Tag: nyc museums

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum   2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum 2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

2 East 91st Street

New York, NY  10128

(212) 849-8400

Home

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $18.00/People with Disabilities & Seniors $10.00/Children Under 18 Free/Students $9.00. Check the prices online as they change.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106188-Reviews-Cooper_Hewitt_Smithsonian_Design_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

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The Second Floor Design floor

I recently visited the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for the first time. I can’t believe that all those years visiting the Met just down the road I had never stopped in the museum to take a peak. I went into see the “Nature-Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” exhibition that was showing on all three floors of the museum. It was an interesting look on how nature plays a role in design and there is a beauty in the unusual shapes and colors that nature provides us.

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Third Floor studio

The first floor was composed of design found in nature. You will see blood samples that move and shiver, electric movements and the role of it in nature and how plants and animals can be shown in simplest terms. On the second floor, you will see the prints in clothing and in home décor and see how color and design enhance beauty in an every day environment. The third floor will show more home décor and design objects.

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The First Floor Elements

What is unique about the museum is how the mansion was converted into display areas and the use of the interior was blended into fabric of the museum. Take time to look at the areas around the staircases to admire the ceiling and the walls. It must have been a very grand home in its day.

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The stairs of the mansion

Purpose of the Museum:

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is a design museum located in the Upper East side’s Museum Mile in Manhattan. It is the only museum in the United States devoted to historical and contemporary design. Its collections and exhibitions explore approximately 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity. In June 2014, the museum changed its name from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and reopened to the public that December (Wiki).

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History of the Museum: (Provided by Wiki)

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum was founded in 1896. It was originally named Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration and it fell under the wing of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. In 1895, the granddaughters of Peter Cooper, Sarah Cooper Hewitt, Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and Amy Hewitt Green, asked the Cooper Union for a space to create a Museum for the Arts of Decoration. The museum would take its inspiration from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. The museum would serve as a place for Cooper Union students and professional designers to study decorative arts collections. Cooper Union trustees provided the fourth floor of the Foundation Building. It opened in 1897. It was free and open three days a week (Wiki).

The museum and the art school started to distance themselves from on another in regards to programming. Other departments of the Cooper Union were making financial demands and the Cooper Union announced that they would close the museum. This led to the museum being closed on July 3, 1963. Public outcry was strong against the closing. A committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum was formed by Henry Francis Du Pont (Wiki).

The American Association of Museums developed a case study about the future of the museum. Negotiations then began between the Cooper Union and the Smithsonian Institution. On October 9, 1967, Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley and Daniel Maggin, the chair of the Board of Trustees signed an agreement turning over the collection and library of the museum to the Smithsonian. On May 14, 1968, the New York Supreme Court transferred to the Smithsonian and the museum was renamed the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design. The following year, 1969, it was renamed as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. In October of that year, Lisa Taylor became the Director (Wiki).

The museum, which was the first Smithsonian museum outside of Washington DC, moved to its home at the Andrew Carnegie Mansion in 1970. The Mansion was renovated and the museum opened to the public on October 7, 1976 with the exhibition “Man transFORMs”. A conservation laboratory was opened in July 1978. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation funded the lab and it focuses on textile and paper conversation. Lisa Taylor retired in 1987 and in 1988 Dianne H. Pilgrim took her place as Director. In 1994, the museum’s name was changed again to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Pilgrim retired from the museum in 2000. In 2000, Paul W. Thompson became Director. On June 17, 2014, the museum’s name was changed again to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. A new graphic identity, wordmark and new website was launched on this day. This identity was designed by Eddie Opara (Wiki).

The building is located in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion. The Georgian style mansion was built over the course of years 1899 to 1902 and has sixty rooms. The home served as not only the home for Andrew Carnegie, his wife and daughter but also as his office for his philanthropic work after his retirement. The mansion was designed by  Babb, Cook & Willard. It was the first private residence in the United States to have a structural steel frame. It was the first home in New York to have an Otis elevator (Wiki).

