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What to see at Museum Mile Festival

For NYC's largest block party, seven uptown institutions along Fifth Avenue open their doors free of charge

By Nina Stoller-Lindsey |
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photograph: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sure, it’s nice to have a whole day to stroll around the Met, but that’s not what the Museum Mile Festival (Tuesday 10) is about. Since the party only runs for three hours, from 6 to 9pm, make the most of it by hitting these essential exhibits. As you dash between venues, catch local music groups including Asphalt Orchestra and Avenida B performing along the avenue, which is car-free from 82nd Street to 105th Street.

Essential exhibitis to see

Photograph: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

"Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe" at The Guggenheim

The Gugg goes all in for the United States’ first comprehensive survey of one of the most controversial movements in early modern art: Expect to find paintings, sculptures, architectural and design elements, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, free-form poetry, publications, and recordings of music, theater and performance art among the 360 works on view.

Raphael Montañez Ortiz (b. 1934, Brooklyn, New York)Archaeological Find #21: The Aftermath, 1961
Photograph: Elle Jota/
Museums, Special interest

"Museum Starter Kit: Open with Care" at El Museo del Barrio

East Harlem

In celebration of the 80th birthday of the museum’s founder, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, this exhibition showcases his avant-garde, found-object–based art, as well as objects belonging to residents of East Harlem, such as handmade cloth bride and groom dolls and a cocktail shaker from a former Cotton Club dancer.

Charles James Butterfly Gown, 1954
Photograph: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Museums, Fashion and costume

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Instead of window-shopping in midtown, head a little farther up Fifth Avenue to the newly revamped Anna Wintour Costume Center, to ogle the “Clover Leaf,” “Butterfly,” “Swan,” and other architecturally inspired gowns, coats, capes and trousers by the 20th-century British-American couturier.

Art, Painting

"Mel Bochner: Strong Language" at the Jewish Museum

A pioneer of late-’60s Conceptual Art, Bochner plays with words and their associations, incorporating terms of both the four-letter and more refined varieties into his paintings, drawings and mixed-media works, in which the language is often as colorful as the art.

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