Discretely located on the otherwise rarely frequented Cortlandt Alley in TriBeCa, Red Bucket Films (an indie film production company) has opened the city’s smallest museum in a freight elevator. Red Bucket’s owners, Alex Kalman, Josh and Benny Safdie, creatively titled this 80-square-foot museum, Museum.
Just south of bustling Canal Street, Cortlandt Alley is a quiet, shadowy alleyway by the loading docks of Broadway’s old brick buildings. Crews of construction men sit on the sidewalk eating their lunches, unaware of the presence of the real live museum that lies in the other freight elevator (the only one they are not loading). “Museum” exhibits miscellaneous objects that have been “lost and found in the cracks and corners of cultures around the world,” each placed atop red velvet-lined shelves in this pristinely renovated, elevator-sized museum.
The permanent collection of objects includes the shoe that was thrown at George W. Bush in 2008 while he was in Baghdad, Iraq at the Minister’s Palace, artist Van Neistat’s air conditioner vent, the intercom from Joe Junior’s Restaurant which was open from 1975 to 2008, through which over 3,000 cheese burgers were ordered on an average day, and other miscellaneous international objects. The museum’s current exhibition features other paraphernalia, such as a fancy Russian shot glass from a five star Moscow hotel which becomes a brothel at night and international toothpastes from a man’s twenty year long collection, to name a few.
Museum held its inaugural opening in May of this year, which included a visit from (an impersonator of) ex-mayor Rudolph Guliani. But they certainly fooled some. “They even had the mayor down here at their opening,” a man unloading a truck nearby told me as I approached the museum.
“A smart man’s garbage is a foolish man’s fortune,” the guys behind Red Bucket explain of their museum’s content. Since its opening, the museum has been accepting submissions from the public too. Submit your own objects (to be reviewed by the curatorial staff) to submissions@Mmuseumm.com. The current exhibition ends on June 30th, so don’t miss your last chance to see the current show!
The museum is viewable twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week through the glass windows of the ex-freight elevator. It is free of charge and open on most weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., or email info@Mmuseumm.com to schedule an appointment. Open or closed, be sure to call the number on the front of the door, 1(888)763-8839 and type in the number that lies below each object for information about the item. Museum is located on Cortlandt Alley between Franklin and White Streets.