Obscura Society NYC: Thomas Stathes Cartoon Carnival

When the Snow Flies (Paul Terry, 1927), Tom Stathes Collection

January 25th: Join archivist and projectionist, Tom Stathes, for a special screening celebrating the seasons
As Winter 2013 draws on, Tom Stathes has curated animated cartoons from the 1920s-1930s for every season of the year. Searching his vast stacks of 16mm animation rarities and Tom has hand-selected a wide array of gems: frolicking Springtime fun and hot Summer calamities for those with a warmer temperament, and breezy, cool Autumn shenanigans as well as snowy Winter escapades for those who relish the cold months. For a glimpse into past visions of the seasons as depicted by the merry-makers of early film animation, come enjoy the latest screening–shown in real 16mm film, with a real projector–a unique experience you’ll be sure to enjoy!

Tom Stathes is a Cartoon Cryptozoologist, with a rare film print collection comprised of over 1,000 shorts. His archive consists of everything from Felix the Cat and Farmer Alfalfa to silent reels from Bray Studios and Out of the Inkwell. A native-New Yorker, he turned his passion for the city’s animation legacy into a preservation mission. With his Bray Animation Project, he has worked with several film and comic historians to document the studios invaluable output. For more information go to cartoonsonfilm.com or brayanimation.weebly.com.

This is a part of “Atlas Obscura’s Speakers” series at the Observatory.

For ticket information CLICK HERE.


The Obscura Society is the real world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura.

Find out more, and join our local events announcement list here.

The Fall of the American Movie Palace

Join photographer, Matt Lambros, for an illustrated lecture about the death of the country’s greatest and grandest movie theaters.


Date: Monday, December 3rd

Time: 7:30pm

Presented by Atlas Obscura


There’s nothing remarkable about a movie theater today, but there used to be. When the great American Movie Palaces opened, they were some of the most lavish, stunning buildings anyone had ever seen. With the birth of the multiplex, theater companies found it harder and harder to keep these buildings open. Some were demolished, some were converted, and some remain to this day. “The Fall of the American Movie Palace” will take you through the history of these magnificent buildings, from their opening in the early 1900s to years after the final curtain.

Matt Lambros is an architectural photographer who began photographing abandoned buildings ten years ago. Struck by both the sadness and extreme beauty of the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, he began further exploration into the history and architecture of early Twentieth Century American theaters. A graduate of Boston University’s digital imaging and photojournalism programs, Mr. Lambros has since been documenting the decay of America’s abandoned theaters in the hope of shedding light on these forgotten buildings and the efforts to repurpose them. Part of raising awareness for these treasures is his involvement with various organizations who work to restore and reopen abandoned theaters in the United States. Mr. Lambros has donated time and photographs to support such organizations as the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, who in 2009 acquired the historic Victory Theatre, derelict since 1979. Recently, Mr. Lambros’ abandoned theater photography has been featured in several publications, including Gawker, Gothamist, Curbed, and The New York Times. His work will soon be featured in several northeast art galleries. For more information go to www.afterthefinalcurtain.net and www.mlambrosphotography.com.

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4687750187?ref=elink

Kinema ikon’s Esoteric Underground, Romania 1970-1989: An Illustrated Presentation by Ileana Selejan

Rodica Valentin & Iosif Stroia, 1983

Date: Friday, December 7th

Time: 8pm

Admission: $5

Presented by: Shannon Taggart

With supplies salvaged from their day jobs as filmmakers during the Ceauşescu regime, kinema ikon produced sixty-two 16mm films between 1970 and 1989. Their work is a prime example of the avant-garde art resistance movements operating within the confines of the totalitarian state. Kinema ikon’s interdisciplinary approach to art and technology was a counterpoint to the single channel, linear modus operandi of the communist apparatus. Despite the significance of their art, it has rarely been shown or seen.

