When I first saw Manhattan by George Grosz, I thought it appeared rather dull and dreary, but otherwise not particularly noteworthy. However, it was not until I actually saw this painting up close and in person that I realized that Grosz had actually overlapped all of the buildings of Manhattan, not painted them individually like I had originally thought. By overlapping the outlines of the buildings, it blends all of them together and gives the painting a dizzying effect. I originally interpreted this work to reflect my personal opinion about New York City: I don't particularly care for it; to me, the metropolis is dirty and dreary and overwhelming, and the painting demonstrates that. Just looking at the landscape makes me want to leave. However, when I read the description, I learned that Grosz immigrated to the US from Berlin during World War II, and painted Manhattan to reflect the majesty of his new home. However, the drab color palette and disorienting overlapping technique led me to interpret the painting in a much different way.
I found the flow from the Modern Collection into the Asian Collection, especially with the Ceramics: Avenues of Exchange section, aesthetically pleasing. In the Modern Collection, and earlier the Mirror Mirror: Frida Kahlo section, the gallery was carpeted with the gray-blue walls visible in the photo. The dullness of the surroundings made the paintings and photographs hung in the gallery the obvious focal points of that section. When the ceramics part of the gallery started, the flooring changed to dark, shiny hardwood flooring with a matching display case for the pottery (visible in the photo). I loved this display for the ceramics--the geometry and right angles of the display case juxtaposed the colorful, curved pots and vases inside.