 

 

 

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MoMA PS 1   22-25 Jackson Avenue  Long Island City New York, NY 11101

MoMA PS 1 22-25 Jackson Avenue Long Island City New York, NY 11101

MoMA PS 1

22-25 Jackson Avenue

Long Island City, NY  11101

(718) 784-2084

https://momaps1.org/

Open: Sunday-Monday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $10.00/Seniors & Students $5.00/Children Under 16 Free/Free to NYC Residents  & MoMA members

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48080-d107822-Reviews-MoMA_PS1-Long_Island_City_Queens_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I recently visited the MoMa PS 1 in Long Island City for a private members night and was really blown away by the exhibitions that I saw there. It is all contemporary art but really edgy, probably more innovative than some of the things in the main branch of the museum. Even the clientele was different. I was one of the oldest people there and I am in my early 50’s. There must have been three people older than me.

The museum is built into an old elementary school and with the rooms there some have  been merged together for bigger exhibitions and others were smaller and showcased a newer artist or an individual work. The works from current artists are very unusual and I guess you have to like very contemporary art.

MoMA PS 1 exhibition

Some of the pottery from artist Simone Fattal “Works and Days”

I saw the work from artist Simone Fattal who is from Lebanon. I have to admit her works are eclectic. Her pottery looks like a third grader did it. I was not very impressed even though everyone oohhed and aahhed. It was very unusual.

I also saw the work of artist Gina Beavers whose works have someone always looking at you. Her eye portraits were different but they reminded me of some of Salvatore Dali works of the 50’s. Her works look at you from every direction with a look of judgement.

 

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Artist Gina Beavers works “The Life I Deserve”

One exhibition which was loosely based on the movie “The Shining” by artist Julie Becker. The whole exhibition is made of works that looked like someone just left the room. There were creepy office set ups and hallways. The work was almost surreal itself by trying to confuse you and throw you off balance with her art.

 

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Artist Jule Becker “I must Create a Masterpiece to pay the Rent”

I was able to quickly tour the whole museum which is not as big as its counterpart in Manhattan. It just has a different feel and direction to it.

What was nice about the evening was there was music outside for people to enjoy and there were hammocks that were art of a display at the entrance of the museum. It is a smaller museum that showcases the newer artists and gives them a voice. I have to say one thing is that the museum does fit into the neighborhood as Long Island City is going through a huge building boom and renovation/gentrification of the surrounding area. There is a lot of street art in the area and a lot of residents who look ‘bohemian’ to say the least. It was enlightening night of music and art.

History of MoMA PS 1:

MoMA PS q is one of the oldest and largest non-profit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS 1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS 1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres and adventurous new work by recognized artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art. MoMA PS 1 achieves this mission by presenting its diverse program to a broad audience in a unique and welcoming environment in which visitors can discover and explore the work of contemporary artists. Exhibitions at MoMa PS 1 include artist’s retrospectives, site-specific installations, historically surveys, arts from across the United States and the world and a full schedule of music and performance programming.

MoMA PS 1 was founded by Alanna Heiss as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., an organization devoted to organizing exhibitions in underutilized and abandoned spaces across New York City. In 1976, it opened the first major exhibition in its permanent location in Long Island City, Queens with the seminal Rooms exhibition. An invitation for artists to transform the building’s unique spaces. Rooms established the MoMA PS 1 tradition of transforming the building’s spaces into site-specific art that continues today with long term installation by James Turrell, William Kentridge, Pipilotti Rist, Lawrence Weiner and others.

For the next twenty years, the building was used as studio, performance and exhibition spaces in support of artists from around the world. After a building-wide renovation, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS 1) reopened in 1997, confirming its position as the leading contemporary art center in New York. True to the building’s history and form, the renovation preserved much of the original architecture as well as most of its unique classroom-sized galleries.

In 2000, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center became an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art to extend the reach of both institutions and combine MoMA PS 1’s contemporary mission with MoMa’s strength as one of the greatest collecting museums of modern art.

A true artistic laboratory, MoMa PS 1 aspires to maintain its diverse and innovative activities to continue to bring contemporary art to international audiences.

(This information was taken from the MoMA PS 1 website and I give them full credit for the information. Please see the web link above for more information).

The Museum of Sex                                       233 Fifth Avenue (@27th Street) New York, NY 10016

The Museum of Sex 233 Fifth Avenue (@27th Street) New York, NY 10016

The Museum of Sex

233 Fifth Avenue (@27th Street)

New York, NY  10016

(212) 689-6337

Open: Sunday-Thursday 10:30am-11:00pm/Friday & Saturday 10:30am-12:00am

Fee: General Admission $20.50/$3.00 off for Students, Seniors and Military

https://www.museumofsex.com/

https://www.museumofsex.com/museum/about/

 

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d525259-Reviews-Museum_of_Sex-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I made my first visit to the Museum of Sex in New York City and highly recommend it. I have to admit it is different but what I like about the museum is that it doesn’t try to hide the subject and it also just doesn’t jump out at you. It is an interesting progression in art and I saw this in the exhibition “The History of Pornography”,  where the films were set up in order since the Victorian times. Sometimes it had to go underground due the times but pornography has been around since the days of the media.

The exhibition shows early pictures and viascopes of sexual acts and the early films date back to the Silent era. The exhibition covers from the Silent era to present times and the advancement of sex in films once the Hayes Code was broken in the 1960’s. With the relaxed rules and the mainstream films of “Tie Me Up Tie Me Down” and “Deep Throat”, you can see the progression of this as an art form and progression of the way the films were made.

Another great exhibition that I saw was “Punk Lust: Raw Provocation 1971-1985”. This show matches nicely with the current show on the “Punk Movement” at the Museum of Arts & Design. It was interesting to see the posters, flyers, clothes and hear the music of the era. Just at the height of the ‘Sexual Revolution’ and into the fragments of the Disco era came a new sound and way to dress that started in the early 80’s before the progression of the Reagan years in Washington DC, this movement came with a new sound with Punk, New Wave and Technographic and a new way to dress provocative without being too revealing.

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“Punk Lust” exhibition

As the museum was quoted saying: “The survey looking at the way Punk Culture used the language of sexuality, both visually and lyrically, to transgress and defy, whether in the service of political provocation, raw desire or just to break through the stifling gender norms and social expectations that punks refused to let define them.”

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“Punk Lust” exhibition

 

History of the Museum of Sex:

(This comes from the Museum of Sex History Website)

The Mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and culture significance of human sexuality. The museum produces exhibitions, publications and programs that bring  the best of current scholarship to the wildest possible audiences and is committed to encouraging public enlightenment, discourse and engagement.

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The Museum of Sex

The Beginning:

When the Museum of Sex first emerged on New York City’s Fifth Avenue on October 5th, 2002, it was without precedent in the museum world. In the development of its inaugural award winning exhibition NYCSEX: How New York Transformed Sex in America, the Museum created a board of comprised of leading scholars and historians. The Museum’s advisory board has guided curators and guest curators towards research resources, pertinent collections and exhibition relevant artists. Advisors such as Steven Heller, Timothy J. Gilfoyle, PhD, Mike Wallace PhD and June Reinisch, Director Emeritus for The Kinsey Institute  for Research on Sex, Gender and Reproduction as well as institutional collaborations with New York University’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York Historical Society and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum have contributed to making the Museum of Sex one of the most dynamic and innovative institutions in the world.

Design has played a pivotal role in both exhibition development and execution with world-renowned design firms such as Pentagram Design Inc, Casson Mannand 2×4, helping to transform the galleries and historic building over the last six years. The museum’s building, built in the area of New York formerly known as the “Tenderloin,” a district of NYC made notorious by the 19th century for its bordellos, dance halls, theaters and saloons, serves as a New York City landmarked site.

