American Bible Society, Museum of Art and Design, American Folk Art Museum (sort of) and Russian Tea Room

It was not as hot as it could have been but hotter than it seemed, as we attempted to knock out Midtown West. We began the day at the Museum of Biblical Art. It was one room, filled with leather-bound antique Bibles and a little-known 15th Century Siennese tryptician. There was a second room. It contained this: Image

Then the guard made a gross threesome joke.

Katherine and I sat with another museum-goer outside. Image

Here’s a better shot of him: Image

This is hard work! We took a break and went to the Russian Tea Room because everyone should eat $20 eggs.Image

Are the bears drunk? Celebrating Glastnost?

We then went to the Museum of Art and Design. Doris Duke’s living room had been recreated, there was an exhibit of glass goblets, including one whose stem was a dragon, leading to the quote of the week, “How do you blow a dragon?” and…. wait for it… the same violent video game artist riffing on the the theme of a group of Native Americans massacring a European settler. Primo gift shop, and we got in free thanks to Katherine and Duncan befriending a docent at a dinner party.

We tried to go to the American Folk Art Museum, but it was closed as they installed a new exhibit. The gift shop was open, though, and a book and a ipad cosy were purchased. Allison had been to the museum at its previous location. Does visiting the gift shop count as visiting the museum? To be discussed.

One disappointing element: we noticed, as we walked to the Russian Tea Room, the existence of the Rose Museum at Carnegie Hall. But on the other hand, the Municipal Art Society does not have a gallery, so we’re even.

American Bible Society: 3 stars

Russian Tea Room: 3 stars

Museum of Art and Design: 3 stars

American Folk Art Museum Gift Shop: 3 Stars

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National Museum of the American Indian (New York branch)

log: 8/26/2012

Katherine entered an episode of “Portlandia” and had gone to visit her CSA. Duncan and work to do and Allison hates camping, but we took a little break from working and hating camping to visit the National Museum of the American Indian (New York branch).

The museum has two things going for it: it’s free and it’s in the old customs house. A majestic building, one suspects that the customs levied went to good causes like afternoon cocktails and fresco painters who were in-laws of customs officials. The exhibits themselves are organized by region, and the cases are shiny, as are the beads. Monolithic stelae rise from the floor to give voice to quotes by native “knowledge-keepers” who double as basket weavers.

The mandated modern-art section included native crafts with modern materials and modern crafts with native materials and one very violent video game of a group of Native Americans killing Caucasian settlers. The gift shop was quite adequate, and we debated purchasing a fetish, but decided we had too many already.

3 Stars