Friday, February 19, 2010

The Museum Of The American Gangster

Below is the official press release for the new Museum of the American Gangster, located at 80 St. Marks Place in New York City, and which is set to open its doors next month.
This promises to be an exciting new venue and venture for all those who share an interest in the subject matter, as well as an entertaining and educating experience for the curious.

I am also happy to announce that plans are currently in the making to display a selection of my original portraits from this project at the Museum for an extended period of time. I will have more details on all this forthcoming.
I must humbly admit there will be something nicely gratifying that the portraits will hang mere blocks away from where many of these men strolled the streets so many years ago and this feels a bit like a homecoming for the artwork. I will post more details as they come in.


The Museum Of The American Gangster - Press Release

The Museum of the American Gangster (MAOG) presents an opportunity to gain insight into the hidden, inside world of the American gangster through artifacts and stories told by those involved. We are working with a team of criminal authors, historians and related institutions, as well as family members and estates of pivotal crime figures, to create a museum that both casual fans and invested scholars could enjoy and benefit from. Beyond exhibits and artifacts, MOAG will offer dedicated research facilities, access to original source documents and articles, oral histories, workshops, walking tours, live performances, historic reenactments, lectures, movies and presentations.

The MOAG at 80 St. Marks Place features a full gallery space with gift shop, as well as an authentic speakeasy and a maze of hidden rooms and artifacts in the basement left over from Prohibition (which are all part of the exhibit). Frank Sinatra was a singing waiter in our restaurant as a youth (yoot?), and our gallery served as living quarters for Leon Trotsky in 1917. The 160-seat, professional Off-Broadway theater on site premiered You're A Good Man Charlie Brown in 1967 and is the site of Lord Buckley's final performance before his death in 1960. (And that is just the tip of the iceberg.)

MOAG's goal is to objectively and authentically present the role that crime has played in shaping the politics, culture, myth and lore of New York City. Criminals will not be glorified or sensationalized, nor will they be vilified -- rather, this institution intends to allow visitors insight into how and why criminals (on both sides of the law) chose the life they did. Where did they come from? What were their options? What was their relationship to the community? This is a chance to dig deep into the lives and minds of some of the country's most successful crime figures.

Where better to explore the influence of criminality in America than in the neighborhood where such heavyweights as "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and "Bugsy" Siegel planted the seeds of modern organized crime? Where their predecessors, men like Jack Zelig, Monk Eastman, and Paul Kelly paved the way for future mob influence over labor, politics and entertainment in NYC? Where Tammany Hall headquartered their century-long stranglehold on politics with the assistance of local gangs? Where the most powerful Prohibition-era bootleggers lived, operated and fought for control over an underground empire? Where the infamous Irish-Nativist wars paralyzed Lower Manhattan in the 19th century? Important American history is in our own backyard and MOAG is dedicated to presenting this very important aspect of it.

The MOAG daily preview hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm, for a reduced admission fee of only $10.

Museum previews begin with a special Sunday, March 7, 2010 event, from 12:00pm - 5:00pm.

For more information, visit

Thanks to the Knickbocker Village blog for posting the video.

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