Tag Archives: Art

Back to Florence

2 Feb

A break from regularly scheduled posting to bring you the amazingness that is the Google Art Project. Visit a museum anywhere in the world, zoom in on works of art. I’m not saying that looking at art through a computer is at all the same but this is pretty damn awesome.

See you Monday, I’m at the Uffizi!

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Museum Hopping

13 Aug

Yesterday I wanted to go to some museums I haven’t visited in months, or years. (Or ever). I wanted to go here.

Except I forgot that the Guggenheim is closed on Thursdays, breaking from the rule of no museum Mondays.

I waffled indecisively in front of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

I missed the exhibit I wanted to see at the Jewish Museum.

Eventually I just walked down to that my safe bet, the Met. I never know where I’ll end up there, I tend to wander through the same hallways. I go up the main staircase, usually making a left turn into prints and drawings. Then I’ll just segue from there, making arbitrary turns.  Once in awhile I’ll end up underneath the Medieval gateway, which I’ll use as my marker. Yesterday in particular I tried to avoid the throngs of people.

While wandering through the museum, I started a train of thought inspired by one of the photographs on display in “Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography”.  The photograph was by Thomas Struth.

Thomas Struth. National Museum of Art, 1999.

The museum’s placard discussed how Thomas Struth focused on the secular religion of art, as well as the “appreciation of difference and cultural specificity.” This photograph, of an art loan between France and Japan, shows us how the Japanese chose to display Liberty Leading the People and how it is viewed. All the information presented to me, through both the placard and image, led me to thinking about this concept of art as a secular religion. I think it’s completely valid.

Even the Met’s architecture lent itself to this train of thought. All I could think of, as I looked at these arches where the churches I’d visited in Florence. Even the niche filled with flowers reminded me of the small niches for religious statues and offerings you would find randomly in a wall.

NYC. Florence.

And then I found myself in a wing where I had never been before, the Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for the Arts of South and Southeast Asia. I discovered about the religious transformation of the region, as Buddhism spread from India to China.

I spent some time wandering the museum in reverential silence, thinking about the cultural significance of so many things.

Which led me to search out another cultural element. Food.

4 May

Aerial, 2010 (click for a better view!)

I’m off to go see the BFA Exhibit opening at my old University, after some Mother’s Day shopping. University Galleries/Museums are an excellent way to view new art, and to see what young contemporary artists are creating. Check out a show at a nearby university!

Maybe someday this week I’ll actually get to do some more of my own painting, after finishing a collaborative writer/artist project with my sister. How do all these things sneak up on me?

Appetizers and Art

30 Jan

Several days ago I attended an Alumni cocktail reception for my university at the Society of Illustrators on East 63rd St. I had never visited the museum before, but before I get into that let me first talk about the food at the reception.

As anyone who knows me knows, I love my food and was extremely concerned about what would be served. At events like these I tend to befriend one of the waiters in order to get first dibs on one of the newly arriving trays of appetizers. My favorite thing served at this event was a small ball of goat cheese wrapped in a sliver of zucchini, though the miniature crab cakes were a close second. I can never turn those down. The caprese kebobs were good, but rather messy. You had to find someone to hold your glass of wine in order to devote your full attention ( and both hands) to eating them. I also sampled a salmon salad served in endive leaves, which was merely decent.

Mingling among the art

Now on to the Society. 109 years old, it was founded to promote and maintain the art of illustration. It has a rather clubby atmosphere with a bar on the second floor and the facilities to host dinners, but this contrasts really nicely with their free admission and manageable size. They host a variety events including a sketch and jazz night which I plan on attending at least once. The building itself is a carriage house from 1875, belonging to J.P.Morgan’s lawyer. The small entryway contains the staircase and the gift shop to your left. The current exhibition is on both the 1st and lower level, Illustrators 52: Book and Editorial. I was blown away by the quality of illustration and actually recognized several from the published editions, for example the covers to Julie Powell’s book Cleaving ( illustrator: Chris Silas Neal) and Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters ( illustrator: Lars Leetaro).

Top left work is by Hiromichi Ito

My favorite works from the night belonged to Hiromichi Ito, he had several distributed throughout the exhibit. I loved the color palette and the simplicity of shapes. To get a better look at his work, go to http://www.hiromichiito.com/hello/index.html

I was really thrilled about this alumni event. I thought overall it was a beautiful exhibit and wonderful environment for an event like this. I can’t wait to return to the Society and really be able to devote my attention to it. The only downside to the event? I graduated in May, so almost all of the attendees were from previous classes. I only ran into one fellow classmate, but I can’t complain about that. I hadn’t seen her in months and we were able to catch up and discover that we’re both hoping to attend grad school for museum studies!