Monday, January 5, 2009

NYC Museum Of Modern Art

Before the Christmas holiday I went into Manhattan to spend an afternoon in The Museum of Modern Art, also known by the acronym "MoMa," located at 11 West 53 Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Founded in 1929, the MoMA's collection includes examples of modern art from the late nineteenth century until today. Their collection represents the diverse forms of visual expression that encompass modern art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, films, drawings, illustrations, architecture and design. Considered by many to have the best collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world, MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 individual pieces in addition to approximately 22,000 films and 4 million film stills.

The museum underwent extensive renovations a few years ago, designed by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi. The new MoMA features 630,000 square feet of new and redesigned space and the building itself is a modern work of architectural art.

This is the second floor Marron Atrium lounge with 25 foot movie screen walls that show exhibition movies. The Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist's movie entitled "Pour Your Body Out" was playing, and will be on exhibit until February 2, 2009.

The Museum's collection can be broken down into six categories: Architecture and Design, Drawings, Film and Media, Painting and Sculpture, Photography, and Prints and Illustrated Books, plus special temporary exhibits.

Here is one of the open views of the multilevel floors:

A view from the atrium windows of the outdoor Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.

Some of the displays:
Louis Comfort Tiffany vases --

A lounge chair made out of corrugated cardboard by the artist Frank O Gehry, entitled "Bubbles Chaise Lounge" 1987 The ultimate idea for recycling?

A contemporary baby stroller design -

Some modern chairs and lamps on display in the Architecture and Design display:

Some of the collections of paintings that I photographed:
Pablo Picasso -- "Painter and Model" --- Paris -- 1928

Pablo Picasso -- "Girl before a Mirror" -- March 1932

Jasper Johns --- "Map" 1961

Two paintings by Willem de Kooing:

Jackson Pollock -- "White Light" 1954

Jackson Pollock -- " One: Number 31, 1950" 1950

Frida Kahlo -- "Self -Portrait with Cropped Hair" 1940

Salvador Dali -- "The Persistence of Memory" 1931

Claude Monet -- "Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond" 1920

Piet Mondrian -- "Trafalgar Square" 1939 - 43

Andy Warhol "32 Campbell's Soup Cans" 1962

Andy Warhol -- "Gold Marylin Monroe" 1962

Max Ernst -- "Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale"

Andrew Wyeth -- "Christina's World" ---1948

Edward Hopper -- "Gas" 1940

One of the main reasons I visited MoMa was to not miss the special exhibit called "Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night" which is closing on January 5, 2009, and moving to The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was an exhibit of an international collection of nearly 40 Vincent Van Gogh paintings, with the theme of sunset, dusk and night.

The exhibit was divided into the following themes: Early Landscapes, Peasant Life, Sowers and Wheat Fields, Poetry of the Night- The Town, Poetry of the Night- The Country. Many were accompanied by actual excerpts of Van Gogh's letters to his family, especially those he wrote to his brother Theo, where he described the works and their influences and meanings. Van Gogh wrote , "It often seems to me that the night is more alive and richly colored than the day."

Below, the painting "The Potato Eaters" -- 1885

In 1887 Van Gogh told his sister it was his best work, and that it portrayed the daily life of humble agricultural laborers. It was his first significant interior night scene and one of his first major paintings.

Next, Van Gogh's portrait of Eugene Boch "The Poet' -- 1888

Van Gogh described the young Belgium Impressionist as a man "who dreams great dreams," and painted him in front to a night sky which he felt symbolized the eternal.

Next, the painting "The Starry Night Over the Rhone" -- 1888

Van Gogh wanted to paint at night and set up his easel by the banks of Rhone in Arles, France where the distant gas lamps gave off enough illumination for him to see. He sent a sketch of this scene in a letter to his friend Eugene Boch calling it one of his most "poetic subjects."

