Postcards/NYC: Stopover at the Met

Tres chic chic pumpkin and foliage in the lobby.

Margie asked me what was my favorite museum. I go to museums, like some people go to theme or amusement parks. It is that engrained, it has become a passion. There are many museums I love and would suggest to anyone. The Accademia in Venice would make anyone drool. It has been many years, but the collection among not the most beautiful setting, has a collection of Tiziano (Titian) and Veronese which will knock your socks off. I will never forget the Ufizzi. It has been over 30 years, but my afternoon trips to the Louvre as a young man, were pure rap-ture. England has wonderful museums and one of my favorite is the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge. If I am in DC, I always think the Hirshhorn is the safest bet, always progressive and fun. The National Portrait Gallery you could take anyone and enjoy.

Sentimentally, the first “real” museum I went by myself  (Staten Island had a little museum where I first saw Sebastiano del Piombo’s,  Christopher Columbus) would be the Met in NYC. I have spent many wonderful hours in this no hassle, always interesting museum. It is never annoying like the Guggenheim, which is all Wright, but the housing dwarfs even Brancusi or Rothko. It is never pretentious, like the MoMA can be. The Met is the grand old dame, who is constantly getting a facelift, but holds a collection to die for. The early Renaissance collection alone keeps educating you. Who else could do a summer collection on Chanel or Cartier, and still have room for two more special exhibits? Your safest bet is the Met. Even the contemporary collection is intriguing and will never disappoint, although its own outlook. An hour in the Met will make other U.S. museums, even the fine National Gallery, seem puny.

Van Gogh’s painting of the postman’s daughter and a beautiful Van Dongen.

You go through room after room. They had a wonderful show of Jan Gossart and his contemporaries. A different world from that of the classicism of Michelangelo and Dürer, things precious and precise. The portraits are a different world, and we see Holbein and Clouet already.

Like the National Gallery, the Met went through an expansion and its architecture is just as nice to look at. I love when you see the facing of the original structure (left) and the simplicity of the new structure, clean and modern.

My cousin, Mary and I had gone downtown to Pearl Paint and we made the afternoon stopover at the Met. Mary likes most of the Met, since she likes traditional. She hates stuff like at PS1, which she considers creepy. She is standing next to a Giacometti, and the whole setting for Giacometti is pretty nice. The pieces are arranged beautifully with his 2D work,  and you really can look at the sculptures. In fact the Met, and even the Modern these days, allow you to get closeup. The Modern used to give me conniptions how they used to shove sculptures next to the wall. I used to want to bop them over the head what they did to Brancusi’s. It was as if the curators never had time to take a course in Sculpture 101!

Not enough time to catch the early Renaissance work, nor even much time for the Impressionists work, we traveled the 20th century, with a little time for the newer work. Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (below left) looks great in its setting and it is kind of odd how he finds himself from the earlier self portrait (below right). The kid looking at a piece in the center shot, stood not far from the Boccioni self portrait, and I thought it was kind of ironic.

One also takes their hat off to the Met for their work at the Cloisters, which is an excellent housing for work and incorporates the Upper Harlem landscape with the visuals indoors. The pieces through a room we passed reminded me of this. We always think of medieval as so reverent!

We stopped at the Oceania collection on the way out. The use of the full lighting from outside and the beautiful layout, makes the interaction between viewers and pieces just as much an image, as the pieces themselves. These totems, have figures atop which look a little like surf’s up with the pieces they are holding. Overall, if you have the time, spend a day in the Met, you will never be sorry.


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