Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rubin Museum of Art

Father's Day on Sunday started with the usual 8:00 a.m. baseball game for my younger son. Then I had a couple of hours to lie around and do nothing in complete silence. Presented with this rare opportunity, I could have spent many more hours as a layabout, drifting between the Mets game and sleep. But I always feel guilty after wasting that much time, and wanted to use the afternoon to visit one of Manhattan's newest museums - the Rubin Museum of Art, dedicated to art from the Himalayan region. I walk by the museum, located on 17th St. in Chelsea, several times a week but had never visited. Making a spur-of-the-moment visit to any museum, especially an art museum, can be a chore when one has kids. But on Sunday I grabbed Sam, my 7-year old, and walked up to 17th St., determined to spend at least an hour.

It's a fantastic museum, with the collection spread out over six very manageable floors. Although there were objects from as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries, I think the bulk of the collection falls into the 1400 to 1700 time period. With predominantly Buddhist and Hindu influences, the collection was visually spectacular, from gold figures to complex paintings on fabric in which red, the color of power, was dominant. At $10 for adults and children under 12 free, it's certainly worth a visit. Even my son enjoyed it, primarily because many of the paintings of the myriad Buddhist and Hindu deities resembled the fierce creatures he's apt to paint and draw these days. He carried around a little sketch book making drawings and taking notes. Thankfully the RMA is small, relative to MOMA or the Met, and is thus easy to do with children. (But I can't wait to go back alone so I can take more time and study the objects more closely!)

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Isabel said...

Happy belated Father's Day, Brian.
Looks like you had fun at the museum. Now I have one more place to visit. Thanks!

One Wink at a Time said...

Belated wishes, also.
I bet this was awesome. My current "educating myself" obsession has been with Tibet and it's people and culture, triggered by an article I'd read in (maybe Dec '07) in Rolling Stone about the atrocities occurring in Tibet. Which prompted me to watch one of my favorite movies, "Seven Years In..." The culture captured my heart when I first saw the movie. The color, the serenity, the beauty of the people and the land, so much. It grieves me deeply to see what's happening there. Thanks for sharing some of the art, which will hopefully be preserved for future generations (and Sam) to remember what was lost.

jblack designs said...

What a fabulous museum. Love the staircase. It's on my list for my next visit for sure.