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Special Exhibits

Cards by Kill Freeman
Wooden Rattle
Becoming the Bravest

October 2023 - April 2024

“Becoming the Bravest” highlights the journey and training every New York City firefighter has to take to become one. The focal point of this new exhibit will be that all firefighters—from the newly graduated to the highest-ranking uniformed member, the Chief of Department—all started in the same place: the Probationary Firefighters School at the Fire Academy. Using photographs, uniforms, helmets, patches, firefighter equipment and other unique artifacts from the Museum's collection, as well as information, photographs, and video supplied by the Department, the Museum will educate visitors about the incredible journey undertaken to become New York's Bravest. 

Becoming the Bravest
Colonial Firefighting & The American Revolution

Reopening March 13th - On Display Permanently

Colonial Firefighting Exhibit

Celebrate the untold story of a group of volunteers, the colonial-era firefighters, that stood between New York and disaster during years of rampant arson, wars for North America, and the American Revolution. Multimedia, video animations, and 3D models illustrate the major events of the colonial era, including a breathtaking video-animation of the devastating fire in 1776 that destroyed 500 buildings – homes, churches, schools, stores, and factories. Original artworks depict the Wall of Wall Street, the first fire engines, and 1770 New York neighborhoods. A free exhibition booklet will be provided to the first 1,000 attendees to the Museum starting March 13th.


This exhibition was made possible through a partnership with Bruce Twickler of Docema, LLC, Devan Calabrez, and their talented team.  

Firehouse: The Photography of Jill Freedman

On display through Winter 2023

Jill Freedman

Showcasing award-winning photographer Jill Freedman’s moving collection of photographs documenting New York City firefighters on the job in the ‘70s. Firehouse: The Photography of Jill Freedman. The exhibition features a number of images contained in Freedman’s book, Firehouse, which was released in 1977 and garnered rave reviews highlighting their honesty and grit that captured the danger, tragedy, heroism, and camaraderie of being a firefighter in New York City. CNN once described the photographs as “images that describe a community of men in their full humanity, heroic but not just heroes. Pictures of terrible danger meet moments of rough tenderness, then all gives way to goofball antics back at the station.

To create this display of heroism and heart, Freedman lived among the firefighters in the Bronx and Harlem for more than a year as she chronicled their work. She followed groups for six days at a time, sleeping in the backseat of cars or on the floor between engines. 

Jill Freedman Photo
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