Things to do this week in NYC Apr 30-May 7: MuseumsApril 30, 2011 - by CG Directory Editor
Some of the world's most impressive museums and exhibits are in New York?including the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and (of course) the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the great things to do in NYC is to visit these spectacular collections. Whether you're a native New Yorker or here on vacation, NYC's museums have something new and interesting to offer everybody! Here is a list of what's going on this week at museums throughout New York City.
The Morgan Library & Museum presents over one hundred drawings and photographs from the collection assembled by American fashion designer Herbert Kasper -- known simply as Kasper. The collection, exceptional for its distinctive character and superb quality, is being exhibited to the public for the first time. The unusual, tripartite nature of the holdings is a testament to both Kasper's personal taste and his desire to build a truly unique collection. It is focused in three areas: sixteenth- and seventeenth-century old master drawings from the Mannerist period, modern and contemporary drawings, and photography. Most of the great Mannerist draftsmen—primarily Italian but also Northern European—are represented, including Perino del Vaga, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Giorgio Vasari, and Hendrick Goltzius. Equally impressive is the selection of modern and contemporary drawings, featuring works by Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet, Richard Serra, Ed Ruscha, and others. Photographs constitute the most diverse portion of Kasper's collection, with excellent prints by major historical figures, in addition to numerous works by emerging artists. The photographs span the early twentieth century to the present, chronicling the evolution of the medium through works by Constantin Brancusi, Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jenny Holzer, and many more.
The first exhibition to explore the Apollo Theater's seminal impact on American popular culture will be presented this spring at the Museum of the City of New York. The traveling exhibition, organized by the Apollo Theater and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, examines the rich history and cultural significance of the legendary Harlem theater, tracing the story from its origins as a segregated burlesque hall to its starring role at the epicenter of African American entertainment and American popular culture. With a dazzling array of images, videos, costumes, artifacts, and text, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing brings to life many of the most groundbreaking personalities and moments in the history of music, while shining a spotlight on the impact of African-American artists on American culture. Highlights include Michael Jackson's fedora, dresses worn by Ella and The Supremes, Louis Armstrong's trumpet, Willie Nelson's bandanna and sneakers, LL Cool J's jacket, James Brown's cape and jumpsuit, Sammy Davis' childhood tap shoes, and Miles Davis' flugelhorn (on public view for the first time). Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing was organized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in collaboration with the Apollo Theater Foundation. The exhibition's national tour is made possible by a generous grant from Time Warner Inc. Additional funding is provided by J. P. Morgan. The exhibition's national tour is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Found in Translation - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
In our globalized world, with political, economic, and cultural issues intertwined across nations, boundaries between the local and global have all but disintegrated. The necessity, and the difficulty, of communicating across cultural and historical divides is now an unavoidable aspect of our reality. Within this context, we must consider what can be lost—and gained—in translation, and what effects these endless transformations have on our lives. Found in Translation, the third exhibition in the Deutsche Bank Series at the Guggenheim, brings together recent artworks that look to translation, in both its linguistic and more figurative senses, as a means of understanding the world around us. The works in Found in Translation explore the intersections between past political and cultural figures and contemporary history and fantasy, transposed from one culture to another through written or spoken text. Drawn equally from private loans and from the Guggenheim's extensive collection of video, film, and new media, the exhibition focuses on artists who have come of age professionally within the past fifteen years, as political and artistic practice has increasingly engaged the contemporary era of globalization. Among the artists to be included are Patty Chang, Omer Fast, Sharon Hayes, Steve McQueen, Lisa Oppenheim, and Sharif Waked.
The Changing Face of William Shakespeare - Morgan Library & Museum
In 2009, when the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon unveiled a previously unknown portrait painting with strong claims to be the only surviving life-time portrait of William Shakespeare, it created an international sensation. The Jacobean painting had hung unrecognized for centuries in an Irish country house belonging to the Cobbe family. Both this portrait and a recently identified portrait of Shakespeare's patron and dedicatee, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, were inherited by Archbishop Charles Cobbe (1686-1765). Recent technical analysis—as well as the portrait's superior quality—has established it as the original of a long series of portraits traditionally identified as Shakespeare. The Cobbe portrait has significant resemblances in costume and design to Martin Droeshout's engraving of Shakespeare published in the First Folio (1623), and bears a Latin inscription, taken from a poem by Horace, addressed to a playwright. Also on view for the first time in the United States are the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's recently acquired "Ellenborough" portrait of Shakespeare; the privately-owned Fitzgerald portrait of Shakespeare; and a copy of Venus and Adonis, the narrative poem Shakespeare dedicated to his patron, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, in 1593. Works from the Morgan's collection on display in the exhibition include an important New Year's gift roll that records the earl's gift to Elizabeth I in 1596; the Morgan's first folio edition of Shakespeare's plays (1623); and a portrait of Shakespeare acquired by Pierpont Morgan in 1910.
