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CATEGORY: BEHIND THE SCENES

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Looking Back at MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me…and Beyond

This past May and June, MoMA’s Education and Research Building mezzanine was the site of MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me, an interactive space that explored the intersections between art, therapeutic practice, and the ways in which we relate to objects and people through physical encounters. Read more

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Polke Pop-Up Activity Space
MoMA visitors participate in a Polke Pop-Up Activity

MoMA visitors participate in a Polke Pop-Up Activity

If you happen to visit the exhibition Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010 on Tuesday afternoons you will notice something different: the sight of Museum visitors making art inspired by Sigmar Polke’s processes, in close proximity to his works of art. This shift toward more hands-on learning experiences is not something that happened overnight. Read more

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July 2, 2014  |  Learning and Engagement, Tech
Five Steps to Making the Art & Activity MOOC
The video crew captures Lisa leading a teacher professional development session in MoMA's fourth-floor Painting and Sculpture Galleries. Photo: Stephanie Pau

The video crew captures Lisa leading a teacher professional development session in MoMA’s fourth-floor Painting and Sculpture Galleries. Photo: Stephanie Pau

On July 7, we launch Art & Activity: Interactive Strategies for Engaging with Art, a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The course is part of an ongoing partnership with MOOC provider Coursera, to provide free professional development opportunities for K–12 teachers worldwide. Read more

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Playing Games at MoMA Studio: Won’t You Breathe with Me?
From left: Playing Polvo with Michel Groisman at MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me; Playing Sirva-Se in MoMA's Sculpture Garden with Michel Groisman. Photos by Sarah Kennedy

From left: Playing Polvo with Michel Groisman at MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me; Playing Sirva-Se in MoMA’s Sculpture Garden with Michel Groisman. Photos by Sarah Kennedy

We are entering the fourth week of MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me and want to share some of the highlights of the artist-led workshops that have activated the space so far. Each one revealed the ways in which Lygia Clark’s work continues to resonate with contemporary artists and their hopes to engage the public in experiences of art that are physical and social in nature. Read more

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Would You Like to Come Breathe with Me at MoMA Studio?
MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me Opening event on Friday, May 16, 2014. Photo by Sarah Kennedy, MoMA staff member.

MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me Opening event on Friday, May 16, 2014. Photo: Sarah Kennedy

Last Friday, May 16, we celebrated the opening of MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me, an interactive space that has been organized in conjunction with the exhibition Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988, on view in the sixth-floor galleries through August 24, 2014. Taking Clark’s art as a reference point, the Studio presents a series of drop-in programs, participatory experiences, and artist-led workshops that explore the intersections between art, therapeutic practice, and the ways in which we relate to objects and people through physical encounters.

Like all previous MoMA Studios, MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me is a free, interactive space open to visitors of all ages, and offers experiential learning experiences that complement looking and talking about works of art in the galleries, allowing for engagement with art in hands-on, creative ways. Visitors can experiment, learn, play, and create as they make connections between their lives, their own creativity, and the processes and materials of modern and contemporary art.

Visitors using Lygia Clark's sensorial object called Living Structures, made up of elastic bands connecting participants in a giant flexible web. Photo by Sarah Kennedy

Visitors using Lygia Clark’s sensorial object called Living Structures, made up of elastic bands connecting participants in a giant flexible web. Photo: Sarah Kennedy

The process of putting this particular MoMA Studio together has been a unique experience due to the nature of Lygia Clark’s work, which is often dynamic and sensorial in nature—a quality that is highlighted in the exhibition itself, which has a central component that is about engaging the public in participatory ways within the galleries. This aspect of the exhibition parallels the planning of our Studio programming and has allowed for a fruitful collaboration with the curatorial team and the exhibition facilitators.

In developing the focus and scope of MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me, and in the hopes of revealing the profound resonance Clark’s work has had with contemporary artists, we have collaborated with a talented group of artists from near and far, to present an exciting series of programs for this MoMA Studio. These artists include Ricardo Basbaum, Carlito Carvalhosa, Stephanie Diamond and Tamara Vanderwal, Michel Groisman, Jeanine Oleson, and Allison Smith.

