In the last month, I’ve had two opportunities to travel to New York for work. That means–museums! OMG, museums! I was so happy! Of course, tickets are timed, limited admissions, etc. Which honestly ain’t bad–you have plenty of space to look at things.
First, I went to the Brooklyn Museum. Why? To see the Studio 54 exhibit of course! Disco is not my scene, both in terms of the music or some sort of nostalgic wishing I was in the scene. But how could I now want to see that? And it was about as good as it could be for a scene like this. Sure, there was lots of clothes and the like that are cool to see. But they also did a great job with the light and sound to try and replicate that experience in some vague facsimile that is at least entertaining. If you get a chance, check it out.
I also like the Brooklyn Museum generally. It has one of my favorite things ever–their open archives. Basically, they have a room where you can sort of go behind the scenes and just see a big variety of their materials that are in storage. Here’s a cabinet full of chairs, here’s some appliances, here’s some paintings, etc. It’s super neat. That museum also does a good job with social justice based art exhibits. The “Climate in Crisis: Environmental Change in Indigenous Americas” exhibit did a good job juxtaposing contemporary and historical Native art. They also have an exhibition of Jeffery Gibson’s work, who is a Choctaw and Cherokee artist and that also makes critical connections between past and present.
Then I went to the Whitney to see the exhibit connecting the Mexican muralistas to American artists in the 1920s-1940s. It was really fantastic. I knew a bit about Jackson Pollock working with Diego Rivera for instance, but wow, you can really see that influence in his early work before he realized he could make a ton of money just throwing paint on the canvas randomly. Some great examples of the art here.
In conclusion, MUSEUMS ARE AWESOME!
Honestly, it felt like a little bit of my life was given back to me for a bit from this horrible horrible year.