New York ice skating exhibition tracks sport’s development

Ice skating has been a winter pastime for generations of New Yorkers.

The sport is much older than you might expect. Experts believe the first skaters took to the ice in Finland around 3,000 years ago.

New York ice

Ice skating used to be practised on ponds, lakes and rivers 

Ice skating was popularised in the Netherlands, and when the first Dutch colonists arrived in the US they brought their skates with them.

Today it's a huge industry in the city – with hundreds of thousands strapping their skates on at iconic locations like Central Park and the Rockefeller Center every year. 

Until April 15, the Museum of the City of New York is hosting New York on Ice – an exhibition that shows how the hobby has developed since the 1800s.

Curator Frances Rosenfeld said: “New York on Ice presents the story of skating in the city over the last 160 years as both a pastime enjoyed by generations of New Yorkers and as a highly specialized area of performances, professional athletics, and commercial spectacle.

“This exhibition provides a fascinating window into many different aspects of New York City life, including the history of popular culture and nightlife, the development of public parks, and the rise of Midtown Manhattan as an entertainment district.

“Skating is a seemingly innocuous topic that turns out to have great depths.”

We have a charming signed animation cel from Disney’s Once Upon a Wintertime featuring a pair of ice skaters.

Find out more here.

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