Visitors trying Lygia Clark's proposition, Caminhando on the rug at MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me with Allison Smith's Joining Screens project as a backdrop. Photo by Sarah Kennedy

Visitors trying Lygia Clark’s proposition, Caminhando, on the rug at MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me with Allison Smith’s Joining Screens project as a backdrop. Photo: Sarah Kennedy

Perhaps more than previous Studios, this one is conceived as a space that comes alive most with the activation of the workshops and events by willing participants, in collaboration with artists. This week the workshops kicked off with Carlito Carvalhosa’s public action in the The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden and MoMA Studio on May 20 and 21, followed by Michel Groisman’s Polvo and Sirva-Se workshops, which begin tomorrow, May 22 and run through the Memorial Day weekend. We are following Clark’s philosophy, “the work is in the act,” and we invite you all to join us! Visit MoMA.org/MoMAstudio for details.

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Modern Art through Contemporary Eyes: Correspondence from MoMA’s International Program
From left: Alexander Calder. The Big Gong. 1952. IC/IP, I.A.56. The Museum of Modern Art Archives; Installation view of Calder's The Big Gong (top) in Twelve Modern American Painters and Sculptors, Musée National d’Art Modern, Paris, 1953. IC/IP, I.A.64. The Museum of Modern Art Archives

From left: Alexander Calder. The Big Gong. 1952. IC/IP, I.A.56. The Museum of Modern Art Archives; Installation view of Calder’s The Big Gong (top) in Twelve Modern American Painters and Sculptors, Musée National d’Art Modern, Paris, 1953. IC/IP, I.A.64. The Museum of Modern Art Archives

This past year the MoMA Archives processed and opened to the public the full record history of MoMA’s International Council and International Program, a collection so large that it required the work of three staff members to complete it in one year. One benefit of processing a large collection as a team was the opportunity to share our most interesting discoveries with one another. Read more

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May 13, 2014  |  MoMA Stores
MoMA Design Store Presents Products Brought to Life by Kickstarter

KickstarterMoMA LockupIn honor of NYCxDESIGN—New York City’s official citywide celebration of design—MoMA Design Store is pleased to present a suite of products brought to life by Kickstarter.

Since Kickstarter launched five years ago, thousands of people on all seven continents (even Antarctica!) have used the platform to share their ideas, shape the world around us, and design the future.

The Kickstarter@MoMAStore collection includes 24 new products made by 20 international designers

The Kickstarter@MoMAStore collection includes 24 new products made by 20 international designers

By involving the public in the creative process, Kickstarter uses the power of community to help designers take great ideas from concept to reality. The collection includes 24 new products made by 20 international designers; from captivating timepieces to quirky wall hooks, illuminated sculptures to robots for kids, all of these designs were created by people like you, supported by people like you, and now exist for people like you to enjoy.

These extraordinary objects embody the qualities of Good Design ascribed by the Museum in their innovation of function, use of novel materials, and technological advancement.

The MoMA Design Store and Kickstarter honor these individuals and their designs as examples of how everyone is capable of making incredible things.

The Impossible Instant Lab transforms any digital image from your iPhone or iPod Touch into a real analog instant photo right before your eyes. Backed by 2,509 project supporters on Kickstarter

The Impossible Instant Lab. Backed by 2,509 project supporters on Kickstarter

The Impossible Project was founded on the conviction that analog things have value in a digital world. In 2008, the company purchased the world’s last remaining Polaroid film factory in The Netherlands with the goal of recasting an outdated production process for a new age, and their newest design, the Impossible Instant Lab, successfully bridges the old and new in a tangible way.

Juxtaposing classic analog developing techniques with contemporary digital technology, the Instant Lab transforms any digital image from your iPhone or iPod Touch into a real analog instant photo right before your eyes.

Designed to reduce energy waste and increase the longevity of devices, the Powerslayer Phone Charger Kit automatically stops charging once it detects that your device is completely powered up. Backed by 597 project supporters on Kickstarter

Powerslayer Phone Charger Kit. Backed by 597 project supporters on Kickstarter

Designed to reduce energy waste and increase the longevity of devices, the Powerslayer Phone Charger Kit automatically stops charging once it detects that your device is completely powered up. Backed by 597 project supporters on Kickstarter[/caption]
Even after they have fully charged, electronic devices continue to draw power; in fact, mobile phones and tablets can draw at least half as much power after they’re fully charged as they do while charging. In addition to jacking up electricity bills, the extra draw can actually decrease your phone battery’s ability to hold power and can ultimately decrease the life of your device. Designed to reduce energy waste and increase the longevity of devices, Powerslayer automatically stops charging once it detects that your device is completely powered up.

