Archive

Tag Archives: moma

moma_art_in_progress1a

moma_art_in_progress3

Art in Progress: 15th Anniversary Exhibitions: Photography
May 24–September 17, 1944
At MoMA, in NYC.

“FELLIG, Arthur (Weegee). American, born Austria 1900.
Brooklyn School Children See Gambler Murdered in Street. (225.42)
Oct. 8, 1941. Given anonymously.
*Tenement Fire, Brooklyn. Dec.14,1939. ILL. p.158. (96.43)
My Man, N.Y.C. 1941. (95.43)
Woman Shot from Can[n]on, N.Y.C. 1943. (696.43)
Above 3 prints Purchase Fund.
Opening Night at the Opera, N.Y.C.1944. Given anonymously.

All info and images from moma.org

Two years in a row: 1943, 1944 at MoMA, in NYC…

PM Daily, newspaper, 1940
PM Daily, newspaper, 1940
“About to start his mural for the Museum of Modern Art, Orozco divides panels into blocks.
Orozco never draws a completed sketch on his walls, never makes a full-size cartoon. Above shows him studying his design (Dive and Bomber Tank) and contemplating the wall. The public is invited to watch him work.”
PM Daily, newspaper, 1940
PM Daily, newspaper, 1940
PM Daily, newspaper, 1940
PM, June 19, 1940

PM, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 1940

ELIZABETH SACARTOFF

Modern Art Museum
Gets Fresco Mural

It took the Museum of Modern Art to add spice to the Art Season last May when it rolled three freight cars and 20 centuries of Mexican art into Manhattan. No sooner had the pepper got off the public’s tongue than the art chefs decided to provide a bit of dessert.
Yesterday came the announcement that Mexican Mura1ist Jose Clemente Orozco, no stranger in these parts, had been coaxed to leave one wall that engaged him in Mexico, and tackle another wall on the third floor of the Museum of Modern Art.
Planned as an extra feature to the Mexican exhibition, the public will be permitted to watch for the next few weeks the technique of true fresco develop under the hand of a master.

A Mural Is Born

For a month, soft-voiced, dark-skinned Orozco has been cooped up behind bare walls of a mid-town hotel, fiddling with designs. Finally, scratches of electric-charged forms and volumes evolved on a small sheet of ordinary drawing paper.
The completed work, called Dive Bomber and Tank, will try to convey the essence of war destruction.
Unlike most of the walls Orozco has worked on, the Museum’s are divided into six removable panels which can be sent on tour to other cities. Three feet wide by nine feet high, each plaster slab weighs 500 pounds. It took Orozco and his assistant, Lewis Rubinstein, three weeks to prepare the plaster before painting could be started. Using permanent colors mixed in water, working on a wet section every day – cross-wise fashion from top left to right – Orozco hopes to get the job finished by mid-July.

The Museum of Modern Art’s portable mural will be Orozco’s fourth in the U. S. A. Others are in Manhattan’s New School for Social Research, Pomona College, at Claremont, Cal. and Dartmouth College.
Orozco is one of the few Mexican painters who have not studied in Europe. Eager to be an architect, he didn’t get around to his art until 1909, when he was 26. Intolerant even then of the pretty, sun-lit school of painting, Orozco expressed his contempt by painting prostitutes, night life, used dark, lurid colors. To this day he has never painted a landscape.
As the result of encountering some Mexican dynamite when he was 17, Orozco has no left hand, is partly deaf, and wears thick glasses. Peering through them, he says:
“I paint the today feeling. Anything made with passion, interest will last.”- E. S.

IMG_2816
IMG_2814
IMG_2829
IMG_2830
MoMA, 2015

Fellig the Zellig, in a Cartier-Bresson – Lisette Model sandwich, with a side order of (largely) European Modernism…

A Weegee photo in the exhibition of the Thomas Walther Collection of more than 300 photos: “one of the most important acquisitions [made in 2001] in the history of The Museum of Modern Art, a collection of rare photographs made between the two world wars…”

Great essay: “In the Police Wagon, in the Press, and in The Museum of Modern Art” – is here: pdf.

