|MV Agusta 500cc Grand Prix|
I had been looking forward to this day for several months, since I first discovered MODA at its previous location downtown. My first visit was immediately prior to the temporary closing and I was totally blown away by the Kristofer Laméy exhibit, Serving Form, as well as the courtesy of the museum staff.
That caliber of exhibition and the same staff courtesy has transferred to the new space, which is mind-blowing amazing.
I had the great fortune to attend one of the construction-phase visits to the new space. I was impressed with the museum even when it was drywall, hanging cables, and unpainted. The transformation, the finished space, embodies the word "design." To those who made it happen…"Kudos and congratulations!"
|Museum of Design Atlanta|
On opening day, if visitors were not sure of the address, they knew they’d reached their destination when they saw the multitude of large, white balloon bouquets (can we say "Up"?), the motorcycles parked out front, the food vendors on the side street, and the MODA logo prominently displayed (Yeah for marketing!).
Welcoming guests were the Executive Director, Brenda Galina, Ph.D. and Associate Director, Laura Flusche. It may seem "mandatory" for museum directors to be present at an opening, but I'd previously met Brenda and Laura both, on more than one occasion, and it was heart touching to see their excitement of the plans for the new location come to fruition.
|MV Agusta Brutale Oro|
The exhibit space is itself brilliantly designed. Located in the public library building at 1315 Peachtree Street in the Midtown Arts District (another brilliant move on the director's part!) exactly across the street from the High Museum of Art, MODA is nestled between other office entrances on the first floor.
Upon entering the museum, visitors pass through an enclosed entryway into the main reception area. There’s a front display window, where for this exhibit there are two Ducati motorcycles enticing passersby into the museum. There’s also the welcome station where visitors may obtain information about the museum and current and upcoming exhibits, as well as purchase tickets and memberships.
Behind the welcome desk is a full wall bearing the MODA logo (you know without a doubt where you are) in its signature red color.
There are several galleries throughout the space, each numbered. You’ll also see "ribbons" throughout the museum, another brilliant design element, in the form of horizontal, shoulder height bands of red with gallery and exhibit information embedded within.
Also in the new space are multiple video projection units, all of which were in use during opening day of Passione Italiana.
The gallery at the far end of the museum has an abundant amount of natural light as well as observation windows from the public library upstairs. You might think you just went to the library to check out a book then you learn you get a sneak peak of the current exhibition downstairs…a nice perk for our learned friends.
Just so you know, tours of the Museum of Design Atlanta are self-guided. I recommend allotting approximately one hour, probably more, to view Passione Italiana.
I shouldn't have been surprised because I had heard about the Moto for MODA event…a motorcycle route through Midtown (a great way to remind locals of the exhibit) that included complimentary parking, helmet check, and half-off admission, capped with a host-bar viewing of the Moto GP race in Qatar.
Now, to the motorcycles! This is what the new location inaugural exhibit is all about…Italian motorcycles, or more specifically, the design of Italian motorcycles.
|Ducati 1098 S Tricoloree|
As I write this, it's been several days since seeing the motorcycles and I've given much thought as to which I would consider my favorite. Even now, if I were given nine sets of keys and told I could only keep one set, I would be hard pressed to choose.
There are several bikes in the exhibition that are older than I am…and they're stunning (motorcycles don't get crows feet). The one that I'm sure will be a crowd favorite (judging by the number of comments it received when I posted its photo to my Facebook account) is the 1964 MV Agusta 500cc Grand Prix.
As a museum of design there are clever details everywhere. You'll not be surprised when it dawns on you that all of the motorcycles in the exhibit are primarily red in color…appropriate given MODA's signature red.
|Motorcycle Race Suits|
One of the very cool features is a collection of driver suits. One of the suits, worn by Casey Stoner of Australia in 2010, is scuffed the length of the left side. Casey finished fourth in the Championship that year, so the scuffing was evidently not too detrimental, but it shows the danger and required skill for sport racing.
Also in the main hallway, there's a photo exhibit that chronicles the 50 year span of the motorycylces on exhibit showcasing Italian fashion, industry, furniture, and motorcycle design, featuring other Italian designers including Versace.
|50 Years of Italian Design|
Am I motivated to return to MODA? On my first visit, at their former downtown location, I purchased a membership…I was that impressed with this museum, so, yes, I will definitely be back. There are a number of upcoming exhibits that have piqued my curiosity, so I imagine I'll return rather frequently.
Touring the Museum of Design Atlanta
Date toured: Sunday, March 20, 2011
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Thursdays open until 8:00 p.m.); Sundays 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: 1315 Peachtree Street (directions and map)
Cost: $10 adults; $8 seniors and military; $5 students and children
Parking: Street parking and nearby parking garages