Saturday, February 26, 2011

City Guide Part 16

The Louvre, London's National Gallery, The Hermitage, and the Museum of Modern Art. I stood at the doors to one of the greatest collections of art in the history of the world. New York's MOMA holds six floors containing some of the most valued human creations of the last three hundred years. I hadn't even entered the building, and I was already overwhelmed.
Upon entering at street level, a foyer greets guests and connects the museum with several staircases, elevator banks and lounging areas. We decided to begin at the 6th floor and descend floor by floor to finish at the sculpture garden.
The 6th floor was devoted entirely to Salvador Dalí.
From New York City

I was never a great fan of Dalí, and after glancing at each exhibit piece, my lack of fan status remained intact. Descending from floor to floor, I was immersed in the work of familiar artists as well as artists I had not yet heard of. Besides the art on the wall, I was also immersed in the wide variety of languages spoken by the people around me. I challenged myself to guess the languages that reached my ears. Most of the languages were easily recognized: German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian and French. But there were some languages I had never heard before that sounded as colorful and lively as the art on the surrounding walls.

The area of the museum with the most admirers was the section containing "POP ART." Most predominant among these were the works of Andy Warhol.
From July 8
It seemed as though everyone wanted to be photographed in front of an Andy Warhol piece. Non flash photography was allowed inside the museum, and the security posted in every room made sure people turned off the flash before taking a photo. A young French woman approached me and asked if I could take a photo of her in front of her favorite Warhol piece. I placed her in the lower right corner of the frame with the Warhol dominating the photo.

Rounding a corner on the next floor, I found myself standing before Monet's Water Lilies. It was an image I had seen in art books since I was very young. Now, seeing its immensity in person was a little overwhelming. I sat on a chair and slowly took it in from end to end. In the next room one entire wall was dominated by a piece created by Jackson Pollock. I had seen photographs of his work in books and was never convinced of their status as "masterpieces". But as I stood dwarfed in front of an actual Jackson Pollock piece, the style and emotion he portrayed swayed me now to define him as a master painter.

We finished the inside tour with a stop at a room on the ground floor featuring every day design. This room held common items, ranging from flashlights and blenders to furniture and toys. A typical shopper at Wal*Mart would walk past any of these items without a second glance. The display reminded us that everything has a design and a thoughtful designer.

From July 8

After a quick rest in the peaceful Sculpture Garden, we were back on the streets headed toward the New York City Public Library.

Continued in part 17

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