Museum of Modern Art is a strange place. It has everything one would expect from a first class art museum, but in many respects it is more like a zoo. Your friendly neighborhood blogger went to MoMA on his day off from work to check out art like Gustav Klimt’s Adele Bloch-Bauer II, but instead struggled not get to swept away in a rip tide of tourists taking selfies.

Perhaps the best way to describe what it feels like to walk through MoMa is to use a painting analogy: I felt like Georges Braque’s “Man with Guitar” (1911). It’s easy to feel like you’re coming apart at the seams as a cacophony of laughs, giggles, squeals, shuffling feet, and jumbled conversations make it incredibly difficult to properly take in each artist’s work.

Man with Guitar BraqueWhile it is impressive that any museum in the world can convince the average tourist to pay $25 to view Marcel Duchamp’s “In Advance of the Broken Arm” (1915) — yes, that’s right, Mr. Duchamp literally hung a shovel from a ceiling and deemed it art — packing in as many people into a museum as humanly possible isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Marcel DuchampMoMA is certainly a place every art lover should go to — once. I suppose Mr. Duchamp would call me a “bourgeois” snob for saying it, but I don’t care: It’s hard to appreciate art in a museum when families are invited to run around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.

There is plenty to do in New York City if you love the arts. Unless you have a burning desire to check it out, I would suggest looking at the snow shovel in your garage, pretending you’ve just seen “art” by Duchamp, and calling it a day.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

2 comments

  1. LOL! I’ll pass, not a big fan of modern art or big crowds. I live in the midst of a so called artist’s haven. We only have two stop lights, but we have 37 art galleries. The art scene is full of such precious pretentiousness, I can hardly bear it. Very bourgeois of me, I’m sure, but some of us actually have to work for a living. 😉

  2. I have visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Louvre in Paris. Both cost around €10.

    The Van Gogh Museum was quite peaceful. I had plenty of time to really look at each painting and it was a pleasant experience.

    The Louvre was a nightmare. Far too many people and they were all taking selfies. We left there a lot sooner than I thought we would and moved on to Montmartre.

    I would like to try the Louvre again one day. Maybe early in the morning t try and beat the crowds.

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