Museums I visited in 2019

I went to 19 different art museums in 2019. No idea what my previous record was, but this destroys it.Already starting to look at exhibits and museums for next year, let’s see if I can get 20 in 2020!

New York


The Basquit exhibit was my favorite small exhibit of 2019. For as few works of art as it was, the power was incredible.

The Death of Michael Stewart, also known as Defacement, by Jean-Michel Basquiat


Warhol, and Protests, and Color of the 60’s! The Whitney had a lot going on. Rachel Harrison’s mid career retrospective was a lot of fun to see, I also really love the rehang of the permanent collection on the 7th floor.

Alexander The Great by Rachel Harrison


Gina Beavers is someone who I haven’t been able to shut up about since seeing her works. Nancy Spero inspired me alot. Was especially powerful seeing her work in contrast to her husband Leon Golub’s work at Met Breuer in 2018.

Nancy Spero
Gina Beavers’ Van Gogh’s Starry Night rendered in bacon


Back in the New York Groove. Bigger and more badass. It was odd going 4 months between visits, but for the increase in space, It was absolutely worth it.


Play it Loud was a fun exhibit. One thing that the Met always reminds me is that Art is much more than Pictures and Sculptures, which is ironic since it also has an incredible collection of both pictures and sculptures.

Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness by Leonardo da Vinci

Met Brauer

This museum is not for long, as the space is scheduled to become the temporary home of the Frick Collection, but I like that they are doing a long term show entitled “Home is a Foreign Concept”. What has really made this place special in 2019 for me was the individual artist shows which allowed me to see in depth work by a number of artists.

Freedom of Speech by Faith Ringgold

Los Angeles


Going to an art museum and having a 3 year old show me some of her favorite works was a different experience and one that was a lot of fun since my friends I was with are incredible. I need to go back to see more of this musuem.


My team took an evening last year to do some team building wandering together around the Hammer. Getting to know my coworkers better by discussing art and learning just how many of us had studied art in some way was awesome.


The views were better than the art, but the art was also really good. I mostly prefer more modern and contemporary art, but the Bauhaus Beginnings show was great. Awesome to see some of the educational materials and lessons that the great artists used to teach with at that transformative institute.



This was like a mini version of The Met. Almost all the greats were represented, and some phenomenal examples of a lot of different types of art. I want to go back as I didn’t give myself enough time to fully appreciate all that they had.

Lake Superior Landscape by George Morrison

Walker Center + Sculpture Garden

Incredible collection of art and highly inspiring. The individual shows and the main collection (formatted around the themes of Self, Inside, Outside, Everyday, Everything) were fantastic. The Sculpture Garden is something I want to spend many more hours exploring. Especially want to look at every Jenny Holzer bench. And eat that damn cherry.


Wexner Center

I am lucky in that I got to see the Jason Moran exhibit here and then see it again when it came to the Whitney. This was a smaller museum, but I enjoyed how it had multiple areas that could be setup in what appeared to be isolating ways. I often felt alone in galleries, but in a good way.

Billy Ireland

If you are ever in Columbus, I highly encourage you to check out this political cartoon museum. It’s free! It’s also not very large but both exhibits I saw were extremely informative and entertaining.


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

This one is kind of cheating on my behalf, since I was here for a conference and other than 20 minutes at the end of lunch, I didn’t spend much time looking at the art.I really enjoyed a piece by Lee Krasner who I don’t feel is given enough credit or space in art museums.



I was in Boston for a wedding and decided to take a vacation day and visit the MFA. I was not disappointed. It was a large museum, so I’m glad I gave myself a full day. I loved how they had the Kehinde Wiley/John Singer Sargent duality. Listen to Wiley talk about Sargent.

San Francisco


Before visiting SFMoMA, I would have told you that MoMA was the premier modern art museum. Now I’m not so sure. Everything was incredible but the Leichenstein Nudes are what stood out to me. I had just started my own work on nudes (contact me for the Instagram I am posting those on if you are interested) so it was very timely.

De Young

I was a bit underwhelmed by this museum. I think in part since I had just been blown away by SFMoMA and expected a premier institute in a city like San Francisco to have more.

