Museum of Modern Art "Artist's Pass"

Henri Matisse. Bathers by a River. 1909–10, 1913, 1916–17. Oil on canvas, 102 1/2 x 154 3/16" (260 x 392 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection. © 2010 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Good news for those artists (moi) who have been carping about MOMA's prices since they reopened. They offer an "Artist's Pass" which is significantly cheaper than an annual membership. For 25 clams you get admission to the museum for a year. All you need to do is bring to the museum a hard copy of an exhibition announcement, print out from a website announcement, or any document that shows you have been in an exhibition in the past two years. Take it to the information desk at the museum to get your annual pass. (They're not allowed to search the web for your show at the info desk; that's why they need the hard copy.) There are no member benefits (such as access to early viewing hours), but for shows like "Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917," which has timed entrances, you can get in at any time. Where have I been?

Speaking of Matisse, I am very interested in seeing this exhibition; it is one of his most perplexing and difficult periods for me. The show is up until 11 October. Also, the Art Institute of Chicago, where the show opened, has a fascinating online tool that shows the above painting in its various states, with all kinds of gizmos to play with.

And why yes, since you asked, I do plan on spending a bit more time here.


“If, during an improvised solo, a sideman forgot whose music he was playing as he flew into the wild blue yonder, he might never be able to return. One night, at the Five Spot in New York, I watched John Coltrane get off the stand after a set with Monk. Coltrane looked dazed and dismayed. ‘I lost my place,’ he said, ‘and it was like falling down an open elevator shaft.’”

Nat Hentoff on Thelonious Monk, from “Listen to the Stories”