Ileana Selejan will talk about her personal experience of coming to know some of the members of kinema ikon and her introduction to their archive. While sharing their work, Ileana will discuss its subversive aesthetic foundations and how it has the power and potential to revise the memory of repression.

 Ileana Selejan is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, at New York University. She is writing a dissertation on esthetics and the representation of war in contemporary photography. Originally from Romania, Ileana has lived and worked in New York for the past 5 years.

Morbid Anatomy Library Open Studios

Dates: Saturday October 13 and Sunday October 14
Time: 12-6
Admission: FREE
Produced by Morbid Anatomy

This weekend, October 13th and 14th, please join the Morbid Anatomy Library as we join dozens of other Gowanus-based galleries and artist studios in opening our spaces to the public for the Gowanus Artists Studio Tour, or “A.G.A.S.T.”

So stop by, peruse the stacks, take a gander at the human articulated skeleton, and join us for a glass (or 3) of cheap red wine.

Directions: Enter the Morbid Anatomy Library and Observatory via Proteus Gowanus GalleryR or M train to Union Street in Brooklyn: Walk two long blocks on Union (towards the Gowanus Canal) to Nevins Street. 543 Union Street is the large red brick building on right. Go right on Nevins and left down alley through large black gates. Gallery is the second door on the left.

F or G train to Carroll Street: Walk one block to Union. Turn right, walk two long blocks on Union towards the Gowanus Canal, cross the bridge, take left on Nevins, go down the alley to the second door on the left.

You can find out more information about A.G.A.S.T., and get a full list of participants, by clicking here. You can find out more about Observatory and the exhibition now on view by clicking here.

Photo of The Morbid Anatomy Library by Shannon Taggart.


The Spirit Art of Stanley Matrunick

Gallery Hours: Thursdays & Fridays 3-6pm, Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm

Stanley Matrunick (1906 – 1995) was a medium and Spiritualist minister who channeled portraits of Ascended Masters, guardians and loved ones from the other side. With the help of spirit guides, Rev. Stanley began creating spirit art in 1954 at the White Lily Chapel in Ashley, Ohio. He was then led to travel across the United States for 40 years doing portraits and readings. His work was often featured on television, radio and in print.

The art presented here is from the private collection of Ron Nagy, historian of Lily Dale, NY, the world’s largest Spiritualist community. Also included are materials about Stanley Matrunick provided by his former student, Sakina Blue –Star of Sedona, Arizona.

About the Curator -

Shannon Taggart is a photographer based in Brooklyn and a member of Observatory. Since 2001, she has been working on a project about Modern Spiritualism. Her images have appeared in publications including Blind Spot, Tokion, TIME and The New York Times Magazine. Her photographs have been shown at Photoworks in Brighton, England, The Photographic Resource Center in Boston, Redux Pictures in New York, the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles and the New Gallery in Houston.

“Ecstatic Raptures and Immaculate Corpses: Visions of Death Made Beautiful in Italy” Exhibition Opening Party

Head of Saint Vittoria, crafted of wax, hair and what looks like human teeth, church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, Italy; from the exhibition “Ecstatic Raptures and Immaculate Corpses”

“Ecstatic Raptures and Immaculate Corpses: Visions of Death Made Beautiful in Italy” Exhibition Opening Party
Date: Thursday September 6
Time: 6:00-8:00 PM
Location: The Last Tuesday Society
Address: ***Offsite at 11 Mare Street, London, E8 4RP

Admission: FREE
Produced by Morbid Anatomy
Click here to download Invitation

This Thursday, September 6, if you find yourself in London town, please join us for an opening party for an exhibition of photographs by Joanna Ebenstein of the Morbid Anatomy Blog, The Morbid Anatomy Library and Observatory with waxworks by Eleanor Crook and Sigrid Sarda.
In her many projects, ranging from photography to curation to writing, New York based Joanna Ebenstein utilizes a combination of art and scholarship to tease out the ways in which the pre-rational roots of modernity are sublimated into ostensibly “purely rational” cultural activities such as science and medicine.Much of her work uses this approach to investigate historical moments or artifacts where art and science, death and beauty, spectacle and edification, faith and empiricism meet in ways that trouble contemporary categorical expectations.In the exhibition “Ecstatic Raptures and Immaculate Corpses” Ebenstein turns this approach to an examination of the uncanny and powerfully resonant representations of the dead, martyred, and anatomized body in Italy, monuments to humankind’s quest to eternally preserve the corporeal body and defeat death in arenas sacred and profane.