Next, and my personal favorite, Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" -- 1889.
Vincent wrote that the "sights of the stars always made him dream." This image has become one of his most iconic. It is in the permanent collection of MoMa, although it will be traveling to Amsterdam through June 2009 as part of the same exhibit that will be shown in the Van Gogh Museum.

MoMa is really a fascinating museum to visit, and the surrounding area in Manhattan is interesting to walk around to take in the sights. I thought I'd share some photos of the neighborhood. If you've visited NYC before you might recognize some of these buildings.

In a way much of NYC is, in itself, a museum of modern art -- there is always something unique, something unusual, something unexpected, and something that can not be understood but that can still be admired, about it.

I hope you will have a chance one day to visit and enjoy it!


aliceinparis said...

PAt, I would LOVE to visit. Thanks for your introduction to MoMoMa. Really iconic works of art are displayed there. Edward Hopper is a fave of mine.
Cheers, Shelagh

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Pat, for this beautiful NYC post!!

Believe it or not, I have a sort of 6 degrees of separation connection to the Museum of Modern Art. A Lebanon (Missouri)High School Classmate (1961) was once a curator there. Small world!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

I was there once....a lifetime ago.....back in 1980 when I was doing my NY training for Merrill Lynch. The best part of the month long training was going to museums and plays :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great pictures of the MOMA! We always go to the MET when we are in NYC and I need to get over to the MOMA and check it out!
I love art museums, we try to get into D.C. whenever they have an interesting exhibit :-) It's hard with 3 sons, to have the time that I would like to spend in the museums though! You could take an entire day!!

Vee said...

Me too! I so want to see this art museum one day. Want to be my tour guide? LOL!

Andrew Wyeth wasn't around in 1848 for Christina's World...must be 1948. We know our Wyeths around these here parts. :D

I'm trying to decide if that modern baby stroller would be comfortable for Leo. Not sure...what do you think?

Edie Marie's Attic said...

HI Pat!

Oh what a fabulous time I had touring the museum this morning! And the buildings outside were just as lovely to look at!! Thank you so much for taking me along with you!

Hugs, Sherry

Starry Night is my favorite too.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all this information. I love the 'Starry Night'!

Looks like I may be making a trip there this spring!

More about that later-thanks for the post!

Arlene Delloro said...

My goodness, you've made me realize just how long it's been since I've visited MOMA. I think I'm going to organize a "field trip" with a few friends. While the Met is my favorite--love those impressionists--I haven't seen the renovations; yes, it's been that long. Thank you for a wonderful virtual field trip, Pat.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, one more reason why I LOVE NYC! MoMA is fabulous, and you are so blessed to be in such close proximity to those masterpieces!

I remember years ago studying a Van Gogh painting at the Nelso in KC and being awed by the textural quality of his work. His paintings leap from the page, and unless you see one in person, you don't know what you're missing.

I loved all of today's post. Thank you for sharing, Pat!


Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Make that "Nelson"... I'm hurrying and made a typo. :-0



Pamela Terry and Edward said...

what a lovely tour! Thank you for sharing it. I remember seeing The Potato Eaters in Amsterdam. I found it quite moving, of course Van Gogh always does that to me.

Judy said...

If one day I make it to will be called upon to be my tour guide! Thanks for the fabulous tour of MoMa...and samples of their pieces, both modern and classic. I'm not that big into 'modern'...was born in the wrong era, I guess...but enjoy the famous old works of art.

Kathy said...

Pat I thorougly enjoyed this post, Van gogh is my fave and oh my! they had the 'potatoe eater', I must text Stephen and tell him to make sure he pays a visit before he leaves on Wednesday, he will love the film section, I did not have enough time to visit on my trip last year but will put MOMA on the top of my list for next time and lunch/a day with you of course (smiles).
Stephen said it was VERY cold in Times Sq on New Years Eve, then him and his friends went to Niagra (Canadian side) and said it was even colder, He is back in NYC now until Wed and is loving every minute of it. I need and would love to start looking at all the American painters now(it can be my New Years resolution) coming from Europe I have focused far to long on French, Dutch, Italian art etc. your photographs are wonderful. hugs, Kathy

Kathy said...

