Gallery, Gallery, Gallery, MUSEUM!

Sat 11/5/2005

For some reason I really got out and saw a bunch of ART this week. For my History of Illustration class on Wednesday we went on a field trip up to the historic main branch of the New York Public Library (think LIONS out front). They don't really use that building for the LIBRARY anymore (the real mid-manhattan lending library is kitty-corner from it) so it is more of a gallery space now, and then they have a bunch of ULTRA-rare books and extra-fancy private collections.

Anyways, they have a really incredible collection of Illuminated Manuscripts on display right now (those medieval hand-made books with lavish illustrations and calligraphy). It is pretty incredible to be in an Art History class talking about something and then to be able to hop on the subway for 15 minutes and then see THE REAL THING. Earlier in the semester this same class took a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at all the paintings we had been talking about. It is one of (if not THE) coolest things about studying art in New York City.

The manuscripts are basically the BEGINNING of Illustration, so it was really neat to check them out and see how some things have totally changed and some things have totally stayed the same. Also upstairs they had a bunch of wood-block prints from the 1960s on display which were really amazing, but in a totally different way. All FREE and open to the public!

Then on Thursday I got out of class and called Lindsay who has been wandering around the city during the days. She was only a few blocks away, so I came and met her and we ended up walking to the American Institute of Graphic Artists, where I used to temp. The current exhibit in the gallery was the winners of the "50 books / 50 covers" competition, which I helped organize (by opening and catagorizing the THOUSANDS of entered books). It was really cool to see which books and covers had won and how they were all displayed.

Then today I met up with fellow Ignatz Award winner Liz Prince who had come down from Boston for the weekend to check out some ART! First we went to the Met to see the new Van Gogh Drawings Exhibit. It was REALLY amazing, but also REALLY crowded. I guess the New York City Marathon is tomorrow, so there are like a BAJILLION extra people in the city this weekend. It was a little hard to get close enough to the art to be able to see it, but what I DID see was totally mind blowing. (I'll probably go back again when it is less crazy).

There is something about seeing drawings in pen and ink by master artists--materials that *I* draw with. I mean when I look at a Van Gogh PAINTING, it's like "forget about it!" because I don't even know how to START something like that. But these drawings are mostly just INK on PAPER. And that's what I do ALL DAY! So it was very inspiring. The coolest part I thought was when they had drawings that were preparatory studies for paintings of his that they ALSO had on display. Another interesting thing was that Van Gogh used to do ink drawings of his paintings AFTER he was done with them, to send them to friends. Like, "Hey check it out--I just finished a painting that looks like THIS!" (pre-photocopier / camera / scanner technology--by hand!)

Then we met up with Lindsay and walked a few blocks over to the Adam Baumgold Gallery to look at ORIGINAL CHRIS WARE COMICS PAGES. Oh man... I can't even... You have no idea... TOTALLY CRAZY. I mean, as if the finished book wasn't incredible enough, to actually be able to see the pages of ink and how he works... !!?! Yeah. It was totally mind-blowing. Chris Ware is a TOTAL GENIUS. I picked up his latest Acme Novelty Library (#16) which is SELF-PUBLISHED (woo!) and the first issue in FOUR YEARS, which somehow makes me feel a little better about the year and two months I've been working on PHASE 7 #006...

Anyways, I'm all cultured out!

2 comments on this entry

thanks for going to Kevin's show, he was totally psyched!! I want to see that drawing you did of him.

Liz Prince Nov08

Liz- the show was COOL! (Liz's boyfriend Kevin is a one-man band called Animal Hospital and he played last night in Brooklyn). I'll get you guys the picture tonight, after I finish my HOMEWORK!

Alec Nov08

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