Thursday, October 8, 2009

Whoopsy Daisy

Someone told me that they had read that the Museum of Modern Art in New York (aka the MoMA) had a Matisse painting hanging upside down for 47 years.  Well, I thought that was really something! However, this person added that he had previously told someone else this, and when that other person looked it up online to see if it was really true it said it was only upside down for 47 days.  Well, I wanted to know, and this is what I found:

The work, Le Bateau by Matisse, hung upside down for 47 days in the Museum of Modern Art Exhibition The Last Works of Henri Matisse.  It was uprighted after Genevieve Habert, a Wall Street stockbroker, noticed the mistake.  At first she notified a museum guard (this is soooo the best part) who responded, "You don't know what's up and you don't know what's down and neither do we."  (an absolutely perfect New Yorker response if ever there was one)  After trying to get someone to listen, Habert gave up and called the New York Times about the mistake.  The next day, after the director of exhibitions, Monroe Wheeler, was notified, the work was rehung properly.


  1. I like the story about the picture in the museum
    it was really funny cuz a museum like that
    should know how to hang there picture the right way.

    cousin Isabelle

  2. Belle, you are so right! That is just why I thought that it was funny too!

    I have heard that you are a good painter. So, one day when you are grown up & in charge- things like this will not happen!

    Love, Cousin E

  3. What an interestingly zen response from the guard.
    We don't really have a perception of up, down, right, or wrong until we are shown some reference of order and proximity. It's all perspective man, all perspective, things just are what they are, it's our perception of them that gives them labels.
    I guess thats why people sign their little name in the corner of paintings.
    Votre Ami Lumpy