Archive for the ‘Museums and Art’ Category.

Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Met, 2016

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art
November 22, 2016 – January 8, 2017

1000 Fifth Avenue, at 5th Avenue and 82th Street, NYC

Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche Visitors Guide

Christmas 2016

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Forgetting History, Statolatry, Thugocracy

If forgetting history is now the purpose of higher education, I may be taking some risk by reminding the flagship censors of the persecution of Boris Pasternak by Soviet officials when Dr. Zhivago was published in the West and awarded the Nobel Prize. I will go further into danger and remind them also that Thomas Merton wrote a brilliant appreciation of that novel and its author. Among much else of value Merton said this: “It is characteristic of the singular logic of Stalinist-Marxism that when it incorrectly diagnoses some phenomenon as ‘political,’ it corrects the error by forcing the thing to become political.”

Censors on the flagship, by Wendell Berry

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Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Met

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Metropolitan Museum of Art admission is free

Many New Yorkers give $1 when they enter.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art tricks visitors into paying for admission though a century-old law and lease specify free entry most days, a class action claims in state court.

The museum, in Central Park along Fifth Avenue, agreed to the no-fee policy in exchange for a perpetual, rent-free lease of the Beaux-Arts building from New York City, which also picks up the tab for maintenance, utilities and security, lead plaintiff Filip Saska says.

The deal was meant to provide access to great art for citizens “without regard to financial means,” according to the complaint in New York County Supreme Court.

But Saska claim the museum has been transformed “into an expensive, fee-for-viewing, elite tourist attraction, where only those of financial means can afford to enter this publicly subsidized institution situated on prime city-owned land.”

Class Demands Free Entry to the Met, by Marlene Kennedy, Courthouse News Service

What sucks is that many people who know about the suggested donation policy – and end up paying less – are the ones who don’t need to.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Suggests You Pay More

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“Land of Dreams”

A new YouTube video – “Land of Dreams” – featuring Rosanne Cash and other musicians, shows different tourist experiences in the United States.

From Discover America.

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Queens Museum of Art

One can go to the Queens Museum of Art at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park and enjoy the wonderful bird-eye’s view of the tri-borough with all the buildings, airports, rivers, Central Park, etc. … free, no charge and ample parking … just off the Grand Central Parkway, years ago, I would use that as a pit-stop when I am tired driving along the LIE … also, the Flushing Meadow park is wonderful for a stroll, the site of the World’s Fair in the early 60’s … many years ago, I traveled to visit the Bronx Botanical Garden and I was disappointed because it is so similar to Central Park … Central Park is free and the Bronx charges an admission fee, parking, etc.
p/s: my last Con Ed bill was $20 and change for the last 32 days, which is less then $1 a day for electricity, so cut down your energy consumption and you will not have to worry about nuclear generating plants … use less electricity and sacrifice some creature comfort….
Queens Museum of Art, web site, New York City Building, Flushing, NY, 718-592-9700 | directions | wikipedia
New York Botanical Garden, web site, 2736 Marion Avenue, Bronx, NY, 718-817-8700

Lots going on at the New York Transit Museum

August 18 and 19, 2007, Saturday & Sunday at 1:30 pm. “On The Town”
The classic musical “On The Town,” shot on location in New York City, was one of the first films to depict the New York City subway in living color. Gene Kelly stars alongside Frank Sinatra as a love struck sailor on leave in the Big Apple who falls head over heels for “Miss Turnstiles,” a “typical rider” whose picture appears in many different poses on advertising placards. Among the songs: “New York, New York” and “Come Up To My Place.” Also stars Jules Munshin, Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen and Betty Garrett.
August, Saturdays & Sundays, 3:00 pm. “American Experience: Transcontinental Railroad”
Go behind-the-scenes of one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century–the transcontinental railroad. Meet the engineers, entrepreneurs, and legions of workers who made it possible.
Saturday, September 8, 2007, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, “IND Anniversary September Special: A Day on the A.” Only 400 seats available — get your tickets now while there is space available!
Highlighting the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the first section of the IND, vintage R 1/9 trains will travel from mid-town to the Transit Museum’s very own Court Street station. After a brief layover we’ll re-board and head out to
enjoy the sun and surf at Rockaway Park. Then, we’ll go the distance along the remainder of the longest route in the system, closing the day boroughs away at 207th Street in the Bronx.
This a a one-of-a kind opportunity to experience subway travel onboard the vintage rail fleet, usually on static display in the Transit Museum. Not to be missed are the bouncy wicker seating of yesteryear, sharing your experiences with fellow passengers, the Nostalgia Train ‘wave’ to bemused people on subway platforms as the vintage trains rolls by and the mid-trip destination activities. Nostalgia Train tickets are $30, Museum members $25, children 3-17 $10. For reservations please call 718-694-1867.

