In the southwest corner of the Central Park, across from the Maine Monument ( look at one of my posts) is the Columbus Circle rotary with a Columbus Monument designed by Sicilian sculptor Gaetano Russo in the center. There is the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) on the south side of the circle( Columbus circle,2)
MAD was founded in 1956 by Aileen Osborn Webb as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts and later became the American Craft Museum. Mad is the only New York museum with an Open Studio program that enables visitors to observe and interact with artists engaged at work within programming spaces.
|Columbus 2 , April 2014|
From 1986 until 2008 MAD was located at 40 West 53rd Street and in September 2008 opened its doors at Columbus circle.
|Columbus 2 before 2008 renovation|
The seven-story Pabst Grand Circle Hotel, a combination theater, hotel and restaurant, designed by William H. Cauvet, stood at this address from 1874. In 1960 the hotel was demolished to free the space for the New York Coliseum. From 1964 to 2005 the site contained a 12 story modernist structure designed by Edward Durell Stone for Huntington Hartford, heir to the founder of A&P Supermarkets, to display his art collection. Stone was the principal designer on the Radio City Music Hall and Museum of Modern Art in New York. The building at Two Columbus Circle opened as the Gallery of Modern Art.
In 1969 the Gallery of Modern Art was closed , and the building used as an art exhibitions center for Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In 1996 the building turned thirty years old and became eligible for landmark designation. The New York City Landmarks Commission never held a public hearing on its fate and despite a serious preservation effort, the Museum of Arts & Design has radically altered the building for their occupation in 2008.
Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff named the new building as one of seven structures in New York City that should be torn down because they "have a traumatic effect on the city."
Nicolai wrote: “... As a result, the facade is being utterly revamped. ... This was an atrocious betrayal of the public trust. ... A similar debate is unfolding in Berlin, where the German government plans to demolish the 1970s Palast der Republik. ... Both 2 Columbus Circle and the Berlin building represent important moments in their cities' collective memories.”
The redesigned building has the same massing and geometric shape as the original, but the original white Vermont Marble has been replaced with a glazed terra-cotta and glass façade.
Museum has four floors of exhibition galleries, 150-seat auditorium and a restaurant. It also includes a Center for the Study of Jewelry, Education Center and three artists-in-residence studios. MAD is the only American museum with a gallery dedicated to contemporary and modern studio and art jewelry. Museum is open late on Thursday and Friday when you can pay what you wish.
In July 2014, the Museum of Arts and Design will inaugurate NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, an exhibition that spotlights the creative communities across the five boroughs today.
Various spaces in the Museum are available for private events, including our 7th floor, atrium, and our 143-seat theater.