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Coffee Break at the MoMA #Weekendcoffeeshare

January 24, 2015 8 Comments

Today our teleporting cloaks will be hung in the cloak room of the spacious light filled Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I want to go to this cafe for our weekend chat because it is the perfect place to ponder modernism.  After some time with the art let us gather to talk over coffee and a snack.  I like to stay at museums much longer than most people.   Taking a break for social time and tasty treats gives me a second wind to examine more of the collections.  Surrounded by what is considered to be modern art we are also surrounded by the city of New York.  The stately gothic St Patrick’s Cathedral is right around the corner, a few blocks down Fifth Avenue.  In the museum light is abundant, structure is open. The design of the building brings us into connection with nature and the sculpture garden patio.  In St. Patrick’s the light is all filtered through ornate, colorful stained glass.  It has a very blue feeling from the window placement.  The gothic ceiling implies lofty access, but we are enclosed and encircled by religion.  Heaven is a formula to be achieved by following ritual.  It is a beautiful eternal ritual.

I invited you to meet me here today because I wonder if you have some of the same questions I have about history, philosophy, art, and communication.  While I study my family tree and the poets in it I have noticed that I enjoy their works much better when I hear them.  Reading the old English style, along with the heavy religious tone, is not my cup of tea.  The sound of the words as they are spoken, however, reveals to me the art and skill of these poetic ancestors.  When they wrote, 1500s and 1600s, I think most poetry would be read aloud or recited more that individuals reading from books.  Literacy was limited.  These poets were lucky enough to read and write because of their social status. The views, the philosophy, the relationship with God which they explain in writing are a wonderful way to really know them.     I keep thinking about the fact that when they were alive they were modern, progressive, and Mistress Bradstreet was something of a feminist, for publishing poetry.  Bibles, priests and vicars were the order of the day.  Reading and writing were not for everyone.  It was a walk on the wild side, especially for a Pilgrim woman.

After our visit I plan to spend a long time with Gustav Klimt, an Austrian artist I love.  I have visited Vienna to see many of his works in person.  His use of gold and highly decorative style is recognizable by those who don’t know his name.  His images are popular.  A painting of his patron, Adele Bloch-Baeur II, is on display now at the MoMa.  I have not seen this one. I saved it for after the break because I look forward to a close inspection, and deeply serious interaction.  I hope to write an ekphrastic poem about her life, her fortune, and her painting that was stolen by Nazis.  You can join me if you like.  I do want to hear about your week and projects you are creating.  Do you ever link what you do now with centuries past in order to define modern for yourself?  Modern when this museum was constructed is already different from modern today.  Do you think of yourself as modern, gentle reader?

#Weekendcoffeeshare

#Weekendcoffeeshare

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