Merchant’s House Museum

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Time spent 104 minutes
Best thing I saw or learned In mid-19th C. New York rowhouse-style mansions, bedrooms were semi-public space.  When you came calling, you’d first go upstairs to a bedroom where you’d leave your coat and hat and change from street shoes to indoor shoes.  Only then would you go down to the parlor.  Seems strange to me– like they should’ve had a changing room as part of the floorplan.  But even in these grand houses, space was at a premium.

The Merchant’s House Museum is a venerable 19th century home and maybe the only historic house in the city where so many of the furnishings on display are actually original to the house, owned by the home’s owners and maintained by the museum to this day.

The merchant in question is a guy named Seabury Treadwell, who bought the house for $18,000 in 1835.  His family lived there for 90 odd years, and by a series of fortuitous events, the house and all the stuff in it became a museum in 1936.  In 1965, when the Landmarks law was passed, the Merchant’s House Museum was among the very first places to be landmarked by the city. Continue reading “Merchant’s House Museum”

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS)

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Time spent 19 minutes
Best thing I saw or learned Micro-mini exhibit on activist technology over time

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space occupies a classic old-school East Village squat, and consists of some artifacts, photos, and other memorabilia documenting the East Village of the 80s and 90s.  It and its denizens focus mainly on squats (abandoned buildings that individuals made habitable and moved into), community gardens, bike lanes, and other aspects of a time and culture that feels increasingly at odds with the hyper-gentrified city of today. Continue reading “Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS)”

Ukrainian Museum

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Time spent 41 minutes
Best thing I saw or learned Marko Shuhan’s 2016 work “Space Needed, Apply Within,” a crazy hodgepodge of paintings and paints and liquor bottles on shelves.  Like an artist’s studio compressed into a single wall installation. 

The Ukrainian Museum is one that I definitely wouldn’t go to barring this project.  It occupies a sort of blah, to be honest, modern building on a side street off Cooper Square, and has moderate gallery space with temporary exhibits.

Currently on show were contemporary works by Ukrainian American artists, a textile exhibit comparing traditional textiles of the Romanian and Ukrainian parts of the Carpathian Mountains, a small display of traditional woodcarving, and some of the artwork coming out of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Continue reading “Ukrainian Museum”