Hopping MAD

John Haber
in New York City

The Museum of Arts and Design for Dummies

As part of the redesign of 2 Columbus Circle, Brad Cloepfil has clad the new Museum of Arts and Design in terra-cotta and glass that, some say, spell out HE in huge capital letters. What are some of its other features?

  1. Cloepfil has retained all but one of the lollipop pedestals at the base, giving the museum its new nickname, Hopping MAD.

  2. Construction costs for the museum's new home nearly quadrupled, to close to $100 million, because Sarah Palin failed to buy the thousands of terra-cotta tiles on eBay.

    She's gone MAD: Brad Cloepfil's Museum of Arts and Design (photo by David Heald, 2008)
  3. With three times the space as on 53rd Street, visitors will no longer have to run across to MoMA to use the bathroom.

  4. The concepts of fine art, craft, and design have expanded to include work from women, the Third World, Henry Darger, and out of sheer desperation even you.

  5. Thanks to even hotter architecture, New Yorkers can stop talking about the New Museum on the Bowery and go straight to Whole Foods, which is all they did anyway.

  6. In honor of his original vision of a museum devoted to his reactionary private collection, the late Huntington Hartford can pay what he likes every Thursday evening.

  7. In a last-minute deal with Tom Wolfe, the sole remaining fan of the original building, all visitors must wear white suits and broad, stiff shirt colors.

  8. The pockmarked marble façade by Edward Durrell Stone will move to Grand Army Plaza, as a memorial to the preservation wars.

  9. To unify the view down Broadway, the Time Warner center will get new windows that read SHE, while a second, T-shaped column in Columbia Circle will complete the word IT.

  10. Those who can afford reservations at Per Se may close their eyes as they take the escalators past the center's shopping mall.

  11. The opening exhibition will include a scale model of the previous building, but made of actual lollipops.

  12. To be sure that no one will ever again refer to a mere American Craft Museum, docents will always shout when they come to the word Arts.

  13. Now that restaurant windows afford decent views of Central Park, no one has to pay admission to a real museum just to look at craft.

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jhaber@haberarts.com

Another article really reviews the Museum of Arts and Design and its inaugural show, "Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary," honest!

 

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