The Museum of the City of New York takes a more immediate approach to history with a new exhibition on Hurricane Sandy, part of the museum's ongoing effort to chronicle the historic storm. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
Museum director Susan Henshaw-Jones doesn't know what inspires people to take out their cameras in the middle of a catastrophe, but she's glad so many did during Hurricane Sandy because it offers an important historical, yet personal, record of the storm.
"This is Queens. This is one of the images when I say, 'What are you doing taking this photograph?'" Henshaw-Jones said about the image at left. "Can you see this, the water coming in the lock holes?"
"This is an incredible photograph. It's Queens," she said about the photo at left. "If you went to the other side of this house, the dining room table was intact, in place."
The new exhibit at the museum is called Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy.
"The interesting thing about this image is that it was taken on October 30, one day later, on Staten Island" Henshaw-Jones said of the image at left. "You can see the amount of water, standing water that hadn't receded."
More than 100 professional and amateur photographers are in the show.
Stephen Wilkes photographed the storm for Time Magazine, but went back on his own by helicopter to offer an important perspective on the destruction of places like Breezy Point, where more than 130 homes burned.
"It was overwhelming. I actually spent a lot of time as a kid in that area," Wilkes said. "When I got out above it, the depth of seeing a landscape scarred like this was quite extraordinary to bare witness to."
In addition to the still photographs, there's a video monitor showing NY1's extensive coverage of the storm
"NY1's reporting and coverage of the storm was unbelievable," Henshaw-Jones said. "New Yorkers have a debt of gratitude."
The museum will begin collecting oral histories of the storm at the museum next week.
The exhibit is open now through March 2. For more information, go to www.mcny.org.