Thank you Pat, Stephen is going to take a look today and try to get the book for me. We did see the MoMa building while we were there, it was on the 'free entrance day' so the queue was very, very long and Hayley is not a big fan of museums so we went elswhere this time but I would love to go with you on my next trip to NY. Have a wonderful week, hugs, Kathy.

Kathy said...

oh also Pat on a more worrying note, I wanted to send you this article as I know you love Waterford and Ireland, worrying times ahead for Wedgewood and Waterford as they have gone into Administration:

I think 2009 is going to be a rough year for many well known companies and the knock-on effect will be tough for many people.

Donna said...

Fabulous post, Pat! I loved looking at all the art, but I must say, Van Gogh is still my all time favorite.

We were at the museum years ago and I would love to go back. Thanks for showing such wonderful pictures!


Willow said...

Thanks for the tour, Pat. So many times my mind did this little morphe and I thought, Wait, this looks like Los Angeles!

Strider said...

Hmmmm....that cardboard lounge chair is looking pretty good!!! Have a good week.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I'm so excited that you posted on MOMA! I was there last February and really enjoyed the Van Gogh paintings. I plan to go back next month when I'm there.


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

We are really going to try to make it to NY this year. I am not sure when, but when we do, I will email you and you can give me all of the wonderful places to see! I would love to go to MoMa...

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Thanks for the tour Pat! The Van Gogh exhibit would have been especially wonderful to see. You know I loved the cardboard lounge chair;)

Flower said...

Hi Pat, I get so excited looking at the pictures and seeing some of the buildings I remember!! I recogonize the Helmsley building!! It is one not easy to forget!!
Never been to the Mueseum of Modern must for next time! You have so much to see on your piece of earth!!!
I'm very impressed with your gardening! Such a wide variety and you do deserve to have a garden in the ground!!
I worked at the Westminster Dog show last year for eight days. My brother and I supplied the grooming equipment. What a great week that was!

Lorrie said...

Hi Pat, I'm hoping to get to MoMa on my next visit back to New York. I stay with my sister who lives in New City. I envy you seeing the Van Gogh exhibit. Starry Night is my favorite too. My youngest daughter studied Van Gogh did a super rendition of Starry Night which we framed and hung in her room for years!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to the moma in so long! Thanks so much for this post. I love your blog! :)

Sue said...

Hi Pat....thanks so much for the wonderful tour of the MOMA...I love that museum and haven't been there in awhile...Thanks for stopping by and seeing Sophie's calendar...I hope little Leo is doing well, I'm sure your just enjoying the heck out of him...I just got back from spending 10 days with the baby and it's such a wonderful age, she's a babbler and spends her days asking herself questions and answering herself, all in Sophie language...It's very funny to watch....have a wonderful New Year....

Unknown said...

Hi Pat, I certainly wish to come and visit one day. I love art and museums and over here, the appreciation of both is not huge..such a pity. If you pop over here, I wont take you to see our musuem as its not anywhere close to the one in New York and poorly maintained. Beautiful pictures everywhere!!
So far I dont know if anyone copied any of my pictures, but I read a post about Melanie of jellybeanangel, she had both pictures and wordings copied. As I am not checking, I'll never know if anyone copied so I rather play safe. Hope you have a good week Pat, school starts this week and we are back to our gruelling schedule again...more gruelling than exercise haha!! Big hugs to the new grandmama :D

Susan said...

Isnt NYC great- I was born on LI-Grew up in NJ and now live in Pa. I never really enjoyed
living anywhere too far from NYC...
There is no place in the world like it! I enjoyed your trip to MoMa...

steviewren said...

It must have been fascinating to see all of those van Gogh paintings displayed together. You are truly blessed to live where you have access to so many of the world's wonders.

