Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Missed the McNay Museum

For the life of me I still can't figure out why it took me so long to go back to visit the McNay Museum (@mcnayart).  I haven't been since they opened their new wing in 2008.  It's a fantastic new space that really brings the museum up to date with an incredible amount of room for more collections.  I was also extremely pleased to find out that admission is free for current students.  (Another bonus for attending night classes.)

The Mathews Glass Art exhibit was very neat - art deco glass vases and bowls and things that were absolutely exquisite.  The Janet Lohr exhibit had a Dia de los Muertos feel to it, but it was interesting to see how the final product was created.   And really intriguing was the Gary Lang Dividing Time installation.  It is a projection of moving lines, a real-time version of some of his other works.  It was like seeing each piece being layered on top of each other as the piece evolves.  Of course, the newly acquired Picasso paintings were a must see.  I absolutely loved the current exhibit they have going on now called "Neither Model Nor Muse: Women as Artists." It showed exclusively female artists in several different mediums, even including one done by Ms. McNay herself! 

In the new wing they have a sculpture exhibit that you can actually tweet to @mcnayinfo a certain number and get a piece of trivia about the particular piece!  I totally nerded out with that.  I love learning those little things, and this is a genius way to update the old school cassette tape audio tours.  Granted, they still have a call-in system for some of the other pieces in the other galleries, but I despise talking on the phone, so this was much better suited to me.  The delay on the return message was a little long, but the info was neat enough that I actually went back to the previous pieces.  It also was a kind of electronic notice to not rush through the exhibit too quickly- to take my time to enjoy it and really look at what I'm seeing.  I feel like I appreciated the pieces more when I knew more about them, so for me it greatly added to my enjoyment of the exhibit.  I only wish it were expanded to more of the galleries!  

I loved the new wing and the Twittering.  It felt like the museum got a great update that can make it more accessible to an increasingly techie population.  The only Going to art museums always makes me wish I knew more about art history and theory.  Perhaps then I can understand the artistry more than just feeling moved by beautiful things in a small space.