Museum Round-Up: Brooklyn Museum, MET, and MOMA

I have mixed feelings whenever I go into a museum: do I take pictures of all the cool stuff or not?  I like pictures because they help me remember things I see, but I also like staring at the artwork (especially when there are textures and angles).  Sometimes I do both – stare for a while before taking a picture for posterity.

If you’re one of those people who hates people who takes pictures at a museum, don’t worry – most of my pictures ended up being blurry.  Perhaps the Museum Gods didn’t appreciate my photography.

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After the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Sis and I went to the Brooklyn Museum.  I felt a kinship to this museum, as some of their Egyptian pieces were once on loan to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, in Halifax.  

The Brooklyn Museum has really nice Egyptian and African sections.

It also looks really cool from the outside.

It also looks really cool from the outside.

I have an odd fascination with Egyptian hieroglyphs and statues (among other things).

They had some cool modern art as well.  One such piece was The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Yinka Shonibare.  It’s a rework of Francisco de Goya’s work, with 5 different interpretations each depicting a different continent (only 3 were on exhibit).  While the paintings were all very similar, you could see the differences in each based on continent.

One of the permanent exhibits is The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.  It features place settings for 39 famous women (both fictional and historical) and it is beautiful.  I took a lot of pictures of individual place settings because they were so amazing.

I'm only showing you a teaser.

I’m only showing you a teaser.

Since I can’t go to this exhibit every time I want I have to settle for pictures, hence no guilt over this one.

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After this museum, Sis and I went for pizza, hopped a subway train back to Manhattan, and then went to the MET.

We got there close to closing time, so we didn’t have time to see everything.  Mostly we wandered around the Greek/Roman statue area (again, some of my favorite things to see in a museum), and then towards the paintings.

There was also some Rodin and Van Gogh.  I asked the museum guard if they had any Jackson Pollock or Jasper Johns paintings and he had no idea.  Mostly we wandered around, try to see as much as we could before closing.

Despite our hurry I still had time to take pictures of interesting paintings, such as:

I'm so glad I took this photo.

I’m so glad I took this photo.

This is the Color of my Dreams by Joan Miro.  It’s something I never would have thought to seek out – and it might be overlooked with everyone searching for Picasso and Mondrian.  I have no guilt about this photo, because I never would have remembered this on my own, and I really, really like it.

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It was a different day entirely when we went to MOMA!

Just yell it: MOMA!

Just yell it: MOMA!

Maybe it’s because we had more time to spend here, but I really liked wandering around MOMA.  Magritte, Mondrian, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Munch, Klimt, Kandinsky, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Pollock…  What more could you ask for?

And it’s not just that they have the “famous” stuff – they had other works of art that still reflected the artist’s style.  They may not have the most famous works by Magritte, but when you look at what they have you know who painted it.

And did I mention that they have Jasper Johns?!  They have “Flag” by Jasper Johns!  I did an art history project based on his works, so I was being a complete nerd.  Seriously, I could spend forever staring at his art works (encaustic paint looks cool up close, especially with all the scraps of newspaper underneath).

I will mention another piece of art because the concept is so interesting.

Just wait until you see it up close.

Just wait until you see it up close.

This is Measuring the Universe by Roman Ondak.  During the exhibition patrons were measured, and their height, name and the date was put on the wall.  The cluster in the centre is obviously where the average heights are.  It’s amazing that there’s such a grouping, but also marks that stick out all over. 

Oh, and did I mention that I got measured while I was there?

Oh yeah, that's me.

Oh yeah, that’s me.

Not only was this something that you could get up close to, but you could make a contribution.  In fact, without the interaction of patrons, this piece wouldn’t work.  Could you imagine having nothing but a stark white wall?

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And now that I’ve finished the round-up I’m itching to go back to all of these museums again – plus the Guggenheim.  Travel itches are hard to ignore.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

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