August 2016

Hidden away in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, lies The City Reliquary, a community museum displaying found artefacts from all over New York City. 

Through the permanent display of quirky artefacts, annual cultural events and rotating exhibitions, the museum connects visitors to both the past and present of New York; it is a melting pot of cultural discovery.

Founded in 2002 by Dave Herman, The City Reliquary started life simply as an apartment with a window filled with finds of varying interest. Passers-by could discover the contents by pressing a button on the building’s exterior and listen to the recorded voice of Herman who would talk visitors through each artefact on display. From two and a half links of a city hall window chain to a set of dentures found in Dead Horse Bay, the make-shift museum had a thousand stories to tell.

Four years later, The City Reliquary relocated to its current location, a permanent site on Metropolitan Avenue. The permanent collection includes lost and found objects from all over the city, including Statue of Liberty postcards, fragments of landmark buildings and subway tokens as well as countless other objects which tell the rich story of the bustling city.

In a city where large, iconic museums and galleries dominate the cultural landscape, The City Reliquary stands proudly as an alternative site of interest, and one with an arguably richer and more impactful story to tell.

370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
All photography © Anna O. Grant