Yesterday was the annual mile museum festival. Basically, all the museums from 72nd-102nd are free during this street fair. I went with a new Kappa friend named Carina, and we decided to go to the Guggenheim gallery. The free museum hours were from 6-9pm and we figured we’d only get to see one museum in that short amount of time. We thought correctly because we ended up waiting in a line that circled the entire block in order to enter the Guggenheim. From learning about the Guggenheim in art and architecture history class, I thought it was a huge building. We arrived, however, and were very surprised about it’s minuteness.
Half of the museum was under construction/not open to the general public. The open half merely contained white walls and around 30 famous paintings. There were hundreds of people in the small building and security was ushering the crowd in one direction to view the art. I felt as if we were all on a slow conveyer belt as we passed the paintings. Ropes blocked the audience from stepping too close to the famous art and workers were yelling not to take pictures. Rather than being graceful and inspiring, the museum was cold, loud, and empty of the art that we actually came to appreciate.
We were both pretty disappointed, but it’s better to know that I’m not missing out on anything than it would have been if we hadn’t went at all. We wanted to check out the MET, but walking by it, we decided we’d save it for a day trip when we could slowly move around the exhibits. I’ve been to the MET before, yet I hardly remember it. The one thing I do remember is the Egyptian exhibit because it scared the living daylights out of me. Death has always been one of my worst fears, and being that there were REAL mummified corpses within inches of my very young and alive body, it was not pleasant. I hold my breath while driving past graveyards for heaven’s sake, so you can image my state of terror a long time ago in the MET.
The boulevard, along which the mile museum festival was held, was covered in colorful chalk drawings done by tourists and people of the city. Many street performers had been there, and the ditches were filled with their props. We managed to catch a glimpse of a mime juggling 6 balls (that is a lot of balls). Then, we really got thrown off when we saw two topless women just lettin’ it all hang out outside the Gugg. Nudity isn’t as big of a deal in the city as it is in small towns I guess? There were definitely schools around, and even a playground right across the street! Isn’t that a felony? Nope. There were cops all over the place, doing nothing.
Actually, these painted women were far more interesting than the art inside the gallery. As a critique of the Guggenheim, I was not very impressed. Sorry for the low blow to all you art extremists out there, but to be Frank (I’m really Alena) there was nothing special about the art or the place in which it was held. Carina decided several times that she could do better work than the displayed art, and yes I’d have to agree much of the time. I’ve seen many homeless people selling their artwork on the streets that impresses me more. Picasso could have spat on a canvas, called it art, and sold it for billions of dollars in the world today. It’s a travesty.
Alena Netia Horowitz