Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Museum Hopping

Back when I went to school in DC I always hopped around museums on the Mall. This usually occurred on a nice weekend afternoon or perhaps a break between intense library sessions during my reading days before exams. If the exhibit at the National Gallery didn’t last all day, I’d skip over the Freer/Sackler or Sculpture Garden or Natural Science Museum. After DC, I was a grad student in NY,  also free admission with my ID which was a luxury. If you ever look at suggested prices for museums in NY, you know they’re not cheap. I suppose becoming a member would make sense if you love one museum enough to go more than a handful of times.

Then I started working for a place that sponsors museums, which meant my badge always came with free admission (plus guest admissions) to various cultural institutions. In short, I’ve been a privileged and spoiled person indeed. Just to show you that tax dollars and corporate donations are not wasted, I do frequent museums very often and contribute to the museum cafes, gift shops, and nearby restaurants. My trips serve to enrich my limited art history knowledge which really came out of a combination of one art class in high school and random artwork in history books. The best way to learn is if there’s an exhibit featuring one artist and his/her different styles spanning a lifetime. Or perhaps an exhibit featuring various artists during a specific era.

V. and I decided to take a day off from work last week to catch up on our museum exhibits. It ended up being quite an adventure. Note for readers, don’t even think about taking the bus (no synchronized lights uptown) or subway (walking from MoMa to Lex just to go from Lex to Met again, ave walks, really?). You might as just walk and window shop! The two museums we had in mind were MoMa and Guggenheim but we ended up swinging by the Met too. Of course, as N. said later, we probably didn’t spend enough time at each location. Truth is, nobody can spend enough time at the Met. Guggenheim is focused on one special exhibit at a time so it is made for a cohesive trip. MoMa’s special exhibit on de Kooning is good but we also took time to walk by the room of Monets and Van Gaughs and Picassos. The most surprising exhibit was probably the Guggenheim Cattelan one. My favorite new artist John Marin was found and admired while visiting the Met exhibit featuring Stieglitz’s various artists.

Sound Bites
Sum of Days
(white fabric tent/maze, microphone, and ambient sounds):
me- at least the fabric is nice and you can touch it, unlike other museum exhibits.
V-it reminds me of a sanitary napkin.
other museum goers: *glare

de Kooning:
me-I’m a bit scared of the teeth (on the women in some of the more abstract paintings)

Kandinsky Painting with White Border:
me-I don’t get it (and I love Kandinsky)
V-(reading the commentary next to the painting) “and it tortured me for five months!” and I just added the border because it looked nice. no social commentary!

there’s way too much going on in this exhibit. I think our favs are between the Pope and the Musicians (stack of animals). or maybe Pinocchio? read the catalogue book on the various descriptions too! pigeons…enough said. and the giant foosball table. everything really!

John Marin:
me-(after seeing his earlier and later works)I like his earlier works better. although as an artist, he should be able to do different things and styles and evolve.

Rothko: (not really featured in an exhibit but came up as we were debating what kind of art to hang in our dream mansions)
me- the floating squares are quite peaceful, especially if you have nice walls
V-I’m going to get Rothko for my apt!
N-you should get the black/white one

Random fun:
If you like Rothko, check out the free ipad app that allows you to create your own Rothko. so brilliant and soothing too!

Art History Online
I know everyone loves Khan Academy for math, but how about art! the Guggenheim museum video was quite informative.

No comments: