Hilary Ballon on The Greatest Grid

The Greatest Grid, Hilary Ballon

Hilary Ballon, author of The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011, will discuss the book, the very popular exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, and the grid itself,at The Tenement Museum tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30.

The book was also recently featured on The Bowery Boys, which calls The Greatest Grid “invaluable.” The review continues, “Published in a slender landscape binding, the book condenses the exhibition but allows for unabated curiosity and imaginative wanderings over vivid prints of aged topography.”

For those who can’t make it to the Museum of the City of New York, the review suggests that the book makes an excellent alternative, comparing it to the companion to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

[The Greatest Grid], stuffed with short essays and full-bodied artifact descriptions by museum staff, reprints almost every image from the show.

Many such exhibition books suffer from the transfer. As an extreme example, last year’s lustrous, blockbuster Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was rendered into a diminutive curio with its accompanying companion book. ‘The Greatest Grid’ suffers no such problem, especially to those of us who find tinted topographical maps and black-and-white images of old New York as scintillating as haute couture.

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