St Louis

St. Louis Art Museum

I was very impressed with the German art. The Contemporary collection was incredible and the Shape of Abstraction was the one exhibit I visited this year that was so good I bought the book.


Art Institute of Chicago

A fitting final museum of the year for me to visit as it is also the first art museum I ever went to. This is the second time I visited as an adult and I could spend hours with the Chagall windows. I also had a little fun using google translate.

Art Design Four Short Things Programming

Four Short Things – 9 February 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

The Value of Good Design

MoMA’s spring exhibition includes a show featuring everyday objects, the types that it’s feasible to find in our homes. Brooms, Rakes, Chairs, A Slinky. With an emphasis on work that appeared in shows from the 1930’s to 1950’s, there is plenty of Eames, Saarinen, and Bruan to make any home goods nerd geek out. In addition to the main section of the show, there is a small lab where you can couch and sit on some of the items on display. It’s open until June 15.


Describing itself as “Write, Plan, and Create Infrastructure as Code”, terraform allows for almost every part of your infrastructure to happen as code. You can thus keep your DNS in GitHub. You can keep your GitHub config in GitHub too.

What’s new in PHP7.4?

Odds are, you aren’t running PHP7.3 yet, but that doesn’t mean work hasn’t started on PHP7.3. Heck, 8.0 is already being planned. It’s still early, but coalesce assignment is my prediction for what is going to cause the most useless arguments and also be the biggest win.

Inclusive Design: Who’s Opportunity is it?

My friend David uses his journey to help explain how inclusive design is a win for everyone. He looks at Inclusive design as an opportunity for business, content, quality, performance, and people. Definitely was one of the best things I read this week.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.

Art Current Events Design Four Short Things Sports

Four Short Things – 25 January 2019

Inspired by O’reilly’s Four Short Links, here are some of the things I’ve seen, read, or watched recently.

The Greatest Olympian You’ve Never Heard of: Eddie Eagan and an Unlikely Double

Eddie Eagan is a unique individual who did something no one else has done: he won gold medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympics in different sports. When we think about “The Greatest Athletes”, we often talk about people who dominated in one sport. Eagan’s medals came in the radically different fields of Boxing and Bobsleighed. And that is only the start of his story.

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts

This comprehensive overview of Nauman’s work takes place at both MoMA and PS1, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Nauman’s art isn’t easily categorized, he moves across mediums, themes, and styles with the appearance of ease. One of the parts that stuck with me was Nauman’s opinion that by deciding to create, anything he made could be art.

I’m an artist. I want to be in the studio. I want to be doing something, and you just get desperate, and so you just do whatever’s at hand, and you don’t even worry about whether it’s going to be interesting or not interesting to anybody else or even yourself. You just have to make something.

Bruce Nauman: Make-Work | Art21 “Extended Play”

Do You Know Your Users?

I’m a big believer that personas are a tool that software development better. They help fight the false perception bias that we all suffer from and give us makers an idea of who we are making software for. I’ve gone so far as to use personas for event planning. This overview doesn’t just cover why personas are important, it also explores how to go about making them.

Signal Problems

My friend K.Adam White recommended this to me and I’m happy he did. It’s a great overview of how the NYC subway is doing and what is wrong with it now. It describes it self as:

Signal Problems, a weekly newsletter helping you figure out what is going on with the subway, made every week by Aaron Gordon, transportation reporter. Read on the web or view the archives at .nyc.

Four Short Things is a series where I post a small collection of links to art, news, articles, videos and other things that are me. Follow my RSS feed to see Four Short Things whenver it comes out.


Claude Monet in New York Museums

Claude Monet is one of the foremost painters of the impressionist movement. His efforts to show the motion and color of light are in full force at museums in New York City. If you want to view works by Monet, you aren't limited to just one of the art museums in NYC.  In fact, Monet's work is currently being displayed in four different New York Museums. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

30 works of Monet are on display at the met. These include works from when the artist was in his mid-twenties and using the inspiration of Japanese art to embrace the 2d nature of paintings. Garden at Sainte-Adresse is an example of this period of Monet's career.

Garden at Sainte-Adresse (1867)

As Monet grew older, his landscapes began to show more motion. Vétheuil in Summer was done in 1880. The brushstrokes visible in the Seine help portray the constant changing reflection of light on a body of water. 

