Filed under: Art, museum, top-feature
theaucklandguide: Christine went to New Zealand for a 3-week holiday in December 1999 to welcome the 21st century and returned in January 2002 to live for good when she realized that Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings) was the best destination not only to visit but also to live. Of course it also helped that Christine’s husband is based in New Zealand 🙂 Let Christine be your Guide in exploring the hidden and magical delights of Auckland…New Zealand’s biggest city. Follow her on Twitter @mrsgooding
Exploring One Of The World’s Best Museums, MoMA In New York!
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City is often described as the most influential museum of modern art in the world, and a visit to MoMA (53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; map) is a must on most anyone’s New York itinerary.
Here’s how to spend a great day:
Why don’t you start the day with a traditional New York breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese from 53rd Street Gourmet Deli Inc, at 1301 Avenue of the Americas (map). Prices are very reasonable, starting from $2.00. There is a huge range of yummy menu items to choose from.
After you’ve had your fill walk the short block and half to MoMA to get there as the doors open at 10:30 am .
There are always plenty of great exhibitions on display at MoMA. Three great ones I wouldn’t miss are:
- The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh – The painting depicts the view outside his sanatorium room window at night, although it was painted from memory during the day. Since 1941 it has been in the permanent collection at MoMA. The painting is widely hailed as his one great work, or masterpiece.
- Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol – A work of art produced in 1962. It consists of thirty-two canvases, each measuring 20 inches (510 mm) in height × 16 inches (410 mm) in width and each consisting of a painting of a Campbell’s Soup can—one of each of the canned soup varieties the company offered at the time. The individual paintings were produced with a semi-mechanized silkscreen process, using a non-painterly style. Campbell’s Soup Cans’ reliance on themes from popular culture helped to usher in pop art as a major art movement in the USA.
- Water Lilies by Monet – This is a series of approximately 250 oil paintings by French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840–1926). The paintings depict Monet’s flower garden at Giverny and were the main focus of Monet’s artistic production during the last thirty years of his life. Many of the works were painted while Monet suffered from cataracts. In the triptych on display at MoMA Monet depicted his Japanese-style pond covered with water lilies, at center, shimmering with reflections of clouds overhead. The water’s surface fills the expansive composition so that conventional clues to the artist’s—and the viewer’s—vantage point are eliminated.
After exploring the Museum and discovering some of the amazing works of art while not stop for a bite to eat at one of the many cafes in the museum?
There are three cafes at MoMA: Cafe 2, Terrace 5, and The Modern, or if you like you can cross the street to Lindt Chocolate Shop 692 5th Avenue (map) or go for a short walk to West 55th street where there are a range of food places ranging from burgers and fries, sushi bars, Italian, and soup cafes.
After you’ve refueled you can head back to the museum (reentry allowed) to explore some of the other exhibitions at MoMA. Some of my favorites on display right now are:
- Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography – For much of photography’s 170-year history, women have expanded its roles by experimenting with every aspect of the medium. Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography presents a selection of outstanding photographs by women artists, charting the medium’s history from the dawn of the modern period to the present.
- Underground Gallery: London Transport Posters 1920s–1940s – This installation presents over twenty posters that speak to the experience of modern London—from the promotion of culture and entertainment to the anxieties of daily life during WWII.
- On to Pop – On to Pop features familiar objects and images we encounter in our daily lives. In addition to a flag, there are stockings, comics, and movie stars—in works by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and others. Collectively these artists came to define American Pop art, a very different kind of “American-type” painting, which by the late 1960s had eclipsed Abstract Expressionism’s dominance on the New York scene.
At the end of the day why not wander down to the famous Central Park – another must see on every visitors New York to-do list. There are plenty of restaurant and cafes along the way as well as food stalls near the park. Finish off your busy day with a horse and carriage ride through the park?
Opening hours, prices, and tours:
Weekend opening hours are 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. You can check the schedule for a full list of opening hours. I’d recommend that you buy tickets online to save time; otherwise you’ll likely be standing in line for awhile. If you haven’t purchased your tickets in advance, I’d recommend waiting until 11:30 am or so before going as the line is at its longest at 10:30 am.
Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors over 65 with ID, $12 for students with full time current ID, and children 16 and under can go in for free.
Special exhibitions, audio programs, films, and gallery talks are included in the price of admission. If you want to see the films without Museum gallery admission it is just $10.
When buying your tickets online you can also purchase a MoMA highlights handbook for $20. It’s up to you whether you want to spend the extra money but the guidebook does help you get more out of your visit by explaining the various exhibitions and art works and it means you can do a self-guided tour (I personally like it because it’s a great souvenir!)
You can also pick up a portable player free of charge at the Audio Program desk and get access to the complete MoMA Audio program. Access audio in any sequence you like. MoMA Audio listening devices are available in the Museum Saturday, Sunday 10:30 am – 4:30 pm. If you’ve got an iPhone you can also connect to free MoMA WiFi with your phone to listen to MoMA Audio in the Museum.
A few extra tips for MoMA
The Museum requires visitors to check backpacks of any size, shopping bags, and bags 11 x 14 inches (28 x 35.5 cm) or larger into the checkroom. To avoid a lengthy wait in the checkroom line, don’t bring big items.
Remember, you can take photographs inside MoMA! but you can’t take video anywhere (except the entrance lobby).
Photo credits: Nodame via flickr (Moma NYC entrance); Wally Gobetz via flickr (Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night); Wally Gobetz via flickr (Andy Warhols Campbell’s Soup Cans); Wally Gobetz via flickr (Claude Monet’s Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond).