A peek inside New York's Poster House museum
Posted September 25
Trying to visit all of New York City's art museums is a daunting task -- whether it's feminist art at the Brooklyn Museum's Sackler Center or edgy multimedia work at MoMA -- but a new project based in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood might bring a newcomer to the top of the "must-visit" list.
Poster House, a museum slated to open in late 2018, is hosting a one-month "pop up" in its future space to give visitors an idea of what to expect next year.
The museum is in a spot on West 23rd Street formerly occupied by Tekserve, a beloved local computer repair shop.
Rather than try to erase that history, though, Poster House has opted to embrace it. Its pop-up focuses on posters from legendary New York places that no longer exist, from clubs such as Danceteria and Limelight to topless bars and Yiddish theater companies.
Notecards next to each poster don't just identify the piece, they add context. For example, Limelight is now a gym, while an art space on a formerly gritty block of the Lower East Side is now home to condos that cost $9,000 a month to rent.
The Poster House's current collection is a mix of donated items, posters on loan from private collectors and selections from the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, a private collection of printed matter (besides posters, there are magazines, album covers, comic books, catalogs and more) housed within the Cooper Union art and design school.
Lubalin, a famous graduate of Cooper Union who went on to create many famous logos and campaigns for brands like Dr. Brown's Soda and the original World Trade Center, is considered one of the most important figures of modern graphic design.
While the Lubalin Center is available to visit, that doesn't mean you can just buy a ticket and walk right in -- the small space can only hold about a dozen people at a time, and wannabe guests must contact the curator, Alexander Tochilovsky (a member of Poster House's board), ahead of time to make an appointment.
Poster House will be a more conventional museum -- with rotating exhibits, tours, tickets you can book online and a gift shop where you can buy a poster of Poster House.
When the pop-up ends on October 20, the museum will close to renovate and transform its space. It's scheduled for a December 2018 opening.
Until then, here are some ideas for things to do on your next visit to New York City.