• 1897First New York Mycological Club founded

    Our predecessor club was founded and led by author and writer Cornelia Bedford, partnering with renowned mycologist Lucien Underwood
  • 1962John Cage and friends found NYMS

    The present New York Mycological Society was founded in 1962 by the composer John Cage, Guy Nearing, Lois Long, Frank Ferrara and Esther Dam and a small group of other mushroom lovers and students. It was the culmination of a popular class on mushroom identification John had been teaching at The New School from 1959 onward.

    John Cage was committed to the principles of anarchy and his rules for the Society were simple: there are no rules.

    The other guidance he gave to the club was “All that is necessary is an annual program of lectures and walks and a banquet. Hopefully we will all more or less reap the benefits which include more experience and knowledge of mushrooms, pleasant hours and days in the woods and fields away from concrete and metropolitan air and the society of people who spend their working hours in a great variety of ways. (I get, for instance, to be with people who aren’t composers of experimental music, and this is refreshing.)” Learning, and the enjoyment of nature with a community of people from all walks of life continue to be at the center of the club’s activities today.
  • 1978Gary Lincoff Joins NYMS

    Gary Lincoff (October 3, 1942 – March 16, 2018) was a well-known mushroom expert, author of the bestselling Audubon Guide to mushrooms as well as many other books, a teacher at the New York Botanical Gardens, a leader of mushroom expeditions and forays all over the world, a popular speaker and many things besides.

    He was also a guiding star to the New York Mycological Society, leading many of our walks, summer or winter, rain or shine. His contagious enthusiasm and generously shared knowledge made our walks special and inspired many of our members to become passionate experts themselves. We were lucky to have him, and he is very much missed.

    Gary is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. His books continue to be available, his Audubon field guide to North American mushrooms remains a go-to guide for anyone interested in identifying fungi and his website contains a wealth of useful content. An inspiring interview with Gary can be found here . Learn more stories about Gary Lincoff from The New York Times’ obituary of Gary
  • 201250/100 celebration

    The club held a celebration event in honor of John Cage's 100th birthday and the club's 50th
  • 2018First iNaturalist observation

    We started documenting our observations of fungi in early 2018 and our project for New York fungi is now the most comprehensive documentation of fungal diversity in an urban environment
  • 2018First DNA sequence

    We got excited by the potential of DNA sequencing very early, joining the North American Mycoflora Project when it was first launched. We now have our own PCR lab and have sequenced hundreds of collections from our walks. We regularly do DNA sequencing workshops and DNA literacy is a core part of our mission
  • 2020First Zoom lecture

    The pandemic sparked a more distributed approach to knowledge sharing. We moved our lecture series and ID meetings online, attracting many new members who hadn't been able to to join us before. We now have over 40 great lectures on our YouTube channel and still come together every other Monday online to share knowledge and identifications.
  • 2022First Fungus Festival

    October 23, 2022 was the date of our very first Fungus Festival where we invited New Yorkers from all boroughs to meet us at the Randall's Island Urban Farm. Despite drizzly weather almost 1000 mushroom lovers showed up. Walks, lectures, displays, workshops, kids activities and food made it a great day. The first, but definitely not the last Fungus Festival!
  • 2023Myco Film Festival

    Our first film festival will take place on October 1, 2023
  • 2023Second annual Fungus Festival

    This took place on October 15, 2023.
  • TodayNYMS continues to grow

    NYMS is now the largest mycology club in the North East. We have 1,300+ members who enjoy our weekly year-round mushroom walks in the city and beyond, attend our ID meetings, lectures, workshops, picnics, book club meetings and festivals. Come join us!