If visiting the New York Public Library was No 1 on my list of places to go, the Museum of Modern Art was No 2.
The Met is a fantastic and comprehensive collection of art and I was overwhelmed by it. But as MOMA is more contained and has a clear collection directive, which makes for a day of Wows and tears. Art can make me cry, in a good way!
The space itself is expansive and the rooms on most of the floors flow in the same direction, allowing for a feeling of familiarity to develop with the layout. It wasn’t crowded either, which was no doubt due to the fact it wasn’t school holidays or vacation time.
We started from the top and worked our way down, looking at the collection in a chronological fashion.
Highlights for me
To stand in front of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and soak it up all by myself (and the security guard who stood by it). I also wished at that moment for Master BG to be here, as Vincent is his favourite artist. There were some tears at this point.
To see Les Demoiselles D’Avignon by Picasso
To walk into rooms of Mondrian, Matisse and Picasso and not to squeal out in delight
To stumble upon yet another art class to school students this time in front of a Matisse and to hear the teacher speak about his use of colour. It’s at moments like this I would wonder about moving to New York if I had a spare $10million or so.
And this was just the first floor.
Heading down to the next floor you are confronted by Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl, then we turned around the corner to see Warhol. In fact a lot of Warhols!
On the following floor, there was a design exhibition on Women in Design. It highlighted women’s contribution to design from the Art Nouveau period through to the present day.
While some of the designs were poster art and photography, a lot of it centred around the home. Modern kitchen designed for small spaces was included as well as crockery and furniture.
Needless to say we were blown away with the experience, and yet there was more to do. We were meeting friends for drinks in a couple of hours and we had time to spare. Could we…?
A mad dash uptown was undertaken to the Guggenheim. The building is itself an amazing work of art, in a town of amazing buildings. We arrived with less than an hour to closing and were lucky to get $3 off the admission price.
What was in our favour was no queues, and due to the lateness of the day, not a lot of people in the museum.
While it is an amazing building, there are a lot of challenges to it being used as a gallery space- it is circular and space is limited.
There is a room devoted to post-Impressionist art, but other galleries were closed for installations of new exhibitions due to be launched in the summer months.
The major exhibition was Italian Futurism, which was quite interesting, not least due to its latter incarnation being co-opted by the Fascists in the 1930s. The intersection of art used for political ends was quite interesting to explore. Mr BG also commented on its influence on Peter Savile, the graphic designer involved with Joy Division and New Order.
Two amazing museums in one day!