Toymail Mailmen™ allow grown-ups to stay connected with the kids they love through fun, Wi-Fi-enabled characters. Backed by 1,119 project supporters on Kickstarter

Toymail Mailmen™. Backed by 1,119 project supporters on Kickstarter

Perfect for traveling parents and grandparents, or relatives who live across the world, Toymail Mailmen™ allow grown-ups to stay connected with the kids they love through fun, Wi-Fi-enabled characters. This new breed of smart toy connects wirelessly to your home network to receive messages sent anytime, from anywhere in the world. Using the free app, adults can send children little messages and reminders throughout the day that can be delivered in their own voice or in the mailman’s silly voice.

NeoLucidia uses an optical trick to superimpose the scene in front of you onto a sheet of paper so that you can trace your subject with ease. Backed by 11,406 project supporters on Kickstarter

NeoLucida. Backed by 11,406 project supporters on Kickstarter

Years before the first photographic print, there was the camera lucida. Originally patented in 1807, this clever optical device by physicist Sir William Hyde Wollaston utilized a prism to project an image onto a piece of paper so it could be traced, a method that dramatically altered the way artists, naturalists, scientists, and architects created drawings from life. Created by two art professors, the NeoLucida is the first portable camera lucida drawing aid to be manufactured in decades. Bringing the favored tool of the Old Masters to a new generation of artists and art lovers, the NeoLucida uses an optical trick to superimpose the scene in front of you onto a sheet of paper so that you can trace your subject with ease.

Chineasy. Backed by 5,475 project supporters on Kickstarter

Chineasy. Backed by 5,475 project supporters on Kickstarter

Chinese is one of the oldest written languages, and with more than 20,000 unique characters, it’s also one of the most difficult to master. After struggling to teach her own children how to read Chinese, ShaoLan Hsueh teamed up with renowned illustrator Noma Bar to create Chineasy, a groundbreaking and fun approach to learning the language that transforms key Chinese characters into whimsical pictograms for easy recall and comprehension.

Projecteo. Backed by 2,789 project supporters on Kickstarter

Projecteo. Backed by 2,789 project supporters on Kickstarter

Capturing the warmth and nostalgia of viewing treasured memories through an old-fashioned slide carousel, Projecteo is a pocket-sized slide projector that transforms your Instagram pictures into personalized slideshows that can be shared with family and friends.

This special edition of Projecteo from the MoMA Design Store includes a photo wheel with iconic artwork from MoMA’s collection, views of the Museum, and stunning shots from the MoMA Design Store’s Instagram account. (Follow us at @MoMAstore!)

Join us on May 19 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. to celebrate this exciting launch at the MoMA Design Store, Soho! See these incredible products and many more in person and meet the designers who created them. Plus, enjoy innovative finger foods by Emilie Baltz, drinks by Finback Brewery and Brooklyn Oenology, music by DJ Jasmine Solano, and enter to win great prizes. Don’t forget to RSVP by e-mailing rsvp_momastore@moma.org!

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May 1, 2014  |  Artists, MoMA Stores
Now Available at the MoMA Stores: UNIQLO at MoMA Art-Inspired Accessories

UNIQLO has had a long and fruitful relationship with MoMA, and through UNIQLO Free Friday Nights has helped advance the Museum’s mission by making art and design accessible to everyone. To celebrate its continued support of MoMA, this spring UNIQLO unveiled UNIQLO at MoMA, an assortment of T-shirts, tote bags, bandanas, and socks that feature artwork by world-renowned artists, including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jackson Pollock, and Ryan McGinness. Read more

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“Is This a Social Experiment?” Performing John Cage
Serra Sabuncuoglu and Robert Barry participate in Performing John Cage, The Museum of Modern Art, February 18, 2014. Photo by Sarah Kennedy

Serra Sabuncuoglu and Robert Barry participate in Performing John Cage, The Museum of Modern Art, February 18, 2014. Photo by Sarah Kennedy

Twice daily, from February 7 to 20, MoMA staff and invited artists performed John Cage’s score 4’33″ in an area just outside the exhibition There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33″. Over the course of those two weeks, 28 renditions of 4’33″ were performed by 20 staff members and eight guest artists. Read more

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March 5, 2014  |  Learning and Engagement
Tours for Fours: Experimenting with New Formats

One thing you’ll never hear me say about working in MoMA’s Department of Education is “I’m bored.” In fact, what I love most about my role as a researcher and evaluator in this department is the constant interest on the part of my colleagues to experiment, innovate, and try new things. There’s always the desire to find ways to improve and/or to assess the current offerings. No one is ever comfortable with just leaving things as they are. It’s this collective dynamism that drives a lot of what the Department of Education does.

