Natives from metro New York can at times
be a tad delusional. Especially as relates to
our perception of the world beyond our tri-
state borders. Years ago after I moved to
Chicagoland I was myopic at best. You see
all I did was compare everything there to
things back home. Thus perception warped
reality. Ultimately I came to see things for
what they truly were. Theres NO doubt that
Manhattan is beyond compare - especially
as relates to art. The other day I walked
a Museum Mile down Fifth Avenue from
103rd down to home. Heres what I saw...
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at East 103rd Street
In my youth this establishment was stuffy
at best. Now it's as hip as it's namesake.
Within it's colonial revival halls one can
experience all that this city has to offer.
This week I reviewed innovative displays
on this city's history of social activism,
Aids home care, and historic and modern
Tiffany silver. I strongly recommend that
you see the twenty eight minute video
"Timescapes" which chronicles this city's
growth. Click here for a preview.
Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue
In 1859 Peter Cooper, an industrialist founded
the Cooper Union. Which still provides FREE
quality college educations for the less fortunate.
In 1896 his granddaughters founded a museum
dedicated to the decorative arts. Closed in 1963
it was reopened in 1970 under the leadership of
the Smithsonian Institute in the former Andrew
Carnegie mansion. The space alone is worth the
visit. But the exhibits within are quite amazing!
Click here to see why museum haters love it!
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue at East 89th Street
While most of our museums are architecturally
impressive - it's rare that the structure itself is
truly a work of art. This modern masterpiece
was the final building designed and supervised
by Frank Lloyd Wright. Opened in 1959 it
was a gift from businessman and modern art
lover Solomon Guggenheim to New York. It's
unique ramp design allows visitors to view art
as they descend from top to bottom. Art aside,
the experience itself is beyond life-changing.
Click here for a sneak peak of it's magic...
Neue Galerie New York
1048 Fifth Avenue at East 86th Street
Not every New York art philanthropist is dead.
Ronald Lauder is a devotee of Viennese and
German art created before World War II. So
much so that he purchased Klimt's "Lady in
Gold" portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer from her
niece Marie Altmann for $135 million. Housed
in a former Vanderbilt Manse - it's Viennese
Cafe' Sabarsky is the perfect place to take a
quick energy break before proceeding down
Fifth Avenue to tour even more museums.
Click here for a taste!
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue between East 80th to 84th
Rarely is bigger better. Yet Manhattan's mega
art museum is obviously a rare exception. At
over a quarter of a mile long it's two million
square feet displays one of the world's most
amazing and varied art collections. Spanning
everything from Egyptian mummies to totem
poles to Greek gods, to iconic Impressionist
masterworks it's ALL beyond compare. But
the view from it's rooftop sculpture garden
just may be it's most inspiring experience.
Click here for a sneak peek.
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street at Fifth Avenue
Last but not least I stopped by my favorite
of museums - the Frick. Originally home
to the Pittsburgh coke (as in coal) baron -
it's intimate environs are the perfect place
to escape the hustle and bustle of the city
that never sleeps. Then of course there is
the collection itself. From Rembrandt to
Turner to Boucher to Corot to Whistler it's
ALL truly amazing. Proof that money well
spent can truly make a difference.
Click here to see for yourself.