Viewing one of Cornell’s boxes is an almost heartbreaking encounter with inner vitality and outer limitation; like cages, they display the self-sufficiency of a circumscribed world.
Ten years ago, the Morgan Library & Museum decided it was time to bring its collection up to speed on the art of drawing in the 20th and 21st centuries — a daunting task in itself, and even more improbable in the face of a superheated, late-capitalist art market: at the feast of the trophy-eaters, would the museum be forced to content itself with scraps?
“To a new world of gods and monsters” is the promethean pledge from one mad scientist to another in James Whale’s classic Bride of Frankenstein (1935), but it’s easy to imagine the same toast echoing from a Montmartre studio in 1909 as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque raise a glass to the fractured new reality they’d uncovered.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that Leonard A. Lauder has made a major donation of Cubist art that will transform New York’s largest museum into a major center for Cubist art. The pledged gift is comprised of 78 works, including 33 works by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, 14 by Juan Gris, and 14 by Fernand Léger.
Prague itself is like a museum, where contemporary architectural gems are situated next to old landmarks. It’s an embarrassment of riches. One day we walked through Prague’s 10th century castle district, then went down the hill a couple of blocks to find a Frank Gehry-designed office complex, and continued throughout the city to see Baroque, Gothic, Art Nouveau, and Cubist buildings. But if you had to visit just one Prague museum, it would have to be the Veletrzni Palac (Fair Trade Palace), a truly massive collection of Czech and European work originally built in 1925 for trade fairs.