Walt Disney with original aerial-view painting of Disneyland, produced for ABC Television, October 1954. Painting by Peter Ellenshaw (British, 1913–2007) Walt Disney Imagineering, Glendale, California © Disney

Variations on a Theme Park

Jennifer Gray

Monday, October 1, 2012, 12:30–1:30 p.m.

Education Classroom B, mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

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Art in the Long View at Lunchtime
In conversation with artists and MoMA Lecturers, explore long-term, process-based art and its impact on the experience of art. While many artists establish concrete goals, the processes we are interested in examining may span the lifetime of the artist, require ongoing participation or discussion, and be linked more to research and exploration than to a pre-established plan. Bring your lunch and discover how these challenges to the constraints of time and the expectations of final product and finality force viewers and participants to reconsider the role of art in society. This series serves as an incubator of ideas in advance of our upcoming Contemporary Art Forum on May 2 and 3.

Since Walt Disney opened the quintessential utopia of leisure in 1955 in Anaheim, California, Disneyland and its empire—actual amusement parks such as Disney World, Euro-Disney, and Tokyo Disney, as well as its atomized offspring in the form of The Mickey Mouse Club, brands like Hannah Montana, and Disney Films—have transformed notions of childhood, spaces of leisure, and concepts of the public, urban space. This discussion will explore the design innovations that produced spaces like the Magic Kingdom, the utopian aspirations behind EPCOT, and the urban planning concepts driving Main Street and New Orleans Square, which together produce an environment of innocence, exploration, and adventure for children and adults alike.

Jennifer Gray (PhD, Columbia University) is a historian of modern art and architecture, specializing in the relationships between progressive social politics and the built environment. She teaches and lectures at The Museum of Modern Art.

In conjunction with the exhibitions MoMA Studio: Common Senses and Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000

Tickets are free but required and can be acquired on a first-come first-served basis online or at the information desk, the Film desk after 4:00 p.m., or at the Education and Research Building reception desk on the day of the program.

To pick up tickets acquired online, proceed to the Education and Research Building reception desk at 4 West 54 Street beginning at noon on the day of the program.

Common Senses at Lunchtime are made possible by an endowment established by Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro and by the gifts of Alan Kanzer.