Tag: Upper West Side Museums

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.

The latest exhibition running through the holidays and into the new year of 2020 is the Anna Sui, the American designer, exhibition with a retrospect of her work over the last twenty years.

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Designer Anna Sui at the opening of the exhibition of her work

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Ms. Sui’s works can be labelled as Grunge, Surfer, Street Wise and Classic. The exhibition covers her clothing line, jewelry and accessories and extensive cosmetic line. When I was taking the walking tour of the exhibition, the docent said that she was involved in every aspects of her business as well as the runway shows. It was a unique display of her work over her career.

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).

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The new Brad Cloepfil Building

 

 

 

American Folk Art Museum 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets) New York, NY 10023

American Folk Art Museum 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets) New York, NY 10023

American Folk Art Museum

2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets)

New York, NY 10023

(212) 595-9533

https://folkartmuseum.org/

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-7:30pm/Friday 12:00pm-7:30pm/Saturday 11:30am-7:30pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d266582-Reviews-American_Folk_Art_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I recently visited the American Folk Art Museum in New York City for the “Made in New York City” exhibition and it is a very interesting and engaging museum. The artwork for the museum was a combination of painting, sculpture, pottery and metal work created at different periods of the City’s history. It really showed the extent of manufacturing in New York City and the craftsmanship that was once here.

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The paintings of Colonial New York

Some of the interesting things you will see are the paintings by artists in both Colonial New York and from the Hudson River School of prominent New Yorkers through its first 200 years of history. You will see how the styles of art have changed over the years.

Also there is a lot of metal work in the ways of signs and rods for the front of doors and for the roofs. The woodwork carvings that once graced the front doors of merchants all over the City is now a lost art. Here you could see the works of German and Russian carvers and the craftsmanship that was put into every piece. It was interesting too to see the racial themes and stereotypes that were used in the art.

American Folk Art Museum Made in New York

Wood Carvings and Metal work in the “Made in New York City” exhibition

Another program that the museum does well is they have afternoon Jazz Wednesdays and Free Concerts on Friday nights. There are family programs, walking tours, curator talks and lectures as part of the museum programming so there is something for everyone.

The American Folk Art Mission:

Since 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has been shaping the understanding of art by the self-taught through its exhibitions, publications and educational programs. As a center of scholarship and by showcasing the creativity of individuals whose singular talents have been refined through experience rather than formal artistic training, the museum considers the historical, social and artistic context of American culture. Its collection includes more than seven thousand artworks dating from the eighteenth century to the present, from compelling portraits and dazzling quilts to powerful works by living self-taught artists in a variety of mediums (Museum bio).

Self-Taught art, past and present, tells empowering stories of everyday life. The field of American folk art was first defined at the turn of the twentieth century by collectors, professional artists, critics, dealers and curators whose search for an authentic American Art seemed to be finally answered in works that presented a nuanced  of national identity, faith, progress, ingenuity, community and individuality. Under the umbrella of “folk art” expanded to also include artists working in the present. For the last twenty years, the term self-taught has more regularly come to address these artists, whose inspiration emerges from unsuspected paths and unconventional places, giving voice to individuals who may be situated outside the social mainstream. Those individuals have been active participants in the shaping of American visual culture, influencing generations  of artists and establishing lively artistic traditions (Museum History).

American Folk Art Museum History:

The museum of Early American Folk Arts as it was known initially held its first exhibition in a rented space on 49 West 53rd Street in 1961. The museum’s collection was launched in 1962 with the gift of a gate in the form of an American flag, celebrating the nation’s centennial. The gift reflected the museum’s early focus on eighteenth and nineteenth century vernacular arts from the northeast America.

In 1966, after receiving a permanent charter, the museum expanded its name and mission. As the Museum of American Folk Arts, it looked beyond the traditional definitions of American folk art. Its exhibitions and collection began to reflect “every aspect of the folk arts in America-north, south, east and west.” Founding curator Herbert W. Hemphill Jr. “expanded the notion of folk art beyond traditional, utilitarian and communal expressions.” Under his direction, the museum began to champion idiosyncratic and individualistic artwork from the fields of traditional and contemporary folk art. In doing so, the museum ushered in a new era in the field of twentieth-century folk art (Museum History).

The 1990’s brought new focus to the diversity and multiculturalism of American Folk Art. Offering a more inclusive vision. the museum began to present African American and Latino artworks in their exhibitions and permanent collections. Director Gerard C. Wertikin announced American folk art’s common heritage as “promoting an appreciation of diversity in a way that does not foster ethnic chauvinism or racial division.” (Museum History).

The museum further established  its broadened outlook with the 1998 formation of the Contemporary  Center, a division of the museum devoted to the work of 20th and 21st century self-taught artists as well as non-American artworks in the tradition of European art brut. In 2001, the museum opened the Henry Darger Center to house 24 self-taught artist’s works as well as a collection of his books, tracings, drawing and source materials (Museum History).

American Folk Art Museum

The new home of the American Folk Art Museum

In 2001, the museum chose its current name, American Folk Art Museum. Recognizing that American Fold Art could be fully understood in an international context, the word American functions as an indication of the museum’s location, emphasis and principal patronage rather than as a limitation on  the kind of art it collects, interprets or presents. The museum’s current programming reflects this shift in focus. Past exhibits have included folk arts of Latin America, England, Norway, among other countries and continents (Museum history).

Don’t miss this amazing little museum on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.