WNYC News – Visiting every museum in New York City

As part of their weekend edition, WNYC interviewed Jane August to ask about her amazing project to visit all of NYC’s museums. Having visited more than 100 to date, they asked her to recommend two. She picked us as the first, for which we will be eternally grateful!!

To hear the full piece, listen below. Or read the transcript of the first part right after.

David First: It’s weekend edition on WNYC. I’m David First. If you had to guess how many museums are in New York City, most people can name the Met, MoMA, the Museum of Natural History, the Whitney. Maybe the Brooklyn Museum. Turns out there are over 170 museums, and Jane August is visiting every single one. She’s documenting that journey on TikTok, and Jane joins us now to explain why she’s doing this. Jane, welcome.

Jane August: Thank you.

David First : This sounds like a lot of fun, but also very time consuming. What made you want to visit every single Museum?

Jane August: Well, in February of 21, I was still furloughed from a job in the music industry. I work in live music, and I really needed to get out of my house, I needed to feel like fulfilled in some way, like my brain was working, that wasn’t just me watching movies in my house. Movie theaters were closed. Theaters were closed. Concert venues are closed. But the one art thing that was still open or that reopened were museums. And you know, my friends had gone to the Brooklyn Museum in the fall and realized that that’s a great way to experience art and learn things and not have to be close to strangers at all. So that’s kind of how it started

David First: Visiting a museum, you know, that’s a nice way to get started. But that is not deciding to visit every single Museum.

Jane August: Well, so I started looking up what museums there are. And I realized there’s a bunch. I was like, hey, what if I visit them all. I like hefty goals. I like having something to do. So I felt like that’s one that I could accomplish in the next couple of years or so.

David First: So you posted that on TikTok. And what happened?

Jane August: If I was going to visit all the museums, I wanted to have some sort of documentation of it, at least for me, maybe for others who were interested in. And so I went to my first museums, and then I made a video saying, I’m going to visit all the museums in New York City. And it kind of went viral overnight. And suddenly, I had 1000s of followers who are interested in this museum project of mine.

David First:You’ve been to over 100 museums in the past three years. What museums really stand out for you, maybe a few that might not be the most obvious choices.

Jane August: Recently, I went to the Brooklyn seltzer museum that recently opened and that one was really fun.

David First: The Brooklyn seltzer Museum.

Jane August: Yeah.

David First: Is it what it sounds like? It is a museum of seltzer?

Jane August: Yeah, it’s about the history of seltzer and the history of seltzer in New York City. And it’s at a seltzer factory where they make and bottle Seltzer and then deliver it around to New York in the tri-state area.

David First: Very fun. This does sound like it might be a slightly shorter trip than a visit to the Met.

Jane August: Yeah, it’s about like an hour tour (and that’s depends on how long you want to spend the Met.)

David First: But that’s a cool museum?

Jane August: Yeah, I really enjoyed that one. They had interns help build it. And it’s just like, this fourth generation of this family that’s running this factory and then Alex, who’s like the fourth generation, to run it. He’s like, I’m gonna make a museums to uphold the history. It’s very cool.