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See how ice skating became a beloved NYC pastime in new exhibit

Travel through hundreds of years of NYC’s ice skating history at MCNY’s latest exhibit

A lithograph of the Empire City Skating Rink, ca. 1868
Courtesy of MCNY

Earlier this week, the Museum of the City of New York opened a new show celebrating the history of ice skating in NYC. New York on Ice, which opened to the public on Wednesday, explores the Dutch and British origins of ice skating in the city, and also ponders its future.

Moving through hundreds of years, the exhibit also looks at how ice skating became a favorite winter pastime in the 19th century, and how in the 20th century, ice skating arenas became the center of elaborate spectacles, and competitive sporting events.

MCNY is telling this story through all sorts of materials including paintings, posters, lithographs, costumes, and vintage photographs. If you do plan to stop by, you’ll be able to check out vintage photographs of a speed-skating race on the lake at Central Park, a ballpark flooded with skaters, also in Central Park, and skaters at Lasker Rink, and at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, among many other objects.

The show will run at MCNY until April 15, 2018. Here now is a peek at just some of the things the exhibit has to offer.

Red Dutton’s skates, ca. 1930
Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
Season ticket for admission to Fifth Avenue skating pond issued to Miss Isabel Place, 1863
Speed-skating race at The Lake, Central Park, ca. 1928.
Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive.
Skaters at Lasker Rink, 1967.
Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Kate Wollman Memorial Rink at Prospect Park, 1961.
Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Moonlight Skating - Central Park - The Terrace and the Lake, ca. 1878, by John O’Brien Inman.
Union Pond, Williamsburgh, L.I., ca. 1863, a lithograph by Thomas & Eno

Museum of the City of New York

1220 5th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10029 (212) 534-1672 Visit Website