Join us for a virtual exploration of Prospect Park’s waterways. We will look closely at the ingenious drainage system and chain of manmade streams and ponds that terminate in Brooklyn’s largest lake, follow the park’s scenic watercourse, and go inside one of the most unique features of the park: the 1869 Wellhouse, the park’s last remaining building by park designer Calvert Vaux, which once housed the machinery that fueled the watercourse and was recently restored by the Prospect Park Alliance and converted into the first composting restrooms in a NYC park.>> Continue reading
In the height of the pandemic, artist Sean Carroll drew inspiration from his street and neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to create How to Take a Walk in an Era of Social Distancing: A Step-by-Step Guide, a multimedia project aimed at documenting his and his family’s daily activities as a way to approach daily life in this new reality with, “clarity, empathy, and humor.” As a professional photographer and former tour guide, Sean will share stories and insights from this ongoing project and will use the guide as a leaping off point to highlight how Pittsburgh’s geography, topography, and history have affected the development of the region, and ultimately what led him, his wife, and children to live in Pittsburgh and specifically on the block where they live. Sean Carroll is an artist using photography and video raised in coastal Massachusetts, now living in Pittsburgh. He received an MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he lived for many years, and teaches within the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
From the Civil War through the 1960’s, a site next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal served as the central depot supplying America’s lighthouses and Aids to Navigation. Join us for a virtual visit with historian Wade Goria to the National Lighthouse Museum, which tells the story of this essential service and the people, equipment, and structures that have kept America’s shipping channels safe.
- National Lighthouse Museum • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
- Upcoming tours and events
- WATCH Lilac Preservation Project virtual program
- WATCH Coast Guard History virtual program
- WATCH Kate Walker virtual program
Papercraft modeling and dolls are as old as paper, but the art form exploded in the 19th century with new innovations in printing technology, and tiny French city of Épinal became one of the global centers of printmaking. During the pandemic, papercraft modeling has been a welcome respite, and we have found countless Épinal prints available online and through Épinal’s Musée de L’Image. In this virtual program, we will examine (and assemble) some of our favorite models, including landmarks of French architecture, notable ships, and scenes from World War I. To provide historical context, we will be joined by Dr. Raisa Rexer, Assistant Professor of French at Vanderbilt University and an expert on 19th century French art and photography.
- French Ministry of Culture online library (POP)
- French National Library Image Bank
- Maison Images d’Épinal (online store)
- Musée de L’Image: Child Cut-Out Pictures exhibition (2014)
- Patricia Mainardi (2010), “Popular Prints for Children … And Everyone Else”
- Selection of Épinal prints to download/print
- USS Olympia paper mode from Independence Seaport Museum
Take a deep dive into the art and architecture of Prospect Park Zoo on this virtual program that will include a live broadcast interview with Zoo Director Denise McClean of the Wildlife Conservation Society. We will learn about the history of architectural designs for zoos across New York City, the story of architect Aymar Embury III and his designs for the zoo, stories behind the animal-inspired bas reliefs and sculptures, (including the artist behind the beloved topiary sculptures), and the evolution of the zoo itself over time.
We are excited to welcome back artist, author and local legend Rev. Jen Miller. We last joined her for a behind-the-scenes look at her extensive collection of Troll Dolls, once the main feature of the now-shuttered Lower East Side Troll Museum. Jen will return for a discussion of her most recent project, a series of Coney Island cat paintings. Her new work evokes images of a bygone New York, as seen through the eyes of the city’s often most overlooked residents. She will show some of her pieces, discuss her process, and enlighten us all on the secret life of cats in one of Brooklyn’s most iconic neighborhoods.
In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and city is home to more than 250 of them, but no place has a denser concentration than Prospect Park. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, including in Grand Army Plaza, the Tennis House, and the Prospect Park Zoo, as we discuss this engineering marvel.
- Map of Guastavino Structures of Prospect Park
- Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces
- WATCH: Making a replica vault at the National Building Museum
- Rafael Guastavino (1892) Essay on the theory and history of cohesive construction applied especially to the timbrel vault
Noah Diamond is a man of many hats, including a Groucho Marx painted mustache and cigar. In addition to being a New York City tour guide, writer, performer, and designer, he is also an expert on all things Marx Brothers. On this special program, he’ll walk us through the many connections Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo have had with New York City. He’ll also chat with us about his work on reviving their very first (and somewhat forgotten) Broadway musical, “Marxfest” and other performances and events he has produced, and the campaign to landmark the boys’ childhood home.
- Noah Diamond’s website
- Marx Brothers Council Podcast
- Fredonia Marxonia 2020 (Oct. 2)
- Noah Diamond (2016), Gimme a Thrill: The Story of I’ll Say She Is, the Lost Marx Brothers Musical, and How It Was Found
Bowne & Co., Stationers opened their doors at the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, 200 years after Robert Bowne founded his shop across the street on Queen Lane. Today Bowne & Co., continues the tradition of 19th-century letterpress printing. This virtual program with Art Director Rob Wilson – co-hosted with Stefan Dreisbach Williams from the home of Robert Bowne’s ancestors, the 1661 Bowne House in Flushing, Queens – investigates the changing role that stationery and printing offices played in New York City, and the ways in which Bowne & Co., uses its collection of 34 printing presses, and more than 2,400 cases of movable type in contemporary ways today.
- Support the South Street Seaport Museum
- South Street Seaport Museum, “Hidden Gems: Clipper Ship Cards”
The Lehigh Valley No. 79 covered barge shuttled cargo around New York Harbor from 1914 until sometime around the mid-1970s. David Sharps rescued this wooden barge in 1985, digging it out the mud, floating it, and renovating into a museum, performance space, and the home where he and his wife raised their daughters. We take an inside look inside this remarkable vessel and the remarkable institution that is The Waterfront Museum.