I Love MOMA, New York

In my most recent posts, I’ve been talking about my trip to the East coast. This week, it’s all about art! Whenever I’m in New York, I love to try and squeeze in a trip to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), and this trip was no different. I met up with a couple friends to wander the galleries and see some of my favorite works of art, some well-known and others not so much. Here are a few of my must-see’s… Although nothing can replace a visit in-person, so consider this a little taste of whats there and encouragement to go see for yourself.

MOMA is filled with plenty of iconic works of art, including van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” which you’ve probably seen printed in just about every art textbook. It’s beautiful in person, and as you can see it was a hit with the crowds. I love the vibrant colors, playful swirls, and the way the tiny brush strokes blend together to create a windy motion that carries through the piece.

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The Starry Night – Vincent van Gogh

Here van Gogh translates that whimsical style into what could have otherwise been a rather serious portrait. Roulin’s rosy cheeks make him seem alive; it’s as though you could make eye contact with him.

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Portrait of Joseph Roulin – Vincent van Gogh

Pablo Picasso is arguably one of the most talented of artists. He’s know best for cubism, like you see here, where even the curviest of women’s bodies become sharp and geometric. But he also was an incredible sculptor, sketcher, and of course painter in styles most people may not even recognize as his own. He can do realism just as well as his iconic cubist paintings and sculptures.

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Les Demoiselles d’Avigon – Pablo Picasso

Klimt is an artist whose works I have rarely had the fortune of seeing in person, but they are astonishingly beautiful. His vibrant, if not eclectic, combinations of colors are eye-catching to say the least. He also tends to incorporate metallic paint, which I have not seen done by anyone else as beautifully. And something about the way he portrays both of these women makes them seem calm, at peace, and almost relaxed.

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Hope, II – Gustav Klimt

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Adele Block-Bauer II – Gustav Klimt

Mondrian’s work is still highly idolized, and I see many things today, from furniture, to artwork, to clothing, derived from his designs. They are simple, reserved, yet intriguing. I often feel like looking at his work is like looking through a window to the inner workings of color.

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various works by Piet Mondrian

I always enjoy perusing Monet’s works. They are soothing and beautiful, and often I wish I could take a nap inside of one of his paintings. He had a tendency to paint the same scenes repeatedly, and so I love seeing his different takes on the same images. Many times you can almost see the progress of his loss of sight in his paintings by comparing an earlier painting to a later one of the same scene. Here you can see a stark difference in the vibrancy and clarity of one of his “Water Lilies” to the next.

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Water Lilies (1840-1926) – Claude Monet

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Water Lilies (1914-1926) – Claude Monet

I always love looking at Jackson Pollock’s work as well. It’s truly unique; nothing else ever looks quite like a true Pollock. And when you get up close, the drips and streams seem to go over and under each other, creating a maze of paint trails.

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One, Number 31, 1950 – Jackson Pollock

This painting always grabs my attention when I visit MOMA, although its hard to articulate exactly why. There’s a gorgeous, impenetrable depth to the blackness in this painting, and the lighting-like colors seem to be peeking through the darkness.

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1944-N No. 2 – Clyfford Still

An iconic work of pop art, you must take a moment to look at Warhol’s soup cans. We see them duplicated everywhere even still, and so maybe his comment on the manufacturization of art is still being heard.

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Campbell’s Soup Cans – Andy Warhol

A Hollywood icon is the subject of this image. In a way, she herself became pop art through the pop art of others.

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Marilyn Monroe, I – James Rosenquist

I found this series by Broodthaers to be playful and a little cheeky.

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Literary Paintings, English Series – Marcel Broodthaers

This room in MOMA was super fun to wander through. One of the great things about modern sculpture is that much of it is meant to be experienced and questioned.

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[clockwise, from top right] Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo – Bruce Nauman | Modern Art – Lynda Benglis | Letters (The Twent Six Series) – Richard Tuttle | To Lift – Richard Serra

There was a special exhibit of design and architecture while I was there, which of course I had to spend a little time in! I always love to see the originals of pieces still being sold today. Even though this table is familiar to us now, I like to try to put myself in the shoes of someone seeing it for the first time.

