Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.
Check out this selection of haunted tricks and treats, specially prepared for your Halloween-weekend pleasure.
1. William Eggleston. Outskirts of Morton, Mississippi, Halloween. 1971
These ghouls don’t look too happy, which is most likely how photographer William Eggleston felt when his book William Eggleston’s Guide, published in conjunction with his 1976 solo exhibition—MoMA’s first one-man show of color photographs—was trashed by critics for being cheap and vulgar. Not the first time critics got it wrong.
2. Alfred Kubin. Untitled (The Eternal Flame) (Ohne Titel [Die ewige Flamme]). c. 1900
This macabre watercolor could only have come from the mind of an artist who lived in an isolated castle for most of his life and survived a nervous breakdown and a suicide attempt. It’s kinda beautiful in its own creepy way.
3. Forrest Mars. M&Ms. Late 1930s
Thank goodness that MoMA had the foresight to put M&Ms in its design collection. Now I know where to go if my son doesn’t want to share his Halloween loot.
4. Paolo Canevari. Bouncing Skull. 2007
In this twelve-minute video, a boy indifferently practices his soccer skills with a bouncing rubber skull in the former Serbian Army Headquarters in Belgrade, which NATO bombed in 1999. That’s frightening enough to qualify.
5. F. W. Murnau. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des (Nosferatu the Vampire). 1922
And what Halloween would be complete without F. W. Murnaus silent vampire classic Nosferatu? Released in 1922, this unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula,—with names and other details changed—remains a true horror classic.