It’s no secret that modern-day stereotypes tend to distract from the three-century history of Staten Island—the borough that, even among non-New Yorkers, seems to repeatedly receive the short end of our “cultural criticism” shtick. Although it may not be out to right our reality-TV wrongs, From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012
reviews the island’s transition from an agricultural center to a residential refuge outside the grasp of a modernizing city to, lately, an area that’s slowly and with some resistance being brought into the gritty urban fold. The exhibit uses maps, photographs, newspapers, government documents, and other artifacts to track the area’s growth and diversification, homing in on the Fresh Kills
landfill-turned-park as a case study for examining the crosshairs of local preservationist and redevelopment efforts. Opening Sept. 12, the exhibit will run through Jan. 21 and will feature a companion website.