The second reason I had, after
being denied by Cookie Monster, for going to New York City on President's day was to see one specific exhibit at one specific museum. But after writing about Cookie Monster the other day and getting contacted by the director of the BPL, I'm a little afraid to say which museum since the following post will probably not make said museum people very happy with me. Let's just say that museum is sometimes called "moe-mah."

I'm a big Tim Burton fan. Even if I didn't enjoy his movies, I would still go see them all because each is a work of art in itself: visually stunning, colorful, and completely and utterly unique. When I learned that he'd basically kept every sketch he'd ever drawn since the age of nine and they were going to create an exhibit out of it all, I knew that I had to see it.

How determined was I? Let me tell you.

After Sunday afternoon when we were shut down by the Brooklyn Public Library, I became even more determined to see the other of the two things I went to New York to see. (Full disclosure BPL people, it may sound like we're bitter, but that post was fairly tongue-in-cheek and really just an excuse to post the pictures of that incredible door and a funny photo on Monica. We're used to living with disappointment so we'll live. But in our defense, we Googled the exhibit to find the information and were taken straight to the exhibit page, which had no information about the closing, so while the main library page might have carried news about holiday hours, the exhibit page that also stated the hours said no such thing.) Monica had a meeting Monday morning and I was left to my own devices. So I headed off to Central Park South for my big moment which promised to nullify the letdown of the day before.

I walked into the lobby with my head and hopes held high, and saw: people.

A superabundance of people.

A profusion of people.

People aplenty.

Seriously, folks, I COULD. NOT. SEE. THE. FLOOR.

And that's when I realized: planning a trip to New York on a holiday weekend AND then going to two of the most publicized events in the city might not have been the most brilliant plan Monica and I have ever thought up.
Even the smartest women alive can have an off weekend. But whatever, I'd pay my $20, TWENTY DOLLARS!!, (To fully appreciate this travesty, by the way, you need to know that I haven't paid to go inside a museum in fifteen years. D.C. doesn't believe in charging for natioanal museums.) and deal with the crowds. So I walked, or rather waded, like a salmon searching for a place to spawn, through the crowds and up to the desk to pay my entry fee because it never occurred to me that I'd have to fight for tickets to get into an art museum or to consider buying them ahead of time. I know it should have... I'm just easily accustomed, I guess. Probably the same reason I still look out the window, see the sun, and assume I don't need a coat - even in January - because I once lived in a desert and that's how it was... there. I never thought to try and get tickets ahead of time or that they might sell out. But there they were as I approached the desk, a score or so of hand written, hastily printed on copy paper, terse signs which said things like:








(Maybe that last one was more inferred than implied.)


So the ONLY TWO THINGS I came to New York for were both a bust.

I decided that I would not pay to get in because $20 seems like a lot of money to someone who is used to paying $0 and with the museum so crowded, I wasn't likely to see anything but the backs of folks' heads. I swam my way back to the door to think of something else to do in New York City (tough job). Right before I left, though, there was one big Burton piece in the lobby that everyone could see. So I stopped to take a photo. As I was standing there, I saw the long line and spiraling stanchions filled with people waiting to show their tickets. I also noticed how right next to where I was standing, there was a largely unmonitored exit area with one security person standing near. I'm not sure what came over me. Maybe it was the disappointment of not seeing Bert and Ernie. Maybe I felt righteous indignation. Maybe I just buckled to temptation. But I glanced over, saw that security guard turn his head to look at something else, and suddenly, my legs were carrying me in through the exit with an "I have every right to be here, Officer" attitude.

I quickly wandered up to the floor where the special exhibits were held before anyone could stop me but as I got to the door, I realized that the tickets people were showing at the front door were only museum tickets. There were different, TIMED tickets to go into the Burton exhibit and the entrance door was not nearly as disorganized or loosely controlled as the museum's front entrance.

::heavy sigh::

Oh well, it was worth a try.

I took a photo (above) of the entrance, got yelled at by the security guard there (because, as it turns out, when you walk in through the exit, you tend not to see the signs at the entrance that say No flash photography in the building), and then admitted defeat.

