katealexander01

Posts Tagged ‘Museum’

MOMA

In Manhattan on February 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

Now I know that everyone and their mother loves the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) so I was quite hesitant to write about it. MOMA certainly does not need a review from me when it gets more publicity than it can shake a stick at. But….and this is a big but…I went to MOMA this weekend. It wasn’t crowded, I didn’t want to pull my hair out, the exhibits were fair but not fantastic, and I had a really good time. 

My best suggestion for MOMA is NOT to go at 5.30 on a Friday evening. Target sponsors Free Fridays and New York City flocks to get around the hefty $20 admission fee (and this, friends, is not suggested). If you actually want to see some art and hang around the museum for a while it is worth getting up early on a Saturday morning (we were there right as it opened at 10.30) and paying the fee. There were few people around, benches were available, we could actually see the art – as opposed to jumping up and down trying to get a glance of whatever new installation is around.

I saw a great Jasper Johns exhibit of his late works on paper, a photo exhibit by Paul Graham, the Marlene Dumas exhibit of works on canvas and paint (which was painfully depressing and a bit too deep for Saturday morning). On the whole it was a lovely way to spend a weekend morning, crowd free.

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Museum of Art and Design

In Manhattan on February 6, 2009 at 11:34 am

The MAD Museum or the Museum of Art and Design opened its doors on its new building at 2 Columbus Circle in September of 2008. 

If you are feeling a bit warn out from the high intellectualism that much of contemporary art requires (which I often am), check out this place. There are pieces of furniture and design which are beautiful and a delight to see but don’t require the same sort of brain power and powers of intellectual appreciation.

Here are the opening hours:

Wed. – Sun. 11:00 am to 6:00 pm 
Thurs. 11:00 am to 9:00 pm 
Closed Mon., Tues. & Major Holidays

Noguchi Museum

In Queens on February 2, 2009 at 9:59 am

Isamu Noguchi was a prominent Japanese American design and sculpture artist who worked steadily for six decades. Some of his work is has been mass produced and can be seen in design stores like Room&Board but he also did stage design work for Martha Graham productions and other sculpture works.

The Noguchi Museum was opened in 1985 by the artist to display his work. He was very much opposed in his life to being displayed in traditional museums like MOMA where he work might have been shown. In order to get around his quarrels with these institutions he decided to create his own to his standards – he could thus display his work in any way he chose. The museum is the first to be opened purely for the purpose of displaying a single artist’s work.

The museum is currently located in Long Island City, Queens and housed in 13 galleries in a converted factory building and included a beautiful garden with sculptures within it.

This museum is unusual in a city with so much great art but very little focus on this intersection between art and design. Noguchi was a singular artist in this sense and is appreciated as such. I would highly recommend that anyone who comes to New York City see this museum. It is well worth the trek out to Queens (it’s not really a trek – Long Island City is the first stop over the bridge, but we are Manhattanites, afterall, and many people are too lethargic to get to all the exciting places outside of Manhattan).

The Cloisters

In Manhattan on January 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

The Cloisters are an offshoot of the Met but ALL the way up in Northern Manhattan right near the Hudson river on 190th St. Unless you have a car (or a gentle soul who will drive you up there) it can take an hour and a half or more with all the trains, buses and walking you’ll have to do to get there. But once you get there, it is well worth it. The Met has built a reproduction of a Medieval Church in which to house their medieval art collection including altarpieces, crucifixes and other churchly adornment. I know that medieval art isn’t the first thing to do on every tourist’s list of New York City To Do’s but this museum makes it all worth it. And even if you aren’t as interested by the art and gilded painting, the view of the Hudson from way up there is well worth it. I can imagine 100 years ago or so when the upper east side was suburbia – one day we’re going to be saying the same thing about 190th St. and the Cloisters. They will no doubt be smack in the middle of things like Mount Sinai Hospital (at 101st St.) or Tribeca is now. 

Neue Gallerie

In Manhattan on January 19, 2009 at 11:36 am

When I went to see this small, private museum it was still t-shirt weather in New York (i.e. it’s been a while) but I think this place warrants a post all the same. Neue Gallerie, literally the “New Gallery” in German is a wonder of a place and fully deserves the attention of any dedicated art aficionado. I’d never heard of this place before a professor of mine recommended that we go around and see it. It’s housed at 86th street right up against Central Park in a gloriously decadent mansion which once belonged to the Vanderbilts (but, really, what part of New York didn’t once belong to one of them).

The museum is the brainchild of Estee Lauder heir Ronald Lauder, who, after his good friend and gallerist Sarge Sarbarsky passed away in 1996, opened the museum of German and Austrian Expressionist art as a tribute shortly thereafter. The museum houses some of the best examples of Gustav Klimt’s work (such as the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer which was bought at auction in 2007 for 132 million dollars) and many great examples by Egon Schiele, Max Beckman, Erich Heckel and German design by Josef Hoffmann and Peter Behrens.

The show I saw was very carefully curated and the grounds and building are amazing. With any interest in Art Nouveau or architecture, I think it is well worth a visit to this museum. And perhaps most importantly to me (who tends to get very overwhelmed by the large crowds at MOMA blockbuster exhibitions), the crowds were quite tame and I was really able to get up close and personal with the paintings and other works. I find it so much more rewarding when I am able to really study the works rather than do a fly by like so many people are forced to do at the international quality museum which are so often frequented by hoards of tourists.