For everyone from the culturally adept Manhattanite to newbie New Yorker,
the ManhattanArtNOW map will be an invaluable tool and spur to discovery. Three years in the making, cultureNOW’s two-sided 90-inch-by-18-inch art map is the largest survey of artwork, collections, and art resources in Manhattan to date, consisting of nearly 1,500 works of art in public spaces. In addition to documenting artwork in commonplace settings such as museums and galleries, the art map promotes the idea of the city as an urban gallery by including art in churches, cemeteries, hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and courts. Pieces range from a Pablo Picasso Mercure reproduction at 1251 6th Avenue to eagle gargoyles on the Chrysler Building.
The map is categorized by the type of work (art in museums, landscape, or architecture) or by its medium (sculpture, relief, mural). Artwork is organized alphabetically by artist on the front of the map and geographically on the back. Because the map is organized this way, an observer can look up “Keith Haring” to find all of that artist’s works on view in Manhattan or search by location, such as “the West Side,” to find artwork in a specific area. Art-rich areas, such as Chelsea, are enlarged on the bottom of the map.
Abby Suckle founded cultureNOW in 2002 as a response to the events of September 11, in an attempt to demonstrate the cultural resources of downtown Manhattan. Previous projects include five editions of the DowntownNOW map. According to Suckle, “We thought it would be really interesting to document all of the public art in New York City. What we found was that there is a lot more out there than we initially thought.”
The ManhattanArtNOW map is the first phase of cultureNOW’s larger project to map art in all five boroughs of New York City. A guidebook will soon follow.
ManhattanArtNOW is available for $14.95 at cultureNOW.org, Urban Center Books, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Center for Architecture. The map is also viewable online, and a comprehensive, searchable database featuring more than 1,000 pieces of art will soon be available.