24 Hours in NYC, Part 2: MoMA Design Collection

January 5, 2007


Well, no visit to Manhattan would be complete (for me, at least) without a visit to MoMA.

I find I can spend no more than about 90 minutes in a museum before I start to lose concentration, so I can never cover everything I’d like to see. Luckily, this was my fourth time at MoMA, so I didn’t feel the need to go see the Picasso/Mondrian/MirĂ³/etc. that I have seen before. Instead, I spent the entire time in the Architecture and Design section. I was like a kid in a candy store the whole time. It seems a bit funny, but what can I say, I like design.

Gehry chair

The first thing you see when you walk into the Architecture and Design section is the huge helicopter. Well, I guess it’s not huge for a helicopter, but it’s not every day that you see a helicopter hanging from the ceiling in an art museum.

The first thing I was really excited to see was Frank Gehry’s cardboard chair. I love the idea of furniture made out of cardboard, and I didn’t even know Gehry had done this until I watched Sketches of Frank Gehry recently.

Of course, there was tons of amazing furniture there. They had the modernist classics — Eames, Saarinen, etc. — but also a few great pieces that I’d never seen before. One of them was Richard Shultz’s petal table:

Petal Table

Most people are used to admiring furniture as works of art, but when was the last time you saw someone admiring a piece of machinery? But MoMA has such classics as “the self-aligning ball bearing”:

Ball Bearing

It’s great. Really. If you’re a design geek, I highly recommend checking out the MoMA design collection. I’ve got a few more pictures on Flickr, or check out the MoMA online collection.