Germ City

Microbes and the Metropolis

Opens September 14, 2018

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A fascinating look at New York City's battle against infectious disease.

Man and microbes have always co-habited, and their relationship has had a profound influence on human history—especially in cities, the crossroads of the movements of people, goods, and germs. Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis explores the complex story of New York’s long battle against infectious disease—a fight involving government, urban planners, medical professionals, businesses, and activists. It reveals how our understanding of disease has changed us physically, socially, and culturally, and the surprising interplay between people and pathogens in an urban context.

The exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust’s Contagious Cities project—an international exploration of how diseases shape cities and cities shape disease. Drawing on the model of the Wellcome Collection’s “Reading Room,” Germ City features a hybrid gallery and library where visitors can view historical artifacts alongside contemporary artworks created for the exhibition, delve into the exhibition’s themes with a curated selection of books, and access a wide range of perspectives through digital interactives.

 

D. Appleton and Company, Sanitary and Social Chart of the Fourth Ward of the City of New York …, c. 1865. Museum of the City of New York, 37.152.8

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with The New York Academy of Medicine, and supported by Wellcome as part of Contagious Cities.

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