This year’s Museum Mile Festival takes place on Tuesday, June 9th from 6-9:00pm. Nine museums from 82nd -105th Street are open late and free to the public. Fifth Avenue will closed to traffic; there’s street entertainment; and it’s a great opportunity to get a taste of art from different institutions. But beware – there can be long lines to get into some of the museums.
One of the most popular museums on Museum Mile is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’d recommend entering the museum at the 81st Street entrance — where school groups are directed — it will probably be less crowded. Only part of the museum will be open that night; primarily the new big exhibits like China Through the Looking Glass. These will be pretty crowded so if you can, seek out some smaller exhibits or work from the permanent collection. For example, the Met just reinstalled the ten-panel mural, America Today, by Thomas Hart Benton. Benton painted this mural for New York’s New School for Social Research to hang in the school’s boardroom. It depicts a sweeping panorama of American life throughout the 1920s. It was on view as a special exhibition but now is permanently installed in gallery 909 in the Modern Wing of the museum.
It’s also a good night to visit a museum that you don’t normally go to. Try Cooper-Hewitt Museum which wasn’t open when last year’s Museum Mile event took place. One current exhibition to see is Making Design. It’s the first in a number of exhibitions devoted to showcasing Cooper Hewitt’s extensive collection. It brings together some 360 objects, including furniture, lighting fixtures, tableware, clothing, jewelry, books, and posters, providing an overview of five key elements of design: line, form, texture, pattern, and color (red, for this initial installation).