The Modernists’ Enclave

Mesmerized by Van Gogh’s The Starry Night
THIS is just a clear case of addiction. Art addiction. Like they say, once you start, you can’t stop. We haven’t left the art scene of the Big Apple yet. Why should we? The diverse offering of NYC on this field alone is mind-blowing. Best of all, this world famed museums are a few paces apart. Why stop when you can have it all?

Straying from the Museum Mile and the Central Park, we head down a few blocks down to the Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Yes, it’s the direction of the luxury shopping district, and no, we are not visiting Giorgio, Coco, Louis or Miuccia and their clique. There is just one more place we must see on the checklist before the paper bag filling spree.

Just one more stop, it’s at the 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan. This is where another celebrated art house stands- the Museum of Modern Art. It’s bigger, nearly double its original space, when it reopened 2004 after an extensive two-and-a-half-year renovation. Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi redesigned granite and glass structure was said to have created a fine sample of contemporary architecture on this project.

The idea of art has transcended its appreciation from the finer genre (painting and sculpture) to a broader range where creation and creativity is relevant- architecture and design, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media. The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, as it is popularly called, offers an unparalleled view of modern and contemporary art in these fields as well.
Matisse, Warhol & Dali

And all these modern and contemporary opus are stored in this magnificent enclave. With a wider area available came more spaces for exhibitions and galleries to display more than 150,000 artworks considered by many as best collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world, works by a wide range of influential European and American artists- Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, The Dream by Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies Triptych, Henri Matisse’s The Dance, Paul Cezanne’s The Bather and more; research and learning areas; expanding the museum’s Library and archives that contain primary source material related to the history of modern and contemporary art holding over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, as well as individual files on more than 70,000 artists; and enlarging the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.

MoMA’s collection does not stop there. Their holdings also contain the world-renowned art photography and film collections (approximately 22,000 films and 4 million film stills) under The Museum of Modern Art Department of Film and Video as well as an important architectural and industrial design collection (ball bearings to chopper!)
“The Ladies”, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller Jr.), Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan, couldn’t me more proud of how their vision and perseverance have evolved. From renting modest quarters around Manhattan in 1929 and making it the premier museum devoted exclusively to modern art in America to moving to its permanent home where it currently stands (on land donated by John Rockefeller who was opposed to his wife’s idea of a museum and modern art), it comes to no surprise why the Museum of Modern Art, with keen eye and constant efforts in developing and collecting modernist art that lures in more than two million visitors yearly, is often referred “the most influential museum of modern art in the world.”

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 03, 2011.
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/feature/2011/03/02/modernists-enclave-142711

With heartfelt gratitude to Jennifer Gallenero-Allen for taking me to this museum.

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