MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA) Part III



Date of Visits: July 8 & 15, 2017

Location: 1040 MASS MoCA WAY, North Adams, MA


Fall/Winter/Spring Hours

11am–5pm, closed Tuesdays

Open January 1, 2018

Fall/Winter/Spring Tours

Wed.-Mon.: Two museum highlights tours: B6: The Robert W. Wilson Building and Buildings 4, 5, and 7 at 2pm
Summer Hours (begin June 2018)
10am—6pm Sundays—Wednesdays
10am—7pm Thursdays—Saturdays



Adults $20
Seniors / Veterans $18
Students with ID $12
Kids (6–16) $8
EBT/WIC Cardholder $2

They also offer 2 day and 3 day admission tickets

Parking: There are four parking lots in the museum parking area

MASS MoCA Parking Map

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Website: MASS MoCA

In part III of my trip to MASS MoCA I am highlighting some of the found art and the works of Louise Bourgeios  and some unusual musical instruments.



Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) is one of the featured artists at the museum.  His work, “The Lurid Attack of the Monsters from the Postal News Aug. 1875 (Kabal American Zephyr)” is made up of saws, wheels and other discarded items.  Pictured on the wooden beam of the sculpture are photos of butterflies, John Lennon playing the piano and kids playing in a pool as well as some other photos.

The following works of art are part of the found art sculptures exhibit, “Thumbs Up For The Mothership” by Lonnie Holley and Dawn DeDeaux.  The display is described as an artistic response to the state of the earth, both environmental and political.


“The Writing Man’s Chair” (2017) is a tribute to William Arnett, a friend of artist and creator Lonnie Holley.  William was a close friend of Lonnie’s and one of the first people Lonnie knew who showed a genuine interest in his work.  The sculpture is made of a rocking chair, found typewriter, water pump and roots and candle lamp.



“Do Not Write On This” (2007) by Lonnie Holley, made of a wood pallet, straw, stuffed animal, commemorative photo, nails and wood.  The work of art is about respecting nature.  According to Lonnie, he lost relatives in fires.  The sculpture is meant to remind people about our effect on nature.



“Weighed Down By The Hose” (2008) by Lonnie Holley is made of a rocking chair, old quilt, heart-shaped box and rubber hose.  The fire hose wraps around the chair like a memory.  The sculpture is meant to be a reminder of the civil rights struggle that still envelopes us like a quilt.  Lonnie found the rocking chair on the side of a Birmingham, Alabama road.  The little tin heart is meant to be a container for memories in the act of love.



“The Last Formation” (2017) by Lonnie Holley is made of a dressmaker’s form and wooden shoe supports.  The old wooden feet in the dress reminded Lonnie of the bodies captured in nets in Africa as well as the bodies stuffed together in the holds of slave cargo ships.  Lonnie explained the mother’s body, represented by the dressmaker’s form, is like a cargo hold.  The “Last Formation” is the woman’s body with all of her offspring’s offspring.



“Busted Without Arms” (2016) by Lonnie Holley is made of a dress form, gun grip display and model handguns.  Lonnie said his motivation for this work of art were the news stories of unarmed black people being killed.


“Waking Up In The Bed Of Death (Watching the Marchers’ Dreams Die)” (2016) by Lonnie Holley is made of an old bed frame, found quilt, shoe store displays and a shoe fitting stool.  The sculpture is meant to show the struggle of the civil rights movement which Lonnie describes as being like a long and arduous journey to the top of a mountain.  Lonnie thinks people these days consider the civil rights struggle to be like an elevator to the top, rather than the long struggle it really is.


“In The Grip Of Power” (2016) by Lonnie Holley is made of a decommissioned voting booth, gun grip display and model handgun.  Lonnie found what looked like a suitcase while he was in Nashville, Tennessee.  Later, he would realize the suitcase was actually a voting booth.  This made Lonnie think of the struggles people have gone through to gain the right to vote.  When Lonnie found gun store display while he was in North Carolina, he got the idea to combine the two items.  Lonnie decided to make a display that had a voting booth that, when you leaned in to vote, had a gun pointing at you.


“Broken But Still Strong” (2014) by Lonnie Holley is made of a bicycle, cement mixer, scaffolding parts, a blown-out truck tire, tools, motor and bolts.  This sculpture is about the Native American struggle.  He described their struggle as “broken but strong.”  The work of art honors the reuse of materials before we rid ourselves of them.  One of Lonnie’s grandmothers was part Cree and Cherokee and one of his grandfathers was part Cherokee and black and white.  He said they taught him about materials and he still uses that wisdom now.


“Another Blue Ribbon First: America’s First: America’s Chemistry Project” (2016) by Lonnie Holley is made of a wooden powder keg, oil can, White House vinegar bottle, kerosene can, Blue Ribbon Lubrication oil can, brass house faucet, water can and oil changing can.


“Climbing To Better Understand The World” (2014) by Lonnie Holley is made of a library ladder, barbed wire, wires, a globe, a computer keyboard and a computer monitor.  Lonnie explained that he never had a chance to go to school when he was young and he had to learn by watching others or from doing things himself.  Now, access to information is much easier.  But, it is also easier to find “fake news.”  The sculpture also conveys how this information on the internet and from other sources is not equally available to everyone.


“The Mantle (I’ve Seen The Future And It Was Yesterday)” (2016-2017) and “Broken Mirror” (2017) were created by Dawn DeDeaux.  The multimedia work of art, “The Mantle” is made of an aluminum mantle with objects.  The “Broken Mirror” work of art is a transparency on a convex mirror.


“Found Object: Mardi Gras Masque of the Babylonian Style” (2014) is a work of art from Dawn DeDeaux.


Another exhibit at the museum is a collection of art from the late artist Louise Bourgeois.


The first sculpture in this exhibit is “The Couple” (2007-2009).  This sculpture is an aluminum piece hanging from the ceiling.  The sculpture is of a couple intertwined for eternity.



“Nature Study” (1984) is made of marble and steel.

Many of Louise Bourgeois’ art deal with human sexuality and the male and female anatomy (gross!).  These sculptures are meant to show how we all share male and female traits.




“Heel on peel to seal the deal feet to sky life” is a work of art by Jenny Holzer.

Gunnar Schonbeck’s “No Experience Required” work of art is a collection of instruments he made from a collection of everyday materials.  The late Gunnar Schonbeck, a graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, believes “art belongs to everyone.”  He used these unusual instruments in some of his concerts.








While you can’t use the instruments in the “No Experience Necessary” exhibit, you can use the instruments in a room nearby.

People of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds can use these instruments.  Banging on the drums there can be a great way to blow off steam, too.  Trust me, it can be a pretty loud room!


Thank you for stopping by for my third installment from my trips to MASS MoCA.  Believe it or not, there is a lot more I plan on sharing with you all!

About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England! View all posts by New England Nomad

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