Jason Hackenworth's balloon sculptures, "Megamites"
outside M.A.D. during the opening
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), formerly known as the American Craft Museum, opened its new building at 2 Columbus Circle near the entrance to Central Park with a weekend of free admission Sept. 27-28. Designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works, the new building is triple the size of the old museum. Last Saturday, I took pictures of the new museum exterior as well as artist Jason Hackenworth’s latex balloon sculptures called "Magamites" worn by performers outside the museum during the inaugural celebration. The museum holds its entire permanent collection, as well as variety of revolving, temporary ones. In keeping with its mission to inform, educate, and encourage artistic exploration, there are several classrooms and studios on the museum's sixth floor, as well as a 150-seat auditorium for lectures, performances and symposiums.
Architecturally speaking, the new exterior remains loyal to the boxy original. While it has a more geometric, tiled façade, it still resembles the museum’s old look in a way that’s sure to satisfy preservationists. However, some critics claim the design isn’t bold enough to justify its remodeling. Whatever your opinion on the design, New Yorkers are sure to acknowledge that the new MAD will serve as yet another great artistic space in the city.
New exhibits will include “Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary,” showcasing 51 artists who re-purpose mass-produced objects into art; “Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry,” with 130 works of jewelry from 1948 through the present; and selections of important works from the museum’s permanent collection along with a showcase of gifts from museum supporters.
The museum also just acquired a donation of 800 pieces of silver jewelry designed by tribal and ethnic artisans around the world during the 1900s. The jewelry is a gift from Daniel and Serga Nadler, who amassed the collection over 30 years during expeditions to Egypt, Morocco, India, Thailand, China, Greece and other places. The museum describes the collection of the unsigned pieces of wearable art as “one of the most comprehensive holdings of tribal, ethnic and contemporary jewelry in the world.”
Details at www.madmuseum.org.
After opening weekend, admission will cost $15 for adults, except on Thursdays, which is pay-what-you-wish night from 6 to 9 p.m.