This Saturday Miss Dee and I took a trip to the Metropoliton Museum of Art in New Your City. We traveled by bus, not usually my favorite mode of transportation but it was actually very nice. Our driver and tour director couldn’t have been more helpful, efficient and entertaining. Of course our very first order of business was to take a selfie on the bus! Don’t we look happy!? Anyway, this was our first trip to the Met so I did a little research first. Here’s what I found out:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met), located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is by area one of the world’s largest art galleries. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art
When we got there, we could see what a truly imposing building it was…
Here is some of the building’s beautiful architecture.
The collection is so endless, we knew we would only be able to see a small part of it so we decided to concentrate mostly on the American Wing.
This area is called The Charles Engelhard Court and it anchors the American Wing, added in 1924, to the main building. The graceful statue of Diana that stands in the center was designed by artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens as a finial for Madison Square Garden.
At each end of the court are two very different architectural elements. One is this beautiful loggia or porch from the Long Island home of Louis Comfort Tiffany:
I wish I had gotten a better photo of the windows at the rear. They were really amazing examples of Tiffany glass. He is another Tiffany work that was along another wall in the court.
The colors and detail were incredible. I can’t imagine how many hour of work went into creating this. Below is another Tiffany designed landscape in mosaic that sits along another wall.
At the other end of the court is the facade of a federal bank that was once located on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. Kind of unusual to see a building inside a building! The front door is actually the entrance to the American wing.
Once inside we wandered through the many galleries enjoying the numerous painting and sculptures by all the greatest American artist including Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and one of my favorites, John Singer Sargent.
This one titled “The Wyndham Sisters” painted in 1899, is my favorite. It captures the elegance and beauty of the era. I love the softness in the colors and how each woman’s personality comes through. I’ve seen this work in books many times but I never realized how large it was till I saw it in person!
And of course, how could you have an American Wing without including…
Anyone living in the U.S. has probably seen a print of this painting by Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868) aptly titled “Washington Crossing the Delaware”. I know I have, but I never realized how massive it was in real life. Even the gold frame screams “Liberty!” Seriously, though, it is a very moving piece. I can understand why it has been reproduced so often.
After the American Wing, we had just enough time to take in a special Vincent van Gogh exhibit called “Irises and Roses”. No photos were allowed but they would not have done justice to these beautiful paintings anyway. The colors and textures were so rich.
By the time we boarded the bus for home we were exhausted but also disappointed. We hadn’t had time to see any of the European Impressionist, the Greek and Roman statues, the Dutch and Spanish masters or about a thousand other things! We did get a quick look at the Egyptian wing but only because we had to go through it to get to the ladies room! It felt like we spent a lot of time trying to find our way around. Thank goodness for all those bored security guards willing to give directions!
All in all, Miss Dee and I give our trip to The Met two big thumbs up. We highly recommend it to anyone who loves great art, history and architecture. We, however, feel like we will need at least 10 more trips there in order to truly appreciate it!
For more info about The Met: http://www.metmuseum.org