Our Work:

Since its inception, the Museum of Sex has generated over 30 exhibitions and 6 virtual installments, each in keeping with the Museum’s mission of advocating open discourse surrounding sex and sexuality as well as striving to present to the public the best in current scholarship, unhindered by self-censorship. With each new exhibition, lecture series, event and publication, the Museum of Sex is committed to addressing a wide range of topics, while simultaneously highlighting material and artifacts from different continents, cultures, time periods and media.

Our Collection:

The Museum’s permanent collection of over 20,000 artifacts is comprised of works of art, photography, clothing and costumes, technological inventions and historical ephemera. Additionally, the museum houses both a research library as well as an extensive multimedia library, which includes 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, BETA, VHS and DVD’s. From fine art to historical ephemera to film, the Museum of Sex preserves an ever-growing collection of sexually related objects that would otherwise be destroyed and discarded due to their sexual content.

Our Public:

In a short time, the Museum has received attention from academic institutions, major publications, media outlets and celebrities, positioning the Museum of Sex within the realm of academia and pop culture alike. The Museum has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire and Time and on television broadcasts ranging from CNN to IFC to NBC’s Law & Order Criminal Intent. Award-winning advertising campaigns in print and television media have sealed the Museum’s arrival as a cultural touchstone.

Accolades continue to pour in from visitors and the press in every corner of the world, inspiring the Museum of Sex to continually surpass its own high expectations. Future planned exhibitions and events-the likes of which have never been offered by any other institution-are guaranteed to captivate and resonate, securing the Museum of Sex a well-deserved, distinguished place in history (Museum of Sex History)

 

Neue Galerie New York  1048 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10028

Neue Galerie New York 1048 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10028

Neue Galerie New York

1048 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY  10028

(212) 628-6200

neuegalerie.org

@neugalerieny

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday 11:00am-6:00pm/ Tuesday and Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 11:00am-6:00pm

Café and Shops have various hours. Please check the website for these.

Fee: General $22.00/Seniors (65 and Older) $16.00/Students and Educators $12.00/Children under 12 are not admitted and Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. The museum is open on First Fridays from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Please visit the website for more information.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d258699-Reviews-Neue_Galerie-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Neue Galerie for the first time after passing the building on the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This interesting little gallery space has some interesting pieces to see and many decorative objects in the cases.

The gallery space for special exhibitions on the third floor was closed when I visited and being an educator, I got a half price discount off the educator rate was a nice deal.

It was a thrill to finally see the famous Gustav Klimt painting of the “Woman in Gold” that had been such a controversial piece during the Nazi occupation in Germany. It’s beautiful detail work was very innovative then. After all the fighting over the painting it is nice to see that the family sold it to the museum to share it with the world. The gallery where the painting hangs has more works by Gustav Klimt and you can see the extent of his work along the walls of the gallery.

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The ‘Woman in Gold’

The side galleries are full of all sorts of objects of art for the home such as chairs, silverware, dishware, clocks and decorative objects. There was a lot of items that still are contemporary in their fashion. The back gallery on the second floor is full of paintings by various German artists.

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The Decorative Objects Gallery

The whole museum you can see in about an hour when the special galleries are closed. There is also Cafe Sabarsky on the main floor, a Viennese cafe the serves German food like sausages, salads and pastries. The restaurant is a little over-priced for what it is.

 

History of the Neue Galerie New York:

Neue Galerie New York is a museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. Located in a landmark mansion built in 1914 by the architectural firm of Carrere & Hastings, the museum offers a diverse program of exhibitions, lectures, films, concerts and other events. The second floor galleries are dedicated to a rotating selection of fine and decorative art from Vienna circa 1900, including work by fine artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka and decorative artists Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Adolf Loos. The third-floor galleries present German fine and decorative art of early twentieth century, including work by Max Beckmann, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Marcel Breuer. The third floor is also the site for special exhibitions that focus on key individuals and movements, articulating a more complete vision of twentieth-century German and Austrian art (Neue Galerie New York History).

