|Sidewalk view as we approach MoMA|
History: In 1928, the idea for MoMA was sprung primarily by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller Jr.) and two of her friends, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. (Remember – John Jr. is the creator of Rockefeller Plaza). Anyway, these three women (assigned various nicknames such as "the Ladies", "the daring ladies" and "the adamantine ladies") rented a small domicile in the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue and opened its doors to the public on November 7, 1929. (The date is significant as it was nine days after the Wall Street Crash). Beginning with an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, its holdings quickly expanded. Later in that month they had their first loan exhibition displaying paintings by such renown artists such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Seurat.
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.
|Sum of Days|
|Nika walking through Sum of Days|
|Inside Sum of Days|
|Sign directing us to Thing/Thought Exhibition|
And then we come to displays that definitely catch your eye, as did this whole wall in bright candy apple red and orange.
Next, we entered another modern art exhibition hall that contained, again, written words, on display. A little bizarre, a little interesting; we may have walked on, but there is something, sometimes, about written words that sort of grab your attention and make you think. You will see what I mean as you read the displays.
|"Money Never Sleeps"|
Hmmmmmm . . . see what I mean! As we walked through, I couldn't help but take pictures of some of these displays. Again, sort of like reading a profound thought of the day. You see it, read it, then just when you think you aren't interested in it, you relay it to your own self. The same with these phrases of art.
|"Never Send a Human . . ."|
|Nika taking a picture through the artwork|
Now this is something which I am more attune to as modern art. It filled the whole window. I couldn't help but catch a picture of Nika who was taking a picture of the outside through one of the circles.
After the frightening and devastating attacks of 9/11, there was a design contest held as to concept proposals for construction of memorials for the World Trade Center. At right is one of the concepts. There were many displayed, all very unique. I don't want to say that it was exactly eerie when you walked amongst these displays, but you could sort of feel that in the room. A definite feeling of sadness, maybe better described as more poignant.
The concepts behind each of these paintings that follow are probably only thoughts that each of us comprehend at the time of development. An artist sees or imagines something that begins the creative flow for the birth of a piece of art. For example, the painting End of World, below right, in this artist's mind, this is his/her conception of what the end of the world would be. My son, Casey, is an artist. His many paintings and drawings are profound in thought. Some I can conceptualize -- others I cannot. Again, as I said art in itself is varied.
|End of World|
|This piece was human size|
What is this, you ask? It is a tabletop fan, I respond. The plug is huge, and I imagine that the blades (or at least one) has become twisted by some adverse event. But the concept is there -- distorted a bit by what the artist imagined it as -- a semi-abstract piece of artwork.
|Bigger than Life-size|
|I Still Use Brushes|
What I find fascinating, however, is artwork like the I Still Use Brushes, above, which was created in 1969. Can you figure out what this is? Under the glass it is all small red paint brushes and some red paint embedded in plastic in a box. How neat is that! It is so vibrant and appealing to the eye from faraway that you would not guess what it is until you creep up to it. Once you know the concept, you can see it in a different light.
Now onto the semi-abstract nudes. Don't worry, these aren't rated X.
|Another Semi-Abstract Nude|
|Semi Abstract Partial Nude|
As soon as we are outside, we decided to make a pit stop at the hotel so I can change shoes. Yes, I am not afraid to admit the next two things -- my feet are killing me and that is compounded by the fact that I also have to pee -- really bad -- which I didn't realize until we have left MoMA (obviously I was distracted enough by the phone call not to realize that until then). Thinking that I seriously am not going to make it back to the hotel in time, we search out my favorite "watering" hole -- MacDonald's! I am not talking "watering" as in getting a drink, but as in getting rid of some! haha! There really are no public bathrooms in New York City -- especially Manhattan, where we are. The easiest place to go in and out of quickly when searching for a bathroom we found was Mickey D's. If I have to buy something, that is fine because I can grab a bottle of water, but relief is all I want at the moment. Once found, we scramble in and out and then off to the hotel.
Along the way, I catch a picture of the Ziegfeld Theater. So, now I need to give you a little lesson on the Ziegfeld.
Ziegfeld Theatre: Originally built in 1927, the Ziegfeld Theatre is a Broadway theater located at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street in Manhattan, but was razed in 1966. The second theater which was designed as a single screen movie theater, opened in 1969.
The Ziegfeld was originally built for Broadway plays, but during the Great Depression, its usage changed to operate as a movie theater. In 1944 a showman, Billy Rose, bought it and once again changed its operation. NBC leased it for use as a television studio from 1955 to 1963. The Perry Como Show was broadcast from the theater beginning in 1956. And then in 1963 the Ziegfeld reopened as a legitimate Broadway theater. However, this was short-lived as in 1966 it was torn down to make way for a skyscraper, what is now known as the Alliance Bernstein building.
The second theater was opened just a few hundred feet from the original, again as a single-screen move house. It is one of the last large-scale movie palaces built in the United States. Under different ownership, digital projection was installed during the 2000's and now today it is the largest single screen cinema in New York and still continues to be the site of film premieres and gala events.
Another tidbit: Ever heard of the Ziegfeld Follies? If not, the Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931. They became a radio program in 1932 and 1936 as The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air. The Ziegfeld Follies were conceived and advanced by Florenz Ziegfeld. If you have heard of the follies and to answer the next question posed in your mind -- yes, the Ziegfeld Theatre was named for this famed Broadway enterpriser, Florenz Ziegfeld, who interestingly enough built it with financial backing from William Randolph Hearst. Now you know a little more about the famous Ziegfeld Theatre.