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Exploring Cultural Vibrancy at the American Museum of Natural History

March 28, 2024 By CityPASS

In the heart of New York City, where the bustling streets meet the serene expanse of Central Park, lies a cultural hub that captures the essence of humanity's diverse narratives—the American Museum of Natural History. This renowned institution is not only a repository of scientific wonders but also a vibrant tapestry of art, history, and culture. And this spring, it invites you on a journey of discovery through two captivating exhibitions that celebrate the richness of Indigenous traditions and the cultural influence of hip-hop.

Grounded by Our Roots: A Celebration of Indigenous Art

Midnight at the Fireworks Stand by Alison Bremner Naxhshagheit. Photography by Alvaro Keding/© AMNH.
Midnight at the Fireworks Stand by Alison Bremner Naxhshagheit - Photography by Alvaro Keding/© AMNH

Opening to the public on April 3, 2024, Grounded by Our Roots invites you to explore 13 extraordinary pieces that draw inspiration from the rich cultural tapestry of the Northwest Coast. Curated by Aliya Boubard, a visionary curator from the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, this exhibition showcases the work of up-and-coming Indigenous artists who breathe new life into age-old traditions.

From the intricate wood carvings of Alison Bremner Naxhshagheit to the contemporary fashion designs of Hawilkwalał Rebecca Baker-Grenier, each piece resonates with the vitality and creativity of Indigenous voices today. As you wander through the gallery, you'll witness the evolution of Indigenous art—from traditional regalia and ceremonial objects to modern sculptures and fashion statements. Through their art, these artists bridge the gap between past and present, honoring their ancestral heritage while pushing the boundaries of their craft.

Grounded by Our Roots is more than just an exhibition—it's a testament to the Museum's commitment to showcasing the diversity of human culture and experience. Following the transformative renovation of the Northwest Coast Hall in 2022, this rotating art gallery continues to be a space where Indigenous traditions thrive and evolve. Through this immersive experience, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the enduring legacy of Indigenous art.

Ice Cold: A Journey Through Hip-Hop Jewelry

Photograph by Janette Beckman, Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery
Photograph by Janette Beckman, Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery

From the rugged streets of the Bronx to the glittering stages of Madison Square Garden, hip-hop has captivated audiences around the world with its infectious beats and unapologetic swagger. And now, the American Museum of Natural History invites you to explore the dazzling world of hip-hop jewelry in Ice Cold: An Exhibition of Hip-Hop Jewelry. Opening on May 9, 2024, in the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery, this special exhibition celebrates the cultural impact of hip-hop through the lens of its most iconic accessory—custom-made jewelry.

Curated by guest curator Vikki Tobak, with guest co-curators Kevin "Coach K" Lee and Karam Gill, Ice Cold traces the evolution of hip-hop jewelry from its humble beginnings in the 1980s to its current status as a global phenomenon. From Slick Rick's gem-encrusted crown to Nicki Minaj's sparkling 'Barbie' pendant, each piece tells a story of individuality, empowerment, and resilience within the hip-hop community. As you immerse yourself in the world of oversized gold chains, diamond-studded medallions, and avant-garde designs, you'll witness the transformative power of hip-hop as a cultural force.

Ice Cold is a celebration of hip-hop's journey from local subculture to global mainstream. You'll gain a newfound appreciation for the cultural significance of hip-hop jewelry and its enduring impact on modern fashion and pop culture.

Go on a Cultural Journey

Whether you're drawn to the timeless beauty of Indigenous art or the bold extravagance of hip-hop jewelry, the American Museum of Natural History invites you to embark on a cultural journey unlike any other. From the sacred forests of the Northwest Coast to the concrete jungles of New York City, these exhibitions offer a glimpse into the myriad ways in which human creativity and expression shape our world. So come, explore, and be inspired by the vibrant tapestry of human culture at AMNH.

And if you're looking for more to see in New York City, pick up New York CityPASS® tickets. You'll get discounted admission to the top things to do in New York such as AMNH, Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, MoMA, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and more.

Header Image Credit: D. Finnin / © American Museum of Natural History

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