This ink and gouache on prepared paper by Shahzia Sikander from 2005 is probably one of my favorite paintings ever. When I saw it at the MoMA, it stood out among all the super famous masterpieces. Sikander is an internationally established Pakistani artist, and you can check out more of her art on her website.
- Collections: Modern and contemporary art, plus changing exhibitions
- City: New York, USA.
- Opening hours: Saturday-Thursday 10:30am-5:30pm, Friday 10:30am-8pm (also Thursday 10:30am-8pm in July and August). Members can come from 9:30 every day.
- Price: $25 regular, $18 seniors, $14 students, free for children under 16 and member. Members can bring up to five guests for $5.
I’m not going to spend a long time introducing the MoMA, it is one of the most famous museums on this planet and I’m sure a lot of sites can do that better than me. I just want to share my experience of it, so here it is.
I went to the MoMA on a Sunday, which was the last day of the Björk exhibition, but it wasn’t too crowded. I really appreciated that and I wanted to focus on it because I think it really changes the visitor’s experience.
So the MoMa has 6 floors with things on display (or 5 for non Americans but I’m going to follow their system here). The first floor has no galleries, but this is where the sculpture garden is located. We started there and worked our way upwards.
I don’t remember exactly what was located in which gallery (next time I promise I’ll take notes), and the plan of the museum is not very explicit about it. According to it, the second floor houses prints and illustrated books, media, and contemporary galleries. I do remember the contemporary galleries having a lot of Andy Warhol artwork in them. It was one of the first things I saw inside the MoMA and I was very impressed. You can check out the Campbell soup room in the picture above.
The third floor has architecture and design, drawing, and photography. If my memories are correct it also had this huge corridor with video game projections on both walls that you could control (pictured below). The MoMA actually has a good number of interactive things on display like retro games and they are pretty successful.
Moving on, the 4th and 5th floor have painting and sculpture, but not just any. I knew the MoMA was a big deal but I never expected to see so many major pieces from the 20th century on display in the same building. They have Dali, Ernst, Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Kahlo, Rothko, Van Gogh and so many other spread over those two floors. I was seriously mind blown. I posted the picture below to my Snapchat story so you can have an idea of my reaction.
The 6th floor has a shop and temporary exhibition galleries. When I went there it was an exhibition about Yoko Ono, which is still running until September 7 2015. I can’t tell you what I thought of it because by then it was almost closing time and I really wanted to see the Björk exhibition.
I know the exhibition is over now but I’d still like to share my thoughts about it with you. I missed some parts of it, because it was almost closing and also because the MoMA has temporary display galleries spread out on different floors, so t can get confusing especially when they are used for the same exhibition. They don’t connect so you’d have to go in then out then switch floors and back in.
But anyway I saw bits of the movie that they were projecting and the core part of the exhibition, which was more like an experience than a traditional exhibition. They gave us mandatory audioguides in which Björk herself narrates a story, hers. The audioguide follows the exhibition, which is divided into several rooms which make up the different phases of her career and growth as an artist. Each room has a corresponding track on the audioguide and objects on display, from costumes to notebooks to personal objects. The sound is very Björk-like and dreamy, and I enjoyed listening to all of it. The material displayed was also stunning (check out this amazing costume below). But there was one major flaw with the exhibition; and that was that the tracks of the audioguide were too long compared to what there was to see in each room. Overall though I was really glad I got to see this exhibit.
Wrapping up, I think that if you’re in New York you should absolutely not miss the MoMA. My visit took about 3 hours but it felt like way less. There is so much to see at this museum, the collections are incredibly rich and interesting. It is relatively easy to navigate and not huge, which is always something I appreciate in a museum. Make sure you also check out the design store. It’s overpriced but they have so many pretty things. The MoMA is definitely my favorite museum in New York and my second favorite in the US so far (yup the MFA still has number one).
- Accessibility (location, price, disabled access, transport links and parking): 8.5/10
- Architecture: 8.5/10
- Collections: 9.5/10
- Display: 9/10
- Resources (explanation panels, guides, plans): 7.5/10
- Extras (shop, events, exhibitions): 9/10
- Overall: 8.5/10
This is a painting (oil on canvas) by Max Ernst from 1928, currently exhibited at the MoMA in New York. I saw it in real life when I visited the MoMA back in June (stay tuned for the review).