There is truly no place in the world like New York City. The culture, the food, the shopping, the people, the electric atmosphere – there is something exciting happening around every corner. It should come as no surprise that as a designer I am looking at NYC through a different lens. Each time I visit, I leave feeling refueled with endless inspiration.
I look to the unique architecture, the varying colors, the street art, and the fashion and find ways to incorporate it into my next project. One of my favorite things to do when I visit is head to the museums. There is an abundance of art galleries and I revel in the opportunity to discover new and exciting exhibitions.
During my recent visit just a few short weeks ago, I went to the Neue Galerie which houses early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. One of its most famous exhibitions is Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold. You might be familiar with the name from the 2015 film adaptation starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann and Ryan Reynolds as lawyer Randy Schoenberg. The film is based on the real-life story of Altmann’s quest to be reunited with Gustav Klimt’s paintings of her aunt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer which was seized by the Nazis.
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) is one of the most important artists of fin-de-siècle Vienna. He’s best known for his lively landscapes, striking portraits, and erotic drawings of women. The display at Neue Galerie featured 50 works (including the Adele Bloch-Bauer I) such as paintings, related drawings, vintage photos, decorative arts and archival pieces.
The “woman in gold” sentiment is derived from the style Klimt chose for the iconic portrait, which is layered in lustrous gold and silver. Released in 1907, Adele Bloch-Bauer I took Klimt four years to perfect, and the museum’s president and co-founder Ronald S. Lauder was beyond pleased to have acquired it.
Interestingly enough, Klimt only ever painted one woman twice and it was Adele Bloch-Bauer. The second-most-famous portrait, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, was recently sold in February for $150 million to a Chinese collector by none other than Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey acquired the piece anonymously for $87.9 million in 2006 at a Christie’s auction. I encourage you to learn more about this fascinating story by visiting the Neue Galerie, now through Sept. 25, reading the book or seeing the film. It truly is magnificent.
Currently on display at Neue Galerie is the Jawlensky exhibition. The Russian-born Expressionist Alexei Jawlensky (1864 – 1941) is best known his contrasting colors and abstract portraits and landscapes. The exhibition will be on view through May 29, 2017 and it’s a real visual treat.
What is your favorite gallery or museum to visit in NYC? Let me know in the comments!