MoAA, Berlin

15 Nov

Once upon a time, there lived an adventurous young man. Being an explorer and ethnographer at heart, he longed to travel and make great discoveries. Then it happened one day that he heard a tale about some curious developments among the natives of the Old World. A new style in the making and decorating of art objects, it was said, had been spreading among the craftsmen of various tribes. The movement was already dying out, however, and soon it would slip into oblivion.  Intrigued, the explorer immediately organized a series of expeditions across the ocean. He visited all the important places, collected paintings and other exotic objects from the natives and recorded the stories they told. Impressed with what he saw and heard, he brought back many artifacts and decided to establish an ethnographic museum, naming it the “Museum of Modern Art”. Soon afterward, the explorer organized an exhibition of the two most unusual styles, which were known as “Cubism” and “Abstract Art”. The exhibition was a great success, and it became the standard for the museum’s permanent display. It was also widely imitated by the museums of modern art that came after. The story told through this museum exhibit became known as the “History of Modern Art”. and this too was accepted throughout the entire world. After the Great War, even the natives of the Old World adopted the story as their own. In time, they went so far as to embrace this story as their own authentic and dominant myth. And so it came to be that it has been retold and reenacted in countless annual and biannual celebrations and rituals ever since. (http://www.museum-of-american-art.org/main.html)

The Museum of American Art is an educational institution dedicated to assembling, preserving and exhibiting memories on modern American art shown in Europe during the 50es and early 60es.

 This museum is an offspring of the Museum of Modern Art which itself is an exhibit in the Museum of American Art, as the most important American contribution to modern art. This small sized MoMA encapsulates European modern art of the first half of the 20th century, the way it was defined and promoted by Alfred Barr, Jr., the founding director of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. This particular interpretation of modern art, based on “international movements”, was established in New York in the mid 30es and brought to Europe after the war, where it gradually became the dominant narrative as we know it today.

It opened in Berlin in 2004 at Frankfurter Allee 91, mobil : 016095351799, e-mail: moaa@museum-of-american-art.org

(Read post about: Alice B. Toklas & Salon de Fleurus) 

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