Museum of the City of NY
Location: 1220 5th Ave & 103rd St, New York, NY 10029
The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) is located at 5th Avenue and 103rd St. and seeks to educate visitors on the distinctive nature of urban life in the world’s most influential metropolis. The Museum of New York uses vivid programming and peek-into-the-past exhibitions to engage visitors while celebrating, documenting, and interpreting the city’s past, present, and future.
The MCNY is the ideal New York City attraction for history lovers and, of course, fans of all things New York City. The ambiance of times passed are encapsulated in the photographs and relics from the buildings, streets, and parks that make up NYC's urban landscape and give the city its distinctive character. Equally as important are the cultures, people, sights, sounds and styles that bring the city to life and give it the unmistakable identity that it has.
You can visit mcny.org to find a complete list of current and future exhibitions, like the ongoing video installation Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait of New York, a 22-minute exploration of the city’s vibrant history. You’ll find other unique entertainment offering at the MCNY, including musical performances, film retrospectives, talks with historians, and book launches.
The MCNY holds approximately 750,000 objects in its collection including:
- Prints & Photographs
- Paintings & Sculpture
- Theater Collection
- Costume & Textiles
- Manuscripts & Ephemera
- Furniture & Decorative Arts
- Archival Collections
New York Silver, Then and Now and Mid-20th Century Women’s Garments are the MCNY’s featured collections.
The MCNY’s collection of objects from the 19th and early 20th centuries is particularly impressive. It includes more than 3000 by Currier and Ives, as well as photographs featuring New York City’s early residents, as well as costumes, decorative objects, furniture, antique toys and more. It was the first museum in the United States to establish a curatorial department specializing in toys. These toys included ship models, rare books and manuscripts, marine and military collections, police and fire collections, and a theater collection which documents the golden age of Broadway theater.
The MCNY is known for its expansive collection of photographs, including works by notable photographers Percy Byron, Berenice Abbott, and Jacob Riis, as well as many photographs from the Depression-era Federal Art Project. The revered collection also includes still photography by acclaimed film director Stanley Kubrick.
Until recently, the MCNY was also home to the furnished replicas of two John D. Rockefeller rooms, originally donated to the museum by the Rockefeller family. In 2008, however, the MCNY permanently closed that exhibit, donating one of the rooms to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other room to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
MCNY Nearby Attractions
Following your visit to the Museum of New York, be sure to check out Gran Piatto d’Oro, an Italian restaurant in El Barrio (East Harlem) with a menu that boasts every traditional Italian dish you can imagine.
If you aren’t in the mood for Italian, not to worry. The El Barrio neighborhood is best known for its Latin fare. Visit Amor Cubano for traditional Cuban classics, a wide array of mojitos, and live music events. Or head over to the popular La Fonda, for some as-authentic-as-it-gets Puerto Rican food.
It’s so easy to get to the Museum of the City of New York! Just hop on our Uptown and Harlem tour and hop off at stop #24 directly in front of the Museum.