Today, Eric Ferrara, the Executive Director of the Lower East Side History Project announced the Museum of the American Gangster will open in New York City this spring at 80 St. Marks Place, inside the historic Theater 80 building. The Museum of the American Gangster (MOAG) will take an intimate look at the American gangster with found artifacts and stories told from a firsthand perspective. The museum is currently working with a team of criminal authors and scholars, family members and the estates of notable crime figures. The goal is to create an enjoyable experience for both casual fans and historians. There will be a speakeasy, gift shop and “a maze of hidden rooms and artifacts in the basement left over from Prohibition.”
The museum’s website offers a sneak preview of the exhibits including The Early Life of “Lucky” Luciano and Gangsters in Hollywood. Aside from the exhibits, MOAG will offer dedicated research facilities, access to original source documents and articles, oral histories, workshops, walking tours, live performances, historic reenactments, lectures, movies and presentations. A limited preview will begin on March 7.
Eric Ferrara further explains in the press release:
MOAG’s goal is to objectively and authentically present the role that crime has played in shaping the politics, culture, myth and lore of New York City. Criminals will not be glorified or sensationalized, nor will they be vilified — rather, this institution intends to allow visitors insight into how and why criminals (on both sides of the law) chose the life they did.
[via EV Grieve]