New York Transit Museum. Complete calendar of events. Corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights, T-F 10 am to 4 pm, Sat and Sun 12 Noon to 5 pm, closed Mondays and major holidays, 718-694-1600 ($ admission fee).
New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store at Grand Central Terminal, located just off the main concourse in the Shuttle Passage, adjacent to the Station Masters’ Office, M-F 8 am to 8 pm, Sat and Sun 10 am to 6 pm, closed major holidays and for special events, 212-878-0106 (free).

Design for the Other 90%

On view in the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, this exhibition highlights the growing trend among designers to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world’s population (90 percent) not traditionally serviced by professional designers. Organized by exhibition curator Cynthia E. Smith, along with an eight-member advisory council, the exhibition is divided into sections focusing on water, shelter, health and sanitation, education, energy and transportation and highlights objects developed to empower global populations surviving under the poverty level or recovering from a natural disaster.

Design for the Other 90% is an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.


The Q drum


“The real stars of the show, though, are the stories behind the designs.” microscopiq, May 17, 2007

They don’t need a handout. What they need is an opportunity.
. . .
A poor person actually only cares about one thing: making more money. If they have more money, they can get ahead, take their family out of poverty.
— Martin Fischer, Kickstart International

The introductory video also provided an opportunity to explore an additional range of themes that may not be as apparent, running through the exhibition and this area of design: open source options, leapfrog technology, economic impacts, community building, testing and end-user research, low-cost innovations, social enterprise, humanitarian entrepreneurship, improved democracies and multiple calls to action.

In Their Own Words,” Design for the Other 90% blog, May 14, 2007
Design for the Other 90% (web site), an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through September 23, 2007. Cooper-Hewitt, web site, 2 East 91st Street, New York, NY, M-Th 10 am – 5 pm, F 10 am – 9 pm, Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun Noon – 6 pm. $ Admission fee.

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Great exhibition at the Guggenheim

I saw this show on Friday evening, pay as you wish…


Camille Pissarro, Apple Picking at Éragny-sur-Epte (La Cueillette des pommes, Éragny-sur-Epte), 1888

Divisionism – Neo-Impressionism: Arcadia and Anarchy, at the Guggenheim, April 27 – August 6, 2007. 1071 5th Avenue (at 89th Street), (on Friday evenings beginning at 5:45 pm the museum hosts Pay What You Wish, in which admission is by donation. The last tickets are issued at 7:15 pm), 212-423-3500

The Pointillist ‘Contagion’ in Italy,” by Roberta Smith, The New York Times, April 27, 2007

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Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of the Great Public Works, Part I – 3/19/2007 – 7/8/2007

We do not normally reproduce press releases on AGINY, but the subway is so integral to NYC, and the design impacts so many people every day, that we are reproducing this press release, and encouraging our friends and readers to stop by the Transit Museum’s Gallery Annex in Grand Central Station and see these exhibitions, opening March 19, 2007.

Chandelier from City Hall Station Station opened 1904. Material: Bronze. Image credit: New York Transit Museum
Chandelier from City Hall Station Station opened 1904. Material: Bronze. Image credit: New York Transit Museum

Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of Great Public Works, Part I (3/19/2007 – 7/8/2007) and Architects of the NYC Subway, Squire Vickers and the Subway’s Modern Age, Part II, (7/30/2007 – 10/28/2007)

Be sure not to miss two new exciting – consecutive – free exhibits at the New York Transit Museum entitled, Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of Great Public Works, Part I (3/19/2007 – 7/8/2007) and Architects of the NYC Subway, Squire Vickers and the Subway’s Modern Age, Part II, (7/30/2007 – 10/28/2007). Culled from the extensive collections of the New York Transit Museum, The New York Historical Society, the
Episcopal Diocese of New York, The Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservancy Center, and private collectors, more than sixty historic artifacts, architectural drawings, and photographs will display, the vision of the subway’s first architects, John L. Heins and Christopher G. LaFarge and the subsequent work of Squire J. Vickers at the Transit Museum’s Gallery Annex in mid-town Manhattan.

