There are several places that you might guess I would visit during the weekend.. but I bet the one place you’re not going to guess is an art museum. After living here for almost two and a half years it’s the one type of museum I haven’t really covered much, with the exception of the Whitney that my roommate got us in for free at. I’ve said it before, I’m just not much of an art person. It’s something that I can appreciate, but just not really something I enjoy that much or, to be completely honest, understand. But, it’s a new year, and like I said I’m trying some new things so I decided to see what the fuss was about at two of New York’s popular museums, The Guggenheim and The MoMA. Even though I kept my parents very busy during their visit, we ended up having an extra event on each of our Explorer passes so I vowed that I wouldn’t let them go to waste! I decided it was the perfect opportunity to check out these two museums that aren’t “suggested donation” that I probably wouldn’t cough up the $25 each to see otherwise, but wouldn’t mind checking out. So that is just what I did!
First up, The Guggenheim Museum. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum is considered one of the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks. It’s also been a favorite site for filming, including appearances in Bye Bye Birdie, Ugly Betty, The International, When in Rome, and Men in Black.
During my visit, the Picasso Black and White exhibit was on display, which covered his work from 1904-1971. As a “non-arty” here is my summary of what I learned about his work and him:
- His work is abstract
- Most of his work is pretty depressing
- He had many lovers.. including several wives and mistresses
I wouldn’t say my visit made me a fan of his, but I did leave knowing more about his work so I’d say it was a success! The cool thing about the layout of this museum is that it is a spiral from bottom to top. A lot of art museums in the city are massive, so this layout made it easy to view the progression throughout an artist’s life as well as making it harder to be distracted by other pieces. That being said, the museum really isn’t that large in comparison.
Next up, onto the MoMA! If there is one type of art that kind of messes with my mind, it’s modern art. Drawings and paintings seem to make okay sense to me, but once you move into projections, sculptures, and live performances I kind of get lost in their meaning, if any. But hey, a few hours there exploring wasn’t going to kill me right? So I took the plunge!
The MoMA is, as you would expect, in a modern building in Midtown. With it’s 6 floors, I’d categorize it with the larger museums in the city. Since I’m not that into modern art, I flew through the exhibits in an hour and a half, but you would probably want to allow for extra time if you are into that sort of thing. Now for the things I saw.
And now for the strange/things I don’t understand:
Neither of these places are probably going to make my all time favorites in NYC list, but I am glad that I gave them each a chance!