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MoMi Internet Cats exhibit: a timeline of the cat meme sensation

My favorite museum in the city isn’t the Met, nor is it the Whitney (THOUGH: it does come very close). In fact, it’s not even in Manhattan. But standing out with its simplistic and modernistic design on 35th Avenue in Astoria, Queens is one of the more unique museums in the city: the Museum of the Moving Image.

I went for the first time for Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men, where I was spoiled in getting to hangout in Don Draper’s office and Betty Draper’s kitchen. And now going on my second time at the space that’s theme is more than just any old museum (the entire inside of MoMi is supposed to look like a spaceship, inspired by Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey) is the much anticipated arrival of How Cats Took Over the Internet on display through the end of January.


Small in size but abundant with information and feline facts, one is able to enjoy an ongoing stream of famous cat videos like Vinyl Cat and Cute Cat Yoga, learn about cats and anthropomorphism, visualize decades of cat sensations including some of the originals like Nyan Cat and Cliche Kitty, and even make your own cat meme at the meme making station (check mine out!).


But while cats take over the Internet in the US, it’s not always the case around the world. In Russia for instance, there’s a different sort of animal trend: Hello Bear. In Brazil it’s goats and pigs, in Britain it’s all about the goat memes, which just goes to show cross-culturally we are very different, all animals considered.

If you’re a fan of cats or even just the Internet, make it out to the Museum of the Moving Image for this exhibit and also be on the lookout for Jim Henson’s more permanent installation coming later this year.

(photos via The Museum of the Moving Image)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.