Another Good Underfunded Idea


City Reliquary Museum


Why not let regular people be curators at least once in a while?   

Process is always as important as product.  Fascination is often as good as erudition.   

Collections of bric-a-brac and popular culture can express personal pleasure in pattern from the world around us, not just illustrate human evolution or art history.    

This doesn’t mean that there should be no Louvre, no Metropolitan Museum.  I actually think that the existence of the Great Institutions and the Community Memory Centers will help each other to survive.   

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From the Village Voice Blogs:   

The City Reliquary Museum Tries to Save Itself

By Julia, Saturday, Mar. 6 2010 @ 10:54AM   

The City Reliquary Museum and Civic Organization in Williamsburg was never a profit machine. Founder Dave Herman told the Voice in 2006 “We’re not very good at PR. We all just do what we enjoy doing and hope people will find out.”   

Just now, Herman says that isn’t working out all that well. Due to rent, rising utility costs, and a few grants that failed to materialize, the non-profit storefront museum may be forced to close if they can’t raise $20,000 by the end of March. Even with the profits from February’s New York City Firefighter Date-Auction, they’re not there yet…   


Amanda B. Friedman’s Unicorn Collection


If the Historical Society is New York’s Attic, the City Reliquary is New York’s Dotty Aunt’s Tchotchke Shelf. Herman founded it in 2002 as a museum “for the people,” with a collection of his own random artifacts, and added geological samples, urban archaeology finds, and stuff donated by people in the neighborhood. The front window features local collections (this month, it’s Amanda B. Friedman’s Unicorns). The current exhibit – Company Journals of the Southside Firehouse – was curated by a firefighter from Hook and Ladder 104.   

They sponsor movie nights, an annual Brooklyn Bridge Birthday bike ride, and art installations by kids from a local elementary school.   

The gift shop sells dirt from all five boroughs and bottles of East River Water.   

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For more about the City Reliquary Museum, click here  


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