Vétheuil in Summer (1880)

As Monet grew older, he continued his exploration of light by painting the same locations during multiple parts of the day. While making Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight), he moved from canvas to canvas as the day progressed. More than 30 paintings make up the Rouen Cathedral series. 

Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight) (1894)

While finishing the Rouen Cathedral series, Monet began putting in a water garden on his property that would serve as the inspiration for some of his works. Already in his mid-fifties, the Water Lillies demonstrate how Cataracts affected Monet's Vision with earlier works showing much greater detail, while the later works demonstrate the blurring and color changes he saw as his eyes changed.

Overall, the 30 works of Monet currently on view at the Met demonstrate the artist's evolution.

Museum of Modern Art

MoMA has a Monet specific gallery featuring 3 works from the Artists later career including a massive 3-panel Water Lilly that is one of the more breathtaking pieces of art in NYC. 

Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond photo by and shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

MoMA's collection of Monet's is considerably smaller than the Met's collection, but the massiveness of the Water Lily on display make it a must-see piece of Art. 

Two More Monet on view in NYC

The Guggenheim currently has one Monet on view, a later work during Monet's 1908 trip to Venice while The Brooklyn Museum has The Islets at Port-Villez (Les Iles à Port-Villez), piece with circular motions in water that echo Vincent Van Gogh's work. The Brooklyn Museum owns other works by Monet such as one the Houses of Parliament series, but none are currently on display. 

Between the breadth of work at The and the monumental Water Lilies at MoMA, you have multiple options for exploring Monet in NYC. There are few better cities for exploring this Impressionist master. 


Up close differences

Painting, while often thought of a 2d medium, is much more three-dimensional than it is often given credit. It makes it hard to appreciate a work of art in two dimensions.

I spent a while yesterday studying two of MoMA’s masterpieces.  Flag by Jasper John stood outside the entrance for the Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends exhibit that’s in place right now. From a distance, flag appears to be a textured painting of an American Flag, but as you get close you can not only see that it’s newsprint underneath, but you can actually read the paper. You can see how it hang off the side of one of the stripes.  You can hear other people ask ridiculous questions like “Was this made before Alaska and Hawaii were states and that’s why there aren’t 50 stars on it?” (there are 56 stars). Up close and in person, you really get to appreciate the aspects of the piece you can’t see from a 2d picture.

Around the corner, Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic Drowning Girl inspired a similar feeling. When you look at photographs of Drowning Girl or you view it from far away, it comes across as a comic book piece that likely was first done in pencil, and then gone back over in ink (we can debate if this is tracing some other time) but upclose it becomes clearer that it’s not just clean lines. The strong black lines that dominate the painting aren’t smooth. The brush marks are clear. The dots that make up the shading are far from uniform in size. Many of them, especially in the lower left of the painting blend into each other.

When looking at things from far away, it’s easy to miss the imperfections. But it’s the imperfections that make it art. In many ways, it’s the same when we are working on a website. From a distance, when we aren’t intimately involved, there are things we aren’t going to see. When we get close, we can start to really understand what is going. We learn the background for why specific decisions get made. It can also cloud us. We stop seeing the big picture and focus on the flaws.

Balancing the close-up view of the imperfections and the broader story is always going to be a challenge. Concurring it though is what helps separate good from great.


We Use Way Too Many Fonts

Massimo Vignelli is most famous for designing the NYC Subway map. In this video, he speaks about typography, the history of fonts and argues that “There are good maybe a dozen (fonts)…I only really used three or four in my life.” He also argues that when designers are less good, they use more fonts. When they are really bad, they use them all.

Fonts also greatly affect the load time of web pages. Since most web fonts are almost always externally hosted, it’s even more important to be conscious of how many fonts you use. What would happen if we limited font choices more? What if you only could use Open Sans at two weights along with both the regular and italic versions. How would that affect what you designed?  Would it force you to use other differentiators?  Would color become more pronounced? Would size?

When one variable is taken away from the design process it doesn’t have to limit you; it can actually make your design more impactful.

MoMA uses a single font for the vast majority of the museum. However, it also designs a new font for each of its special exhibits. It makes each one stand out even more. Could single font websites do the same thing? When you write a really powerful essay you make your own font just for it?