Archive for November, 2010

Focus on Architecture: Story Behind the Photo

We will be highlighting winning photographs from the 2010 Focus on Architecture competition during the next few weeks, along with the story behind the photo. This week’s photo was taken by Danielle Matuch from the rooftop of the Fashion26 hotel in Chelsea and was selected as a winner in the Exteriors category.  The judges liked the water towers — so representative of New York.

I captured the black and white image of the water towers on the roof top of the Fashion 26 Hotel. Thanks to a fellow well-spirited Open House NY visitor that kindly recommended my friend and I look beyond the lobby space and restaurant of the Fashion 26 Hotel, we took the elevator to the public roof top. As soon as we arrived at the roof top level, the vantage point of downtown New York dramatically changed. I used a wide angle lens to capture the vast expanse. The repeating form of the water tower reinforces the fundamental aspect of foreground, middle ground and background and is the uniting factor of the image.


Focus on Architecture: Story Behind the Photo

We will be highlighting winning photographs from the 2010 Focus on Architecture competition during the next few weeks, along with the story behind the photo. This week’s photo was taken by Michael Riccio at the Lighthouse Tender Lilac and was selected as a winner in the Details category. The judges enjoyed the contrast and the whimsical nature of the hatches pointed in different directions.

This shot is of a closed and locked door on the main deck of the boat. The entire boat was open to wander around in, and much of it was either renovated or in need of renovation. This door looked somewhat recently painted, both the white door and black hatches. It stood out as a nice contrast, and the water staining on the corner shows the perils of restoring a boat that is still on the water. The preservationists on the boat have done a great job despite the difficulties.

See the rest of the winning photos here and stay tuned for more stories behind the winning photographs!

Focus on Architecture Competition Winners!

OHNY is excited to announce the winners of the 2010 Focus on Architecture competition.  Congratulations to the winners, selected by our four judges:

Sean Hemmerle, Professional Architectural and Landscape Photographer
Elliott Kaufman, Architectural Photographer and Professor at Queens College; Instructor at International Center of Photography
Margaret Morton, Photographer, Glass House, The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City and Professor, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Robert Shamis, Independent Curator and Consultant


Fashion 26 Rooftop, Danielle Matuch

Green-Wood Cemetery, Trish Mayo

FDR Four Freedoms Park, Conor McDonough

East Harlem School, Tais Melillo


Islamic Cultural Center, Joseph Barretto

Croton Aqueduct, Sheryl Drinkwater

?What If!, Peter Manzari

Roosevelt Island AVAC Facility, Michael Riccio


Fourth Art Block, Steven Bornholtz

Moynihan Station, Steven Cohen

Lighthouse Tender Lilac, Michael Riccio

Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant, Timothy Vogel


1 Bryant Park Lighting Tour, Joe David

Trinity Church cemetery, David Hogarty

Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant Visitors Center, Laura Manzari

Urban Glass, Julia Mehoke

Field Trip Friday: Storm King

On a sunny Saturday in late October, Hae-In took a trip to the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York. Located about an hour north of the city, in the Hudson Valley, Storm King’s permanent collection of sculpture is integrated into beautifully landscaped grounds of fields, hills and woodlands spanning 500 acres.

Storm King Art Center

Storm King’s collection of more than 100 works focuses on American and European modern sculpture, mostly abstract, and selections are on permanent view. Works date from 1945 to the present and their collection includes pieces by Mark Di Suvero, Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Andy Goldsworthy, Isamu Noguchi, Richard Serra, and many others.


Storm King also celebrates the relationship between sculpture and nature– instead of white gallery walls, the exhibition space is made up meadows and woodlands. The sculptures are affected by changes in light and weather conditions.

The Arch by Alexander Calder

Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern founded Storm King Art Center in 1960. Originally envisioned as museum of the Hudson Valley painters and then as sculpture set in a formal garden scheme, Ogden was inspired when he first saw sculptures by David Smith set in open fields. They purchased 13 works from Smith’s estate and started to place the works outdoors to directly respond to the landscape.

Endless Column by Tal Streeter

In 1972 the Art Center began acquiring a permanent collection of large-scale sculptures. Works are chosen carefully, with consideration to the overall Storm King landscape. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the natural setting as well as the work, cutting across fields and walking up hills. It takes several hours to traverse the grounds– there is a tram as well as bike rental available.

Beethoven's Quartet by Mark di Suvero comes with a rubber mallet

In addition to the permanent collection, the 5+5: New Perspectives exhibit celebrates Storm King’s fiftieth anniversary. Ten artists were asked to create a new work or select a recent one to loan to the Center. Five of the artists are already represented in Storm King’s collection: Alice Aycock, Chakaia Booker, Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Five are new to Storm King: John Bisbee, Maria Elena González, Darrell Petit, Alyson Shotz, and Stephen Talasnik. Alyson Shotz and Mark di Suvero each loaned two works and six of the sculptures were created specifically for this exhibit.