Since I was already inside, I took the time to see the rest of the museum. It was amazing, really. I saw some of my favorite paintings ever and it was TOTALLY worth the price of admission. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, knowaddimean? I spent a couple of hours pouring through the rest of the museum and enjoying myself. I wandered from my sixth floor starting place all the way down to the bottom floor and saw everything I wanted to see. When I was about done, I ended up in a little photography exhibit that dead-ended into a room. As I was turning to backtrack, I noticed a couple of double doors with exit signs taped to them and as they opened, people were exiting through the back door of the Burton exhibit.

I think you know what comes next.

I turned on my very best blend-into-the-wallpaper mode and just stood there for awhile. Then when the opportunity presented itself, I accidentally wandered through the door. No one stopped me and I didn't even have to use the "I'm trying to find my friend - we got separated" excuse that the devil on my left shoulder had cooked up should anyone stop me. I was suddenly inside.
And oh my goodness, guys, it was totally worth the burdensome guilt I now carry and the fact that I now feel it necessary to confess my sins on the interweb here, because that exhibit was SO AMAZING. I took no photos, because a) there was no photography inside and if there's one thing this post has taught you about me, it's that I follow the rules... wait... nevermind, b) the security guards were really uptight about the no photography rule, and c) I was horribly afraid that if I even tried to sneak my camera out of my bag, the burly security guard would be like, "May I see your ticket, ma'am?" and I'd have to hit him over the head with one of the Willy Wonka dolls and run.

I was floored not by how much I loved everything there - I expected that - but by HOW MUCH STUFF was in there. In most exhibits there's a painting here... walk a few feet away... there's another painting... you stand in a mostly empty room and contemplate. In this one, however, there were very narrow passageways so as to create more surface area on which to hang the hundreds of sketches and paintings that were crowded onto the walls inches from one another and in rows. I could have spent hours just looking at everything he drew before he turned twenty.
Then there were the story boards, the sculptures, the films, the movie memorabilia...

So, if you can get yourself to New York City before this exhibit closes, you simply must do it.

But make sure you pay for a ticket.

Because sneaking into museums without paying is wrong.

So wrong.

In general, the building itself doesn't hold a lot of interest for me like some, but I did enjoy this view of the stairwell.

Frida Kahlo fascinates me. The piece on the right is a mirror and you can see a (probably paying) museum patron in the frame as well as what I think might be a Diego Rivera on the back wall.

I followed these school girls around for awhile because I was fascinated by their docent and how she dealt with them. Here she's addressing one girl's concern that there was "no reason for Picasso to paint those women without clothes." While I watched this exchange, a woman stood next to me trying to educate her teenage son, who could care less about such things, about how Picasso painted in a style called "Tubism." Fascinating.

Not a great picture of Starry, Starry Night - this room was understandably crowded - but I'd seen it only once before in a Van Gogh exhibit in Washington, D.C. and I couldn't take a photo then. This painting is So. Much More. Amazing. in person than you would ever guess.

Christina's World is an extremely famous Andrew Wyeth painting in the disability community. I personally, love the fact that he manages to make the colors both drab and vibrant at the same time. I tried to see it a couple of years ago in Philadelphia but was denied. Me and paying art museums - we don't get along, I guess. Up close you can see every blade of grass, every strand of hair, every fold on her dress, without noticing a single brush stroke - there's a reason why this is called Magic Realism. A teenage girl standing next to me here helpfully explained to her friend that this was the very first painter (born in 1917) to ever use a technique called "perspective." Where is that docent?

I was stunned to stumble onto Monet's Waterlillies. Partially because I didn't know it was here, but even more stunned to realize for the first time, HOW BIG THIS PAINTING IS.

Japanese Footbridge is one of my favorites by Monet. LOVE the colors.

I couldn't resist doing my Ferris Bueller's Day Off homage with this Seurat painting.

Here's the one Burton piece I can show you. It was in the front lobby. The light was awful and the picture came out badly, so I had some fun in Photoshop trying to make interesting at least.