A highlight of the exhibition is the MoMA-owned cutout, “The Swimming Pool,” (1952) made for Matisse’s Nice dining room. The mural deteriorated and became a priority of MoMA’s determined conservation team. In this exhibition, paper swimmers float in the restored wraparound mural to the delight of museum-goers who have not seen it since the late 1990’s. A terrific video describes the process and shows photographs of the original installation in Matisse’s home.The blue “Jazz” series complete with texture, folds, and pinholes dazzles in ways the flat poster reproductions cannot. Viewers will recognize images like the “Dancers” their shapes bending and stretching acround the exhibitions rooms.“Oceania, the Sea” brings the beach indoors with seaweed and marine life floating with the currents. Seeing these well-known images is like running into friends at a reunion.
Tickets beginning at 10:30 am are required for this popular show. Museum members may enter at 9:30 am before the general public without a timed ticket, a decided advantage to see the art without the crowds. Extended hours are available and on the final weekend, the Museum is open around the clock, a slumber party for night owls. Check MoMA website for details.If you missed the exhibit, take a walkthrough courtesy of the NYTimes.