The artifacts she finds in both the churches, charnel houeses and anatomical museums of Italy complicate our ideas of the proper roles of–and divisions between–science and religion, death and beauty; art and science; eros and thanatos; sacred and profane; body and soul.

In this exhibition, you will be introduced to tantalizing visions of death made beautiful, uncanny monuments to the human dream of life eternal. You will meet “Blessed Ismelda Lambertini,” an adolescent who fell into a fatal swoon of overwhelming joy at the moment of her first communion with Jesus Christ, now commemorated in a chillingly beautiful wax effigy in a Bolognese church; The Slashed Beauty, swooning with a grace at once spiritual and worldly as she makes a solemn offering of her immaculate viscera; Saint Vittoria, with slashed neck and golden ringlets, her waxen form reliquary to her own powerful bones; and the magnificent and troubling Anatomical Venuses, rapturously ecstatic life-sized wax women reclining voluptuously on silk and velvet cushions, asleep in their crystal coffins, awaiting animation by inquisitive hands eager to dissect them into their dozens of demountable, exactingly anatomically correct, wax parts.

You can find out more about the show here, and view more images by clicking here.

Over the Rainbow, Under the Radar: Electromagnetic Infrastructure and Outpost Architecture in the Arctic

Title: Das Eismeer aus Licht NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day, Feb 8, 2011 Image Credit: © Charles Stankievech + Anna Sophie Springer, 2011 Questions + Requests for permission for publication: studio@stankievech.net

Title: Das Eismeer aus Licht NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day, Feb 8, 2011 Image Credit: © Charles Stankievech + Anna Sophie Springer, 2011 Questions + Requests for permission for publication: studio@stankievech.net

Sunday, May 20
$5 admission

Lecture and audiovisual presentation by Charles Stankievech

Over the Rainbow, Under the Radar is an audiovisual presentation of artist Charles Stankievech’s experience of the Arctic as a hybrid zone of brute reality and fantasy projection. Combining archival material, scientific theories, geopolitical maps and the artist’s own fieldworks, the lecture engages ideas of military colonialism and communication technology embedded in the sublime landscape. Stemming from Stankievech’s time living in Northern Canada and travelling to remote military outposts, Over the Rainbow draws from primary research ranging from his visit to the archives at Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology as well as a residency with the Canadian Department of National Defense at the northernmost settlement in the world (the Signals Intelligence Station ALERT). The resulting material includes images and video taken by the artist published by NASA and commissioned by the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, as well as shown in museums and galleries from Palais de Toyko, Paris to the Musee d’art Contemporain in Montréal. The lecture was originally commissioned for the Phyllis Lambert Seminar 2011 at Université de Montréal.

This event is co-presented by Observatory and SP Weather Station. For more information visit: SP Weather Station

LUNATION: Art on the Moon

Art on the Moon

Observatory’s first group-curated show  •  January 7 – February 26, 2012

View show images here

Opening Party: Saturday, January 7th, 7–10 PM, FREE
Closing Party/Observatory’s 3rd Anniversary Fundraiser: Saturday, February 18th, 8 PM/$20
Show Viewing Hours: Thursday & Friday 3–6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 12–6 PM

Artists and scientists have always been attracted to the moon…
Our closest celestial neighbor, the earth’s little sister, the moon creates the tides and illuminates the woods at night. For centuries, humanity believed the moon provided a key into the invisible realm: it called out the beast within us, freeing us to act as wolves, to run, to dance, to chant—and sometimes (as in Duncan Jones’ Moon) to split in two, to find our double, our changeling moon-self.

