“Lunch is Served”… at the museum

Dale Rooks or Ray Platnick, [Lunch at the Museum of Modern Art, New York], August 1942 (2016.19.191)

LUNCH IS SERVED: This Summer the Museum started serving lunch in the garden, found it surprisingly popular. Price $1, but as much as you want of everything.

PM, August 7, 1942

How to Spend This Gasless Week End: Relax at the Museum of Modern Art…

Of the two bright spots on 53d St. (the other is the Stork Club, of course), we think you’ll find the Museum of Modern Art less expensive, as much fun, and educational as well as entertaining. Tape on doors is air raid safeguard.

Undoubtedly the best quarter’s worth around New York these days is to be had at the Museum of Modern Art, at 11 W. 53d St. Not only can you gaze at the Museum’s excellently displayed exhibits to your air-conditioned content, but you can go to the movies; dine, lounge or sip drinks out in the sculpture garden; use the excellent library on films; follow the lecture tours around; bring your children to the Children’s Gallery.

And, if you’re a Museum member (this can be accomplished for the small sum of $10 a year, and includes admission at any time for you and wife or husband, if any, reserved seats at the movies, invitations to the openings of all exhibits, and your choice of one of the free publications offered, as well as a reduced rate on the others), you have the use of the penthouse lounge room, and its very fancy terrace.

The Museum, in deference to late workers, is now open from 12 to 7 p.m. daily, and from 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays.


PM, August 7, 1942

… Between Pictures, Try a Drink in the Restful Garden

ROAD TO VICTORY: America at War-soldiers, and the men and women behind the soldiers-you see their story unfold in photos by American photogrpahers, with captions by America’s poet, Carl Sandberg.

BAMBI [The Evolution of a Film Character]: Up in the Children’s Gallery, these days, they’re showing how a Disney cartoon is made, with Bambi as the subject. This shot at the very beginning, shows the Disney plant at Burbank.

LIBRARY: The Museum’s library, one of the finest in the country only recently has been opened to the public. Hours 12 to 7 on weekdays, 1 to 7 on Sunday.

LUNCH IS SERVED: This Summer the Museum started serving lunch in the garden, found it surprisingly popular. Price $1, but as much as you want of everything.

IN THE GARDEN: Lunch is served from 12:30 to 2, tea from 4 to 6, but wine, beer, and soft drinks are…
Photos by Dale Rooks and Ray Platnick

The “Road to Victory” exhibition was on view at MoMA from May 21–October 4, 1942. Little known fact: Weegee’s photo, [Afternoon crowd at Coney Island, Brooklyn], July 1940, was included in the exhibition.:

Presented less than six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Road to Victory, with its clearly propagandistic aim, was an unusual exhibition for MoMA. Photographer Edward Steichen, then a lieutenant commander in the US Navy and later an influential curator of photography at the Museum, organized this arrangement of enormous, freestanding photographic enlargements and murals. Featuring a cross-section of American life, from rural panoramas to scenes of preparation for war, it was intended, according to the press release, to “enable every American to see himself as a vital and indispensable element of victory.” The majority of these uncredited photographs came from federal programs such as the Farm Security Administration. moma.org.

Lunch at the museum was a cold buffet in the outdoor garden at MoMA. The garden was redesigned to accommodate the popular lunchtime eaters and teatime drinkers. Shrimp salad and cheese cake are on the menu in the photo above. (One dollar in August 1942 had the same buying power as $15.64 today.) Afternoon tea cost 35 cents, (same buying power as $5.48 today; the 25 cent admission has the same buying power as $3.91 today). Gasoline was rationed in New York during most of the United States’ involvement in World War Two. Many civilians were limited to three or four gallons a week. Highlighting local cultural institutions was a useful service. Undoubtedly museums, even during (deathly) difficult times, can be “fun, and educational as well as entertaining.”

It’s lunchtime!

Frank Navara (1898-1986), [Coffee Pot Restaurant, Bremen, Indiana], 1939 (33.1986)

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