Friday, December 30, 2016

Neue Gallery, New York City

Laura and I visitted the Neue Gallery earlier in the week.  It’s on the Museum Mile between Guggenheim and the Met.  When we visitted however the museum was closed. They have a lovely cafe, the Sarbarsky Cafe,  so we stopped there for an early lunch. It was delightful. Excellent service.  Laura loved it.
Before coming to New York I studied the Armoury Show, the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art. It had apparently stunned America.  One aspect of it was the selection of works. Those who organized it had emphasized the work of the French impressionists.  The art of Austria and Germany was equally important but wasn’t as represented at this show with the effect that French art had a significantly greater influence on early American Art.
The Neue Gallery presents early 20th Century German and Austrian Art.  I feel it makes up for the oversight of the 1913 Armoury Show. It really is magnificent. It only opened in 2001 thanks to the vision and work of two men, Sarbarsky and Lauder.
Today, the exhibit focussed on Gustav Klimt’s work. Obviously he loved women. His work, the Kiss is his most famous.  The exhibit today had the Lady in Gold, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which sold for 135 million dollars making it the most expensive gallery sale in history. Admittedly I rather liked it before I learned that but appreciated it even more once I had.  There were several major Klimt paintings in addition as well as a collection of his drawings.  Thanks to the Neue Gallery’s excellent self directed audio tour it was really an interesting exhibit for Laura and I, learning as we did, who these women were that Klimt painted, how the Nazi’s stole his works and destroyed others, how these works survived after the war.
In the excellent Gallery shop I found the National Bestseller “The Lady in Gold” by Anne Marie O’Connor.  It tells the extraordinary tale of this Klimt masterpiece and how it got rescued from the nazi’s and was finally acquired by the Neue Gallery.
The gallery has works from the Blaue Reiter and it’s circle.  I especially like Paul Klee and Vasily Kadinsky’s work. Paul Klee is also considered part of the Bauhaus.
They didn’t allow photography in the upstairs galleries but had a copy of the Lady in Gold downstairs where one could take pictures.
The website recommended that old people would do well not to come in winter because there are often line ups for an hour and the museum mile is a regular wind tunnel.  Laura and I were thoroughly chilled and thankful for our winter coats as we waited youthfully for an hour to get in.  It really was worth it.  IMG 3581IMG 3582IMG 3580IMG 3583IMG 3584IMG 3585IMG 3862IMG 3860IMG 3579

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