The Gustav Klimt Gallery

Neue Gallery III

 

Neue Galerie New York was conceived by two men who enjoyed a close friendship over a period of nearly thirty years: art dealer and museum exhibition organizer Sege Sabarsky and businessman, philanthropist and art collector Ronald S. Lauder. Sabarsky and Lauder shared a passionate commitment to Modern German and Austrian art and dreamed of opening a museum to showcase the finest examples of this work. After Sabarsky died in 1996, Lauder carried on the vision of creating Neue Galerie New York as a tribute to his friend (Neue Galerie New York History).

The German art collection represents various movements of the early twentieth century: the Blaue Reiter and its circle (Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, Gabriele Munter) the Brucke (Erich Heckel, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner, Hermann Max Pechstein, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff), the Bauhaus (Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Laszio Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer), the Neue Schlichkeit (Otto Dix, George Grosz, Christian Schad) as well as applied arts from the German Werkbund (Peter Behrens) and the Bauhaus (Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wilheim Wagenfeld) (Neue Galerie New York History).

Cafe Sabarsky located in a spectacular wood-paneled room on the ground floor has become a favorite spot for New Yorkers. Operated by acclaimed chef Kurt Gutenbrunner, it evokes the great fin-de-siecle cafes of Vienna. The Book Store fills the former library of the mansion and specializes in publications on fine art and architecture from Germany and Austria. The Design Store features objects based on original works by Marianne Brandt, Josef Hoffman, Adolf Loos and other major designers of the era (Neue Galerie New York).

 

 

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD)   Jerome and Simona Chazen Building                                                                2 Columbus Circle New York, NY

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) Jerome and Simona Chazen Building 2 Columbus Circle New York, NY

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD)

Jerome and Simona Chazen Building

2  Columbus Circle

New York City, NY  10019

(212) 299-7777

Open: Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: General $16.00/Seniors $14.00/Students $12.00/ Members Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d524927-Reviews-Museum_of_Arts_and_Design-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I recently visited the Museum of Arts & Design for the “Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics 1976-1986” exhibition on the rise of Punk and New Wave music that came onto to the radar during the end of the Vietnam War to the Second Reagan  Administration. I remember how the music was changing from folk and funk to the beginnings of ‘Underground’ music and then the rise of the Disco era.

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The posters of ‘Punk Graphics’

The exhibition displayed all the posters and flyers from the clubs like the Mudd Club, CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City and Danceteria when they were in their heyday. Groups that were included in the exhibition were such known names as DEVO, The Talking Heads, Blondie, Richard Hell and The B52’s. This was at a time of collages and photocopying so the posters and flyers could be rudimentary but made their point. It got people into the door.

It was also a time that graffiti artists could show their work off and integrated themselves into the music scene. So it is a nice combination of music, video and pictures. Take time out to listen to the songs and really look at the pictures at the music leaders at the time. It really does capture a moment in history.

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‘Punk Graphics’

I also got to see the Roger Brown exhibition of paintings and ceramic work which bought to light the artists paintings along with items that he found over the years to match with his work. It was different.

History of the Museum of Arts & Design:

The museum first opened its doors in 1956 as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts whose original mission of recognizing the craftsmanship of contemporary artists. Nurtured by the vision of philanthropist and craft patron, Aileen Osborn Webb, the museum mounted exhibitions that focused on the materials and techniques associated with craft disciplines. From the earliest years, the Museum celebrated the changing roles of craftsmanship in society, served as an important advocate for emerging artists and linked art to industry (Wiki).

From 1963 to 1987, under the directorship of Paul J. Smith, the Museum presented dynamic and often participatory exhibitions that reflected the social currents of the era and broke down hierarchies in the arts with the celebration of popular culture and mundane materials. In 1979, the Museum reopened as the American Craft Museum in an expanded location at 44 West 53rd Street. To accommodate its ever-growing programming, the Museum relocated again in 1986 to its 18,000 square foot home at 40 West 53rd Street, where it remained until 2008 (Wiki).

