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MoMA

INSIDE/OUT: A MoMA/MoMA PS1 BLOG

May 28, 2010  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 05/28/2010

How well do you know your MoMA? Above are images of works from the MoMA collection that are currently on view throughout the Museum. If you think you can identify the artist, title, and location of each work, please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—next Friday, along with the next Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge.

ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK’S CHALLENGE: Read more

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May 28, 2010  |  Behind the Scenes, Tech
Revenge of the “30 Seconds” Videos

The sequel is a notoriously dicey—though sometimes brilliant—film enterprise, be it Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Empire Strikes Back, or my personal favorite at the age of twelve, The Karate Kid, Part II. After the first round of 30 Seconds videos, in which MoMA staff and members created short videos with filmmaker Thilo Hoffmann, we invited Thilo back late last year. The results are in, and you can now see selected videos by staff and members. Read more

May 27, 2010  |  Artists, Publications
Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, now pocket-sized!

Screenshot of the Starry Night app

Instantly recognizable and an iconic image in our culture, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is a touchstone of modern art and one of the most beloved works in the Museum’s collection. It draws thousands of visitors every day who want to gaze at it, be instructed about it, and be photographed next to it—yet few viewers are familiar with the story behind this unlikely masterpiece, executed during a tumultuous period in the artist’s life. Read more

A Room with a View

Installation view of the exhibition Sculpture in Color (May 18, 2009–January 11, 2010), featuring three 2006 polyester sculptures by Franz West—Maya’s Dream, Lotus, and Untitled (Orange). Photo by Jason Mandella

Long before I began working at MoMA, I happened to sit next to the former wife of a renowned artist at a dinner marking his posthumous retrospective. I asked her awkwardly about how she had met him, and with tenderness she painted a memorable picture of their first encounter, which centered around MoMA. The year was 1959, and she, a young woman working at the membership desk, was nudged on by a coworker to introduce herself to a security officer who was in the Sculpture Garden, guarding a geodesic dome installation by Buckminster Fuller. Read more

May 26, 2010  |  Pictures By Women
Pictures OF Women

From left: Claude Cahun. Untitled. c. 1921. Gelatin silver print. Thomas Walther Collection. Purchase; Ilse Bing. Self Portrait in Mirrors. 1931. Gelatin silver print. Joseph G. Mayer Fund. © 2010 The Ilse Bing Estate/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery; Berenice Abbott. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. Negative c. 1930/Distortion c. 1950. Gelatin silver print. Frances Keech Fund in honor of Monroe Wheeler. © 2010 Berenice Abbott/Commerce Graphics, Ltd., New York. All works in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art

In each gallery of the recently opened Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, you will encounter a wall of photographs (sometimes two) with only pictures of women. This is not because women focused their cameras primarily on their female peers—there are plenty of exceptional landscapes and photographs of other subjects in the Museum’s collection, and a select smattering of these are now on view—but rather because I, along with my colleagues and co-curators Eva Respini and Roxana Marcoci, were fascinated by how these groups of pictures of women and by women suggest, in their diversity, the plasticity of both photography and female identity. Read more

May 25, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Victor Seastrom’s The Wind
The Wind. 1928. USA. Directed by Victor Seastrom. Acquired from MGM

The Wind. 1928. USA. Directed by Victor Seastrom. Acquired from MGM

These notes accompany the screening of The Wind, May 26, 27, and 28 in Theater 3.

As we draw toward the end of the silent period, I recognize that Victor Sjöström (1879–1960)—”Victor Seastrom” during his MGM years—has been somewhat neglected in this series. We did show his early Ingeborg Holm (1913), and several clips appeared in the documentary Swedish Cinema Classics, but that is insufficient for a full appreciation of his importance. His work between 1917 and his departure for Hollywood in 1923 (including Terje Vigen, The Outlaw and His Wife, The Phantom Chariot, and his numerous adaptations of Selma Lagerlof novels) place him in the first rank of silent-film directors, and he pioneered the pitfalls of directing himself as an actor before Chaplin, Stroheim, or Keaton. Several of his nine Hollywood films no longer survive, although the two Lillian Gish vehicles, The Scarlet Letter and The Wind, still remain and appear to be the best of the lot. He returned to Europe in 1928, directing only two talkies but continuing to act in Swedish films until his bravura performance for Ingmar Bergman in Wild Strawberries (1957) at the age of seventy-eight. Read more

May 24, 2010  |  Library and Archives
From the Archives: Highlights from the MoMA Guestbook, 1929 to 1944

In 1929, three women, Lillie P. Bliss, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and Mary Quinn Sullivan, joined forces to establish a museum based in New York City that was devoted exclusively to modern art. Over the course of the next 15 years, over one and a half million visitors paid their respects to the result of their efforts: The Museum of Modern Art. As it turns out, a tiny percentage of these visitors are memorialized in a leather-bound guest register that was brought out by Museum staffers for only its most illustrious guests to sign. The guest book, which now resides in our Archives, is a fascinating document from MoMA’s fledgling years and serves as a reminder of the appeal of the Museum to well-known figures from a wide range of social, professional, and cultural backgrounds. Read more

May 21, 2010  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 05/21/2010

How well do you know your MoMA? Above are images of works from the MoMA collection that are currently on view throughout the Museum. If you think you can identify the artist, title, and location of each work, please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—next Friday, along with the next Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge.

ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK’S CHALLENGE: Read more

May 21, 2010  |  Artists, Conservation
Conservation of Floor Cake (Part 6)

At AIC, Cindy Albertson and Margo Delidow discuss the history and treatment of Floor Cake

We’ve taken a short break from writing about Claes Oldenburg’s iconic Floor Cake sculpture—currently undergoing conservation treatment here at MoMA—to prepare a lecture for last week’s annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Conservators, educators, and scientists gather each year to discuss new types of treatments for works of art and to examine the effects of past treatment. Our presentation focused on the history of Floor Cake and its condition (please see our previous posts), as we have been working to conserve this unique and popular work for the past several months. Read more

May 20, 2010  |  Behind the Scenes
MoMA Offsite: Getting There

Henri Rousseau. The Dream. 1910

I’ve talked so much in this outgoing loan column about the traveling works themselves, and the many different contexts they inhabit beyond the expanses of MoMA’s walls. But I’ve yet to address just how the works get to their destinations. It’s no secret that fine art is crated, shipped by special art-handling companies, and covered by specific art insurance policies…but did you know that some works are personally escorted by Museum staff? This week I talked to two curatorial assistants from the Department of Painting and Sculpture who have been on a handful of courier trips, as we call them, to all corners of the globe. Carla Bianchi is part of a team at MoMA that handles all matters of our loan program, from the moment an official request is received to the time a work finally returns to MoMA, sometimes years later. Nora Lawrence supports exhibitions in our department; recently she worked with Ann Temkin on the catalogue and installation for Monet’s Water Lilies. Read more