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.
While 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.
MoMA 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.