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New York, New Music: 1980-1986 Exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York


Museum of New York City & MTV Logo


The Museum of the City of New York is debuting a new exhibition, New York, New Music: 1980-1986, that revisits the music scene of the early to mid 1980s in New York City. The exhibition opens June 11 and coincides with MTV's 40th Anniversary. The yearlong exhibit highlights diverse musical artists—from Run DMC to the Talking Heads, Madonna and John Zorn—while exploring the broader music and cultural scene. This includes the media outlets, venues, fashion and visual arts of New York City during that time.


“The early 1980s were a time of significant transition in New York, with the city facing crime, urban decay, and homelessness. And yet, despite those challenges, it was also a particularly fertile time for music and other creativity in New York City,” says Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director and President, Museum of the City of New York. “The musical innovations of this time period are a great example of the resilience of the city and the importance of art and creativity as forces of transformation.”


New York, New Music: 1980-1986 is organized around a series of key "moments" and features more than 350 objects, including video footage, photography, artifacts and objets d’art. The exhibition will feature the MTV Music Awards Moon Person award statuette, crafted by Society Awards.


The MTV Video Music Awards (commonly abbreviated as the VMAs) is an award show presented by MTV to honor the best in music videos. When the network started in 1981, it launched with footage of Apollo 11 blasting off into space, and an astronaut planting a flag with the MTV logo on the moon's surface. “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," a narrator noted, and the rest was history. That footage played every hour on MTV for the first five years of the network's history. As one of the earliest representations of MTV, the VMAs award statue given to winners is an astronaut on the moon. The Moon Person is crafted with great care by Society Awards. It is an immense honor to have our work featured at the Museum of the City of New York.


Click here to buy tickets to the exhibition.

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