This exhibition, brought to the public by Tibet House US in association with Rossi & Rossi London, includes some of the finest gold jewelry from the Himalayas, providing a rare glimpse into the role of adornment, aesthetics and sensuality within Tibetan culture and Buddhism. Also on display are select tangkas from Tibet House’s Repatriation Collection, a growing collection of Tibetan art and artifacts donated by those concerned about preserving Tibet’s unique and sacred culture.
Intervals: Futurefarmers - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Futurefarmers, a San Francisco–based art collective, creates projects that are diverse both in terms of production and in their strategies of audience engagement. For the Guggenheim's Intervals series the group investigates the vanishing art of shoemaking with a site-specific installation for the museum.
The Global Africa Project - Museum of Arts & Design
An unprecedented exhibition exploring the broad spectrum of contemporary African art, design, and craft worldwide. Featuring the work over 100 artists working in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Caribbean, The Global Africa Project surveys the rich pool of new talent emerging from the African continent and its influence on artists around the world. Through ceramics, basketry, textiles, jewelry, furniture, and fashion, as well as selective examples of architecture, photography, painting, and sculpture, the exhibition actively challenges conventional notions of a singular African aesthetic or identity, and reflects the integration of African art and design without making the usual distinctions between "professional" and "artisan." Closed Mon.
When Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group in late 1911, the artists predicted a watershed in the arts, a große Umwälzung (great upheaval) that would radically challenge traditional artistic production. Undoubtedly, tremendous creativity and innovation characterized the years leading up to World War I, especially 1910–14. Cubism achieved recognition in Paris, sparking new artistic directions in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia. Art's more expressionistic manifestations were at an equally momentous stage in Germany and Austria; Kandinsky wrote his influential treatise On the Spiritual in Art in late 1911 (published 1912), and abstraction took hold. The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910–1918 features more than 100 works from the museum's holdings, attesting to this period of collaboration, interchange, synthesis, and innovation.
Glenn Ligon: America - Whitney Museum of American Art
Glenn Ligon: AMERICA is the first comprehensive mid-career retrospective devoted to this pioneering New York–based artist. Throughout his career, Ligon (b. 1960) has pursued an incisive exploration of American history, literature, and society across a body of work that builds critically on the legacies of modern painting and more recent conceptual art. He is best known for his landmark series of text-based paintings, made since the late 1980s, which draw on the writings and speech of diverse figures including Jean Genet, Zora Neale Hurston, Jesse Jackson, and Richard Pryor. Ligon's subject matter ranges widely from the Million Man March and the aftermath of slavery to 1970s coloring books and the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe—all treated within artworks that are both politically provocative and beautiful to behold.
Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Sometime between October and December 1912, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) made a guitar. Cobbled together from cardboard, paper, string, and wire, materials that he cut, folded, threaded, and glued, Picasso's silent instrument resembled no sculpture ever seen before. In 1914 the artist reiterated his fragile papery construction in a more fixed and durable sheet metal form. These two Guitars, both gifts from the artist to MoMA, bracket an incandescent period of material and structural experimentation in Picasso's work. Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 explores this breakthrough moment in 20th-century art, and the Guitars' place within it. Bringing together some 70 closely connected collages, constructions, drawings, mixed-media paintings, and photographs assembled from over 30 public and private collections worldwide, this exhibition offers fresh insight into Picasso's cross-disciplinary process in the years immediately preceding World War I.
Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art - Japan Society
Curated by David Elliott, founding Director of the Mori Art Museum, Bye Bye Kitty!!! is a radical departure from recent Japanese exhibitions. Moving far beyond the stereotypes of kawaii and otaku culture, Japan Society's show features sixteen emerging and mid-career artists whose paintings, objects, photographs, videos, and installations meld traditional styles with challenging visions of Japan's troubled present and uncertain future. Each of the three sections, "Critical Memory," "Threatened Nature," and "Unquiet Dream," not only offers a feast for the senses but also demolishes our preconceptions about contemporary Japan and its art.
Vertical Urban Factory - Skyscraper Museum
Vertical Urban Factory surveys more than 30 projects, including canonic examples of Modernism and new or recycled industrial architecture. The installation features over 200 photographs, diagrams, and drawings. Nine architectural models created for the exhibit using state-of the-art computer fabrication highlight a progressive design and construction. A series of films by documentary filmmaker Eric Breitbart use historical and contemporary footage to immerse the gallery visitor in the environment of conveyors systems and industrial processes. Hours: Noon-6pm, Wed.–Sun.
"Vertical Urban Factory" - Skyscraper Museum
This exhibit surveys more than 30 projects, including canonic examples of Modernism and new or recycled industrial architecture. The installation features more than 200 photographs, diagrams, and drawings.
Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century - Metropolitan Museum of Art
This exhibition focuses on the Romantic motif of the open window as first captured by German, Danish, French, and Russian artists around 1810–20. These works include hushed, sparse rooms showing contemplative figures, studios with artists at work, and window views as sole motifs. The exhibition will feature some thirty oils and thirty works on paper by, among others, C. D. Friedrich, C. G. Carus, G. F. Kersting, Adolph Menzel, C. W. Eckersberg, Martinus Rorbye, Jean Alaux, and Leon Cogniet. Loans to the exhibition will come from museums in Germany, Denmark, France, Austria, Sweden, Italy, and the United States.
A Song for the Horse Nation - National Museum of the American Indian
A Song for the Horse Nation presents the epic story of the horse's influence on American Indian tribes from the 1600s to the present. Drawing upon a treasure-trove of stunning historical objects -- including ledger drawings, hoof ornaments, beaded bags, hide robes, paintings, and other objects -- and new pieces by contemporary Native artists, the exhibition reveals how horses shaped the social, economic, cultural, and spiritual foundations of American Indian life, particularly on the Great Plains.
German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
From E. L. Kirchner to Max Beckmann, artists associated with German Expressionism in the early decades of the twentieth century took up printmaking with a collective dedication and fervor virtually unparalleled in the history of art. The woodcut, with its coarse gouges and jagged lines, is known as the preeminent Expressionist medium, but the Expressionists also revolutionized the mediums of etching and lithography to alternately vibrant and stark effect. This exhibition, featuring approximately 250 works by some thirty artists, is drawn from MoMA's outstanding holdings of German Expressionist prints, enhanced by selected drawings, paintings, and sculptures from the collection. The graphic impulse is traced from the formation of the Brücke artists group in 1905, through the war years of the 1910s, and extending into the 1920s, when individual artists continued to produce compelling work even as the movement was winding down. The exhibition takes a broad view of Expressionism, highlighting a diverse array of individuals—from Oskar Kokoschka and Vasily Kandinsky to Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde—who nonetheless shared visual and thematic concerns. Their works reflect a period of intense social and aesthetic transformation, and several themes of continuing resonance emerge. These include a focus on urban experience, an uncompromising approach to the body and sexuality, and an abiding preoccupation with nature, religion, and spirituality. Most pivotal for these years, however, was the experience of World War I. The war and its aftermath are the subject of works by a range of artists, including Otto Dix, whose series of fifty searing etchings, The War, was based on his own service in the trenches; Käthe Kollwitz, in a portfolio of seven woodcuts focusing on the devastation felt by the families left behind; and Max Beckmann, whose lithographic series, Hell (1919), confronts the violence and decadence in Berlin during the immediate postwar period. In addition to a publication and a major website on German Expressionism, the exhibition will mark the culmination of a major four-year grant from The Annenberg Foundation to digitize, catalogue, and conserve all of the approximately three thousand Expressionist works on paper in the Museum's collection.
Body & Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings - American Museum of Natural History
An exhibition of 64 Tibetan medical paintings (also known as tangkas), in the Museum's fourth-floor Audubon Gallery. On view for the first time in a museum exhibition, these hand-painted reproductions of traditional scroll paintings provide a unique and richly illustrated history of early medical knowledge and procedures in Tibet and are believed to be among only a handful of such sets in existence. Each of the paintings on display was painstakingly reproduced by hand in the late 1990s by Romio Shrestha, a Nepalese artist, and his students, who followed the Tibetan tradition of copying older paintings, basing their work on two published sets of medical tangkas likely painted in the early 1900s that were copies of the original set. The originals were created in the late 1600s to illustrate the Blue Beryl, an important commentary on the classic Tibetan medical text, The Four Tantras. Also on display in this exhibition is a Buddha statue made of gilded copper alloy, minerals used in medicine, and Tibetan medical instruments from the early 1900s. The Museum is deeply grateful to Emily H. Fisher and John Alexander, whose vision and generosity supported the acquisition and conservation of this collection of Tibetan Medical Paintings. Body and Spirit is made possible by a very generous gift from the Estate of Marian O. Naumburg.
Joel Grey/A New York Life - Museum of the City of New York
Joel Grey/A New York Life examines the enduring impact that performer and photographer Joel Grey and his adopted city have made on each other. Through rare artifacts from his stage and screen career, objects from his personal collection, and his own photography, the exhibition offers a unique look at New York through Grey's eyes. Joel Grey/A New York Life will include posters, playbills, and costume pieces from Grey's iconic productions, combined with a selection of his New York City photographs. Together, they dramatize how the breadth of his artistic work has been nurtured and inspired by his life in New York City. Closed Mon.
