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INSIDE/OUT: A MoMA/MoMA PS1 BLOG

December 31, 2009
2010 – One Day Left

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we’d like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2010 and thank you for all of your support, interest, and encouragement since we started this blog two months ago. We hope you enjoy this series of blog posts featuring winter- and New Year’s–themed works from MoMA’s collection.

Tod Papageorge. New Years Eve at Studio 54. 1978

Tod Papageorge. New Year's Eve at Studio 54. 1978

December 30, 2009
2010 – Two Days Left
Wes Wilson (Robert Wesley Wilson). New Year Bash. 1966

Wes Wilson (Robert Wesley Wilson). New Year Bash. 1966

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we’d like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2010 and thank you for all of your support, interest, and encouragement since we started this blog two months ago. We hope you enjoy this series of blog posts featuring winter- and New Year’s–themed works from MoMA’s collection.

December 29, 2009
2010 – Three Days Left

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we’d like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2010 and thank you for all of your support, interest, and encouragement since we started this blog two months ago. We hope you enjoy this series of blog posts featuring winter– and New Year’s–themed works from MoMA’s collection.

The Magnificent Ambersons. 1942. USA. Directed by Orson Welles. Shown: Tim Holt (as George) and Anne Baxter (as Lucy). RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Image ©1942 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

The Magnificent Ambersons. 1942. USA. Directed by Orson Welles. Shown: Tim Holt (as George) and Anne Baxter (as Lucy). RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Image ©1942 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

December 28, 2009
2010 – Four Days Left

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we’d like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2010 and thank you for all of your support, interest, and encouragement since we started this blog two months ago. We hope you enjoy this series of blog posts featuring winter- and New Year’s–themed works from MoMA’s collection.

Marcel Duchamp. In Advance of the Broken Arm. 1964 (fourth version, after lost original of November 1915)

Marcel Duchamp. In Advance of the Broken Arm. 1964 (fourth version, after lost original of November 1915)

December 25, 2009
Let It Snow

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we’d like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2010 and thank you for all of your support, interest, and encouragement since we started this blog two months ago. We hope you enjoy this series of blog posts featuring winter- and New Year’s–themed works from MoMA’s collection.

Wilson A. Bentley. Snowflake. 1905

Wilson A. Bentley. Snowflake. 1905

December 24, 2009  |  Film
The Ingmar Bergman Film Collection at MoMA
Kvinnors väntan (Secrets of Women). 1952. Sweden. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Shown from left: Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand . © Janus Films. Photo courtesy Janus Films/Photofest

Kvinnors väntan (Secrets of Women). 1952. Sweden. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Shown from left: Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand. Gift Janus Films. © Janus Films. Photo courtesy Janus Films/Photofest

The Museum of Modern Art began collecting the films of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007) in the late 1960s, shortly after the introduction of his ubiquitous art house films in the American theatrical market by the pioneering distributor Janus Films. Through a forty-year collaboration with Janus Films, MoMA has actively acquired Bergman’s films and created preservation materials on such titles as Kvinnors väntan (Secrets of Women) (1952) and Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) (1959). A recent analysis of MoMA’s Bergman holdings totals more than 350 pieces of film materials, representing thirty titles from across the relevant filmography. Read more

December 23, 2009  |  Behind the Scenes, Collection & Exhibitions
Bauhaus Lab

Bauhaus Lab has been a new experiment for us at MoMA: we sought to create a space where various audiences could both get a sense of the original curricula of the famed school, and participate in events and activities that carried the Bauhaus spirit into the twenty-first century. The planning of the Bauhaus Lab was an extensive process that involved several months of  research, planning, and experimentation, and represented a true collaborative effort amongst the Education Department staff. In this video, my colleagues Amy Horschak and Laura Beiles discuss some of the thinking behind the activities we developed and tell a few behind-the scenes anecdotes about the project.

December 22, 2009  |  Rising Currents
Rising Currents: Open Studios

The five Rising Currents architect-in-residence teams have been playing host to many interested parties in the past weeks. A recent visit from The New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability and The Port Authority of NY and NJ served as a reminder that the impact of this project transcends the walls of the studio and the museum. On December 12, hundreds of museum visitors explored the studios at P.S.1. Each team implemented different presentation methods—from drawings, models, and maps to oyster farming demonstrations and delicious topographic cakes—to convey their project vision. The teams will open their studios to the public once more at the close of the workshop on Saturday, January 9, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Left: Visitors attend the Open Studios at P.S.1 on December 12. Right: NYC Mayor's Office attends Open Studios at P.S.1

Left: Visitors attend the Open Studios at P.S.1 on December 12. Right: NYC Mayor's Office attends Open Studios at P.S.1

Read more

December 22, 2009  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Send in the Clowns

These notes accompany the program Send in the Clowns, screening on December 23 and 24 in Theater 3.

While this is intended as a fun holiday program, a few comments might be in order. First, I should acknowledge my personal prejudice against slapstick. I have felt that Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton rose to the heights of screen comedy by distancing themselves from their Sennett/Normand/Arbuckle roots. I know this hurts colleagues like our estimable pianist Ben Model and other friends, but the philosophy of “anything for a laugh” (evident also in most of Mel Brooks’s work and the early films of Woody Allen) seems incongruous to me, if we are talking about “ART.” I won’t even dignify The Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello (there go my other friends) with a mention. (So kindly disregard that mention.) Seriously, though, I have always sought out some logical structure, character development, or visual invention in determining the worthiness of a film. This doesn’t mean that I am incapable of laughing at silly antics, and I fully acknowledge that some of Keaton’s (The General, Steamboat Bill, Jr.) and Chaplin’s (Monsieur Verdoux, Limelight) greatest works can sometimes be painfully unfunny, but there is an imaginary line in what’s left of my brain that makes me distinguish between entertainment for its own sake and art. However, I don’t wish to rain on your parade or your holiday spirit. If nothing else, this program attempts to establish a lineage that eventually leads to greatness. Read more

December 21, 2009  |  Events & Programs
At Play, Seriously, in the Museum
Alfred H.Barr Jr.'s experimental interpretative installations for Picasso: Forty Years of His Art, 1940 and Cubism and Abstract Art, 1936 at MoMA.

Alfred H.Barr Jr.'s experimental interpretative installations for Picasso: Forty Years of His Art (1940) and Cubism and Abstract Art (1936) at MoMA

My last blog post pondered whether a museum could be a place to foster your own creativity rather than simply appreciating that of the “masters.”

In her book Museum Legs: Fatigue and Hope in the Face of Art, Amy Whitaker makes the case that “teaching people to make art can also be politically disruptive because it teaches people to have their own opinion, giving them a say.”

Marcel Duchamp was definitive on the point of viewers having a say: ”All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”

Duchamp’s view defies traditional assumptions about art and viewers, often considered the art museum “dance”—the museum leads, the viewer follows.

Often people think they need extensive amounts of information from experts to fully appreciate art, but all that’s really needed is the confidence and opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions, and perhaps a bit of context as a framework—a kind of a personal trainer to help guide the way, but not do the “creative work” of interpretation. Read more