February Arts Newsletter
As a weekend to New York is clearly out of the question, I thought I would bring the galleries of NYC to you virtually this month. Each museum has its own website, of course, but in many cases these tend to be designed as an aid to a real life visit. Therefore I have included Google Arts&Culture links to each which, as they are designed purely for online perusal, often feel a bit smoother. And you don’t even have to beg for a cab to get there.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has over 200,000 exhibits spanning 5,000 years of history so you could be forgiven for being overwhelmed at first glance. Click here for their own website which has some interesting articles. The Met 360 project uses 6 interactive films that make you feel you are there. The Google Arts& Culture site has over 30 accessible short articles like this examination of Rodin’s sculptures of hands. You can also explore the collection via medium, era or moving through gallery using Google Earth.
MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) covers modern and contemporary art from 1880s onwards. The MoMA website has examples of all the galleries and temporary exhibitions. I found the early photography gallery particularly absorbing. The Google/Moma collaboration has a great exhibition on Sophie Taeuber-Arp, the Swiss abstractionist. Full of information and images, it does feel like a proper exhibition.
The Frick Collection is my favourite NY museum. Not only is it small, manageable and shows Renaissance to Impressionist art, it is housed in William Frick’s guilded age mansion overlooking central park. I strongly recommend the Google earth tour here. There is a lovely Vemeer online exhibition here too with lots of zooming in on paint details. The museum is currently undergoing major renovations and all works have temporarily moved to Madison Avenue to a modernist Marcel Breuer site. The Frick’s website has more details, fingers crossed they preserve the atmosphere.
The Guggenheim has their whole collection catalogued here and also some interesting articles like this in depth look at the restoration of a Jackson Pollock. My favourite aspect of the Guggenheim, however, has always been the amazing architecture. The Frank Lloyd-Wright designed rotunda can be explored via the Google street-view tour. Start at the top and descend the ramp, just like the building was originally designed to be viewed.
My weekly life drawing session is still going but we are meeting via Zoom. One of the very few advantages of life drawing via video link is that the model can put the camera at unusual angles creating some real challenges with foreshortening. Here the model, Steve, put the camera on his coffee table facing directly up and then looking down his body as he lay down. Tricky!