One of the things that I really love about living in New York City is that there is always something to do or see. If you are in the city, and you have some time to pass, there are many ways spend that time. I discovered three small museums in the Chelsea/Mid-town south neighborhood that are each a great way to spend an hour or two.
Most people pick up a book without giving any thought to how it is produced. Why was a particular font chosen? How was the cover designed? What role does the printer play in making the book? The Center for Book Arts is a great place to explore those questions, and others, about typography, book binding, and printing.
The Center “promotes active exploration of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object.”(www.centerforbookarts.org) It offers exhibits that explore the interaction between writing and designing books. On display during my visit was “Warren Lehrer: Books,Animation, Performance, Collaboration.” Warren Lehrer (b. 1955) uses typography to capture the shape of language. He sets poems to visually explore the words and ideas presented. (Until March 28).
Also on display was “Remembering Walter Hamady: Selections from the Perishable Press.” Hamady (1940-2019) Hamady worked with poets and prose writers to produce limited run books that explored the idea of book as art.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to typeset, or create your own book? The Center also offers classes. You can learn to design and print business cards, or take a four week course on book binding. Explore your creative side, along with your writing skills.
The International Print Center New York
The IPCNY is “dedicated to innovative presentations of prints by emerging, established national and international artists” (www.ipcny.org). When I visited, their exhibit, “Homebody” was on display (through March 21). Homebody presents the work of thirty-one contemporary artists from six countries, whose works expire the relationship between personal and domestic structures.
The Houdini Museum
If magic is your thing, or if you are at all curious about the life of Harry Houdini, head to The Houdini Museum. It holds over 1500 pieces of memorabilia, including pieces used and/or owned by the famous magician and escape artist. These include artifacts from his act and even from a movie serial that he starred in, along with photographs and posters from his shows.
The museum also offer magic tricks for sale, and they will provide group or private lessons. They host lectures and shows highlighting some of the top magicians around.
So, the next time that you are in New York with some time to kill, or when you want to explore art, design and the craft of putting together beautiful objects and shows, then look to the city’s many small museums and galleries. They offer specialized collections and presentation that give great insight to their work.