18.9.08 - Number One
I was very pleased to meet Rembrandt this afternoon. I was meandering through the European paintings section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he appeared at the end of a hall. It was like seeing an old friend smiling from the other side of a room: "don't worry, we'll meet up and talk later."
Before this though, JMW Turner was the first artist to literally take my breath away when I rounded a corner and found myself face to face with "The Burning of the House of Parliament." I knew I would see it-- but it was still a surprise. I had all ready perused most of the ouvre presented in this show, however I have a special place in my list of favorites reserved for the flaming halls of the British government (don't get me wrong, I fond of the Queen too-- but it's sort of an "I told you so" for making the "White House" back in 1812).
Other things that pleased me greatly included pointillist works by Seurat and Signac, some of the Pissaro pieces, and even a couple by Gericault, Gerome, David.
I really liked Messonier's "Friedland", depicting Napoleon and his troops after a victory. The version my camera-phone caught looks almost like a still from an epic Hollywood production.
One question I should have asked: are there any works by Caspar David Friedrich in the Met's collection? And where can I find that Stieglitz print of his photo of the Flatiron... maybe some other museum. Ironically, I passed that building on my walk up Broadway and didn't notice, until I turned around in Union Square and ta-da: There it was.
I glimpsed the Chrysler Building away off in the distance when I was downtown beginning my trek up Broadway from the Financial District. I meant to be back at Gary and Johns in time to take some shots from their rooftop in the sunset, but alas-- Manhattan is not to be trifled with on foot. I made it from Battery Park all the way to 25th, with a few diversions-- but by then I surrendered to the fact that if I did not get on the metro, I would not reach the apartment until well after dinner time-- and probably never walk again.
19.9.08 - The Second Day
I saw The Frick Collection-- which is excellent! There were at least four additional Turners on display, as well as many other famed artists and a horde of little bronzes (inc. Van Eyck, Degas, Titian, El Greco, and George Romney). Two rooms toward the front of the house were almost enough to make me hate the place-- they featured Chardin and Fragonnard. Too many freakin' cherubs >.<
Later on, at the Guggenheim, I took the elevator to the top and walked down the ramp viewing the Louise Bourgeois. While I was unfamiliar with her, it was clear she has been a productive, high-concept artist for many years. Apparently she's still working at 92. I was more interested in her bronze sculptures, for their form more than anything else-- much of her traditional sculpture is quite uncanny without being overt.
I bought a couple of black and white postcards, which I later attempted to duplicate with my camera phone-- we'll see if it turns out.
Taking a few turns around the block I grabbed a sandwich and sat just inside Central Park to have lunch, stopped on the shore of the Jackie Onassis Reservoir and then headed back to the Gugg. for my meeting with the Education Coordinator. Turns out she has a British accent, which was a sort of surprise. I had a nice chat with her, though her instinct seemed to be to try and pigeon-hole me into the photography department. Ultimately I feel less successful about avoiding photography, but I did indicate my generalist-stance and interest in other areas like preparation and publicity. I may not have to fully re-apply depending on whether much of my previous application is readily available and up-to-date. Woot!
20.9.08 - Troisiemme
The Museum of Modern Art was something of a let down... very corporate. Though not exactly sterile, it felt too shiny or crisp. The wood floors and the interlocking levels with different views of the outside and inside were really nice and overall the experience was positive, but not awe-inspiring. The collection was quite comprehensive; got to see Cezanne's Apples, the Demoiselles & lots of other Picassos, some Braque, Miro, Chagall, Pollock, Rauschenberg, Hoch, Hamilton, and even a few Polkes.
One of the best parts of my visit was viewing an exhibit on "Kirchner and the Streets of Berlin" but their department of industrial design (where they keep all the lamps, spoons, forks, and strange designer-chairs) was also a treat.
Soho and Chelsea were almost a bust. I nearly didn't find the OK Harris Gallery-- but the work was good and the staff were appropriately busy selling it to gaudy old women. That neighborhood was full of activity and felt like Europe quite a bit. In contrast, I didn't really find much in Chelsea, and by then my feet were tired and I had a headache.
After a sandwich, strawberry daiquiri, and a quick inbox check when I got back to the apartment, I went down to Pier 16. I was going to try and get on a Waterfalls tour; I was late, they were fully booked, and they had switched to the fall schedule = no 9:15 rides. I ended up getting back on the Metro, intending to go home, but found myself working my way to Grand Central-- which is fabulous and beautiful... and I couldn't stop humming waltzes on the way back to the apartment.
On the way out...
I sent a handful of postcards in the morning; indicated this trip ought to be required for senior studio to the Art Dept. and sent OWC a king-kong atop the Empire State Building.
The similarities to Rome were rampant-- making for a very nervous Sunday morning; I couldn't eat breakfast. On the A-train out of the city, I had a deja-vu moment when I realized I'd seen a similar hazy blue sky and set of train-tracks disappearing into the distance on the way to Naples/Pompeii. Reaching JFK, the terminal I am waiting in is high-cielinged with a mezzanine over the shops in the middle-- it is a square and has 60s era poured concrete supports and reinforced ceilings. Coincidence? yeah-- practically every major airport has some section that looks something like the 60s... but that upper level for staff and offices is eerily familiar. Did I mention the flight has been delayed from 12:55 to 1:28... which still leaves me a good sized lay-over in Boston, but it's one more spooky similarity.
Serves me right for joking about it with Greg last night-- I might even need that unicorn to get home on time, or be stuck in the interminable airways forever.
Now I wish I hadn't erased as many games from this machine.
By the way-- the airport in Boston is pretty nice-- though I wish the internet was free so I could upload this on schedule.