FREE MUSEUM ADMISSIONS, OUTDOOR ART ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN
Images by Robin Schatell
Now celebrating its 38th year, the annual Museum Mile Festival will take place rain or shine on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Over 1.5 million people have taken part in this annual celebration since its inception. Festival attendees can walk the Mile on Fifth Avenue between 82nd Street and 105th Street while visiting seven of New York City’s finest cultural institutions, which are open free to the public throughout the evening.
Fifth Avenue is closed to traffic and becomes a strollers’ haven for New York City’s biggest block party. Special exhibitions and works from permanent collections are on view inside the museums’ galleries and live music from jazz to Broadway tunes to string quartets is featured in front of several of the museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Neue Galerie New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; The Jewish Museum; The Museum of the City of New York; and El Museo del Barrio are the seven institutions participating in this highly successful collaboration.
Begun as an initiative to spur the development of new museum audiences and to increase support for the arts during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, Museum Mile was formed as a consortium by the museums that share the Fifth Avenue address. The first festival, held in June of 1978, was an instant success. Not only did it expose New Yorkers and NYC visitors to an incredible collection of New York’s artistic riches, it also brought together disparate New Yorkers. From the barrios of East Harlem and the townhouses lining the Upper East Side, to the winding streets of the Village and the clustered neighborhoods of the outer-boroughs, people came to celebrate their shared pride in their city. Museum Mile Festival promoted public awareness through increased visibility, accessibility and attendance at all the museums, and brought many New Yorkers to upper Fifth Avenue for the first time.
Museum Mile Festival’s reach now goes far beyond New York City. Thousands of tourists from around the country and world make their trip to Museum Mile Festival a yearly vacation tradition. Total attendance records over its thirty-seven years have surpassed one million visitors, and because of the success of the festival and the work of consortium, the City of New York officially designated Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th streets as “Museum Mile” further cementing the area as one of the city¹s major cultural resources.
The 2016 Museum Mile Festival’s opening ceremony takes place at 5:45 pm at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street). Traditionally, the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and other city and state dignitaries open the Festival.
Additional street entertainers perform along Fifth Avenue all evening. Special Exhibitions on view include:
Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion, exploring the artist and designer’s daring exploration of race, gender and the body through fashion, at El Museo del Barrio;
Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, featuring more than 200 works by this distinguished artist, and showcasing her keen eye for the absurdities and insecurities that permeate daily life, including many situations that are particular to New York City, at the Museum of the City of New York;
Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, the first museum exhibition to focus on the influential American fashion designer, artist, and entrepreneur, at the Jewish Museum;
Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, exploring aesthetic innovations through 250 works by 63 designers from around the globe, at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum;
Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of László Moholy-Nagy to appear in the United States in nearly fifty years, revealing a utopian artist who believed that art could work hand-in-hand with technology for the betterment of humanity, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum;
Gustav Klimt‘s iconic portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer I at Neue Galerie New York; and
Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, exploring how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(Details on the Festival’s complete offerings can be found at www.MuseumMileFestival.org._)
EXHIBITIONS ON VIEW:
El Museo del Barrio: Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion; Figure and Form: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection; Joiri Minaya: Redecode; Sarah Zapata: Siempre X
Museum of the City of New York: Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs; New York’s Yiddish Theater: From Bowery to Broadway; Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits, 1700 -1860; and Activist New York
The Jewish Museum: Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History; Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist; Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings: Beatriz Milhazes; Masterpieces & Curiosities: The Fictional Portrait; The Television Project: Some of My Best Friends; Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey; for children, Archaeology Zone: Discovering Treasures from Playgrounds to Palaces
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial; Thom Browne Selects; Pixar: The Design of Story; Energizing the Everyday: Gifts from the George R. Kravis II Collection; Passion for the Exotic: Louis Comfort Tiffany and Lockwood de Forest; Fragile Beasts; Immersion Room
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa; Moholy-Nagy: Future Present; Thannhauser Collection
Neue Galerie New York: Neue Galerie New York invites attendees of the 2016 Museum Mile Festival to visit the second floor gallery where Gustav Klimt‘s iconic portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) hangs on permanent display. This work is joined by a selection of landscape and portrait paintings by Klimt, and a display of Austrian decorative arts from the early twentieth century.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology
Participating museums offer programs and services for visitors with disabilities. Please contact the museums you plan to visit to arrange access accommodations and for further information. For details on the Festival’s offerings, the public may call 212-606-2296 or visit www.MuseumMileFestival.org.