big-name cultural institutions have no shortage of intriguing exhibition
options to choose from, but for something a little more off the beaten path,
an abandoned freight elevator in an alley on the edge of Manhattan’s Tribeca
neighbourhood, this quirky venue that showcases obscure, under-the-radar and
otherwise uncelebrated objects opens its second season with a reception on 22
February from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
collections and individual items on view run the gamut from random to inventive
to obsessive. Sourced from private collectors and Museum’s permanent
assemblage, this season features 15 new, exhibits including a sampling of damaged
and counterfeit currency and packets of crisps in surf-and-turf themed flavours,
such as prawn cocktail and garlic steak. A few exhibitions from the inaugural
2012 season can also be seen, including toothpaste tubes from around the world
and a shoe billed as the one thrown at former US president George W Bush by
Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi at a press conference in 2008.
In a one-man’s-trash-is-another-man’s-treasure
fashion, the mundane is elevated to inspirational, thanks to the back stories of
the 175-odd pieces told in the museum’s brochure. Visitors can also access an audio
guide by calling a toll-free hotline (888-763-8839)
from their mobile phone and punching in the number associated with each item on
“We want to
remind people of the incredibleness of what we [humans] are, what we make, what
we collect,” said Alex Kalman, one of museum’s three founders. “We take pride
in seeing meaning [in] and creating a narrative for those things.”
the 80sqft museum amid the loading docks, fire escapes and shadows is part of
the experience. “Like the objects, we wanted the space to be something hard to
find,” Kalman said.
museum style, and in spite of its miniature footprint, Museum has squeezed in
an espresso machine and a gift shop, offering visitors refreshments and the
chance to take home artefacts of their own.
those who already have shoeboxes of eccentric finds or overlooked everyday items
that are ready for their moment of fame, Museum welcomes submissions for review by the
Cortland Alley between Franklin and White Streets, Museum is open on Saturdays
and Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm through June, although three windows allow for
24-hour viewing of the space from outside.
Amy Brader is the New York City Localite for