Monday, June 16, 2014

Catching the Shows You Want To See

Chaim Soutine (1893 - 1943), Plucked Goose, 1932 - 1933, 
oil on panel, 19 1/4 x 16 1/2 in.  (51.8 x 58.4 cm)
Private Collection. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Photo:  Paul Kasmin Gallery Web site

I almost missed the sixteen Chaim Soutine paintings at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in the exhibition "Life in Death: Still Lifes and Select Masterworks of Chaim Soutine." The show opened April 24 and ended June 14, 2014.  For whatever reasons, I was unaware of it until I read Karen Rosenberg's review in the Friday, June 5th printed edition of the New York Times.  

As often happens, I got around to reading Friday's paper on Sunday. This left me only five days to see the exhibit.  Commitments galore necessitated a run to the gallery mid-afternoon on Saturday, the show's closing day.  It was barely enough time to absorb Soutine's jam-packed, riveting artworks.  

The paintings were all from private collections.   With the exception of one or two, they were top-notch - painter's paintings.  It would have been a loss not to have seen them. 

Since New York is filled with hundreds of art galleries, museums and, it seems, a continuous lineup of art fairs, the question arises how not to miss exhibitions that are important, interesting and meaningful to the viewer. Thus this blog post which is one art enthusiast's method for solving the problem.  Keep in mind, the remedy may fail as evidenced by the first paragraph. 

The approach is three-pronged.  First, regularly scan the arts section of periodicals in your normal purview.  An image, article or review may entice further exploration.  Make note of the show's location as well as opening and closing dates.  

Second, sign-up for online museum communications.  Museums send e-correspondences which anyone may subscribe to and they are free. These e-mails or e-newsletters supply updates on current and future exhibits in addition to lectures, talks, and a variety of programs and events.  

In general, subscribing is simple to carry out.  Having said this, the design or nomenclature of some Web sites can confuse.  In such cases, searching menus will lead to success.  The following offers a "how to" for some prominent and not so prominent but worthy institutions.  

Main Entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
Photo:  Wikipedia Web site © CC BY-SA 3.0

Start with the museums's home page.  Look for any link that may indicate a connection such as the words "e-mail updates" or "e-newsletter." The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) make it simple.  Clearly indicated on the top left hand corner of their respective home pages, is an area to sign up for e-mails (Metropolitan Museum) or e-news (MoMA).  You can also join MoMA's e-news by a hyperlink at the bottom of the home page entitled "E-News" in small gray print.  

The New Museum, New York
Photo:  Lucia P. 
Yelp Web site 

To subscribe to the New Museum's newsletter, on the bottom of the museum's home page click on "Follow-Us."  Once on the "Follow-Us" page, click on "SIGN UP NOW" and fill out the subscription form.  

As for the The Frick Collection,  place the cursor on the main menu's "Interact."  From the drop down menu that appears, click on "E-News."  Complete the "E-News" sign-up fields and you are done. 

For subscriptions to The Whitney Museum of American Art, place the cursor on the museum's home page main menu's "ABOUT."  Scroll down the drop down menu to "SUBSCRIBE" and click.  Key in your e-mail address and click on the rectangular box with the words "SIGN ME UP!"

Photo:  New York Magazine Web site 
Courtesy of the Museum of Biblical Art

Linkage to some lesser known museums may broaden your art horizons. The excellent Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) is a case in point.  The main menu of this museum's home page is on the left hand side.  A click on "MOBIA FRIENDS" will lead to the "MOBIA Friends" page.  Here enter your e-mail address in the box provided then click on the small square box under your address. Complete the registration form and click on "Sign Up."  Subscribing also will get you a discount at the museum's shop and invites to special talks.  

Photo:  Hélène Binet 

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) may be unfamiliar but deserves attention.  This museum focuses on handmade objects in a variety of mediums.  Imaginative shows make viewers reconsider the artistry of so called crafts.  The link to join MAD's mailings is located at the bottom right of the home page.  Click on the "join our e-mail list" in small red letters.  Look close.  The link can easily be missed.  

Art gallery mailings are a third way to keep well-informed.  Almost every gallery has a guest book which visitors can sign, leave their comments and request to be placed on the mailing list.  Requests can also be made with the gallery's receptionist in person or by phone as well as by e-mail.  See the gallery's Web site for e-mail contact information.  

The limit to subscriptions is left to the reader.  Unsubscribe is always an option.

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