The weirdest museum in NYC unveils a new season

Museum resurfaces with a fresh collection of objects strange and quotidian

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Museum

Museum Photograph: Naho Kubota


It would be hard to find a venue that makes better use of its space than Museum, the ungoogleable mini gallery that inhabits a 60-square-foot elevator shaft in a narrow Tribeca alley. The space opens its third season on May 15 at 7pm, with 20 collections, ranging from mass-produced consumer goods and repurposed materials to ad hoc inventions and historical curios. Disposable plastic spoons and Styrofoam “rocks” sit alongside items from North Korea, on loan from AP’s chief photographer in Asia, David Guttenfelder.

Despite the tight quarters, Museum makes room for a permanent collection (including a shoe that was allegedly thrown at George W. Bush), a video reel and a café (a pastry and an espresso run $3 total). The organization even delves into programming this summer: From June 20 to 29, pop project Eternal Lips will create custom songs for visitors. Opening party attendees take note: The event promises a secret special performance—past guests of honor have included a Rudy Giuliani impersonator and Screw magazine founder Al Goldstein. See some of the exhibits below.

  • Censored Saudi pool toys

    The inflatable-furniture packaging depicts scenes with curiously absent women, who have been blacked out by the Saudi Arabian religious police.

  • Fake identification

    Filmmaker Casey Neistat presents an assortment of false credentials he’s made for himself, including a student ID and a SAG card; see an early attempt above.

  • A history of death

    Anthropologist Ken Brecher has gathered dirt from Sodom and Gomorrah and a Khmer Rouge prison, as well as water from the bathroom next to the site where Trotsky was murdered.

  • House of Hussein

    Items from the Iraqi dictator’s personal  collection include a steak knife engraved with the Ba’ath Party logo and personalized watches given as gifts.

  • Moss

    Artist Maira Kalman presents grassy botanicals from places of note around the world, like the turf, pictured, from the grave of Henri Matisse.

  • Amazing inventions

    Among the unusual products on display are a two-person umbrella, a combo TV remote–bottle opener and a three-in-one breakfast maker.

Censored Saudi pool toys

The inflatable-furniture packaging depicts scenes with curiously absent women, who have been blacked out by the Saudi Arabian religious police.

Visit Museum

Alex Kalman, Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, founders of Red Bucket Films, opened this unconventional museum in an abandoned elevator shaft. Its nondescript name seems part of their aesthetic, rooted in fascination with the unnoticed objects of everyday life: The museum’s holdings are strange and sundry artifacts, such as objects that surfer Mark Cunningham found on the beach and what may be the shoe thrown at George W. Bush. Anyone can walk by this tiny Tribeca space at any hour to peer through its three windows, learning information about each object via a posted toll-free number (888-763-8839).

  1. Cortlandt Alley, (between Franklin and White Sts), 10013
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