Is the moon home to life? Today we know it isn’t, but even as of 1830, speculation was rampant that the moon was inhabited by Christianized bat-people who worshiped in great ziggurats. (See The Sun and the Moon by Observatory alumnus Matthew Goodman for details.) Still, life comes to the moon. We know the moon contains frozen water, and we dream of using it as our jumping-off point for visiting even more alien vistas.

Down here, despite all the prowess and nuance of our latest telescopes, earthlings still look up naked-eyed with excitement at the full moon. Lovers and children gaze up at its slowly blinking façade in mute wonder. Artists portray the moon as a source of danger and power, and latter-day sorceresses and men of magic call up to that heavenly lamp, seeking to transcend the ordinary night. For them, the old myths have not changed so much: the moon is still a secret mirror, showing in pale light how the familiar contains always an element of the unexpected…

Artists Included

LUNATION Dates to Save:

Moonshot Magazine’s “Secret Issue” Reading and Release Party

moonshot3cover Date: Monday, November 21st
Time: 7pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation
Presented by: Phantasmaphile

Moonshot will be celebrating the release of its third print issue, “Secret”, with a reading and reception. From adults glimpsing into the strange occurrences of childhood to poems invoking spirits in a language of their own, “Secret” is a force of arresting writing and art. We sought the uncanny, the hidden, and the immeasurable and placed it inside these pages. This issue includes a special collection of artwork curated by PULP Projects.

Moonshot, a magazine of the literary and fine arts, was conceived in 2009 to provide an equal opportunity space for writers and artists based solely on the merits of their work. Moonshot’s mission is to eliminate the social challenges of publishing–encouraging all types of writers and artists to submit their work in the pursuit of exposing their creations to a wider range of audiences. It is our goal to utilize traditional printing techniques as well as new technologies and media arts to feature voices from all over the globe. Moonshot celebrates storytelling of all forms, embraces the dissemination of media, and champions diverse creators to construct an innovative and original literary magazine.

Exhibition: The Corrigan Family Oddments


Satisfied Nicotine Freaks, Dennis Corrigan, Oil on Canvas

An exhibition curated by G. F. Newland
Exhibition Opening Party: Friday, June 17, 7-10pm
On View: Friday June 17 – July 23, 2011
Hours: Thursdays & Fridays 3-6pm; Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm

Greetings Art fans! In celebration of Father’s Day, the Observatory Things-That-Move Dept. invites you all to take a peek at procreation! In nature, talents can be predisposed, and passed on from generation to generation. Families like the Gentileschis, the Peales, the Bachs, the Wyethes, and most recently, the Kominsky-Crumbs have all made a strong case for this heredity thing; the Bush presidencies, not so much, but hey, it’s a crap shoot! Anyway, our latest show is about a wee dynasty of painters named Corrigan, and through their family oddments, we will examine art, eccentricity, and the vagaries of genetic code.

The Corrigan Family Oddments features the work of Dennis Corrigan and his two adult daughters, Sara and Becky. Dennis Corrigan–the family patriarch–rose to prominence in the art world of the late 1960s after returning from his tour of duty in the Philippines during the Vietnam war. He continues to pursue an active studio life involving the production of intricate and creepy yet humorous paintings, and film projects based on puppet characters derived from those paintings. His work resides in museums and galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum or Art and the Brooklyn Museum. Sara, his oldest daughter, is a filmmaker and film-editor who has worked with such luminaries as Woody Allen; her fine art work consists of bizarre images of an imaginary and desperate Marilyn Monroe wannabe. These delightful yet deranged little paintings are created in oil on canvas. Becky, the youngest daughter, works as a singer-songwriter and physical therapist while creating very simple line drawings of ludicrous characters and more complex oil portraits of people on the edge.

This promises to be a most enjoyable show revealing the concepts and skills, similarities and differences of a very talented and humorous family of artists.