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13 April, 2006

American Masters

Chas' Stainless Steel,
Mark Thompson's Airplane Parts,
About 1000 Pounds of Stainless Steel Wire,
Gagosian's Beverly Hills Space
by Nancy Rubin (2001/2002)

We were looking forward to the Masters of American Comics exhibit at the MOCA. D. and his friends are familiar with the artists and several of their original artwork will be on display.

I particularly enjoyed viewing Jack Kirby’s work, he of The Fantastic Four and X-Men fame, among others. Though he was the most influential of all the artists showcased, the exhibit was well designed and spaced out, giving equal weight to each one.

Aside from Kirby, there were original cells from the controversial R. Crumb (Fritz the Cat), the iconic Will Eisner (The Spirit), the trendsetting Harvey Kurtzman (Mad), “punk rocker” Gary Panter (Cola Madness), Pulitzer prize winning Art Spiegelman (Maus), and the eclectic Chris Ware (Acme Novelty Library).

The only sour note was the overzealous security people at the museum. We were approached several times for getting too near the glass cases, which in itself was ridiculous; it was impossible to read the text on the cells unless you got close. Other people have been similarly admonished. Towards the end of the tour, one even wagged a finger at me for trying to get messages from my cell phone.

I’ve been to museums all over the city and this has been the most intrusive and irritating experience I’ve had with security people. It ruined an otherwise enjoyable experience for me. They seem to forget that it’s a museum, not a mausoleum, and the public is not a nuisance to be shooed off like irritating flies. If that’s their attitude, their art should be in a vault gathering dust, not on public display.

I was so annoyed I fired off a complaint and dropped it at the front desk, with my full name and address. To this day I haven’t received a response.

Nice going, MOCA. Not only did I blog about it and tell everyone I know, it will be a long time, if ever, before I come back.

posted at 11:35 PM by City Muse


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