Note: The images in this article, with the exception of the photograph of Rory Mulligan, are photographs of Rory Mulligan's photographs. The colorful photographs are part of Mulligan's "Auguries" exhibition in Grand Central Station.
Feb. 7, 2024: If you have taken the train from Bronxville to New York recently, you may have arrived on the concourse level of Grand Central Station where you saw bright and colorful photographs in lightboxes on the walls.
What you may not know is that these photographs were taken by Rory Mulligan, who is from Bronxville.
Mulligan's exhibition in Grand Central Station came about because he was approached by the director of the MTA Arts & Design photography program to exhibit there. The MTA Arts and Design program is one of the largest collections of public art in the world.
Mulligan’s collection is titled “Auguries” and includes 20 photographs of birds in “unexpected settings.” Mulligan shot these photographs in 2021 during the Covid lockdown when he was spending more time in his backyard in Hastings on Hudson.
In addition to this collection, Mulligan’s work has been featured nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Light Work.
Rory Mulligan and Bronxville
So, what is Rory Mulligan's Bronxville connection?
Rory Mulligan was born at Lawrence Hospital, grew up in Bronxville, and graduated from St. Joseph School. He then went on to Fordham Prep and then to Fordham University at their Lincoln Center campus.
Mulligan chose Fordham University over other schools because he wanted to be in New York City and also because he has a family connection to the school - - his grandfather, William Hughes Mulligan, was Dean of Fordham Law School from 1956 to 1971.
When Rory Mulligan arrived at Fordham University, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study. He was interested in classical language, physiology, urban history, and more. “I changed my major five times,” he said.
He settled on majoring in the Visual Arts, which included courses in architecture, art, film, graphic design, painting and drawing, and photography. The program was based at the Fordham campus at Lincoln Center which made it easy for Mulligan to visit all the great New York museums.
By junior year in college, Mulligan discovered that he loved photography and for his senior year Capstone Project, Mulligan created an exhibition of black and white photographs of Bronxville and Yonkers during the day and at night. His photos showed the difference between the busy streets and places during the day and the absolute quiet of the night.
Mulligan graduated from Fordham in 2006 and took a job in a black-and-white photo lab, which enabled him to continue to work on his photography and also gave him access to a dark room. At that time, Mulligan’s work was all black and white and primarily focused on portraits, self-portraits, and everyday surroundings.
In 2008, Mulligan enrolled in the Master's in Fine Arts program at Yale University. He was drawn to Yale because it is the top photography program in the world and a number of his mentors had gone there or were teaching there. Additionally, he liked that the focus at Yale was on creating work rather than conceptualizing.
He graduated from Yale in 2010 and went on to teach at Drew University where he is now an Assistant Teaching Professor of Art. He is also co-teaching a class at Princeton University.
On your next trip to New York City, be sure to build in extra time to see Rory Mulligan’s "Auguries" collection. It’s a sheer delight!
The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.
The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.
The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.
Executive Director: Kathleen Suss
Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art
171 White Plains Rd
99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
117 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708