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Photograph: Courtesy Mmuseumm

NYC's tiniest museum has launched a way to check out its exhibitions

Mmuseumm's 300-page book tells stories through objects from around the world.

Emma Orlow

Located in a narrow corridor of Cortlandt Alley—where Tribeca meets Chinatown—is New York’s smallest museum known as Mmseumm.  Easily missable unless you know to look for it, Mmuseumm is considered to be a “modern natural history” exhibition space in a former freight elevator. Mmseumm’s has come to be beloved for its oddball exhibitions that focus on storytelling through found objects, often with a morbid or social justice element. Past exhibitions have included objects—sometimes disturbing—made by prisoners, the receipts from last meals of inmates on death row and the personal items of immigrants left in the Arizona desert. The museum space first opened in 2012 by a Alex Kalman (the son of the famed artist, Maira Kalman), with a second wing that followed in 2015; notable donors on the roster have included people such as the fashion designer, Isaac Mizrahi. 

But like so many art spaces, the team has had to figure out where they fit in to the industry during a time in which smooshing viewers into a tiny space is considered to be unsafe. While many galleries and museums are pivoting to virtual experiences, Mmseumm has instead created a catalogue of the entire 2020 season of exhibitions into a physical coffee table-style book. The 300 page project is currently being sold on its website for $45

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