I really love the ambiance of this great old institution, the MET. Did you ever take a gander at the towering displays of real flowers in the lobby . They are exquisitely done and take a discreet back- seat to the hustle around them. I have always loved a run through the book store as well to look for monographs of artists (though I have never actually bought any). It's just nice to know that the book is there in case your house is feeling large enough to accept one more art book. Not.
(Did I just use that stupid usage?) Sorry. It crept up on me.
The MET is also acoustically favorable to many other spaces. There are indeed the herds of school children tromping through it. But depending on the teacher and her disciplinary skills controlling todays over-sugared little beasts, the school groups are more or less respectful of the place. I do maintain though that we would all be better served if the museum let school tours in one morning a week or limit the number of class groups that are being admitted at one time. I like kids, but I was also a teacher and you need to put some consequences for bad behavior in front of any child or you can't expect your wishes to come true. In some cases, its the teachers who don't know what respectful behavior is.
Nevertheless, the space accommodates so many people and there are so many areas to be seen that Dave and I often found a hush- hush space like the wonderful engravings by Albrecht Durer and those of his period, that were being featured.
We covered all of the paintings on Tuesday from Impressionism to Modernism and again I was more impressed with the Met contemporary art selection than I was that of MOMa. Here are a few favorites that I camera grabbed.
I have a great fondness for Bonnard and I had never come across this one.
Do you know who painted this one? It just popped out at me so I snapped it. It is by the Russian born Sonia Delaunay who was married to Robert Delaunay, another artist. She did this in 1959. I think that both husband and wife worked with geometric forms and colors...... its like painting a jig -saw puzzle with the possibility of endless permutations. If you like working with color, as I do, that idea appeals.
I don't think you will guess who did this one.........until you see the painting that follows.
Yes, they had several Georgia O'Keeffe's on display but none of my favorites. However this one is very powerful.
I know this painting from a postcard that someone sent me, that I have had for years . I never knew who painted it until now. It is by the American artist, Charles Demuth 1883-1935 and it is called" I saw the figure 5 in Gold. Oil on composition board. 1928.
Arguably two of the best Hopper's were on display at the Met the day we were there. I never realized that Hopper effectively divided this painting in thirds by letting that lighthouse go off the page. These little things determine "just good" or "remarkable" to my mind.
This large hanging really enticed me. " It takes a village" and the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui , born in 1944, considered today Africa's foremost sculptor to conceive and execute the design.
He calls it Dusasa II 2007, which means
"communal patchwork made by a team of townspeople". I may have seen Dusasa I at the Seattle Art Museum as they have a smaller but similar hanging there. (Maia and Martha, Joanne please report next time you are at SAM.)
AS you can see in the "close -up" it is made from thousands of liquor bottle tops, and aluminum caps, seals, and copper wire. Anatsui's work is anchored in the traditional Kente cloth of Ghana, Western art (mosaic, tapestry, chain mail armor ) and contemporary life ( alcohol consumption and consumerism) . I find his composition and draping to have such flair.
Do any of you love the scribble scrabble of Cy Twombly? This is a detail of a larger canvas. The first time I saw Twombly's work many, many, years ago I was outraged that this was considered art.
But now I feel it a playful, intimate style and not easily copied either.... if you don't have his brain. It looks easy and fun but just try it without getting self conscious. You are either naive or you are not.
Time for Lunch.......
Huzzah.., this is one museum that I can come back to time and time again and still be pleased by the endless treasure on display, the cafeteria , the layout, and the organization. Chapeaux to the MET. See you tomorrow.