I went to Brooklyn Museum just because it is literally just around the corner and I would not find an excuse for not having been there. So I went there without any expectations. I had read that there is a huge collection of Egyptian pieces of art and that’s not really what I am interested in.
What I found was something different though. A museum with very diverse collections and exhibitions that are very well done.
I started with “Connecting Cultures”. A title which is very adequate for Brooklyn as a location. The exhibition shows places, people and things seen from or used by different cultures and herewith shows different viewpoints.
Next was a collection of American art – paintings as well as other objects – from different time periods. Most of the artists were unknown to me, but I found nice pieces and there was even one Hopper painting.
Then I saw a collection of rooms from country- and townhouses around Brooklyn. Like these little museum places somewhere just put into the big museum.
One of the highlights surely is the Dinner Party by Judy Chicago. It is a feminist installation. A triangular table is laid out for 39 woman representing stages of feminism through time. Other women are grouped around each of them on a wall.
Next to the Dinner Party there is an exhibition of different types of quilts. From simple ones to really artsy ones. Again – like in that old fashioned quilt shop in Winterset, Iowa – I thought I should have a quilt as well. I could never make one though.
Finally I walked through a collection of European paintings, among them several Monets as well as other Impressionists.
It would have been a great mistake not to go the Brooklyn Museum. It is really great.
Before I went there I had lunch in Tom’s Restaurant on Washington Avenue. A real old fashioned American Diner with a bar where people sit on these round stools, a design from when it opened up about 70 years ago and a menu featuring all those healthy things like Burgers, Sandwiches and Omelets as well as more modern dishes like Quesadillas or Spaghetti with Meatballs. Checks are handwritten and paid to a woman sitting behind the bar probably since the early days of the restaurant. It’s a kind of museum as well.
On my way down Washington to the museum on Eastern Parkway I passed a wall where people were invited to finish the sentence “Before I die I will…”. I wanted to write “write a book”, but somebody had already done that.
At night I was to meet my friends Claus and Sabine for a visit to a rooftop bar. I had chosen 230 Fifth. We met at the Flatiron Building where I could have a look at the Nighthawks installation that’s currently there. The glass front part of the building has been Hopper’s model for the bar in the Nighthawks, as I had learned in the Exhibition at the Whitney’s.
It was much easier to get on the rooftop that I had expected. No doorman, just a woman who seated us, like everywhere. We sat at wooden tables among palms wrapped in red plush coats provided by the bar and sipped cocktails, looking like Santas. It was quite chilly on the 20th floor but the setting is great and the views are awesome. The Empire State Building right in front of us, the Chrysler building far behind, looking tiny.
Well, it was the rooftop bar’s fault that yesterday’s post is a bit delayed. When I came home at a time when the 4 train runs local already and after three cocktails I didn’t really feel like writing. I’m sorry – but I wouldn’t want to have missed it.