Monday, January 9, 2012

MoMA Mia!

A few months ago, I shared my bucket list with you. Listed under places to visit, "an afternoon at the MoMA" could be found. And thanks to my wonderful parents, this dream became a reality over the Christmas holiday. I visited the Museum of Modern Art for the first time with my parents and my sister. It was an enchanting and memorable experience that I won't ever forget!

In fact, I feel a lot of pressure to write something smart and fabulous about our trip, but words can't quite describe the emotions I felt that day. I'm a pretty reserved person. I get easily excited, but use a lot of restraint. However, when it comes to art museums, I become somewhat childlike and silly. If I could draw a kooky caricature, you'd see nothing but buggy eyes and a goofy grin. I shriek and gasp; my jaw drops, and I can't seem to use my pointer finger enough. Animated doesn't even begin to describe the buffoon that I become. I'm that annoying girl who's obsessively waving to her family to come quickly and view her newfound art discoveries, as though they're not busy viewing their own favorites. Whoops! If I'm MIA from my family, I'm most likely buzzing around the room quickly to take it all in quickly (hello, ADHD), or I'm standing in front of a large-scale painting with tears in my eyes. Yes, that's happened. Three times. I've also been known to get the occasional tsk-tsk, from museum security staff who kindly (hello, sarcasm) remind me that I can't take pictures. In my defense, it's not always stated plainly where photography is and isn't allowed. Occasionally, there are those kind staff members who empathize with my excitement.

If only I could eloquently express this excitement to you. I'm rambling, and I'm sorry. I just feel like I'm writing a paper for one of my college art classes again, and I've been rather unsuccessful in conveying my exact feelings with you. There are those writers out there who beautifully describe moments to readers. I'm not one of them. Is it possible to be overcome with so much joy that you're left speechless? All you can really do is smile from ear to ear.

What I can tell you about my afternoon is this -- my stomach was filled with bubbles and my heart was full. There was a feeling of liveliness that I'll never forget; I wish I could bottle this kind of enthusiasm. The MoMA was just as magnificent as I'd hoped. Pieces of artwork I'd seen only in textbooks were right in front of me. It was so surreal! I don't think I'll ever be surrounded by so many de Kooning masterpieces again in my lifetime. I'm not sure when I'll stand in front of another Jackson Pollock or Donald Judd creation, but I'm so blessed to have had this day with my family. I can only hope that checking off other items from my bucket list feels half as great as this day was.
A Christmas gift from my parents -- an annual membership to the MoMA. Yes, I can say I'm a card-carrying member. 
Art is joy.
Jasper Johns / Willem de Kooning / Man Ray / Henri Matisse / Allan McCollum

My sister, Aubrey, next to Christopher Wool's Untitled 1990.

Mom and me with Donald Judd's Untitled (Stack) 1967.

My parents with Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31, 1950.

Aubrey with Keith Haring's Untitled 1982.

After visiting the MoMA, visitors are asked to fill out this card, scan their response in a fancy little machine, and contribute to the "I went to MoMA and..." project. Responses are projected on a wall in the MoMA entryway. See more responses here
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Morton
Happy Monday!

Excitement Alert!! Be sure to check back later today (Noon CST). Ive got a special giveaway sponsored by Poppin. It's not too late to get organized in 2012!! Woo hoo!
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  1. I'm so happy you got to check off an item on your bucket list! Doesn't it feel awesome when you do that? I totally understand the feeling you got when you entered the museum, it happens to me at a local cheese store and a place in philly called the Reading Terminal Market. Once I get in all giddy about whats inside. So glad you had a great time!

  2. I'm so jealous! What a wonderful day! I too could spend hours in museums, and whenever I get the chance, I do!

  3. Kudos to you!! What a sweet post! Great art, thoughtful gift, and cool sweater! (J.Crew?)

    Sidenote: Your mom could TOTALLY pass for your sister, and she does have stellar hair. And I don't care if you tell her that.

  4. Mary Kate - I'm so glad that you share the same feelings! There's nothing quite like that high when you're in your happy place:)

    AB - You have to visit sometime! It's everything I hoped it would be and MORE!!!

    Tommy - You're too cute:) I say that a lot, don't I? The sweater is def J.Crew! I'm pretty sure my mom already adores you. I talked a lot about my bloggie friends while I was home, and we're all convinced you're a gem!! She will love that you commented on her hair; she's in that awkward growing out stage and is getting frustrated.

  5. So jealous of you MOMA adventure!! I studied Art History in college and would love to go there. I was unpacking all of our book boxes this week and when I came across all my AH textbooks, I was overcome with waves of nostalgia. It was like the moment that I stood in the Rothko chapel in Houston and was just transfixed.

    I'm glad your visit was everything you hoped for!