An article by NEW member Otty Merrill
I recently had the thrill of spending 3 days in New York City visiting 3 fabulous museums: The Museum of Modern Art, the Morgan Library and Frick Museum. Here’s what I saw and experienced.
I should mention that it was all especially exciting since we, (6 other friends included), had the luxury of a very knowledgeable escort and friend, Roger Dell, who recently retired as the head of the Education Department of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine!
Day 1 – THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, 5th Ave & 53rd St, just reopened after years of renovating and adding 47,000 square feet to their existing structure. We spent 7 hours there and you might also, as it’s vast, (but not crazy or confusing). It’s full of light from corner floor to ceiling windows, and there is a fine affordable café on the 2nd floor and a Museum Shop with books and goodies that can’t be beat. Even on that glorious autumn day, it never felt like I spent an entire day inside a museum! Art was on display from their vast archives that rarely gets seen this way, classics alongside more contemporary artists. The contrasts, similarities and influences were fun to observe!
From Matisse…. to Salvadore Dali… to Eva Hesse – loved this one as it reminded me of an encaustic!)
Day 2 – The MORGAN LIBRARY, 225 Madison Avenue. This was an unexpected treat and a real contrast to MOMA, going from white vaulted ceilings and minimalism at MOMA to heavy paneled rooms, stained glass, surrounded by dark wood, marble and gilded everything. This visit has influenced me to do two things: read more about “the Gilded Age” and play with charcoal portraiture. The collection of over 100 of John Singer Sargent Sargent’s 700 charcoal portraits was simply breathtaking. Most of us know of his enormous 7 foot tall portraits of lovely turn-of-the-century aristocrats, but in his own words, I paraphrase: “then I got smart and realized I could make $500 in 3 hours doing a charcoal, which was much more fun, less painful, as just as lucrative as painting huge canvases in oil that took 5 months and many sittings!”
Day 3 – The FRICK MUSEUM, East 70th Street and Madison. On display are exhibits of three large Manet oil paintings, that Roger told us, were very influencial and rarely seen. (I’m sorry I didn’t take photos.)
So just on another travel note, as you can probably guess, NYC has some incredible dining options and we were blown-away by this teeny-tiny French bistro in the West Village: “TARTINE” at 243 West 4th St. No reservations needed and bring your own wine. A step back into Paris in the ‘30’s perhaps! A real find!
Hope you get a chance to visit the Big Apple
and that this article is an encouragement!