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Blog Posts by Subject: Organizations and Museums

New York Lamasery: How Jacques Marchais Brought Tibetan Buddhism to Staten Island (and America)

In 1947, a Life magazine headline read: “New York Lamasery: a new Tibetan temple bewilders Staten Island.”

An American woman, Jacques Marchais -- a pioneer collector and respected expert on Tibetan art -- had created a uniquely peaceful museum. Nestled into the side of Lighthouse Hill, one of the highest points on the eastern seaboard, Marchais had designed a small complex of fieldstone buildings and gardens resembling a rustic Tibetan mountain monastery; she 

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Heist Society: A Review

Katarina Bishop grew up all over Europe, but she isn’t an heiress. She has a Faberge egg, but she isn’t a Romanov. Kat is used to looking at a room and seeing all the angles, but that was before she stole a whole other life at the Colgan School only to walk away from it months later without a trace.

That was before everything went sideways.

While Kat was busy trying to steal a new, legit, life the family business prospered. When a powerful mobster’s priceless art collection goes missing it isn’t all that surprising that 

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POP! goes the Picture Collection: Warhol at NYPL

Self-Portrait, 1967.(1)He came from my hometown. As a teenager, he collected photographs of movie stars. A few years later, I clipped fan zines featuring Hayley Mills and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the Dave Clark 5 and

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Literacy in the Arts: the Museum

A class field trip to El Museo del Barrio inspires the students' creativity.

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J.P. Morgan: The Financier as Collector-Slide Lecture with Jean Strouse on Wed, Oct 28th @ 6:30 @ the Mid-Manhattan Library

The largest cultural institutions of New York City like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Museum of Natural History and New York Public Library, were established in the latter half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. There was a major push among the wealthiest Americans to establish a cultural identity of our own. We were a young country, bereft of the cultural lineage that existed in Europe. Despite America’s youth we showed ourselves to be a vast country, devoted to the dollar, with seemingly room for little else. But men, like J.P. Morgan 

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NYPL, Mother of Invention

On quitting his classes at Harvard in 1927, Edwin Land moved to New York and became a regular user of the library’s Science Division. His goal: the manufacture of a polarizing light filter, the basic idea behind Polaroid sunglasses. Between the library and a variety of makeshift labs, he eventually figured out how to embed microscopic crystals of “herapathite” in molten sheets of plastic and align them all in one direction. He named the invention Polaroid, and used the name again when he invented his instant photography. Land had discovered the identity of the crucial 

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NYPL joins Flickr Commons

Chances are, if you spend any time online you've come across Flickr. Flickr is a wonderful site for storing, sharing and building community around photographs. It's similar to online photo services like Kodak Gallery or Shutterfly except with a greater social focus and tools and features reminiscent of Facebook. About a year ago Flickr launched the Flickr Commons, a project dedicated to sharing and describing the public photo collections of the world's leading cultural heritage 

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Building for Books

The Vancouver Public LibraryArchitectural Record has a recurring section called "Building Types Study". The February 2008 issue’s section is dedicated to library design and one of the three libraries discussed is NYPL’s Mulberry Street Branch. The Record commends the architectural firm Roger Marvel Architects for allowing diffused light to penetrate “into both subterranean levels via the central stair”, which it calls “an important psychological 

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Around the corner & down the street

The Morgan Library

One of the gems of the city is the Morgan Library located on Madison and 36th Street, literally just around the corner and down the block. I fell in love with the place 26 years ago and I have never stopped loving it. To me it is the one of the most intimate spots in the city, more so before the Renzo Piano reconstruction but still really wonderful.

I like it for a couple reasons: first because the shows are never big; they can’t be. It is always a one-room experience and that is just about right for my 

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The corner of Fifth and New Grub

“No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library; for who can see the wall crowded on every side by mighty volumes, the works of laborious meditations and accurate inquiry, now scarcely known but by the catalogue…”

— Samuel Johnson Rambler #106 (March 23, 1751)

I’m a little less than halfway through George Gissing’s New Grub Street (1891), a delightfully 

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Not Long for this World

Brooklyn Museum and the near-permanent exhibit, American Identities. Tired from the walk, we loitered around the first room and looked at the disparate paintings, furniture & objets d’art. Also in this room was a television monitor showing a loop of Thomas Edison’s films of revelers at Coney Island. These films reminded one of us of another Edison film from Coney Island that hasn’t made it onto the Library of Congress’

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Richard Serra at MoMA

Did you visit the Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years exhibition at MoMA? The museum’s website continues to offer the exhibition in audio and video. Most of show’s audio was Richard Serra’s voice supplying histories of the process of the art.

Starting on the sixth floor I was captured by the choice of the first piece overhead. Look up or you miss it and I think some did miss it: a huge steel plate imbedded in the ceiling. Further on, the materials such as vulcanized found doors evoked a lost industrial New 

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Heritage Savers: Inside the NYPL Preservation Division

Binding with metal bosses,Spencer CollectionWelcome to NYPL’s Preservation blog. We’re looking forward to sharing information with you about what the Preservation Division does to save cultural heritage and make it accessible to you. To start the conversation, here’s a look into what you would see going on in our program today.

In Collections Care you would see staff using CAD software to operate a machine that cuts custom-fitted boxes to protect books in fragile condition and others cleaning collections with a HEPA vacuum. In some of our libraries, we are 

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