Culture vultures who aren't on Instagram (as if that's even possible), this may be the week you need to cave and get an account. It's #MuseumWeek on the platform (and Twitter), with institutions around the world participating and sharing bits of their collections with the public.
Today is an especially cool theme, too: it's all about secrets of different museums, and plenty of New York institutions are participating. Keep reading for some fascinating secrets of museums like the Guggenheim (which Frank Lloyd Wright apparently wanted to name something else altogether), the Museum of Modern Art, the Noguchi Museum (which still uses one very old piece of original curatorial equipment) and more.
It’s no secret that #FrankLloydWright saw architecture as the preeminent form of art, but did you know he had a specific name in mind when designing the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum? When Wright was working on plans for the building he referred to it as the "Archeseum," his self-invented word for "Architecture Museum." Wright knew the museum, whatever its nomenclature, was pushing architectural boundaries; ultimately his design for the Guggenheim building would forever change the relationship between art and architecture and the way architects design spaces for viewing art. #SecretsMW
Today is the first day of #MuseumWeek 2016! Over three thousand institutions around the world will be participating. Today, we're talking Museum secrets, and the okapi diorama holds a secret unknown to most visitors. Foreground artist George Frederick Mason collaborated with James Perry Wilson on this diorama, and knowing how Wilson loved riddles and puzzles, Mason painted a hidden chipmunk into the background painting and challenged Wilson to find it. The whimsical little creation remains in the background today, scampering across the African forest floor in full view of the public. #SecretsMW
Did you know there is a hidden mural by #JoanMiró permanently installed in the rotunda of our Frank Lloyd Wright building? "Alicia" (1965–67) is comprised of 190 separate ceramic tiles and is obscured by the first wall encountered as one ascends the museum's spiral ramp. Thomas M. Messer, the Guggenheim Museum's director from 1961 to 1988, contacted Miró in 1963 following the proposal of Harry F. Guggenheim, then president of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, to commission an appropriate memorial to Guggenheim's wife, Alicia Patterson Guggenheim, who died that year at the age of 56. Miró undertook the project with enthusiasm, writing to Messer in August of 1966 and noting the significance he ascribes to the firing process in the completion of his ceramic works: "I am delighted to tell you that the great mural has already been started. I am very hopeful about the results of this first stage. Let's hope that our great friend Fire will also bring us his richness and his beauty for the next steps." #SecretsMW
We're kicking of #MuseumWeek with a behind the scenes peek into our photo collections in honor of today's Museum Week theme, #secretsmw. Want to know what these boxes contain? Check out our collections portal by clicking the link in our profile. #behindthescenes #mcnycollections #Museum #museums #nycmuseums #secrets #collections #archives #photos Photo Credit: @woolmitten
It's #MuseumWeek! 7 days, 7 themes, and 7 hashtags to celebrate art and culture. Today, museums all over the world are showing the public their most well-kept secrets. Here is our! Did you know our #lightshipAMBROSE's actual name is only found in one secret spot? U.S.L.V. No. 87, on her builders plaque, at the capstan! Many people think our lightship is named "AMBROSE," but that's not entirely correct. The iconic ship has the name of her most famous station painted on her sides, but her actual name is U.S.L.V. No. 87. The USCG renamed her WAL-512 when they took over the US Lighthouse Service. #SecretsMW ⚓️ #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum
Today #MuseumWeek kicks off on Twitter with a day dedicated to sharing behind-the-scene glimpses of our museums. Here, a visitor blithely strides by one of the many hidden #MoMAPS1 gems. "Selbstlos im Lavabad (Selfless in the Bath of Lava)" by Pipilotti Rist, is one of our long-term installations, embedded in a hole within the floorboards of our main lobby. The video presents the artist crying out "I am a worm and you are a flower!" audibly as she swims nude in an incandescent lava bath. When it was exhibited in Zurich in 1994, it was placed at the foot of a Madonna and Child sculpture to emphasize the religious notion of damnation. Follow along all week on #Twitter for more Museum Week fun! #secretsMW #hiddengem #PipilottiRist @MuseumWeek
#AntonSeidl, the future principal conductor of the #MetropolitanOpera, came to Bayreuth as an apprentice in 1872 on the advice of Hans Richter. Seidl lived with Richard Wagner's family for six years, and among other things was a copyist on the "Ring." Working as a coach and staging assistant on the 1876 performances positioned him to conduct the work throughout Central Europe and England. Much sought after by the Metropolitan Opera, Seidl came to New York in 1885 and spread the #Wagner canon to the United States. He conducted the spectacular American premiere of the complete "Ring" cycle in March 1889. Learn more in our exhibition #WagnersRing on view through April 17. Image: Anton Seidl (1850–1898), Photograph by Falk, New York. Metropolitan Opera Archives @metopera #MetOpera #MorganLibrary #MuseumWeek #secretsMW
It is #MuseumWeek— 7 days, 7 themes, 7 hashtags! Each day we will be sharing tidbits about CMA on our Twitter related to the theme of the day. Today's theme is #secretsMW, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the museum. Robb Putnam's "Dunderhead," part of #SewWhatShow, has a soft exterior made of mixed materials such a rope, blankets, plastic bags, threads and leather scraps, but have you ever wondered what lies beneath? Standing at almost 9 feet tall, Dunderhead's shape is made from a metal armature, and has wheels on the bottom to move its massive frame. Check out our Twitter for more fun facts this week: @cmainnyc
The unique furniture @japansociety_nyc was produced by woodworker and architect #GeorgeNakashima. A father of the 20th c. American Craft Movement, Nakashima’s furniture reflects the natural textures and interplay of light and shadow prevalent throughout #JapanSociety. #MuseumWeek #secretsMW #secretsJS
We'll be celebrating #MuseumWeek all week long! Seven days, seven hashtag themes. Follow along and connect with us and museums from around the world Today's theme: #secretsMW We're sharing a secret with you. Read this #telegram. There's something a bit odd - and it's because it's written using #code! Pierpont Morgan often communicated using a secret code to maintain privacy on sensitive matters. Here the code words are written out in red to help us decipher the meaning. This telegram shares details on an exciting opportunity to purchase the #LindauGospels! You know how the story ends. Pierpont purchased the manuscript, and it's now on view here at the Morgan ✨ #SecretsMW #MuseumWeek #MorganLibrary