New York at Its Core Highlights

Gallery Programs

Occupying the entire first floor in three multi-media galleries – Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab – the New York at Its Core exhibition is a shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and its evolution into the modern metropolis we know today. Through hundreds of sources and state-of-the-art technology, this first of its kind exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a global capital like no other and a subject of fascination the world over.

Each 60 minute program will take place in one of the following three galleries, with the option to book two back-to-back programs. Bring your group of 35 students or fewer to visit New York at Its Core by emailing Each program costs $175; fees are waived for schools in zip code 10029.

The following three programs will begin in January 2017. Book now to reserve your spot!

Gallery 1: Port City, 1609-1898

60-minute program for grades K - 12 Who are the people that shaped our city from its beginning? Investigate the challenges New Yorkers encountered as the city rapidly transitioned from a trading post to a bustling five-borough metropolis. Students will debate the decisions that city leaders made to meet the demands created by a growing population. By analyzing artifacts and images, students will also discover the diverse New Yorkers who transformed the city through the creation of gridded streets, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Gallery 2: World City, 1898-2012

60-minute program for grades K - 12 How do you define your community in a dense city like New York? At the turn of the century, New York emerged as a global city with an expansive subway system and developing skyline that became symbols of modern life. At the same time, the city had become defined by its distinct neighborhoods and communities, each with their own respective histories. Students will learn about individuals and civic groups who fought to improve their own communities, and the city as a whole, in moments of crisis.

Gallery 3: Future City Lab

60-minute program for grades K - 12 What do you want New York City to look like in the future? This lab presents students with the opportunity to imagine alternative futures for the city by exploring its diversity and issues related to housing, transportation, work, and the environment. Through interactive games, data visualizations, and maps, students will grapple with present-day challenges and learn about the different occupations of New Yorkers who continue to shape the city in the 21st century and beyond.

Upcoming Events

Join us for a range of educator focused sessions in conjunction with the exhibition. 

Lesson Plans


The Apple Peeler and Corer

As part of our featured object series that explores key artifacts from the New York at its Core exhibition, we asked Hasia Diner to reflect on the Apple Peeler and Corer, on loan from the Lower East Side appetizing store, Russ & Daughters.
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Occupied Wall Street Journal

With its cheeky title, Occupied Wall Street Journal hopped off the printing press and into Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan roughly one month after the Occupy Wall Street encampment popped up on September 17, 2011.
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Behind the Scenes

Recreating View of Melrose with photographer Jeff Liao and the museum's curatorial research team.

City Confronts Civil Rights

Peer into the tumultuous, transformative era of New York City in the 1960s and discover some of the forces that shaped the Civil Rights movement.
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