The next ten years were a period of rapid growth and change as the American Craft Council was restructured and the Museum and the Council were established as independent organizations. Holly Hotchner was appointed as director of the Museum in 1996 and served as director for 16 years until 2013. Hotchner initiated a comprehensive strategic planning process that expanded the Board of Trustees, curatorial staff and exhibition and educational program. This process led to the Museum’s name change in 2002 to the Museum of Arts & Design to reflect the institution’s  increasingly interdisciplinary collections and programming. The continued growth of MAD’s collections, public programs and attendance resulted in its successful 2002 bid to the New York Economic Development Corporation to acquire the building at 2 Columbus Circle (Wiki).

The Museum opened in its new home at 2 Columbus Circle to great controversy. The purposed changes to the building originally designed by Edward Durrell Stone sparked a preservation debate by many artists. The new building was designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture in September 2008. With its facade of glazed terra-cotta tile and fritted glass, the Jerome and Simona Chazen Building reflects MAD’s craft heritage and permanent collection and animates Columbus Circle (Wiki).

Museum of Arts & Design

The new Brad Cloepfil Building

 

 

 

American Academy of Arts & Letters     633 West 155th Street New York, NY 10032

American Academy of Arts & Letters 633 West 155th Street New York, NY 10032

American Academy of Arts & Letters
633 West 155th Street
New York, NY 10032
(212) 368-5900
Academy@Artsandletters.org

https://artsandletters.org/

Hours: Thursday-Sunday-1:00pm-4:00pm/Open During Exhibitions times only or by appointment (Mid-March-MId-April; Mid-May-Mid-June)

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60763-d548512-r682038708-American_Academy_of_Arts_and_Letters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I was finally able to visit the American Academy of Arts and Letters on the last day it was open for the year to the public. It was for the ‘Ceremonial Exhibition: Work by New Members and Recipients of Awards’, an exhibition on members art that was chosen specifically for the show. Most of the work was very contemporary and some a little political. It was interesting work by new artists that filled the small gallery rooms.

One of the buildings was used for the contemporary art while the one across the courtyard was used for the more architectural pieces. The galleries are small but the art was impressive. What I liked when I talked with one of the women who worked there said to me that after the show, the pieces would be donated to galleries and museums all over the country. The galleries are only open four months out of the year and this was the last day of the exhibition so the work being shown will be gone.

Some of the pieces that really stood out were by Judith Bernstein, a contemporary painter who seems to not like the current administration too much. The themes were on power and money and corruption in the administration. Her work really shows what she personally thinks of  our President. Her ‘Trump Genie” was very clever and I can see this in a major museum in the future.

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Judith Bernstein’s work

Other work in the main gallery were by artists Stephen Westfall with ‘Solid Gone’, Hermine Ford with ‘Paris, France’ and Paul Mogensen with several ‘Untitled’ pieces. The contemporary works I was not sure what the meaning of them were but they were colorful.

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The works of the artists of the front gallery

One of the pieces in the front gallery that really stood out was by artist Francesca Dimattio, ‘She-wolf’ which was a classic Greek character made of porcelain, enamel, paint and steel.

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‘She-wolf’ by Francesca Dimattio

There were light installations that were very interesting by artist James O. Clark. He had one piece, ‘Wunnerful, Wunnerful’,  which is a work that just keeps being creating itself by bubbles and ink markers moving along a turntable that stops and starts.

There was a permanent exhibition of Charles Ives home in Connecticut that was transported and recreated here. His studio and works are featured here as well as his family life. There are copies of his works in the display cases and his career.

When it is open, the galleries are very interesting filled with works of new artists being featured. Now you just have to wait until March of 2020.

About:

The American Academy of Arts & Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers and writers. Charter members include William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, Daniel Chester French, Childe Hassam, Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Vedder and Woodrow Wilson. The Academy;s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.

In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.

