I got to cross something off my bucket list. It was totally one of those serendipity moments. I was set to fly out to NYC for the LATISM conference and one of the first things on my mind was…Museum of Modern Art. I completely and totally geeked out over the prospect that I would be a mere four blocks away from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
I’ve professed my love of modern art on my blog many, many times–I’ve created projects inspired by modern artists. I taught art classes where we study modern artists. I collect modern art books. I have another (somewhat neglected) blog called Modern Art 4 Kids. I have modern art hanging in my home and I even named my daughter Maya after modern artist Pablo Picasso’s daughter with Marie-Thérèse.
I have this fat art book leftover from my college days, and it takes residence on my bookshelf. It’s battered, taped up, underlined, highlighted and I can’t bear to get rid of it. Inside those pages lay art so beloved, so real, so powerful to me that I knew if I ever visited New York, a day at MoMA would be absolutely mandatory.
Right off the bat, I was embarrassing myself with my excitement. You’re here…you’re here…omg, you’re here, I kept telling myself. The full cheese in this photo was unavoidable. I was all set to have a museum day by myself but I was happy when my crafty bff Kathy from Crafty Chica said she would love to join me.
As I was buying my ticket, I saw Van Gogh’s Starry Night up on the ticket marquee and my heart started pumping. You have to understand, as an artist I’ve studied these paintings in books, on the internet, in photographs, on slides, in magazines, in museum gift shops — after a while, they begin to feel like old friends. I know about each artist, where they lived, who they married, what inspired each painting, how they died — indeed, looking at each work of art with my own eyes makes me feel as though I’ve finally met each artist in person.
There were a few paintings I was really looking forward to seeing. Every time I would round a corner I would see one of them and I’d breathe,
and then I’d remind myself to be cool, fool.
When I saw Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, I was so overcome with emotion that I had to sit down on a bench that was in the middle of the room to take it all in. This is the painting that started my fascination with modern art.
Matisse, Leger, Pollock, Picasso, Warhol, Kahlo, Gorky, Klimt, Dali, O’Keefe, Gauguin, Rousseau, Rivera, Magritte, Van Gogh — the list goes on. I wandered through the all of the levels of MoMA, so happy and grateful that I was able to visit. It feels amazing to accomplish something from your bucket list.
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Visiting MoMA tips:
- Know when to go. Exhibits are always changing, so do some research before you go. I was crushed to discover two of Frida Kahlo’s paintings were not on display. Also, get there early and start from the top and make your way down.
- Take advantage of tours. They offer gallery and audio tours. Make sure you grab a map — MoMA can be overwhelming and you don’t want to miss anything. Most tours are free with admission.
- Take your kids. I was traveling alone, but if my children were with me, I definitely would’ve taken advantage of MoMA’s Free Family Program. Instead, I took a bunch of their art cards home for my kids to enjoy.
- Good eats. MoMA has a cafe, a restaurant and a bar so you don’t have to leave the museum. Relax and refuel, then head back to the great art.
- Bag Check. You don’t have to lug your bags or your jacket. Check it all so you are free to wander the museum unencumbered.
- Gift shop. Try not to spend all your monies in the gift shop — they have the best stuff!
Image source: Flickr/angela.n