From 1901 to 1908, John L. Heins and Christopher G. LaFarge not only designed the first subway stations, but also the control houses, power substations and ornamental kiosks, in the popular Beaux-Arts style, evoking classical architecture using ceramics, metal, and wood. Because Heins & LaFarge began working more than a year after
subway construction began, their primary duty was to decorate and make beautiful the stark
utilitarian spaces built by engineers achieved by using ceramics, terra cotta relief’s and unique
station plaques to identify and adorn each station. Says Roxanne Robertson, Director of Special Projects,

“The crown jewel of the subway is the old City Hall Station which was designed by Heins and LaFarge. Visitors are still inspired by the arched tile ceilings, skylights, and brass chandeliers. This station still has the feeling of entering a grand cathedral and remains the NYC subway’s most spectacular space.”

Elements adorning the subway also included ceramic tiles, mosaics, terra cotta reliefs, sconces, iron railings and circular air vent covers. Examples of brass ticket booth grilles and metal exit signs in the exhibition are graceful, with their function masked by the beauty of design and materials. Design drawings of Manhattan’s control houses for 72nd, 103rd Streets and Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue show three similar structures with decorative arches, glass, metal, and terra cotta. Architects of the NYC Subway… also presents a dozen pieces of these original station ceramics. Because an immense amount of ceramics had to be designed, fabricated, and installed in less than three
years, numerous companies were hired to produce these pieces. The work of the noted ceramics firms Grueby Faience Company of Boston, Atlantic Terra Cotta of Staten Island and New Jersey, and Rookwood Pottery Company of Cincinnati, are also represented in the
exhibition.

Architects John L. Heins, Christopher Grant LaFarge, and Squire J. Vickers determined the aesthetics of New York’s subway system. These men created the decorative motifs that adorned the subways, allowing each station to be unique while contributing to its overall style. In 1907, Heins died of meningitis. Though he would work as an architect until his death in 1938, LaFarge worked on the subway only until 1908. Architect, Squire J. Vickers, was then hired and become the architect responsible for New York’s subway station’s design elements for the next four decades.

In addition to being business partners, John L.
Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge were friends, classmates, and brothers-in-law. The two met as architecture students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying a curriculum based on the French school of Beaux-Arts classical approach to architecture, but also stressing logical planning and design. They graduated in 1882, and in 1886, formed their own New York City firm. Heins & LaFarge specialized in ecclesiastical and residential buildings.

Today they are best remembered as the original architects for the Cathedral of Saint John theDivine. They began the cathedral project in the 1890s and would continue with it for two decades. During this time, Heins would also be appointed the State Architect of New York, responsible foroverseeing the design and construction of all state buildings.

In the first years of the new century, Heins & LaFarge continued with the Cathedral, but also designed the New York City subway stations and the Astor Court Buildings of the Bronx Zoo. Though these important civic projects might seem, at first, to be disparate, Heins & LaFarge used similar architectural elements and fabricators for each project. The Guastivino Fireproof Construction Company fabricated magnificent arches for the grand City Hall subway station, the Belmont Chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and the Elephant House of the Bronx Zoo. The Atlantic Terra Cotta Company produced ceramics for numerous subway stations and the Lion House at the Zoo. Pieces of these Zoo and subway ceramics, including examples taken from the 33rd Street, 110th Street, and 116th Street subway stations, are featured in the exhibitions. An architectural drawing for the Zoo’s Monkey House shows a frieze with classical design elements that can also be seen in subway station ceramics.

Architects of the NYC Subway, Heins & LaFarge: The Tradition of the Great Public Works, Part I, at the New York Transit Museum, 212-878-0106, March 19, 2007 – July 8, 2007, at the New York Transit Museum’s Gallery Annex at Grand Central, Monday-Friday, 8 am – 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm. Admission is Free. These exhibitions are made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support: Major sponsors: ARUP, Daniel Frankfurt, P.C., and Parsons Brinkerhoff. Supporting Sponsor: STV. Sponsors: FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS, PC, and Domingo Gonzalez Associates.
New York Transit Museum

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