Collections:

The Academy’s collection, which are open to scholars by appointment, contain portraits and photographs of members, as well as paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and decorative art objects. The library has more than 25,000 books by or about members. The archives house correspondence with past members, press clippings, institutional records and original manuscripts of musical and literary works.

History:

The National Institute of Arts & Letters, the parent body of the Academy, was founded in 1898 for “the advancement of art and literature”. The Institute met for the first time in New York City in February 1899 and began electing members that fall. Architects, artists, writers and composers of notable achievement were eligible and membership was soon capped at 250. In 1913, President Taft signed an act of Congress incorporating the organization in the District of Columbia.

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American Academy of Arts & Letters

In 1904, The Institution created the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a prestigious inner body of its own members that modeled itself on the Academie francaise. The first seven members of the Academy were William Dean Howells, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Edmund Clarence Stedman, John La Farge, Mark Twain, John Hay and Edward MacDowell. Those seven then chose eight more and so on, until the full complement of 30 and later 50 was reached. Only after being elected to the Institute, was a member eligible for elevation to the Academy. This bicameral system of membership continued until 1993, when the Institute dissolved itself and all 250 members were enrolled in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Academy inaugurated its annual awards program in 1909 with the Gold Medal for Sculpture. Since then, over 70 awards and prizes have been endowed through gifts and bequests or established by the Academy’s board of directors in the fields of architecture, art, literature and music. There are conferred each year at the Ceremonial in May when new members are inducted and a distinguished speaker is invited to deliver the Blashfield Address.

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In 2005, the Academy purchased the former headquarters of the American Numismatic Society, the neighboring building on Audubon Terrace. A Glass Link now connects the Academy’s existing galleries to newly renovated ones in the former Numismatic building. These new galleries house the permanently installed Charles Ives Studio.

(The Academy of Arts & Letters Website)

Lefferts Historic House  452 Flatbush Avenue  Brooklyn, NY 11225

Lefferts Historic House 452 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225

Lefferts Historic House

452 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn, NY  11225

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Open: Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm

Admission: Suggested $3.00 fee towards the renovation of the house

 

I have visited the Lefferts Historic House a few times when visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Brooklyn Museum and the Prospect Park Zoo, all of which are in the same cultural district of the neighborhood. The house is located near the entrance of Prospect Park just behind the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and right next to the zoo and the carousel.

The house sits on a plot of the park to give it the look of the house when it sat in a rural setting in Brooklyn about twelve blocks away. When walking into the house, there are a few rooms that are furnished and have period pieces in them to show what the house must have looked like in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Most of the house is used for touring and for groups doing projects and games. You can’t go upstairs anymore. The house will be going through a renovation soon so watch the website for more information on that.

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The historic objects of the house

The outside of the house has wooded grounds with a working garden, an outside oven and historic objects that bring the period back to tourists and residents alike of what life must have been like when it was a working farm. When in season, you can walk amongst the vegetable and flower gardens and talk to the docents about the history of the house.

The house is part of the Historic House Trust and part of the Prospect Park Alliance.

 

History of the Lefferts Historic House:

The Lefferts family was one of the original settlers in Brooklyn with Lefferts Pieterson buying 58 acres of land here in 1687 and built the original homestead on that property. In 1776, the house was destroyed by American troops before the Battle of Brooklyn so that the British could not use it. The house was rebuilt in 1783 by one of his descendants (Prospect Park Alliance).

The current house was the home of Continental Army Lieutenant Pieter Lefferts and was built in 1783. It was originally located on Flatbush Avenue near Maple Street. When Pieter died the house was passed onto his son, John and then when John passed, the house was inherited by his daughter, Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt. The house was lived in by four generations of the Lefferts family.

With impending development of the area around the house at the end of the 19th century, John Lefferts estate offered to donate it to the City on the condition that house be moved to City owned property for historic preservation and protection. It was opened as a museum in 1920 by the Fort Green Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Wiki).

The house is currently used as a Children’s Museum and Cultural site and open year round.