Alex in New York

Alex is a junior majoring in English and psychology. During winter break 2014, she participated in Meadows School of the Arts’ New York Colloquium, when students visit museums, art galleries, studios and other contemporary art venues.

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The Jewish Museum

Yesterday was technically a day off for the class, so I used the time to visit the Jewish Museum. It was different from the other museums I’ve been going to because it focused more on the history of the Jewish faith. I was shocked to find only one small corner of the 3rd floor that discussed the Holocaust.

Although only two of its floors really focused on art, they were spectacular. The first floor contained a retrospective of Art Spiegelman’s work before, during, and after publication of his best seller “Maus.”

A graphic novelist and cartoonist, Spiegelman is an interesting artist. I wonder how many parents of students who were required to read Maus (a book about Spiegelman’s own parents’ survival of the Holocaust, in which Jews are depicted as cartoon mice and Nazis are cats) are aware that he’s drawn strips for Playboy?

After the Spiegelman exhibit, we headed up to the second floor. It was entirely dedicated to Marc Chagall’s life works. I was fortunate enough to visit the Chagall museum in Florence, Italy when I studied abroad over the summer, so I immediately recognized his signature bright, colorful, highly symbolic paintings. Chagall is especially interesting because he uses a lot of Christian imagery and motifs despite his own Jewish faith.

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