For summer fun, few things beat visiting the world’s best museum
New York City — When the German artist Gerhard Richter was asked why he was so intent on shipping his paintings to America, he answered:
The reason these paintings are destined for New York is not because I am disappointed about a lack of German interest, but because MoMA asked me, and because I consider it to be the best museum in the world!
Ah, the MoMA is widely considered the best museum in the world indeed! And because the muse is said to make her home in museums, if ever you find yourself, say, in need of some inspiration, perhaps there’s no better place to visit — especially during the summer — than the MoMA.
What most notably sets the MoMA apart from other museums is its modernity. Take a stroll up the museum’s iconic Bauhaus Staircase, inspired by Walter Gropius’s famous staircase, and Voilà! From glimpsing the most modern architecture to browsing sculptures and paintings, there’s nothing quite like the MoMA.
Upon entering and strolling under the cool canopy, even "cooler" is the air-conditioned setting inside. On the first floor, you’ll notice the museum’s store. Everything from books to gifts for children is offered.
The second floor showcases paintings from my personal favorite — Jean-Michel Basquiat. Also, if you’re feeling in need of a quick pick-me-up, there’s an expresso bar on this floor, too.
Like a Manhattan neighborhood, each floor feels like a city in itself. On the fourth floor, Warhol’s famed Marilyn painting awaits.
Last but not least, a must-see at the MoMA is arguably the world's most famous painting, not named Mona Lisa. That is, Van Gogh’s Starry Night. So cherished is the painting, in fact, a security guard usually stands within a few feet of it. The reason being, the security has to ensure no hands dare touch the masterpiece.
Of course, if by chance you find yourself feeling stuck in the lobby — dazed and confused — to the point of mumbling, "Which way do I start?" perhaps Jason Farago of the NY Times can point you in the right direction:
I’d suggest starting on the east side of the museum. (Look for the suspended helicopter.) Take the escalators or elevators to the fifth floor, where the chronological display of the collection (1880-1940) begins. You’ll see Cézanne and van Gogh with new company, and then discover “Lime Kiln Club Field Day” (1914), the first feature-length film (according to MoMA) with an African-American cast.
The galleries are numbered, so you can work counterclockwise, moving from the older building into the new wing and back.
If indeed you decide to check off the MoMA from your summer bucket list, here’s a quick reminder: though the museum's Free Friday Nights are currently suspended, due to COVID restrictions, UNIQLO's program could resume as early as August.
(Check the MoMA's visiting tips for the latest updates.)
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