Staten Island Museum

1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, Staten Island, NY 10301 - United States





Founded in 1881 the Staten Island Museum engages visitors with interdisciplinary exhibitions, public programs, and educational activities for all ages.

It is the mission of the Staten Island Museum to spark curiosity and generate meaningful shared experiences through natural science, art, and history to deepen understanding of our environment, ourselves, and each other.


Jennifer Angus: Magicicada

Using responsibly-collected and preserved specimens, the artist Jennifer Angus creates site-specific installations of insects pinned directly to a wall and other surfaces creating exquisite patterns reminiscent of textiles or wallpaper. Angus’ intricate installations reveal themselves up close to be comprised of actual insects, often species that would not traditionally be considered beautiful, confounding viewer expectations. Her work motivates viewers to understand the role insects have in our ecosystem and the importance of biodiversity. In preparation for the exhibition, Jennifer Angus spent time in the Museum’s collections, including one of the world’s largest collections of cicadas, to find inspiration and inform her resulting artwork.

What happened to the Mastodons of Staten Island?

The jumbo molar and other fossilized bones of Mammut americanum found on Staten Island tells us that these giants once called the borough home. Finds like these were wondrous for the people of the 18th and 19th centuries. Today too, it is incredible to imagine 10,000 pound beasts roaming the boroughs of New York City. Their presence on Staten Island serves as a dramatic lesson about extinction and habitat change.

Remember the Mastodon is about the hard facts of extinction, the wonder of enduring species, the importance of biodiversity, and the challenge of preservation. It uses the Museum’s 150-plus year collection of flora, fauna, and fossils to show what survival and loss are about.
The jumbo molar and other fossilized bones of Mammut americanum found on Staten Island tell us that these giants once called the borough home. The Museum’s giant tooth indicates that huge megafauna existed on Staten Island 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago but was lost by the end of the Pleistocene epoch (Ice Age). Why these creatures disappeared is a highly debated question.

A Richmond County Savings Foundation Exhibition with additional funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The exhibition traces the borough’s unique history and landscape from the 17th century to the present. These works are by amateur and professional artists, working in a broad range of styles and materials.

Artists include the masters of the Hudson River School such as Edward Moran and Jasper Cropsey, a native Staten Islander, Cecil C. Bell, who lived on Staten Island and current talents alike.

The world comes to Staten Island via people and objects. The Staten Island Museum’s Opening the Treasure Box exhibition will present an array of art works, exploring their stories, collectors, techniques, differences, and similarities.

The Treasure Box gallery displays art objects from five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, North, and South America. Countries represented include China, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the United States. The oldest piece is an Egyptian funerary statuette of a striding man, dating from the second millennium BCE. Other works include an ancient Roman marble portrait head, a sculpture of the dancing Hindu god Ganesh, an intricately embroidered dragon robe from Imperial China, an elaborate Kuba Bwoom mask from the Congo, and extraordinary beaded moccasins made by Lakota Sioux women.

Because these objects from far-flung places are gathered here, you can see in one place what people everywhere share: Similar concerns regarding the desire for beauty and expressions of their religions, celebrations, conflicts, and burial practices, among other issues. While there will be a lot to absorb, this selection of objects will delight your eyes and your mind.

From Farm to City, A Richmond County Savings Foundation Legacy Exhibition

A glimpse into Staten Island’s unique history, its people, and the themes that resonate as collective truths on this unusual island using images and historic documents, audio interviews, and digital collections. This exhibition strives to reunite Islanders with their past and share the evolving story of New York City’s Borough of Parks with visitors. From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012 was created by the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibition focused on land-use on Staten Island. This legacy exhibition focuses on the people and themes that define the Island throughout history.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.