24 July 2010, 3:50 PM – Crown Heights, Brooklyn
“Only a small fraction of the public collection is visible on these wall – the rest of the collection is in storage.”
This is one of the only locks, if not the only lock, among the 24 23 locks in the program, where we had to pay to get in (Gracie Mansion was free to students, the Whitney to folks 18 and younger, and the Armstrong House because I’m a former staff member and therefore just plain awesome). Mind you, it’s on a suggested donation basis, so I put down $2 to get into the joint because I was only going to see the changing exhibits and the lock, but it is still one of the few I had to pay to get into.
In any case, this was one of the locks I was madly anticipating – a secret door in the wall in within the American Art Galleries? Awesome! And while it was more of a secret closet than a secret room inside, it was still pretty damn cool. After finagling with the lock to get it open (which took a good two or three minutes), we found this inside:
Small animals, flowers, and a small elaborate clock made by Russian jeweler Peter Carl Faberge (who is more famous for his eggs) – incredibly ornately done and in all ways fantastic.
The rest of the Brooklyn – or at least its changing exhibits – was fairly mundane: a new design exhibit brought the styles of American dresses through history (with some large Russian headdresses to complement things); and a Warhol exhibit brought a chance for Kelly and I to make fun of Warhol copying everything and being terribly unoriginal (even for art, which really is inspired by art, which was in turn inspired by art, &c.) On a related note, we developed a theory for why Warhol is so inexplicably popular – here goes:
Warhol was first popularized by the Europeans, due to the fact that the advertisements he took his paintings from weren’t in Europe, so they believed he was completely original and avant-garde and fascinating. And then the Americans made Warhol popular because they wanted to like whatever the Europeans liked.
So there you have it: why people like Andy Warhol today.
The journey continued in Brooklyn at Cabinet Magazine, which you can read about here.