Suspended by Menashe Kadishman

A French-style mansion houses more information about the Storm King’s collection and history, with archival documents, exhibition timelines, and a discussion on conservation concerns for some it’s major pieces. 5+5: New Perspectives will remain on view for the 2010 season and, in many cases, through the 2011 season.

Storm King Art Center
Old Pleasant Hill Road
Mountainville, NY  10953

Field Trip Friday: National Geographic Society

Last weekend, Hae-In visited a friend down in Washington, D.C. and happened to be there during FotoWeek DC, running from November 6-13. A celebration of photography, FotoWeek’s events and exhibitions are being held all over the city. Simply Beautiful: Photographs From National Geographic and The President’s Photographers: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office were exhibited by the National Geographic Society.

National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C. is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Promoting environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture, geography, archaeology, natural science and history, the Society publishes its well-known official journal, National Geographic Magazine, and other publications, web and film products in numerous languages and countries around the world.

Outside the National Geographic Society

Started in 1888, the National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of explorers and scientists, devoted to “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.” Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone, among other things), eventually succeeded him in 1897.


National Geographic also maintains Explorers Hall, a free public museum within its headquarters. The gallery space hosts temporary exhibitions, focusing on natural and cultural history, archaeology and photography, as well as scientific breakthroughs. Comprised of two buildings, a rectangular one and a newer L-shaped building, both buildings contain exhibition space. The courtyard separating the two buildings features a fountain with a large marble boulder and several bronze sculptures of various insects.

Simply Beautiful Photographs

Based on the new National Geographic book, Simply Beautiful Photographs, edited by award-winning photographer Annie Griffiths, the work featured in the Simply Beautiful: Photographs From National Geographic exhibition are selected from the Image Collection’s vast archive of over 11 million images. The exhibition highlights elements of photography, including light, palette and composition.

Close up photo

Griffiths chose images from the Society’s core mission areas: exploration, wildlife, culture, science, and nature and the exhibit leads the viewer in her investigation of what creates beauty in a photograph.

Presidential photographs displayed

The President’s Photographers: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office is another exhibit, also part of FotoWeek DC, showcasing 40 images of past Presidents taken by nine White House photographers over the years. Since the 1960’s, photographs have played an increasingly important role in how we understand the Presidency and life at the White House and beyond. John F. Kennedy was the first president to have an official photographer and since then, almost every president has had one.
Pete Souza is currently chief official White House photographer for Obama and many of his photos are featured in the exhibit. They range from a pick up basketball game between Obama and his special assistant and personal aide, Reggie Love, to trips on Air Force One. The photographers capture moments of the Presidency that are publicly significant but also private, behind-the-scenes moments that reveal turmoil, exasperation and comedy.
National Geographic’s small, specifically-focused exhibitions made the space easy to navigate and all exhibitions are self-guided. Tickets are required for Geckos: Tails to Toepads (September 24, 2010-January 5, 2011) but all other exhibitions are free of charge.

National Geographic Museum
1145 17th St NW
(between N Desales St & N Sumner Row)
Washington, DC 20036

Field Trip Friday: Wadsworth Atheneum

Wadsworth Atheneum

A few weeks ago intern Kathleen drove up to Hartford, CT to stop by the Wadsworth Atheneum. The Wadsworth is America’s oldest public art museum, founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth. A fan of Gothic revival, Wadsworth commissioned Alexander Davis and Ithiel Town to draw inspiration from Hartford’s Christ Church for the museum’s exterior design. As the museum’s collection grew, four extensions were added–Morgan (1910), Avery (1934), and Goodwin (1969) buidlings.  SmithEdwards Architects is currently overseeing the $16 million restoration and renovations of the museum.

Ancient graveyard, Center Church (1632) and the Gold Building (Neuhaus & Taylor 1974) in Hartford

The museum is located in the heart of downtown Hartford, across from Center Church (next to the Ancient Burial Ground) and the Gold Building. Until renovations are complete, the majority of the museum’s 55,000 pieces will be on loan or securely stored away (see the museum’s online database). You can, however, still see Sol LeWitt‘s Whirls and Twirls mural–as well as a selection of the museum’s famous collection of Hudson River School paintings.

Sol LeWitt's Whirls and Twirls (2004) in the Morgan Great Hall stairway

The American Sculpture and Painting Gallery

Pioneering collections of Hudson River school artists and the first American museum to purchase a Surrealist painting (and works by Caravaggio, Frederic Church, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Balthus, Joseph Cornell and others) the museum continues to push the boundaries with contemporary artworks and exhibits such as it’s ongoing MATRIX program. Currently, the museum is featuring a two-part exhibit by Kim Schoenstadt consisting of the wall drawing Odd Lots Series: Hartford/Fiction, and Can Control: Hartford a community inspired graffiti-based work.

The museum will continue to remain open with renovations expected to be complete by the end of 2011.

Wadsworth Atheneum
600 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103