Roundup: AMNH’s and MoMA’s current temporary exhibits
I have no photos to share of the American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World—though you can see some here—so you’ll have to take my word that it is fantastic. See it in NY now through the end of August, or if you somehow are able to wait for it, the exhibit will eventually travel to other museums. Silk Road has everything that I’ve come to expect from the AMNH: an interesting theme, beautiful prop work, fascinating artifact displays, and lovely, compelling graphics.
The museum invited in the NY chapter of SEGD for an exhibit open house on Friday evening. (I’m in the Boston chapter, but they let me crash the party.) It was a really nice experience—I’d like to give a big thank-you to the museum’s in-house design department, who were all super friendly and welcoming.
Saturday, I had a less-nice experience at the Tim Burton exhibit at the MoMA. It wasn’t Tim Burton’s fault (god no! I love him!), and not entirely the exhibit’s fault, but I do think it was a mistake for the museum to show this exhibit in the gallery they did. The larger gallery space on the sixth floor would have been better able to handle the number of people. Granted, it was a Saturday afternoon when I went, but people were packed cheek by jowl, it was impossible to move, and it was unbearably hot. I had trouble figuring out the intended navigation of the space, which seemed to be trying for a chronological arrangement. The placement of the walls, however, created human gridlocks as people came around walls from different directions and refused to cede any space in front of any of the art (good luck to you if you tried to look at something for more than 15 seconds!). Photos of the exhibit can be seen on otto and in the NY Times’s review of the exhibit. Below is the Tim Burton timeline outside the exhibit.
Then, to the exhibit Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity. I loved the work on display, which includes everything from furniture to tapestry to poster design from the Avant-Garde art school, and I really liked the entrance graphics. This post from the MoMA blog talks about the graphic design department’s process of designing the exhibit as a fresh take on Bauhaus graphic sensibilities.
To finish up at the MoMA, I stopped by the member preview of Gabriel Orozco (it’s now open, until March). I wasn’t too familiar with his work before visiting the exhibit, but I was happy to become slightly more familiar with it. My favorite work: the NY phone book scroll, which is all of the numbers from a phone book, cut into strips and pasted on a roll of Japanese paper. I could have studied it for a very long time.