This museum is a favourite for two reasons: its size charms without overwhelming (no crowds) and if one does feel overwhelmed, the delightful third floor bar with dappled terrace is open to gallery visitors and non-visitors alike and is less expensive than uptown museum offerings. It’s also convenient for an afternoon’s break during an east side stroll.
Exhibits/shows, often with a conscience, can be pithy, frothy or both. For example:
1. “The Art of March [a graphic novel]: A masterpiece (think Art Spiegelman’s Maus), depicts USA Congressman John Lewis’s (d. 2020) experience in the civil rights movement as depicted by March trilogy illustrator Nate Powell. This landmark exhibition of Congressman Lewis’s celebrated graphic novel memoir (co-written with Andrew Aydin), takes visitors on a visceral tour of the movement, illuminating pivotal moments, people, and philosophies through the display of over 150 pieces of original art, interactive materials, and new exhibition essays…”.
2. “Shawn Martinbrough, the author of How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling. He is an acclaimed creator/artist whose DC, Marvel and Dark Horse Comics projects include “Batman: Detective Comics”, “Luke Cage Noir”, “Captain America”, “The Black Panther” and “Hellboy: Secret Nature”.”
3. American Patriots: The Tuskegee Airmen and the Harlem Hellfighters (upcoming), the illustrators’ role in depicting the World War Two segregated Afro-American air arms.
Above the bar hangs The Dover Coach, a large Norman Rockwell oil, and the staircase walls are populated with charcoal/graphite portraits of members in a characteristic style, arrestingly staged.