The Cool House: museum
Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts

Friday, August 15, 2008

Modern History

This French Restoration bedroom circa 1823 looks so modern it would fit right into my house today. Part of House Proud: Nineteenth-Century Watercolor Interiors From the Thaw Collection, at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan. The exhibition runs until January 25 2009.
via The New York Times

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Summer White House

I did squeeze in one local culture experience on my vacation at home. On Thursday morning I visited Teddy Roosevelt's home Sagamore Hill at Oyster Bay Cove, 10 minutes from The Cool House.
I've taken visitors to the grounds many times before but this was the first time I'd toured the house and it was worth at least double the $5 fee. Firstly you get a NPS ranger as tour guide and they are always informative but our guide Robert Erhlich had so many stories about the house and the artifacts that we were there much longer than planned. There is the house itself, which is one of the best preserved Victorian Shingle-style homes in the US, with its gas lighted dining room, dark wood paneling, and exterior ice house. Everything in the house, with the exception of the rugs, some drapes and the back staircase, is original. Then there are the public rooms filled with the souvenirs of TR Roosevelt's life, as New York politician, explorer, Rough Rider and President. Elephant tusks (a gift from the King of Ethiopia, Polar and Grizzly bear rugs, the Presidential flag represent just part of the unique decor you'll find here. Even the room where Elinor Roosevelt stayed when her parents died is preserved as it was, complete with a signature quilt made by her closest friends.

Roosevelt and his second wife Edith Kermit Carow moved into Sagamore Hill in 1887, eventually raising six children there, including Alice, from his first marriage. When Roosevelt became the youngest president in 1902 after the McKinley's assassination he re-named the Executive Mansion in Washington DC "The White House" and the installation of a telephone at Sagamore Hill that kept the President in touch with the Capital permitted the family to reside on Long Island during the summer months. Sagamore Hill became known as the Summer White House.
If you love old houses, taxidermy, history or good yarns and have an opportunity to visit Long Island, or if you live near here and didn't know about it, beg or borrow $5 and invest it in a tour. You won't be disappointed.
Sagamore Hill NHS 12 Sagamore Hill Road, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 is open to visitors from Wednesday through Sunday each week (closed Mondays & Tuesdays). House tours on the hour 10 AM-4 PM.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Prefabulous houses at MoMA

Monday morning's disappointment with The Waterfalls and the delicious make-up-for-it lunch and a couple of espressos behind us we headed uptown for more culture at the MoMA - Home Delivery: Fabricating The Modern Dwelling. This exhibition of prefabrication in architecture from the early 19th century to the present isn't comprehensive - Sears-Roebeck homes get a mention but Macy's Leisurama Homes don't - but it is fascinating nonetheless. I especially loved the 1930's copper houses constructed in Berlin and Haifa, that I previously knew nothing about.
I checked in the all-metal 1949 Lustron House that was reassembled inside the museum for this exhibition but the drawers were clear of used tissues. There was a couple seated at the dining table, she was applying lipstick, checking her blackberry while they chatted about friends and how they could "totally live there right in the middle of a museum". They were completely comfortable, enjoying the Prefab space. It was kind of cute in a life-as-art way.
Outside on a vacant lot adjacent to the MoMA were five prototype prefabs, the installation of which you can watch on video.

I loved the construction of the Digitally Fabricated Housing for New Orleans: no nails, no glue, you need only a rubber mallet to put together the numbered parts.

Open tread staircase in the photovoltaic rich Cellophane House, adds to the open and airy feeling. The house is full of light and feels surprisingly spacious and cool even on a sweltering New York Summer day

The retro feel but conceptually ultra-modern Burst*008, is bathed in a creamy yellow glow. This prefab isn't a box but rather geometrical folds mean each house will be unique. Sunshine bursts everywhere, including this nifty skylight above the double bed, yet the house remains cool.
This was installation design done really well and a fun afternoon at MoMA. They have had some really interesting, informative and thought-provoking exhibitions over the past year, and that's what a culture-fix should provide.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cai Guo-Qiang: I want to Believe

There's such a lot to see at the Met, MoMA and other New York museums at the moment but one not-to-be-missed show is at the iconic Guggenheim. Amazing architecture and awe-inspiring art in one space, so I had to go and see it for myself.
Inspired by a car bomb Inopportune Stage One occupies the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, New York and is the initial installation of Cai Guo-Qiang' s exhibition: I want to Believe. White cars tumble skywards while lasers shoot out of the vehicles, turning an image of destruction into one of beauty.
Further along the gallery a pack of wolves hurtles into a glass wall and a fishing boat pierced with 3,000 arrows is suspended from the ceiling. Visitors can walk among the exhibits, including the life-size clay figures in the Rent Collection Courtyard or even go on a river trip in an animal hide raft.
Most of the works were shown first at other galleries but there is something about the unique space of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum that is superbly suited to Cai's work.
A large part of the experience for me was amazement at the staging of the exhibits so be sure to visit the website to see how some of them were installed.

The exhibition runs through May 28 2008 at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
More information here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back to The Cool House and the blog

So much to relate, but where to start?

With the wonderful things I saw while I was away?

Or with the fantastic progress made at The Cool House in my absence?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

We apologise for the interruption

We are a little hung up at the moment. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Color Chart

I'd been waiting a month to get to Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today. On Sunday we got there early to avoid the crowds and spent a couple of hours at the exhibition.

The Guy and I were there at the end of February when they were laying out this vinyl tape exhibit, ZOBOP! by Jim Lambie. It's standing up pretty well to thousands of feet walking up the lobby stairs at the Museum of Modern Art.

I can't help but smile looking at the bright colors of Donald Judd's Untitled, 1989, it's happy art.

I was so inspired by Bas Jan Ader's Primary Time that I had to come home and prove myself even more inept at producing a Mondrian inspired flower arrangement than he was.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Going Modern

Shiro Kuramata, 49 Drawers (1970), Museum of Modert Art, NYC.
We renewed our subscription to MoMA and as no-one has to work today we popped in to the city to see the Lucian Freud exhibit. Just the two of us and twenty million other people who wanted to see modern art on a warm wet Monday morning. It's really not possible to enjoy looking at anything with these crowds so we cut our losses and joined friends for a long (4 hour) leisurely lunch at The Modern.
The $55 pre-fixe was possibly the best meal we have had in NYC since we ate there back in 2005. Light and velvety lentil broth with foie gras flan, garlicky carpaccio of sea bass, crispy trout and the tart apple and pear dessert were the stand-outs. The service was impeccable and the amuse bouche and complimentary petits fours were greatly appreciated. My only tiny quibble is that MoMA offers a 10% discount to members dining in their other restaurants but apparently not in The Modern. Still, I can't think of a better way to spend President's Day. It sure beats shopping my way to poverty.