Anonymous said...

Yea! I am glad you are home Pat. I love, love,love, the art you shared today. I am a museum nut and art is my love. I have been in NY and we visited the Metropolitan MoA. and another more private and small museum that I can't recall the name. I do remember many of the buildings you shared. A perfectly lovely post.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful and I know you are in love with that grandbaby. Happy New Year Pat and welcome home.

You may have been home a few days and I didn't know it.


Beth Leintz said...

I know I've told you this before- but you are a wonderful tour guide-thanks so much for sharing!

Les Cotrions said...

Hello Patty! Nice to meet you! Thank you for your visit on my blog! I love New York ! I visited it twuìice but many years ago! I'd like to come back! Your blog is very interesting for me! I work in an art Foundation and I've enjoyed your post about the MoMa so much! Your Leo is fantastic! So lovely and tender!
Wish you and your Italian husband all the best for the new year!

Tracy said...

Thanks for taking us along, Pat! :o) One of these days we'll get back to NYC...and MOMA! Happy week, my friend ((HUGS))

Just A Girl said...

Good morning Pat,

This looks like a relaxing place to spend the day...or two. I always think it's so funny the abbreviations that museums come up with.

I hope you have a fun day!

Gifted Typist said...

I visited MoMa in October and was so intensely moved by VanGogh starry night over the Rhone. I just stood there staring at it feeling the incredible response it evoked. Your post was a lovely reminder of that day.

Susie Q said...

Oh Pat..what a joy this is for me to see. I love this museum and I am sure seeing the Van Gogh exhinbit was a treat. We were in the VG museum in Amsterdam 3 years ago and it was such a wonder...

Each time you showcase NYC my heart flutters...I need to get back again soon!


Alexandra MacVean said...

Pat, I LOVE the blog tour! I'm sure you can only imagine what fun I would have there. :) I loved the Picasso work and especially the Andrew Wyeth -- "Christina's World" ---1948 painting.

Hope you're having a good week!


Kat Mortensen said...

Hi Pat,

I loved these photos! I really like the modern chairs, the Pollocks, the Wyeth and the Mondriaan. I do envy you being so close to the MoMA. It must be fabulous!


Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

Wonderful post! You know... I never appreciated Van Gogh until recently, but now I can see the beauty in his work. Thank you for taking us with you on your MOMA visit :)


nanatrish said...

Pat, this was a great tour. My daughter is crazy about Van Gogh and his work has grown on me. You gave a wonderful tour. I have missed seeing your blog. I'll bet little Leo is growing so much.

Joanne Kennedy said...

How fun! I bet you had a wonderful time. I'm surprised they let you take those beautiful pictures. Every museum around here makes you put the camera away! No pictures. That what they tell you. So you are very lucky.

I love to see paintings of famous people and just think about them painting it so long ago. I'm sure they had a clue about how many people would one day see their work.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for that wonderful post, Pat. I certainly enjoyed looking at those amazing paintings (with Van Gogh being my personal favorite)---and your great photos of the buildings of NY. That is one sight I will never forget from my short visit there---no matter what direction you look, you see an endless row of buildings. Nothing like the skyline of KCMO! :)

Tara said...


My fave museum in NYC--we did manage to see Van Gogh. Did you get to steal away to the Parker Meriden for the hamburger? So yummy! Your pics are great!

Mmm said...

Wyeth, Monet adn Hopper--that alone wold be reason to go. how fortunate you are to be able to have so much art right there...but then again, you live in a big city and one comes to expect such advantages! Enjoy.

Gina said...

Wow, wow and wow..zers!
I'm so envious you got to see this incredible art! Loved your post and a very fitting finale I must say..Any Cezanne's there too? Hoping one day I can visit MOMA! Gx

Fifi Flowers said...

Sigh... MoMa... Sigh... Van Gogh... oooooh how I wish I could visit NYC!