagram Live, George and our audience listened to a conversation between Michelle Alexander and Angela Davis about the need to take active steps toward creating a more just society, and how these can be achieved.

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.

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.

Empire Skate Opening Reception: May 19th

The City Reliquary Proudly Presents: 
Empire Skate: The Birthplace of Roller Disco
On view May 10, 2018 through October 14, 2018

Opening Reception: May 19th, 6 PM. RSVP on Facebook!

Admission: $5 general ; Free for City Reliquary Members

This new exhibit brings the world of Empire Roller Skating Center to life, exploring its role as a national icon and a focal point of the African American community in Brooklyn. Artifacts, archival materials, video, and first hand interviews come together to share the stories of the people who skated at Empire during the 70s and 80s, revealing the true origins of a world-wide cultural phenomenon.

Beverages generously sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery.

July 27: Healix Collective presents “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”

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Healix Collective returns to our backyard on Thursday, July 27th for ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH, the second installment in their summer screening series. There will be a special reading by NYC poet Camonghne Felix before the film.

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth is a feature documentary film which tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman’s journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in cotton fields of Putnam County, Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of the 20th Century.

Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple, which has been transformed from a novel, to a Hollywood movie and latterly to a successful Broadway musical. This universal story of triumph against all odds is not that different from Walker’s own story.

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth offers audiences a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, a self-confessed renegade and human rights activist. In 2010, Yoko Ono honored Walker with the LennonOno Peace Award, for her ongoing humanitarian work.

Doors @  7, film starts at sundown
$5 – $10 suggested donation | All proceeds support The City Reliquary
Beverages available by suggested donation, with beer from Brooklyn Brewery. 

Visit www.healixcollective.com for more!

The Invention of Christmas in New York: Images from Alex Palmer’s “The Santa Claus Man”

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The Invention of Christmas in New York: Images from The Santa Claus Man
On view Dec. 5, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016

This display in the front room of The City Reliquary features vintage holiday images from Alex Palmer’s The Santa Claus Man. Described as Miracle on 34th Street meets The Wolf of Wall Street, Palmer’s true-crime adventure reveals the secret history of children’s letters to Santa. Before the charismatic John Duval Gluck, Jr. came along, letters from New York City children to Santa Claus were destroyed, often unopened, by the U.S. Post Office Department. Gluck saw an opportunity and created the Santa Claus Association. The effort delighted the public — until Gotham’s crusading charity commissioner discovered some dark secrets in Santa’s workshop.

Alex Palmer is the great-grandnephew of John Duval Gluck, Jr. and has written for Slate, Vulture, Smithsonian Magazine, and New York Daily News, among other outlets. He is the author of Weird-o-Pedia and Literary Miscellany.

Coffee: November 3. 2005

The City Reliquary Museum presents:
WCRM, The Citizens