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various, including table by Eileen Gray

And since Knoll Textiles are alive and well today, I enjoyed getting a little taste of what they were like in the 40’s.

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various, from the Knoll Textiles showroom, 1947

I found these war propaganda posters incredibly interesting, if not a little funny. Oh, how far we’ve come!

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various, women and war propaganda

I wish I could remember who was the artist responsible for this chandelier. It truly looks like the cacophony of broken pieces was frozen mid-explosion.

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shattered china chandelier

Do you have a favorite modern artist or work of art? Who/what is it?

Fraunces Tavern, My New Favorite NYC Bar

After my weekend with the girls, the next stop on my journey was to visit a few more friends in New York. One, who knows me too well, was dying to take me to Fraunces Tavern for drinks, or food, or whatever, but mostly for the design of the place.
DSCN5592 What a cool place this was! From the moment we walked in, my eyes wandered up, down, all around, admiring the way they combined modern and antique elements to create an environment that truly moulds your experience here.DSCN5576 Their sunken dining room (The Tallmadge Room) at the front of the building featured creative re-use of church pews as dining seating. To me this is so much cooler than a booth, and would be a fun dining experience with a group of friends.DSCN5577

They had a huge whiskey menu (which my hubby was surely jealous of) that went lost on me. But I’m sure if I were a whiskey drinker, I would have loved to settle in at their Dingle Whiskey Bar.

DSCN5578 The main bar (The Porterhouse Tavern) was very rustic feeling, my favorite element of which was the cowhide banquette seating throughout.DSCN5579 DSCN5583

Glass shelving filled with bottles made for unique dividers to separate one banquette seating area from the next, creating a more intimate experience.DSCN5590I wish I could have walked the tavern with one of the designers so I could have asked where this bar came from! It looked like an antique, salvaged piece from somewhere. I guess I’ll never know.DSCN5585 DSCN5586 Behind the main bar, I kept wandering and discovered what a maze the place is! Around every corner there seemed to be one more cool room. This is the Chef’s Table, set in a wine cellar-esque setting.DSCN5580 Beyond that I found the Speakeasy, which was unoccupied but still looked like a great setting for a few beers on a Friday night.DSCN5582 And lastly, the Bissell Room. Even though this dining room felt quite a bit more formal than the other spaces, it would none the less be a comfortable place to sit down and stay awhile for a leisurely meal and a few cocktails.DSCN5581Which is your favorite room?

A Day in The Hamptons, Breezy and Free

As you may know, I recently finished a pretty intense design program. I’ve been loving my new found freedom! So what’s the first thing I did with it, you might ask? Well, I jumped straight onto a plane for an epic vacation on the other side of the country. First order of business: girls weekend with some high school friends. It was too quick, but we had a fantastic time together, catching up and just enjoying each others company. Since we’d visited New York City together in the past, we decided to mix it up this time around and spend a day in the Hamptons.

First stop: Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, for the most delicious baked goods! My favorite was the cookie dough cupcake. And the setting for such a bake shop was just adorable, in what surely used to be someone’s house long ago. It was easy to feel right at home.DSCN5420 DSCN5417 Of course we made time for a quick walk on one of the windy beaches.DSCN5442 Before lunch, we stopped at Wolffer Estate winery in Sagaponack for some wine and girl-chat time. What a beautiful setting to be with friends! DSCN5449 DSCN5448 Lunch was sea food at a Hamptons icon in Amagansett, where they happily boasted the names of all the celebrities who have lunched there.DSCN5458 Next we made our way all the way up to the top of the Island and took a walk on the ocean around the Montauk Point Lighthouse.DSCN5472 DSCN5462 DSCN5474While we were in Amagansett, I couldn’t resist urging the girls to pull over for a little shopping. Love Adorned is one of my favorite shops in SoHo, so I had to see what their Hamptons location was like!
DSCN5483 I’m always up for a good farm stand, and the Round Swamp Farm country market in East Hampton was above and beyond. I would do most of my grocery shopping here if I lived nearby.DSCN5484 DSCN5489 DSCN5485 Since we weren’t quite hungry for dinner yet (having just stuffed ourselves with lobster rolls, fried clams, and chowder) and it was beginning to rain, we did a little more browsing and shopping in East Hampton.

