Findings

The Museum Mile Festival, 33 Years Ago

Museum Mile brochure, 1981

Museum Mile brochure, 1981. Event records. A0063. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives. New York, NY.

Museum Mile brochure, 1981

Museum Mile brochure, 1981. Event records. A0063. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives. New York, NY.

Museum Mile brochure, 1981

Museum Mile brochure, 1981. Event records. A0063. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives. New York, NY.

This brochure highlights the exhibitions and entertainment that awaited crowds during the Museum Mile Festival on June 16, 1981. Named for the stretch of Fifth Avenue from East 105th Street to East 82nd Street that houses many of the city’s premier museums, the festival, which now calls itself New York’s biggest block party, was launched in 1978 to draw more crowds to museums during the fiscal crisis then gripping the city. The design of the brochure resembles a period subway map, with the black dots representing stops you could make as you wended your way up or down the mile: museums on the eastern, city-side of the avenue sit on a blue line; the Met, the sole stop on the western side, next to the park, sits on a green one.

In the festival’s third year, participating institutions included the International Center of Photography, before it had relocated to Midtown, and the Goethe House, which is now based downtown and called the Goethe-Institut. The Guggenheim had two exhibitions on view during the 1981 festival, a retrospective of Arshile Gorky and a presentation of European paintings from the permanent collection. Entertainment at the Guggenheim was provided by the jazz group the Mark Sherman Trio, and other destinations featured an eclectic mix of Puerto Rican folk music, chamber singers, and even a Bach ensemble.

The Guggenheim is participating in the Museum Mile again on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Stop by to enjoy free admission and festival activities from 6–9 pm.