Located in a cavernous converted trolley repair shop,
SculptureCenter is New York City’s only contemporary art
museum dedicated to sculpture. Over the past 18 years, the center
has presented works by nearly 750 emerging and established
artists, ranging from internationally recognized stars to emerging
In 2014, the venue finished a major, multi-million-dollar
renovation adding a bookshop, coatroom, seating area, and
restrooms to 6,500 square feet of unique exhibition spaces on two
levels. The museum also boasts a 1,500-square-foot, enclosed
courtyard for outdoor exhibitions.
Inside scoop: The center was founded in 1928 as The Clay Club
in Brooklyn. Over the following years, it changed its name,
moved to a carriage house on West 8th Street in Manhattan, and
then relocated to another carriage house on East 69th Street. In
2001, the center purchased its present site. The building was then
redesigned by Maya Lin, the landscape artist who designed the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
Address: 44-19 Purves St., Long Island City, and www.sculpturecenter.
SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK
Socrates Sculpture Park is New York City’s only public area
dedicated to giving artists the chance to exhibit large-scale
creations. Huge banners stand beside enormous statues or long,
winding pieces. The park is located at the banks of the East
River, giving the air a slightly salty aspect and fantastic views
of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side, including
Gracie Mansion, where the mayor lives.
The park was actually an illegal dumping site until 1986, when
a group of artists and local activists reclaimed it. Today, it hosts
outdoor movies, an annual kite-flying extravaganza, a circus, a
bicycle parade, Saturday workshops, and other activities.
Inside scoop: Socrates is only one block from the Noguchi
Museum and across the street from the Mansard-Roofed Clock
Tower. This L-shaped tower is atop a building that once housed
the Sohmer & Company piano factory, which was built in 1886,
when the area was spotted with piano factories.
Address: 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, and www.
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