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I loved Book Hampton. It was comfortable, cozy, and was the kind of book shop you could take your time in, especially on a rainy day like it was.DSCN5492 DSCN5490 And finally, we ended our day with drinks and The American Hotel followed by an incredibly delicious dinner at Tutto Il Giorno in Sag Harbor.DSCN5495What a wonderful, leisurely day it was wandering through the Hamptons with great friends and my new found homework-less freedom!

Have you been to the Hamptons? What is your favorite spot there?

Adorned with Art at Love Adorned, SoHo

Back in the fall, I made the trip to New York City to celebrate the wedding of a dear friend. While I was there, I did a little shopping with the girls and couldn’t resist stopping into one of my favorite shops in SoHo for some eye candy! I say eye candy because much of the things I fall in love with here are out of my price range, but that doesn’t stop me for appreciating all the beautiful artistry on display.

DSCN3725 The shop is called Love Adorned, and it’s insides are scattered with an array of handmade goods, from jewelry to rugs, home decor accessories, throw blankets, and more. I love the presence of nature in the store, both in its decoration and it’s merchandise.DSCN3717 Much of the woven goods have a tribal feel to them, and such great colors!DSCN3726This mask reminds me of some of the totems I saw on a trip to New Zealand a few years ago, shooting a documentary on the Maori healers there.
DSCN3718 Each case displays a different jewelry artist’s pieces. They asked that I not take pictures of the specific jewelry on display, but I must direct you to their website to see some of them. This is one of my favorites.DSCN3720 This two sided antique velvet sofa provides a striking visual “welcome” into the store.DSCN3724 …And this one was just a nonchalant bystander, used as a display for some hand-woven blankets.DSCN3721 They had a few display tables for affordable gift items like these, which would be great purchases if you’re not in the market for jewelry. They also sell some select leather goods, and many one-of-a-kind pieces.DSCN3722 This little nook is a great spot for their eclectic collection of home goods and knickknacks.DSCN3719 So if you’re in SoHo, stop in and check it out. You won’t be disappointed! I will definitely be back, and maybe one of these days I’ll walk out with some of these.DSCN3728

Do you have a favorite shop somewhere? Let me know about it!

A Walk Through Central Park

Last week I mentioned my trip to New York City, and this week I thought I’d share some of that trip with you. Most of my time in New York was spent celebrating the union of two dear friends, but a few of us still made time to see some of the sights. I’ve been to New York a few times before, but had always spent my sightseeing excursions going to museums, dining with friends, and doing a little shopping here and there. So this time I made sure to spend some time in Central Park.

The weather there was really quite perfect, so it was a great fall weekend to spend a little time strolling through this amazing park.

DSCN3665 There are some fantastic roads and bike paths all throughout the park, and we saw lots of joggers and bicyclists taking advantage of the beautiful day.DSCN3702This is the mall, which has appeared in many a movie and tv show throughout the years, and being there I could see why. It’s a wonderfully romantic place, covered with a canopy of trees and with plenty of benches to sit and read, take a rest during your walk, or just breath in the fresh air. This place feels very far away from the bustling big city surrounding it.
DSCN3668 DSCN3671 The trees weren’t changing to autumn colors as much as I had hoped, but every once in a while there was one like this to remind me that those fall colors are indeed right around the corner.DSCN3673 At the end of the mall, the Bethesda Fountain almost seemed to pop up out of nowhere. There was lots of activity here, some people just passing through, others enjoying the fountain or taking pictures.DSCN3677 DSCN3684 I love the views from inside the park. There’s something magical about seeing the skyscrapers of New York watching over the park.DSCN3687We came across several refreshing ponds, where life thrived all around them.

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DSCN3686 Since it was right before Halloween, there was even a pumpkin patch right in the middle of the park.DSCN3692 We made sure to visit Strawberry Fields, where dozens of people were gathered to pay tribute to John Lennon. I imagine it is this crowded, or more, all the time. It really says something about the influence the Beatles continue to have, even now.DSCN3696 DSCN3693 DSCN3694I loved coming across this bridge, Oak Bridge.
DSCN3703And I loved the view from the bridge even more.
DSCN3704 And of course, we had to pay a visit to Belvedere Castle, which provides the highest point from which to view the park from within. (Incidentally, it’s also the point from which the national weather service monitors the temperatures for the city.)DSCN3716 See, look at that view!DSCN3708Central Park is huge, and we really only explored the lower half of it. I hope to explore the rest next time I’m in the city.

