Monday, September 5, 2011

Three (More) New York City Cultural Institutions

Image: Hayagriva in gilded and painted copper. Mongolia, 18th century. Copyright © 2005, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. All rights reserved.

In August I wrote about Three New York City CulturalInstitutions (the China Institute, Japan Society and the Korea Society), and thought I’d follow it up today with a look at several more.

As I wrote then: There is more to New York City than tall buildings, the bright lights of Times Square, and free rides on the Staten Island Ferry. Visitors and locals looking for something on the road less travelled might consider a visit to one of these three cultural institutions [which] help add something unique to any New York visit.

In that spirit then, here are three other institutions that locals and visitors to New York might want to explore further.

Jacques Marchais Museum ofTibetan Art
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, is located on Staten Island. The museum (which officially opened in 1947), is home to one of America’s most extensive collections of Himalayan artefacts. It was created by Jacques Marchais, an American woman, to serve as a bridge between the West and the ancient cultural traditions of Tibet and the Himalayan region.

Marchais designed her center so well that the Dalai Lama praised the museum for its authenticity when he visited in 1991. The museum resembles a rustic Himalayan monastery with extensive terraced gardens and grounds and a fish and lotus pond.

As well as a changing program of permanent and special exhibitions and displays, the museum runs regular classes in guided meditation, Tai Chi, and mini retreats. Information about these can be found on their website.

Address: 338 Lighthouse Avenue, Staten Island, New York
Phone: 718-987-3500

Summer Hours: April-November
Wednesday to Sunday
1:00 PM– 5:00 PM. On Sundays the last admission time is 4:30 PM. Note: if visiting via the Staten Island Ferry, you are advised to take a ferry that leaves before 2:30PM as it takes a while to reach the museum using public transport.

Members - Free
Adults - $6
Seniors (60 and over)/Students - $4
Children under 6 - Free

More Information
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art...


Established in 2000, the Center for Jewish History is a partnership of five organizations of Jewish history, scholarship, and art which are all based in Manhattan.

The organizations are the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The Center is also an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Located at 15 West 16th Street, Manhattan, the Center's collections include more than 100 million documents, 500,000 books and thousands of art objects. Today, the Center is heavily involved with the preservation of records that define important moments in Jewish immigration to New York City.

The collection includes the original handwritten copy of Emma Lazarus' 1883 "Give me your tired, your poor" poem that was later inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, Sandy Koufax's Brooklyn Dodgers jersey, a letter from Thomas Jefferson to New York's oldest Jewish congregation, the first Hebrew prayer books printed in America, and correspondence from Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka.

The collection also includes pieces of art, textiles and ritual objects, as well as music, films and photographs.

Address: 15 West 16th Street, Manhattan, New York, NY
Phone: 212-294-8301

Free Gallery Spaces
Monday and Wednesday, 9:30am - 8:00pm
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:30am - 3:00pm.
*Free Gallery Spaces do not include the Yeshiva University Museum exhibits

Yeshiva University Museum
Monday, Free 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 11:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday, 11:00am - 8:00pm (Free 5:00pm - 8:00pm)
Friday, Free 11:00am - 2:30pm
Note: The Center for Jewish History is closed on Saturday, all major Jewish holidays, and all major national holidays.

More information
TheCenter for Jewish History...

Studio Museum in Harlem
The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture.

Since opening in a rented loft at Fifth Avenue and 125th Street in 1968, the Studio Museum in Harlem has earned recognition as a catalyst for promoting the works of artists of African descent.

The scope of the Studio Museum includes exhibitions, an Artists-in-Residence program, education and public programming, a permanent collection, and archival and research facilities.

The Studio Museum's permanent collection contains over 1,600 works, including drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and installations. It comprises works created by artists during their residencies, as well as pieces given to the Museum to create an art-historical framework for artists of African descent. The Museum is the custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the quintessential chronicler of the Harlem community from 1906 to 1983.

More Information
Address: 144 West 125th Street, New York, New York
Phone: (212) 864-4500

Museum Hours:
Thursday: 12pm-9pm
Friday: 12pm-9pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Target Free Sunday: 12pm-6pm                       

The Studio Museum in Harlem is located in Manhattan at 144 West 125th Street between Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Boulevard) and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue).

Suggested donation: Adults $7.00
Seniors and students (with valid ID) $3.00
Free for members and children under 12
Target Free Sundays: Free admission every Sunday thanks to the support of Target

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