People, Place, and Influence

The Collection at 100

October 13, 2023 - April 21, 2024

Last Chance!
A graphic with illustrations.

Back to Past Exhibitions

In 1923 the Museum of the City of New York was founded “in response to an almost universal longing among our people, for some place in which to preserve the annals and records of their own hometown.” In the intervening 100 years the Museum has grown a collection that encompasses over 750,000 items: a catalog of objects as rich and eclectic as the city itself.  

As a city museum, the founding mandate was to tell the story of a place and its people. Not an art museum or an antiquarian society, the city’s museum would strive to capture the looks and lives of New Yorkers and their physical city; a set of topics under scrutiny and debate in the 1920s, as Fifth Avenue mansions gave way to apartment houses and decades of record immigration transformed the demographics of the city.  

The Collection at 100 delves into the founding mission for the Museum by highlighting key aspects of this unique collection. Through four key sections, the exhibition centers around the collection’s strengths in capturing New York as a place, a population, a platform for creativity, and a center for influence. With unexpected juxtapositions of medium and time periods, the objects on view spotlight singular moments in New York history, notable creative voices and urban icons, and the extraordinary stories embedded within the Museum’s collection. Featuring objects ranging from Tiffany jewelry to a seat from Yankee Stadium; a Duncan Phyfe chair and a prop from Cats; a Christmas card from Zelda Fitzgerald; and a stickball bat—the exhibition is a journey through the singular qualities of the city that the Museum’s founders sought to capture through the collection.   

While the exhibition is an opportunity to showcase the rich, distinctive, and in some cases, previously unseen aspects of the collection, visitors are invited to brainstorm future goals and directions for collecting, as the Museum moves into its second century.  

Explore the Collection

Collections Portal

Explore New York’s past through nearly 205,000 objects from the collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

Urban Archive

Calling all Urban Explorers! Dive into the stories of New York City beyond the Museum any time, any where on Urban Archive

Curatorial Credits

Lilly Tuttle, Curator 
Susan Gail Johnson, Contributing Curator

Tracy McFarlan, Associate Director of Curatorial Projects
Elizabeth Indek, Curatorial Projects Associate 

Gabriela Senno, Curatorial Projects Administrative Assistant

Special thanks to Phyllis Magidson, William D. Degregorio, and Kathleen Benson Haskins

Marissa Martonyi, Design Director
Olivia de Salve Villedieu 

Philip Poon
Joanna Vergas
Ian Keliher

Leela Outcalt, Director of Collections
Sheryl McMahan, Registrar 
Riley McBride, Assistant Registrar
Elizabeth Randolph, Collections Manager for Costume and Textiles
Christina Chavez, Associate Collections Manager
Gavin Robinson, Associate Collections Manager
Joseph Patzner, Institutional Archivist
David Lurvey, Digital Imaging Specialist

Framing and Mounting:
Kate McKenzie
Object Mounts

Art Handling:
Kels Lyn
Mike Piergrossi
Alexandra Theodoropoulos

Fabrication, and Installation:
Todd Ludlam, Director of Exhibitions Installation 
Nancy Nicholson, Manager of Exhibition Installation
Julius Erwin Quito, Director of Information Technology
Jake LaMalfa, Manager of Information Technology

Fabrication by LM Communal Objects, Inc.
Gallery Preparation and Painting by Williams Brothers
Lighting Design and Installation by Technical Artistry
AV Editing by Thane Lund

Gallery Guide Printing Linco Printing

Reproduction and Graphics Printing and Installation:
Full Point Graphics
Creative Graphic Services


People, Place, and Influence: The Collection at 100 is made possible in part by Mrs. William T. Comfort, the Havemeyer Family, Stanford and Sandra Ladner, Leon Levy Foundation, and Daryl B. Uber. 

Join MCNY!

Want free or discounted tickets, special event invites, and more?