Tag Archives: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pin Me ~ Week Seven ~ from my Things To See at The Met Board

19 Feb

So for week seven of my Pin Me project ~ 52 weeks of actually doing something with my Pins ~ I selected a pin from my Things To See at The Met board.

My Sweetheart gave me a membership to The Metropolitan Museum of Art last year for Christmas and it was one of the best presents I ever received! Whenever we travel, we always go to a museum. My favorite museum abroad has got to be the Museo Nacional Del Prado in Madrid. Beautifully arranged and filled with so many treasures. If you do nothing else, go to see the more than 140 paintings by Francisco de Goya.

I loved my membership so much that I asked him to renew it this year for Christmas (and squee—he did!)

It was very cold on Sunday and seemed like the perfect day to go to the museum (but really, when isn’t it a good day to go the museum)? I had wanted to see the current Matisse exhibit (through March 17, 2013) again. We had taken friends at Christmas time and I wanted a second round to enjoy.

Since we were there to see new stuff and old favorites, I decided to look up one of my pins: The French Comedians by Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) currently on view in Gallery 616.

Comedians

The French Comedians

It is a delightful little painting that combines two of my favorite subjects: theatre and art.  It’s one of those treasures that if you don’t pay attention, you may walk past it. But it’s worth finding on your next visit.

John Singer Sargent ~ Madame X

John Singer Sargent ~ Madame X

Speaking of visits, I’ve had over a year to explore the museum and I still have yet to see all the galleries. The permanent collections have taken a back seat to the fabulous limited engagements. I try to see at least part of a permanent collection when I go but I have so many old favorites that I have to visit (such as John Singer Sargent’s Madame X) that trying to fit it all in a day can prove difficult.

The friends we took in December got a whirl wind tour of the Met. They want to go back (twist my arm) and take our time visiting about three galleries. If you allocated an hour to each, that gives you enough time to absorb the beauty and read the little stories behind the paintings. It also allows you a few minutes here and there to sit down on the benches to give your feet a rest.

If you’ve never been to The Met, it is a marvel. It can be overwhelming trying to decide what to see (Asian Art, Musical Instruments, Drawings and Prints, Egyptian Art, Medieval Art, Modern and Contemporary Art to name just a few). If you really can’t decide, my suggestion would be this.

Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco

Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco

Begin in the Patio from the Castle of Velez Blanco. You’ll find this larger than life size patio which was constructed in southeastern coast of Spain, made its way to Paris where it was sold to George Blumenthal who brought it back to his townhouse in New York and upon his death, was gifted to the Museum.

From there, make your way through the Arms and Armor section so you can see the suits of Armor on your way to The American Wing galleries which are three floors tall.

There are so many amazing things to see in this gallery including the entire room that was built around the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. This is the place where you will also find several John Singer Sargent paintings (the most important one being MADAME X).

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Washington Crossing the Delaware

While you are over there, stop in the gift shop on the first floor and pick up a copy of STRAPLESS by Deborah Davis. It’s a fascinating read about the painting of MADAME X. If you forget to get it here, no worries. You can pick up a copy in the main gift store where you came in on 82nd & Fifth. They recently put in a bench near MADAME X, so you can rest a bit before you walk across the entire building to the 19th and Early 20th-Century European Paintings and Sculpture.

These are the 800-830 galleries that house many of the famous works you’ve come to know by Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir and Matisse. You can pretty much stand in any of the rooms and spin around and see paintings you’ve seen in books, magazines and movies.

There are lots of benches in these galleries so take the time to take it all in (especially Gallery 822 where you can view Monet’s Water Lilies).

Monet's Water Lilies

Monet’s Water Lilies

Then head down the stairs (or the elevator) to the first floor and take in the outstandingly, beautiful Greek and Roman Art gallery (150-172). Seriously, you can’t possibly go wrong with Greek and Roman statues.  Make sure you make your way down the hallway to the Cycladic Islands statues which you’ll find in Gallery 151.

Greek statue

Greek statue

This will also put you back next to The Great Hall where you began your day’s journey three hours ago.

Please let me know about your adventures at The Met and what pretty little treasures make your heart flutter.

Haven’t been to The Met? What is your favorite museum and why?

My Happy Thang: Anytime I step foot in a museum.

Can You Love More Than One Book At A Time

5 Jun

I love books. I don’t just love them. I ADORE THEM!

My mother has said on more than one occasion that I learned to read before I learned to walk. My early love of reading began with her “Dick and Jane” books.

     “See Dick Run.”

     “See Jane Run.”

And with those two sentences, my heart grew with wonder for words. The longing to be in other worlds and to ride magic carpets on fantastic adventures. It’s no doubt why I ended up with a career in the arts.

As my love affair with books grew, so did my bookshelves. I started out with a small two shelf number that I picked up at a garage sale for $5.00. A larger apartment meant I could add a massive one from IKEA with four shelves, that was taller than me and took up an entire wall. When I moved into a house, I got a second one to match.

Since that time, books can be found in any nook and cranny in my home. I’ve donated quite a few and leant even more to friends. But my book addiction continues to thrive.

It’s probably because I love to read so much that, at any given time, you can find me enjoying between 2-5 books. A friend of mine insists this is not the way to read as it delays getting to the end of any one book quickly. But the end isn’t always what I have my sights set on. I enjoy the ride.

Not to mention the fact that I enjoy reading different types of books at different times of the day.

For instance, I am NOT a morning person. Getting going after that alarm wakes me up is like running a marathon. I’m built for distance, not for speed. So while I’m still trying to adjust my eyes to the light of day, I need a simple tale. One that is easy-going and doesn’t require a lot of deep thought. One I’ll retain the plot after I’ve finished my morning coffee. So I’ve been reading “The Madman of Venice” by Sophie Masson. It has the added bonus of having slightly larger type which makes it nice for my eyes that are only half-open. 

My favorite way to spend lunch is with a good book in hand. So whether I’ve made my own and gone to a park or I’m sitting in Whole Foods enjoying a nice cup of soup or salad, chances are you’ll find me reading (or writing). But on reading days, I’ve been taking “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” by Gertrude Stein. I recently saw a magnificent exhibit called “The Steins Collect” at The Met. Actually, I visited it three times because it was THAT GOOD. My Sweetheart encouraged me to pick up the book and I’m so glad he did. It’s funny. It’s entertaining. And it ties in so well to the collection.

I hate feeling like my time is being wasted. And standing in line always gives me that feeling.  Carrying a book with me has solved that issue. Now when I find myself standing in line (as I was on Saturday to get into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final), I whipped out a book and started reading. It was “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm. It’s upbeat and adventurous without being too demanding on the attention span. I was able to put it back it my purse, get my ticket scanned, buy a pretzel, find my seat and easily pick up where I had left off in the story without having to go back and reread.

Which brings me to just-before-bed-time-reading. This is where I light a candle, maybe play some soft music and generally tune out the world. I save my favorite books for this reading time. A book I have been savoring for the last couple of months has been “Timeless” by Gail Carriger. It’s the final book in The Parasol Protectorate series. The final adventures of Alexia Tarabotti. Normally, I would be devouring her books. They are a magnificent example of brilliant writing with witty dialogue and characters you wish were alive rather than fictional. I don’t want the series to end. I only read a few pages every night. At this rate, it might be next June before I finish. But that’s ok. Because by February 2013, Ms. Carriger will have a new four book series out dubbed The Finishing School. The first book entitled “Etiquette & Espionage”.

So, in answer to my original question, yes I do believe you can love more than one book at a time. Loving multiple books is a bit like loving shoes. You can’t possibly have only one.