Recently, two of my colleagues in Family Programs expressed interest in trying out some iterations of their successful Tours for Fours program to see what tweaks would make that experience even more engaging for four-year-olds and their caregivers. Kristin Roeder, one of our amazing MoMA educators, was also keen to be a part of the experimentation and came up with variations on the more typical Tours for Fours tours. All of us were interested in looking at length of tour, number of works included, art works chosen, theme, activities, and variables in the group (size, ratio of children to adults, inclusion of younger siblings, etc.) to see if there was an ideal mix for this particular age group. In February we tried out three different variations of MoMA’s Tours for Fours.

Using Materials and Techniques as a theme and focusing on artists’ gestures, the three variations were:

1) Comparing and contrasting two works in the galleries
2) Focusing on one work in the galleries and doing a complementary activity in the classroom
3) Engaging with three works in the galleries and receiving a related activity at the end that families can do together at MoMA

Photo: TK

Kids talking about how Pollock put paint onto canvas: “He made it crazy!” Shown: Jackson Pollock. Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8′ 10″ x 17′ 5 5/8″ (269.5 x 530.8 cm). Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange). © 2014 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Jackie Armstrong

Each of these was documented through observational notes and photographs. Prior to the start of the tour, I collected e-mail addresses from parents so that we could send a follow-up survey to find out what they thought about their experience. Following each tour, Family Program staff, the lead educator on the tour, and myself sat down to debrief (what worked, what didn’t) and to consider what might be worth trying going forward.

While listening to Jazz music, Educator says: “Make your fingers jump when you get to a square.” Photo: TK

While listening to jazz music, our educator says: “Make your fingers jump when you get to a square.” Shown: Piet Mondrian. Broadway Boogie Woogie. 1942–43. Oil on canvas, 50 x 50″ (127 x 127 cm). Given anonymously. Photo: Jackie Armstrong

What we know so far based on observations, educator reflections, and feedback from parents is that:

• Tours should include at least three works during the 45 minutes. Adults expressed an interest in exposing their children to a variety of works and four-year-olds lost interest if too much time was spent on one work. For future iterations of this tour we may experiment by including four or five works during the 45 minutes.
• Including works that are familiar and unfamiliar to most adults is a good way to keep families engaged
• Themes that inspire curiosity and enable families to get into the head of the artist/be an artist are really effective (e.g. gesture)
• Hands-on activities are appreciated and present teaching opportunities that children will not only enjoy, but also remember
• For gallery-based programs like Tours for Fours, activities that take place in the galleries are best as getting to the classroom and getting an activity underway takes too much time away from the tour; families also expect to be in the galleries as classrooms do not offer the unique or immersive experience they are looking for
• Involvement of the adult caregivers is key to a successful tour; ideally, adults and children should be thinking and talking about art together
• Younger children (particularly siblings) who come along on the tour often distract the four-year-olds and/or cause disturbances that upset the tour, however we realize that families generally like to stick together so we need to find more effective ways of addressing these realities
• Providing a little activity for families to take away at the end of the tour is an appreciated gesture, and for families that do the activities it really adds to their time at MoMA

 Parent: “I thought someone who could talk to children would talk to her about art. Instead, someone talked to her about how people make art, allowed her to imagine and practice it, and sent us on our way. We went home and made our own Jackson Pollock. It was beyond awesome” Photo: TK

In a MoMA classroom one parent noted, “I thought someone who could talk to children would talk to her about art. Instead, someone talked to her about how people make art, allowed her to imagine and practice it, and sent us on our way. We went home and made our own Jackson Pollock. It was beyond awesome.” Photo: Jackie Armstrong

In March, we are planning to test out more variations of Tours for Fours. We hope that this loop of iterative testing will help us create a tour that best matches the needs and abilities of four-year-old visitors (and their adult caregivers).

Have you been to a MoMA Tours for Fours program? We’d love to hear from you!