More info on the exhibition is here.
Cool Walther collection website is here.

moma-weegee1

Some of the cool conservation-related things on the object:photo website would be useful and helpful with explanation and interpretation, like the “paper material” page, and even the “surface” page is a little opaque for us amateurs…

(Although Weegee’s Frank Pape photo is obviously the highlight of the Thomas Walther collection, if not the entire MoMA photography collection, it doesn’t really fit in with the more self-consciously modernist and “experimental” photos…)

moma-weegee2
Screenshot from MoMA website.

It’s always nice to see the back of a photo on a museum website (or exhibition). Who’s handwriting is that? (It resembles a handwriting that is on the back of several other Weegee photos, and is always as inaccurate as this.) The Photo-Representatives stamp was probably used in the mid 1950s, and presumably not stamped by Weegee. (Perhaps just a copy negative was known in the 1980s.) What is the significance of the pink paper?

naked_city_pp_166-167-2
Naked City, pp. 166-167 (Pape and Gold)

At dawn on the Lower East Side, a few days before the Frank Pape photo was made, Weegee made three classic photos in the “Death Strikes a Truck Driver at Dawn… And the Living Suffer” story, published in PM on September 7, 1944. The Frank Pape photo was among the last “crime” photos (the precision of the composition reflects many, approximately 9, years of “practice”) that Weegee ever made in New York City (of course he made a few “crime” photos in L.A. a few years later and on the movie tour in 1950). The Frank Pape photo was one of the last “Weegee” photos that Weegee made… On November 22, 1944 a photo of Abraham Gold (charged with murdering his wife) was published in PM; on January 31, 1945 a photo of two alleged basketball bribers was published in PM. And that’s all folks… The rest of his photos (about 25) in PM were made mostly at the Metropolitan Opera, Times Square, and Sammy’s. They were about the opera, Frank Sinatra, elections, orphans, a storm, and the war… (and Weegee himself). The end… or a beginning…

IMG_2928
One of many photographers photographing the photograph…
MoMA, 2015

Great new website:
Weegee at MoMA, in the The Thomas Walther Collection…

“Frank Pape, Arrested for Homicide, November 10, 1944”
Surface

Great essay!
“In the Police Wagon, in the Press, and in The Museum of Modern Art
(A Note on Weegee’s Frank Pape, Arrested for Homicide, November 10, 1944)”
Jason E. Hill
PDF is here…

(To be continued…)

policeheadquartersz
Google Street View, Manhattan Police Headquarters, Centre Market Place, July 2012

pm_1944_06_07p12-2
PM Daily, June 2, 1944
A Weegee Gets Attention At Museum of Modern Art
The big picture at lower right is the center of attraction in Weegee’s section of the Art in Progress photo exhibition now on view at the Museum of Modern Art…

IMG_3153
Weegee Daily, June 2, 2013
A Weegee Gets No Attention At Museum of Modern Art
Deservedly Dieter Roth did… And Claes and Andy and…
(When was the last time photographs, in a museum, received such physical and comical attention, with or without a “No Photography” sign…)
IMG_3046
IMG_3068
IMG_3087
Maybe, for a few brief moments we can not be as myopic as we usually are; we can lift a our Weegee blinders, our Weegee colored glasses, for a few seconds… What else was going on in the world on June 2, 1944?
IMG_3304IMG_2920
IMG_2918
Locally, a chlorine “heavy greenish-yellow” gas leak effected hundreds in Brooklyn… And more importantly:
IMG_3308
And most importantly, a roller-skating extravaganza!
IMG_3312


To be continued…









Two Weegee photos at MoMA, with context, September 3, 2011

Bizarre… the movie theater distortion photo (ca. 1955) was a “recent acquisition”… a Weegee (Governor Dewey and photographers) photo next to anonymous Signal Corps photos, Dmitri Baltermants, anonymous New York Times photos, and adjacent to an entire wall full of vernacular photos made by an “Unknown Photographer,” (another recent acquisition)… Weegee as modernist; Weegee as photojournalist… thought I was in another museum… for a moment or two…

to be continued…