November 30, 2010  |  MoMA Stores
Making Myths from the Mundane

Vik Muniz. Untitled (Medusa Plate). 1999

Each year since 1988, art collector, software entrepreneur, and MoMA trustee Peter Norton has commissioned an art edition to celebrate the holiday season. Created by well-known contemporary artists represented in the Norton family’s own collection, and sent as gifts to personal friends and members of the art community, these highly collectible art objects are interactive and playful. With the holiday season nearly upon us, we thought it would be fun to share some items in the collection with a weeklong series of blog posts. Read more

November 30, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Viewpoints
Human Pressures

Paula Hayes's assistant, John Gray, installs the plantings for the installation Nocturne of the Limax maximus

When Hermes and Aphrodite had a son, Hermaphroditus, who was fused with a nymph, Salmacis, the resulting person possessed the physical traits of both male and female—hence the term “hermaphrodite,” used in biology as a description of similarly dual reproductive traits in both plants and animals. Read more

November 30, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Charles Chaplin’s Modern Times
Charles Chaplin's Modern Times

Modern Times. 1936. USA. Produced, written, directed, edited, and scored by Charles Chaplin

These notes accompany screenings of Charles Chaplin’s Modern Times on November 30 and December 1 and 2 in Theater 3.

If City Lights represents Charles Chaplin (1889–1977) at his romantic zenith, Modern Times most admirably displays his prescient satirical gifts. The relationship he began in the early 1930s with Paulette Goddard, which culminated in a secret marriage in China, began to relieve his obsessive loneliness and self-absorption. This, together with extensive travels through Europe and Asia, caused him to turn outward and consider problems beyond the personal. Read more

November 29, 2010  |  Counter Space, Events & Programs
Educator Journal: In the Making—Food & Art

A small portion of student artwork from the Food & Art class

For this Educator Journal, I asked teaching artist Alan Calpe to reflect upon the last seven weeks of his Food & Art class. Working with a diverse group of NYC teens, Alan has been investigating the Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen exhibition and exploring the various cultural and social connotations that artists bring to the table (so to speak) when addressing the idea of food in their work. The class has been up to their elbows in paper maché, and we’re all eagerly awaiting their final food-based projects.

-Calder Zwicky, Associate Educator, Teen and Community Programs Read more

November 24, 2010  |  Events & Programs
Educator Journal: In the Making—Social Architecture

For this series of posts, I’ve asked the teaching artists from this season’s In the Making Art Classes to reflect on what they’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks with their teenaged students. Each In the Making class meets once a week—Tuesday or Thursday nights—and focuses on introducing the participants to the materials, techniques, artistic theories, and exhibitions currently on view in MoMA’s galleries. It’s a great way for teens to find a community of positive, creative peers outside of a high school setting, and all classes are offered completely free of charge to the participating students. For this entry, teaching artist Grace Hwang explores her process of introducing students to the themes and philosophies behind our Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement exhibition. Read more

November 23, 2010  |  Film
Eternally Grateful: Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish MoMA retrospective reception

The Museum of Modern Art's Lillian Gish retrospective reception, September 18, 1980. From left: Sir John Gielgud, Helen Hayes, Nedda Harrington Logan, Lillian Gish, Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Irene Worth. Photo: MoMA Department of Film archives

The inspiration for MoMA’s upcoming Lillian Gish retrospective came about during the planning of the publication Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art. When I was asked to write an essay on a film artist for the book, actress Lillian Gish quickly came to mind. Not only is she integral to the history of film, but also to the history of film collecting at MoMA. She was an early champion of the Department of Film’s preservation efforts, and she was instrumental in getting her frequent collaborator D. W. Griffith to give his films to the Museum. Read more

November 23, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
William Cameron Menzies’s Things to Come
Things to Come

Things to Come. 1936. Great Britain. Directed by William Cameron Menzies

These notes accompany screenings of William Cameron Menzies’s Things to Come on November 24 and 26 in Theater 3.

I can’t deny that there may be a slight “guilty pleasures” element in my choice of Things to Come as part of this series. William Cameron Menzies (1896–1957), however, was a towering figure in the history of film, if not as a director, then as an art director. I would argue that he crossed the line into auteurism, even while working for major directors like Walsh, Dwan, Lubitsch, Borzage, Griffith, Hawks, and Hitchcock. Read more

November 22, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Living and Growing at MoMA: Paula Hayes’s Installation in the Museum Lobby

MoMA’s lobby is a site of perpetual flux and frenzy, a public passageway for people to meet, greet, rest, or chat before embarking on their next experience, either inside or outside the Museum’s walls. When asked by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, to think of forms that would visually complement and invigorate the rectangular and column-filled lobby space, Paula Hayes, a New York-based sculptor and landscape designer, who enjoys “knocking something off kilter a bit,” was ready to take up the challenge. Read more

November 19, 2010  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 11/19/2010

How well do you know your MoMA? If you think you can identify the artist and title of each of these works—all currently on view in the Building Collections: Recent Acquisitions of Architecture exhibition—please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—in two weeks (on Friday, December 3), along with the next Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge.


November 19, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
The Perfect Kitchen Clock

Hungarian embroidered wall hanging. Translation from Hungarian: “You must do everything at the right time.” Collection Juliet Kinchin. Photograph: Roger Griffith

There’s always been a clock in my kitchen. I can’t imagine otherwise. I bet there’s been one in yours too. I’m not talking about the digital ones on the coffee maker, stove, microwave, etc. that I don’t even bother to set—I’m talking about the clock that’s been in charge of keeping time everywhere I’ve ever lived—my kitchen clock. Read more