Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Museum in Peril

Apr 22, 2020

Several years ago on my first, and only, trip to New York City, I paid a visit to the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

The museum consists of a small storefront reception area where we were assigned a young guide who then led us into a nearby tenement building where the lives of early 20th century garment workers were replicated in minute detail. It remains the most innovative and interesting museum I have visited.

Today, like so many other cultural institutions, the Tenement Museum is in peril. It has had to close due to the epidemic and today's New York Times reports that the museum, dependent on revenue from visitors, may collapse.

I know right now the demands on our charitable instincts are many. But if you know the museum and wish to help, it has started an emergency fund-raising campaign.