Museum Row: Guggenheim and Cooper-Hewitt, then Socrates Sculpture Park  2009-02-04


This recent cold and multicultural day had 3 stops.

Guggenheim Museum - exterior freshly painted and renovated for its 50th anniversary; it is the only commercial structure Frank Lloyd Wright designed in New York (there is a residential structure in Staten Island that he designed).     When I was a kid in the 60s, when my parents would take me into Central Park and I'd see this museum, I thought it looked like a washing machine; back then some old washing machines that were still in use were more circular.



The idea of the main gallery was that a person visiting could see the artwork on a continuous, winding walkway without having to move between floors.

This current 'sculpture' makes use of the winding nature of the ramps of the bulding in the main gallery.    Every few minutes a small gadget would roll down this track.


Mostly modern art in this museum.   Left: Movie 'leader' film, typically blank, becomes an artform in itself.   Sort of like the 'Empty Museum' concept in 2004 that was my first 'documented' cultural activity.


Then onto the Cooper-Hewitt Museum a bit north, at 92nd St., run by the Smithsonian Institute as the National Museum of Arts and Design.   Formerly the mansion of Andrew Carnegie, it is currently under a major renovation, so only a few galleries were open.



Exhibit on children's wallpaper designs.  Left - Donald Duck cartoon, 1948 "Inferior Decorators".   Right - Popeye wallpaper.



From the museum web site.   On the right, exhibit on housing design in Guangzhou, China, for a circular affordable housing design called a 'tolou'.


Final stop:  Socrates Sculpture Park, in Queens on the border between Long Island City and Astoria, roughly across from 96th St Manhattan and across from Roosevelt Island.   This recent outdoor sculpture park has what you would call cutting edge 'avante-garde' artwork.





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