Edward Steichen’s “The Maypole (Empire State Building)”
Edward Steichen was born on this day in 1879. In addition to being a photographer himself, Steichen was Director of MoMA’s Department of Photography and curated the museum’s popular exhibition The Family of Man. Steichen took this photo of the Empire State Building a year after its construction ended, and used two separate negatives to create the photograph’s dizzying effect.
Juan Gris was born #onthisday in 1887. Gris favored the papier collé technique invented by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. In Breakfast, the artist combines abstract collage with tromp l’oeil drawing, calling the perception of reality into question. Learn more.
Both pioneering artists, both born on this day, and both featured in MoMA’s newest free online course, “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting.” It wasn’t easy for these women to make a place for themselves in the male-dominated postwar New York art world. But they persisted—with Kusama claiming that she wanted nothing less than to “start a new art movement”—and became some of the foremost artists of their day. Enroll today to learn about the materials, techniques, and approaches of Martin, Kusama, and five other New York School artists. Sign up at mo.ma/coursera today!
A pioneer of Pop Art, the British artist used collage to critique consumer culture and mass media. A prime example of this is Interior, which incorporates advertisements from mass-circulation magazines.
“Simplicity is not an end in art, but we usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things.”
Constantin Brancusi, pioneer of modern sculpture, was born on this day in 1876. Fish is an embodiment of an idea, depicting a fish’s movements through water and the moving water itself. Brancusi described the sculpture as the fish’s “speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water…the flash of its spirit.” Learn more.
We’re thrilled to announce Calder: Hypermobility, opening June 9. The exhibition will bring together a rich constellation of kinetic works by Alexander Calder, and provide a rare opportunity to experience them as the artist intended—in motion. An extensive series of performances, concerts, events, screenings, and new commissions will bring contemporary artists into dialogue with Calder’s work, and will demonstrate the many ways his art continues to challenge and inform new generations.
MoMA’s newest free online course, “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting,” has begun, and registration ends tomorrow! Taught by conservator, art historian, and artist Corey D’Augustine, the course combines studio demonstrations, walkthroughs of MoMA’s galleries, close visual analysis of paintings in the collection, and art historical insight to introduce you to seven New York School artists—Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, and Yayoi Kusama. Says D’Augustine: “The more you know about how a painting is done, the more you can recreate the artist’s own perspective and intention, the more you can understand it.” Sign up at mo.ma/inthestudio.