Spread across three galleries and spanning four centuries, New York at Its Core is the first exhibition to comprehensively consider NYC’s entire history, as well as imagining what its future could hold. The exhibition employs a vibrant collage of interactive experiences, immersive photomontage, and elegant casework for 400 unique artifacts, rendering a layered past.
Port City 1609 - 1898 A radical selection of essential artifacts weaves multiple stories as an emerging American democratic government collides with diverse cultural traditions and ever-changing economic tides. At the gallery’s center visitors are greeted by human scale digital totems that tell the story of New Yorkers greatest inhabitants, from Henry Hudson to P.T. Barnum. These totems stand alongside objects from the museum’s collection, and a wall-length projection matches historical photos to their modern locations.
World City 1898 - 2012 Expanding at an exponential rate, New York wrestles with depression-era poverty, racial tension and political unrest. Complex casework weaves together themes from every decade, leading into a digital interactive where visitors encounter historical figures. Using motion-sensing technology, the installation slows each character’s unique gait to invite visitors to learn their stories.
Future City Lab Emerging data trends mapped to communities help the visitor to understand the implications of human activity. An analogue crowd sourcing exhibit asks “What if?”- welcoming everyone to pose their questions, their fears, and hope for the future of New York. The gallery’s culminating exhibit allows visitors to create their own futuristic city. They can add vegetation, transportation, alternative energy, and even populate their designs with real New Yorkers. After finishing, visitors can step inside their own creations using motion sensor technology, and play-act alongside virtual neighbors.