The (new) Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Just in case you thought Marketman is so obsessed with food and markets that I do nothing else but flit from butcher to baker then to the cheesemaker, I thought I would throw in a post on the new Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which re-opened November 2004 after a serious abonnardarchitectural makeover that took several years. The new building is simply superb. I like it a lot. The new museum has lots of open space, clean lines, high ceilings (4+ stories in some atriums), and very modern materials and furniture. Matte muted stone in grey and green, glass, and steel combined with white walls make the building itself worth a visit, but even better, it provides a tremendous venue for the museum’s priceless collection of art. The galleries are extremely spacious and while starkly white, the walls seem to “float” and are an excellent foil for the spectacular collection of “modern” art that spans the over 110 years from the late 1890’s to the present and includes works by Monet, Manet, Matisse, de Kooning, Pollock, Botero, etc. The sculpture garden is also stunning and a wonderful open space in midtown Manhattan.

The collection on display is highly edited (a downside for me because so much of the art is in storage) and it leaves a lot of wall space… bringing sharper focus to the works that are actually on display. I was a bit amused by a particularly stark gallery that had a large canvas that was just black paint, and another around the corner that had just white paint. Hmmm… I kind of like some imagination on the canvas, not all in my brain. In the photo above, Marketman is viewing a painting by one of my favorite painters from the Impressionist period, Pierre Bonnard. A superb colorist that might strike most as just another artist following in the vein of Monet or other impressionists, Bonnard was a quiet, modest soul with a superb sense of color, composition and light. The painting above is La Salle a Manger Sur le Jardin (Dining Room Overlooking the Garden, or The Breakfast Room) which shows a breakfast laid out on a table overlooking the gardens. A nice brioche appears to be on a plate near the tea (or coffee) pot. It is a wonderful painting. Bonnard painted dozens of still lifes and scenes that revolve around the dinner table or food or meals… His depictions of fruit are also stunning and I covet them.

The new MOMA is at it’s old location on 53rd Street just west of 5th Avenue. Get there early as there are lines (we waited 30+ minutes on a busy weekday). Tickets for adults are $20 but it is well worth it. And just in case you were wondering, Marketman also did a couple of visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue and his best discovery – the spectacular cafeteria in the basement that is the snazziest cafeteria he has ever eaten in.

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4 Responses

  1. I knew it… even paintings you are admiring at includes food ;-)

    One of museums listed which serves spectacular food is a private museum in Oslo.. I have a magazine which list galleries all over the world which serves superb food even just at their cafes.

    Think I will use yr writings for my guide to my future
    New York escapades.

  2. (this has nothing to do with MOMA) I was searching for your post on cheeses after reading this one on MOMA – any good finds in the cheese dept? I did some cheese smuggling from the Northwest last week, and am enjoying my finds from local cheesemakers in Oregon and Washington. The folks at Beechers’ in Seattle said I was the first Filipino customer who wanted to bring back cheese with me.

  3. Mila you are reading my mind. Yes, I have a cheese entry lined up. I will have over 10 lbs of cheese in my luggage when I head home to Manila… stay tuned.

  4. MM, I heard MOMA was redone by a Japanese architect. I havent seen the new MOMA but I heard it’s stark but gorgeous. Spent way too much money to make it perfect, I heard. I have to see it next time I’m in NY.

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