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NYC's Newest Museum: The International Center of Photography (ICP)

June 14, 2016 - by Chelsey Grasso
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A major new museum will be opening this June in Lower Manhattan as the International Center of Photography (ICP) completes its move from midtown. If you haven’t heard of ICP, we’ve got some fast facts on this new addition to the Manhattan cultural institution array. Read on for more on this returning photography and visual arts center.  

ICP bowery new

Image: Saul Metnick/ICP

What is ICP?

ICP was founded in 1974 by photographer Cornell Capa in hopes of keeping alive the legacy of “Concerned Photography.” Since its opening, the ICP has had over 500 exhibitions, working with over 3,000 photographers to present a variety of visual works to the general public. ICP is currently the world’s leading institution dedicated solely to photography and visual culture, and it exists to engage the surrounding community through a museum, school, community outreach, and public programs.

Where is ICP?

The new ICP Museum will be located on 250 Bowery, New York, NY, along the border of Nolita and the Lower East Side. It will be joining good company, including the New Museum, which opened up across the street just short of a decade ago. Visitors will be met with a plethora of beloved dining spots in the, such as Lombardi’s Pizza, Cafe Habana, Russ & Daughters, and Ferrara Bakery, to name only a few. Forget dinner and a show and start thinking lunch and some visual culture.

When does it open?

ICP’s new Bowery location will open to the public on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016. The premiere exhibition “Public, Private, Secret” was selected by ICP’s first Curator-in-Residence, Charlotte Cotton. Works by Zach Blas, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, and Andy Warhol will be included in the show, as well as live streams from various social media sources to create an immersive experience for visitors that combines both historical aspects as well as current day culture and practices.

Why do you want to go?

There’s no shortage of art museums in New York City, from the Guggenheim and the MoMA to the Met and the Whitney. While these museums do feature photography exhibitions, they have a tendency for photo to be more of an after-thought as opposed to the reason you visit. ICP doesn’t put photography in the corner, and for photographers and photography fans alike, that’s  a rare and refreshing experience—especially in the world of carefully curated museums and highbrow art. Photographers will finally have a space to shine at ICP, and their work will doubtless be capable of providing new perspectives on a world, city, and culture that is changing as quickly as the artistic media it employs.

Simply put, photography is now going to have a home where it can be the star of the show.

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