Brain: The Inside Story - American Museum of Natural History
This unprecedented journey through the essential bundle of neurons that is the human brain offers insight through a sensory feast of imaginative art, vivid brain scan imaging, and thrilling interactive exhibits. Features include a "Brain Lounge," where you can view colorful, functional brain scans -- or fMRIs -- of two musicians, a NY Knick, and a U.N. translator. Open daily. $16; children 2-12, $9.
Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective - Metropolitan Museum of Art
This first retrospective of drawings by the contemporary American artist Richard Serra (b. 1939) presents a comprehensive overview of some forty years of his drawing activity. It traces the development of drawing as an art form independent from yet linked to his sculptural practice. Drawing for Serra has always played a crucial role in the investigation of new concepts and new creative methods. It has been a means of exploration of formal and perceptual relationships between the artwork and the viewer. His innovative ideas have radically transformed the traditional understanding of drawing as a form outlined against a background of the paper support, and exponentially expanded the definition of modern drawing through novel techniques, unusual media, monumental scale, and carefully conceived relationships to surrounding spaces.
This installation features a selection of one hundred examples of important boxes, caskets, and small chests from the Metropolitan Museum's European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department. For centuries, boxes, caskets, cabinets, and chests played an important role in everyday life. Ranging from strongboxes to travel cases and from containers for tea or tobacco to those for the storage of toiletries or silverware, these lidded pieces were made in a large variety of shapes and sizes, and of many different materials. The form and decoration of these objects not only reflect changes in social customs and manners but also follow the stylistic developments in Europe over four hundred years. Pieces made of tortoiseshell, carved and veneered wood, porcelain, hard stones and natural substances, embroidery, various metals, leather, enamel, pastiglia, and straw will be included. These objects, some of which have not been on display for years, were much more than mere containers and often became precious works of art, collected in their own right.
A Chronology: The Guggenheim Collection, 1909-1979 - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
In 1937, Solomon R. Guggenheim established a foundation with the goal of opening a museum to publicly exhibit and preserve his holdings of modern art. Since then, the museum's founding collection has been enhanced through major gifts and purchases from pioneering individuals who share Guggenheim's spirit. A Chronology: The Guggenheim Collection, 1909-1979 presents a visually dynamic time line of this extraordinary metamorphosis from private collection to public museum.
Inspiration and Industry - American Women on the Home Front - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The purpose of wartime posters was to unify and mobilize Americans. During World War I and World War II, U.S. government posters urged all citizens to make a personal commitment to the war effort. The special exhibition Inspiration and Industry draws upon original wartime posters to explore the contributions of women during these two conflicts.
Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection - Whitney Museum of American Art
At the turn of the twentieth century, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, an heiress and sculptor born to one of America's wealthiest families, began to assemble a rich and highly diverse collection of modern American art. This group of objects, combined with a trove of new works purchased around the time of the Whitney Museum's opening in 1931, came together to form the founding collection. This exhibition features a selected group of works from the approximately 1,000 objects in the Whitney's founding collection, including iconic paintings by artists such as Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as works by lesser-known artists. Co-curated by Barbara Haskell and Sasha Nicholas. Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection is the first in a multiyear series of exhibitions aimed at reassessing the museum's collection. Unfolding in chronological order over a two year period, these exhibitions will explore overlooked developments in American art and reconsider iconic figures and masterworks within new frameworks and contexts.
Anthony Caro on the Roof - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sculptures by Anthony Caro (b. 1924) -- who is considered the most influential and prolific British sculptor of his generation and a key figure in the development of modernist sculpture over the last sixty years -- is featured in the 2011 installation on The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The installation features a selection of sculpture in steel, painted and unpainted, spanning the artist's career to date and highlighting principal aspects of his long career: engagement with form in space, dialogue between sculpture and architecture, and creation of new, abstract analogies for the human figure and landscape.
The World's Largest Dinosaurs - American Museum of Natural History
A new exhibition that goes beyond traditional fossil shows to reveal how dinosaurs actually lived by taking visitors into the amazing anatomy of a uniquely super-sized group of dinosaurs: the long-necked and long-tailed sauropods, which ranged in size from 15 to 150 feet long. Drawing on the latest science that looks in part to existing organisms to understand these extinct giants, The World's Largest Dinosaurs will answer such intriguing questions as how an extremely large animal breathes, eats, moves, and survives by illuminating how size and scale are related to basic biological functions. Innovative interactive exhibits -- including the exhibition centerpiece, a life-sized, fleshed-out model of a 60-foot- long, 11-foot-tall female Mamenchisaurus, known for its remarkable, 30-foot neck -- will take visitors inside these giants' bodies, shedding light on how heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and reproduction are linked to size. An interactive excavation at the end of the exhibition will introduce visitors to how dinosaurs are discovered in the field through a replicated dig site.