Tim Burton at MoMA

The cool and hip thing to say is, “Oh, I NEVER listen to the critics! I go my own way!” But the fact of the matter (for me, anyway) is that I have very limited time and funds and on those rare occasions when I am at liberty to see a show or an exhibit, I do some homework beforehand so I don’t squander the opportunity, and that homework includes scouring the reviews. That’s why when the Tim Burton exhibit currently at MoMA got a weak review in the New York Times back in November, I demoted it to my B list of things to see.

Well, I had my “doh!” moment when I approached the exhibit. Critics can sometimes be humorless idiots and that is certainly the case here. The exhibit is a blast. Initially, I was puzzled over why MoMA would mount a retrospective of a movie director but Burton is an imaginative designer and makes good use of the floor space.


Photo credit: Marilyn K. Yee/The New York Times

As you can imagine, it has broad appeal and the crowds are pretty thick. (That’s probably one of the reasons why the Times critic—sniff-sniff—didn’t like it.) If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth a visit, although you should probably get a timed-ticked from the museum, especially if you’re going on a weekend.


Tim Burton/20th Century Fox

[Edit for comment: I didn’t take my girls to this show. 3-Year Old is too young for ANY museum and 8-Year Old would have been creeped out by it. As you can imagine, some of this stuff is actually quite frightening and 8-Year Old has a delicate sensibility. I think it would have given her some serious nightmares. At bedtime, the Edward Scissorhands costume would have marched out of her closet and the Catwoman costume from under her bed.]