Art Inspired by Brooklyn, Hollywood and Ancient Egypt
In like a lion, out like a lamb… Whether New York City is experiencing the chilly roar of late winter or the gentle stirrings of spring – both common in March, sometimes during the same weekend – it’s a great time to take advantage of the many fantastic museum exhibits around town. These diverse, topnotch shows are a sure thing no matter what’s going on outside. Here are a few picks that will fascinate and delight, rain, shine or snow.
As warmer weather approaches, what better time to think about the delights of America’s most famous outdoor amusement emporium, Brooklyn’s own Coney Island? One of three exhibits at Brooklyn Museum celebrating that storied hotspot, Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) captures the kaleidoscopic signage of the place during its heyday. This site-specific installation, the ninth edition of Powers’ travelling ICY SIGNS “shop” that has visited various cities, transforms the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery into an immersive environment of brash, colorful paintings. These works by Powers and other artists may evoke the advertising lingo and graphics of a bygone age, but clever wordplay and the deliberate jumble of familiar images and iconic lettering are very much now. Of course there’s a classic binocular tower viewer on hand for anyone who wants a closer view of the spectacle. (Through 3/13, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn)
One of the 20th century’s greatest and most renowned archeological finds, the tomb of Tutankhamun has fired the imaginations of generations of art, culture and history buffs. Now, through Premier Exhibitions’ The Discovery of King Tut, visitors can relive the massive thrill that archeologist Howard Carter experienced in 1922, when he first uncovered the boy-king’s final resting place in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. The exhibit expertly recreates over 1,000 treasures found at the burial site, presented exactly as Carter and his team found them during various stages of excavation. Magnificent items on display include faithful reproductions of Tut’s iconic gold mask, his throne and the four huge, nested coffins he was buried in, as well as dazzling figures of various Egyptian gods and even a chariot. Visitors will also learn the profound effect of Tut on art, fashion and culture on the 1920s and beyond. (Through 5/1, 417 Fifth Ave. at 37th St.)
The connection between art and film is explored in a fresh, new way in Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact at the Museum of the Moving Image. (Yes, the title is a reference to The Walking Dead, though the exhibit isn’t overrun by zombies.) Many artists have been inspired both by fleeting movie images and physical ephemera such as posters, stills and theater lobby décor. Walkers acknowledges this link by presenting a collection of rare Hollywood memorabilia alongside nearly 100 contemporary works by 46 artists, blurring the line between the two. The extensive, multilayered show is divided into 11 categories including “Still Lives,” a collection of stills and the art they’ve inspired, and “Dial M for Meta,” art that references Hitchcock thrillers. Silent films, Westerns and other movie genres are paid homage in a variety of intriguing permutations and presentations. It’s probably fair to say you’ve never thought about movies quite like this. (Through 4/10, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria)
(Photo Credit: Premier Exhibitions’ The Discovery of King Tut – Golden Mask of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun)