Wednesday, July 12, 2006



NYC has many wonderful museums and we visited a lot of them during our first stay. Here can be found some pictures from four of them, as well as from the Lincoln Center. However missing in the photos, the Metropolitan, the Frick Collection and many others were part of our full week in New York City without ever leaving Manhattan. The Village Vanguard, Blue Note, and other jazz clubs, some no longer existing, were also visited!



The Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1929 as an educational instituttion. Located at 53rd Steet is one of the most interesting museums of the world. By the time of this first visit, it was still the home to Picasso's «Guernica» (1937)! Hosting some of my favourite paintins and sculptures - the collection comprises some 3,200 works dating from the late nineteenth century to the present -, it would be impossible to mention them all. Highlights can be seen at the Collection highlights online.

"THE SCULPTURE GARDEN - Masterworks of modern sculpture, seasonal plantings, and reflecting pools welcome visitors to the 1953 Sculpture Garden"

"BALZAC - Rodin spent seven years working on this this Monument to Balzac. However, when the original was exhibited in Paris in 1898, it was widely attacked. Only many years after Rodin's death was it cast to bronze, but then to stay as a monument to the energy and genius of the writer, as well as of the sculptor"

"SHE-GOAT - Picasso was born in Málaga on October 25, 1881. In 1950, working in Vallauris, where he produced more than two thousand pieces, he created She-Goat, a humorously charming bronze cast from an assemblage of flowerpots, a wicker basket, and other materials"



Heading uptown, we found the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the world's largest performing arts center, including the Metropolitan Opera House, The Avery Fisher Hall, The New York State Theater, The Vivian Beaumont Theater...

"DAMROSCH PARK - Where some years later I attended a fabulous free concert with Herbie Mann, and Dave Valentin, among other fabulous jazz players"

"FOUNTAIN - April 6, 1964 the Lincoln Center Fountain opens. The architect was Philip Johnson"

"RECLINING FIGURE (1962-1963) - Henry Moore was born on July 30, 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire and died in 1986. He became known for his large-scale abstract cast bronze and carved marble sculptures. The reclining figures - his signature form - were first influenced by the Mayan «Chac-Mool» altar, namely the one at Chichen Itza, which depict a human figure in a reclining position with the head up and turned to one side"



The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, has been presenting its collections, which show earth's evolution from the early beginnings up to present days, for more than one hundred and thirty years.

"DIORAMAS - The Museum is famous for its habitat groups of African, Asian and North American mammals, which was a nice surprise when we visited it for the first time"



In 1937 Solomon R. Guggenheim created a foundation, and in 1939 the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, with works from Klee, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. In 1959 the collection founded by Guggenheim moved to its new home on 5th Avenue, named THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM.

"THE BUILDING - The extraordinary controversial masterpiece designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - it was his last major work hosts the Collection. The building, according to Wright, would break the rectilinear grid of Manhattan but also shattered existing notions of what a museum could be. The continuous curving space allows visitors a new way of looking. It is one of the greatest architecture's works of the twentieth century.

"BIRTHDAY - THE SOLDIER DRINKS - Chagall was born on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia, and died in 1985, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. «Birthday» is an amazing composition where a young couple, including a contorted male protagonist, celebrates the female's special day with flowers and cake. «The Soldier Drinks» was developed from Chagall's memory of tsarist soldiers who were billeted with families during the 1904–05 Russo-Japanese war"

"LANDSCAPE (THE HARE) - ? - Miró was born April 20, 1893, in Barcelona, and died in December 1983, in Palma de Mallorca. In 1927 painted Landscape (The Hare), where he returned to one of his favorite subjects: the countryside around his home in Catalonia. «My work should be like a poem set to music by a painter...» he said. In 1941 he painted a series of works (twenty three) he named «Constellations». The painting on the right is probably from the «Constellations» period, although I could not find its name. Any help?"

"CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, Final state on blue ground- Léger was born in 1981 in Argentan, Normandie, and died on August 17, 1955, in Gif-sur-Yvette. On his last years of life he hold conferences on a new realism in art, and created large painting celebrating people, an attempt to produce accessible art"



At the northern end of Manhattan, we found Fort Tryon Park, and the Cloisters department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The Cloisters were described by Germain Bazin, former director of the Musée du Louvre, as "the crowning achievement of American museology.

"THE BUILDING, designed by Charles Collens (1873–1956), the architect of New York City's Riverside Church, is amazing. It incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters — Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Bonnefont-en-Comminges, Trie-en-Bigorre, and Froville — and from other monastic sites in southern France"

"GARDEN - Three of the cloisters reconstructed at the Cloisters feature gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval poetry, garden documents, and medieval works of art, such as tapestries, stained-glass windows, and column capitals"

"CLOISTER - Much of the sculpture was acquired by George Barnard, an American sculptor and collector of medieval art. The building incorporates cloister elements, including columns, found by Barnard"


Ming_the_Merciless said...

OMG, I love your photos from the 1970s. I love the way you guys dressed. And it is amazing to see the old Sculpture Garden at MoMA.

Trotter said...

Thanks Ming. The late seventies were a bit decadent in New York City, but the Museums were always great experience...

Ted Roth said...

Ahhhh, The Cloisters! One of my favorite places in NYC.

Trotter said...

One of mine also!! Always found it a bit weird to re-construct medieval Europe in Manhattan, but the result came out quite well!!

There is a return visit in 1997...