Do you have a favorite spot in Central Park?

This Week I Loved… (East Coast Travel Edition)

Of course the thing I loved THE MOST was seeing some amazing friends old and new, and celebrating the union of two very incredible people who I love dearly. But in this anecdote I thought I’d share with you some of the sights I saw while I was in New York (for said friends’ wedding reception) and Rhode Island / Massachusettes (to play for a couple days with my best friend). More posts on my trip coming next week!

This week in New York I loved…

Central Park in the fall.

DSCN3704 Strawberry Fields, which still draws a consistent crowd.DSCN3696 DSCN3694 This awesome street vendor in Soho. Hoping we’ll see her on Etsy one day! Until then, if you want her email address let me know and I’ll send it along. 🙂DSCN3732

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This week in New England I loved…

Visiting my best friend’s aunt and uncles’ farm in Rhode Island. Cider, a pumpkin patch, and even a corn maze!

DSCN3834 DSCN3814Touring The Elms, one of Newport’s “cottages.”DSCN3879 The most incredible display of jack-o-lanterns I have ever seen, at the zoo near Providence.(Yes, these are all REAL pumpkins!)DSCN3939 DSCN3917 Ending the trip in Salem, Massachusetts on the perfect fall day. The Witch House is the last remaining structure from the 1692 witch trial era.

DSCN3975Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween yesterday, and Happy Fall!

Frank Lloyd Wright is Awesome

As you may know, I’m taking a class on sustainable design right now, and as such I have a paper to write in the next couple weeks! It will be on Frank Lloyd Wright, what he called “organic” design, and the ways in which it resulted in passive design. Ok, so what if I just wanted to use it as an excuse to pour over Wright’s designs for the next couple weeks. Well I won’t bore you now with the details of the paper, but I will share with you a few awesome Frank Lloyd Wright designs that I’ll be ogling over in the coming weeks.

Taliesen West

Located in Scottsdale, AZ, Taliesen West was Wright’s winter home and today it remains the winter home of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Being in the desert, there are a ton of passive design elements to keep up with the extreme temperatures. It is also a great example of how to condition a building to rely as much as possible on the available sunlight to light a room. I went on a tour through here about a year and a half ago, and the tour is well worth a trip to see it.

Taliesen

The first built of the two Taliesens, this one is located in Spring Green Wisconsin. It also houses the school of architecture students in the remaining season. In it’s history, the house has actually been destroyed by fire and rebuilt not once, but twice within Frank Lloyd Wright’s lifetime!

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Built into the rocks of Sedona, AZ, this is a fantastic example of what Wright’s idea of “organic design” meant aesthetically. This place is just as remarkable inside as it is from the outside. Yes, those are all windows you see, and yes the view from inside is pretty amazing!

The Guggenheim New York

This is a fantastic space for modern art. If you haven’t been here before, the spiral you see on the outside of the building is reflected within as well, gradually taking you up and up through the museum as you look at all the wonderful art exhibited on the way up.

Hollyhock House

Located here in Los Angeles (I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been to see it yet), Wright built this entire house out of poured molded concrete. Oh, and if you’ve seen the Rocketeer, you’ve seen the inside… it was the home of that dastardly Neville Sinclair (played by Timothy Dalton).

Gordon House

This was one of Wright’s many Usonian homes, designed for American families of “widely varying means” with his organic design philosophy, honoring the land on which they were built. This one is located in Silverton, OR.

Fallingwater

I hate to play favorites, but this is the one I am most dying to see in person! Doesn’t it just seem magical? It was built for the Kaufmann family in the 1930’s in Mill Run, PA, on top of a naturally occurring waterfall. What  a way to live in the woods, eh?

There are so many more incredible creations from Wright’s prolific career, and there is a plethora of information on each of them, so consider this a teaser.

Tell me, have you ever been to any of Frank Lloyd Wrights architectural creations? What were your thoughts?