Staten Island Museum

Staten Island Museum

The Staten Island Museum stands as the oldest cultural organization on Staten Island. It serves as a vital cultural and educational hub, offering a diverse range of exhibits and programs that span natural science, art, and history.

Often referred to as a “Mini Smithsonian” due to the breadth of its collections, the museum’s offerings include ancient artifacts, contemporary art, and extensive natural history specimens​​.

Located on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the museum is dedicated to sparking curiosity and providing meaningful shared experiences to deepen the understanding of our environment, ourselves, and each other​.

Visitor Information

Museum Hours:

The Staten Island Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM​​.

Location and Directions:

The museum is situated on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, Staten Island, NY 10301. Free parking is available on-site in lots P3 and P4, with additional parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. The museum can be accessed through the North Gate along Richmond Terrace​​.

Admission Fees and Ticket Purchasing:

Admission fees are as follows:

  • Adults: $8.00
  • Students and Seniors: $5.00
  • Children (2-12): $2.00
  • Museum Members: Free
  • Caregivers accompanying visitors with disabilities: Free
  • Active duty and retired veterans with ID: Free

For groups of ten or more, it is advised to contact the Visitor Experience department in advance​​.

Accessibility Information and Health Guidelines:

The Staten Island Museum is wheelchair accessible and prioritizes visitor health and safety. Detailed health guidelines and visitor regulations are available to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all​.

Exhibits and Collections

Current Exhibitions:

The museum features a variety of current exhibitions, including “The Black Angels of Sea View Hospital,” which explores the contributions of Black nurses during the mid-20th century​​.

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Mastodon Exhibit at Staten Island Museum

Insect Preservation Display at Staten Island Museum

Permanent Collections:

The museum’s permanent collections include a diverse range of artifacts:

  • Art: Includes pieces from ancient Egyptian sculpture to contemporary works by Staten Island artists. Notable collections feature Renaissance paintings, Hudson River School landscapes, and modern art by artists like Andy Warhol and Marc Chagall​​.
  • Natural Science: Houses extensive natural history specimens, such as birds, and mammals, and a comprehensive record of the region’s biodiversity spanning over 140 years​​.
  • Historical Artifacts: Features items like authentic land grants from the 17th century and a 1776 military document signed by British Commander William Howe​​.
Natural History Exhibit at Staten Island Museum

Exhibit Hall at Staten Island Museum

Historical and Natural Artifacts at Staten Island Museum

Notable Past and Upcoming Exhibitions:

Past exhibitions include “Remember the Mastodon,” highlighting diversity and preservation, and “Staten Island SEEN,” showcasing the borough’s history through art. Upcoming exhibitions are regularly updated and can be explored through the museum’s website.

Educational Programs

Programs for Students and Families:

The Staten Island Museum offers a variety of educational programs designed for students and families. These include hands-on workshops, guided tours, and interactive exhibits that focus on enhancing learning in natural science, art, and history. Programs are tailored to different age groups and educational levels, ensuring engaging and informative experiences for all participants.

Virtual Learning Opportunities and Resources:

For those unable to visit in person, the museum provides a range of virtual learning opportunities. These include online exhibits, virtual tours, and interactive activities that can be accessed from home. The museum’s website offers resources for teachers and parents to facilitate learning and exploration outside the traditional classroom setting​​.

Workshops and Field Trips:

The museum organizes workshops that cover various topics in science, art, and history, allowing participants to engage deeply with the material through practical activities. Additionally, field trips to the museum provide students with a dynamic educational experience, combining guided tours with hands-on learning. Schools and educational groups can schedule visits to take advantage of these immersive learning opportunities​.

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Historical Significance

Founding and Early Years:

The Staten Island Museum traces its origins to 1881 when 14 young naturalists pooled their collections and research efforts to preserve the natural objects of Staten Island amidst rapid urban growth. Officially established as a public museum in 1908, it aimed to create a comprehensive cultural resource within the community. The museum’s early focus was on environmental preservation and recording the region’s biodiversity​​.

Role in Establishing Other Cultural Institutions:

The museum has been instrumental in the founding of several significant local cultural institutions. These include the Staten Island Zoo, the Staten Island Historical Society, and the New York Botanical Garden. The museum’s early leaders and members played pivotal roles in these establishments, contributing to Staten Island’s rich cultural landscape​​.

Contributions to Environmental and Cultural Preservation:

Throughout its history, the Staten Island Museum has made significant contributions to the preservation of the island’s natural and cultural heritage. It has participated in efforts to preserve areas such as High Rock Park and the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge. The museum continues to maintain and expand its collections, which serve as an invaluable record of the region’s changing biodiversity over more than 150 years​.

Support and Membership

Ways to Support:

The Staten Island Museum offers various ways for individuals and organizations to support its mission. Donations can be made directly to the museum, and memberships are available for those who wish to support the museum while enjoying various benefits such as free admission and special event invitations​​.

Fundraising Events:

The museum hosts annual fundraising events, including the Staten Island Museum Gala. This event is a key fundraiser, bringing together supporters to celebrate and contribute to the museum’s ongoing programs and initiatives​​.

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Volunteer and Corporate Support:

Opportunities for volunteer involvement are available, allowing community members to contribute their time and skills to the museum’s operations and events. Additionally, corporate support options include sponsorships, planned giving, and corporate memberships, providing businesses with the chance to partner with the museum in promoting cultural and educational activities​.

Online and Virtual Resources

Virtual Exhibitions and Online Resources:

The Staten Island Museum offers a range of virtual exhibitions and online resources that allow visitors to explore its collections and programs from anywhere. These virtual offerings include detailed exhibits on historical and contemporary topics, such as the “Apart Together” exhibition which examines the legacy of Black nurses at Sea View Hospital​​.

Accessing and Utilizing Virtual Offerings:

To access these virtual resources, visitors can visit the museum’s official website, where they will find links to online exhibitions, virtual tours, and educational materials. The website also provides activities and resources for at-home learning, making it easy for individuals and families to engage with the museum’s content remotely. The museum’s virtual programs are designed to be interactive and educational, offering a comprehensive experience that complements in-person visits.

Conclusion

The Staten Island Museum stands as a cornerstone of cultural and educational enrichment in Staten Island. With its extensive collections, diverse exhibitions, and comprehensive educational programs, the museum plays a crucial role in preserving and showcasing the region’s natural, artistic, and historical heritage.

Whether you visit in person or explore its virtual offerings, the Staten Island Museum provides valuable experiences that foster curiosity and understanding. Support from visitors and donors is essential to continue these efforts. Plan a visit or consider supporting the museum through donations, memberships, or participation in fundraising events to help sustain this important cultural institution.

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