PARRISH ART MUSEUM SCREENS
CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY
A CHRONICLE OF ACTIVIST JANE JACOBS’S FIGHT TO SAVE HISTORIC NEW YORK NEIGHBORHOODS FROM ROBERT MOSES’S DRASTIC REDEVELOPMENT PLANS.
After the screening, Sunday, April 30, 2pm, award-winning journalist Robert Brandes Gratz and author/land use expert Peter M. Wolf discuss Jacobs’s legacy in a present-day context.
Photo of Jane Jacobs from Matt Tyrnauer’s Citizen Jane: Battle for the City. Courtesy of Ifc Films. A Sundance Selects Release.
The Parrish Art Museum, in collaboration with the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, will screen the timely, inspiring documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City(2017, 92 minutes), chronicling legendary writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs in her battle to save historic New York City neighborhoods from the draconian redevelopment plans of Robert Moses in the 1950s and ‘60s. Following the screening, award-winning journalist/urban critic Roberta Brandes Gratz and author/land use expert Peter M. Wolf will discuss Jacobs’s legacy.
The film—the second program of the Museum’s Inter-Sections: The Architect in Conversation series—will be shown on Sunday, April 30 at a 2pm matinee.
“I am excited to screen this excellent documentary on urban citizenry and to welcome two experts on the topic,” said Corinne Erni, Curator of Special Projects. “Roberta Brandes Gratz and Peter M. Wolf will take the Jacobs-Moses battle into the realm of today’s most urgent urban development issues.”
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, directed by Matt Tyrnauer, was an official selection at the DOC NYC Film Festival, International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (idfa), and Toronto International Film Festival, where it premiered in 2016. The film retraces the battles between Jacobs, a journalist and activist, and Moses, a city planner who simultaneously held twelve titles (including NYC Parks Commissioner and Chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission), but was never elected to public office. Moses’s urban planning was criticized for destroying traditional neighborhoods by building expressways through them, anddisplacing thousands of New Yorkers.
Jacobs first took on—and succeeded in stopping—Moses’s plan in 1955 to extend Fifth Avenue through the center of Washington Square Park in her Greenwich Village neighborhood. In 1959, Jacobs waged a longer fight against the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, a 10-lane highway through SoHo and Little Italy that required the demolition of 416 building, which was finally scrapped in 1962. Tyrnauer’s film includes clips from the 1920s through 1960s, including clips of Moses from the ‘50s and ‘60s.
About the Speakers
Roberta Brandes Gratz
Roberta Brandes Gratz is an international lecturer on urban development issues and a former award-winning reporter for the New York Post. She is the author of We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City; The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way; and Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown. In 2001, she wrote a report for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund about community revitalization in Europe. Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed her to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2003, and in 2010 to the Sustainability Advisory Board for PlaNYC.
Peter M. Wolf
Peter M. Wolf is the author of six books, including his new memoir My New Orleans, Gone Away, which captures the fabled town of his youth and delves into the aspirations, expectations and disappointments of his post-war generation. Wolf was elected Chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, and appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture at Cooper Union. In his career, he has earned a Fulbright Fellowship; received honors, awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; and was twice selected a Visiting Artist/Scholar at the American Academy in Rome.
Film: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
Produced and Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
2017, 92 minutes
Sunday, April 30, 2 pm
$20 | $5 Members; Includes Museum admission.
Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.