So I’m in Philadelphia!
I came to visit my twin brother at his school in Philadelphia for my spring break. One of my tasks this break is to do my interview for an internship with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And I’ve already had a really productive week! I’ve visited the PMA in Philadelphia yesterday, and took a bus to New York to see the Frick Collection and the Museum of Modern Art with my cousin.
I didn’t quite finish the PMA because I headed back there on Wednesday for my interview. But we saw the Constantine tapestries! Granted, you can’t go the museum without seeing them. They are huge; there are 13 of them; and they are wrapped around the Great Stair case when you have to walk through to get anywhere, except maybe the special exhibition space. Seeing those was amazing because I’d never seen the work that inspired my interest in patronage!
In New York, I definitely preferred the Frick Collection to the MoMA just because I liked the cozy environment. It really is an overlooked jewel box in the city. You go and you turn a corner and there’s a Ingres! and there’s a Rembrandt! and there’s a Goya! It was like I assume Europe will be like. The interior design was also interesting and lighting concept was phenomenal.
Of course I still loved the MoMA! It was really cool to see things like William de Kooning’s Women I, a Jackson Pollack, Water Lilies, The Starry Night, some Futurism, a Jasper Johns. But mostly it was like I liked seeing things I recognized. I’d like to go back sometime and look at the lesser things instead of just things I was taught in Survey or Contemporary Art.
One thing I’ve noticed in sort of moving through history: I haven’t given the Impressionists enough credit. I saw a Velazquez at the Frick and I was surprised about how not emphasized his brush strokes are. In Baroque art we talked about the “painterly” quality of especially Velazquez. But when you are looking at the piece, while there is a difference in the literal picture being depicted, I couldn’t really see the brush strokes in a way that you can in the Impressionists and after. So that was jarring, but wonderful because it helped me finally “get” what the big deal about Impressionism was/is.
MoMA was really fun because I got to go with my cousin, Sarah. And it was awesome to see art we learned about in Contemporary Art and Theory. Also, I loved the photography exhibits that were being shown: Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960 and Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography which are pretty directly related to what I want to do my research for History of Photography.
Overall so far my trip has been amazing!