Museum of the Moving Image: A Visit Worth 1000 Pictures
I always thought Manhattan had everything I ever wanted, particularly when it came to museums. So I never really bothered to venture much to New York’s other 4 boroughs to see the museums they had to offer. But yesterday I decided to visit The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, primarily because it is temporarily housing the Mad Men exhibit (which I find ironic since the show is, in fact, centered in Manhattan..). Anyways, I was impressed by the aesthetics the second I walked through the bright pink and silver doors. I walked into a giant white space that made me feel as if I were on the set of some sci-fi film, and I immediately was glad I decided to leave Manhattan’s museums behind for a day.
The first floor of the museum mostly contained costumes, face molds, and makeup that the casts of The Cosby Show used, as well as the makeup of the Sex and the City cast. There was also a huge collection of antique magazines, toys, and Star Wars and Star Trek figures, a must see for any creepy baby doll lover or proud nerd.
The second floor held an overwhelming number of old movie projectors and film reels. There were also many interactive exhibits that both kids and the inner kid in adults could enjoy, such as a sound booth and a special effects station. And of course, the main attraction on the second floor was none other than Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit. This exhibit, understandably considering the show is basically genius, had a bit of a line. The line moved rather quickly though, but would have been well worth a much longer wait. Inside the exhibit were television sets depicting the scenes of Mad Men in which characters wore the costumes that were on display. There was also a recreation of the work space of the writers of the show, as well as actual sets from the show itself. The main character, Don Draper’s, kitchen was on display as well as his office. Visitors could walk, part way, onto the sets. How cool is that?! I can actually say I was on the set of Mad Men. That’s a mad awesome experience for this woman.
Even the way in which the museum was set up added to its appeal. For example, the lighting worked to create a different ambiance surrounding certain objects and exhibits. Even if you are not one to geek out over the way a wax bust of the character from Black Swan was made, I think just about everyone can appreciate something in this museum just based purely on aesthetic value.
I encourage anyway living in or visiting New York to make this museum a must see on your list. Tickets are reasonably priced, but nothing is more reasonable than FREE so I would advise you to go during the hours of 4-8 on Fridays when tickets cost a whopping nothing.