The New York Crystal Palace officially opened to the public with a spectacular celebration on July 15, 1853, and, once they had marveled at the displays inside the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations (the official name), nineteenth-century visitors sought relief from the summer heat at one of the many ice cream parlors that surrounded the exhibition.

Celebrate the historic occasion with us on Saturday July 15 as we host an afternoon inspired by the New York Crystal Palace featuring free ice cream treats (vegan options available!) from Brooklyn’s own Van Leeuwen ice cream company. Our neighbors Book Culture will be turning our Gallery ground floor into a library for young readers with titles selected by renowned Children’s book writer Leonard Marcus. The afternoon will feature story time, live music, gallery tours, and more special events for the whole family.

Wiliam Wellstood. New York, 1855. From the Latting Observatory, 1855. Engraving, printed by Smith, Fern, and Company. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Free Ice Cream!
12 pm–3pm: Van Leeuwen’s iconic ice cream truck will be parked outside the Gallery serving free ice cream treats. Vegan options available!

Live Music!
12:30–2:30 pm: Jazz trio featuring Xavier Del Castillo on saxophone, Ben Rosenblum on piano, and Dean Torrey on double bass.

Storied City
2 pm:
Leonard Marcus, critic, historian, author and one of the world’s leading scholars of children’s literature will speak about how New York City has been portrayed in children’s literature from every decade. Suitable for ages 9 and up. Run time 45 minutes.

Story Time: Imagination Station!
1pm and 2pm Join us in the Gallery for a journey through innovations and acts of great imagination that changed New York’s history! Selected by Leonard Marcus for their depictions of New York and performed by Anna Reichert. Titles include The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing, The Secret Subway and more! Each story time will last about 30-45 mins. Suitable for ages 4 and up.

Anna Reichert is a New York City based actor/comedian/performer who has performed both regionally and around the city. She has worked with children for nearly a decade as a childcare provider and teaching artist. She is a proud alum of the U of MN/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program.