After sleeping 12 hours on Saturday night, I was determined to get up a little earlier on Monday. Luckily, we did, and I was able to get one of the hotel cars to drop us off at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! We got there a little after 10, and stayed until they kicked us out at 5:30—into a lightning storm, but that’s another story.
The Met takes up 4 city blocks near mid-Central Park. Here’s a stock photo of the front—notice that the entire building cannot fit into the frame.
And here’s Daddy in front of the Met, because I think he’s cute.
Oh, my goodness! Daddy and I bought our tickets, rented audio tours and went first to the Egyptian Galleries. After an hour (and time to catch a tour), we realized we had seen almost none of the exhibit. We learned we had to pace ourselves. To see the 400 galleries in the 5 hours we had left after the tour, we had to skip some, skim some, and see only the big things in the sections we were in interested in. And we also split up to go at our own pace.
The goal of the Met is to have a curated display of examples of all types of art from all time periods, beginning thousands of years BC.
Check out the sarcophagus—that is Dionysus, my namesake, in the middle riding a panther during a big party. This was carved out of a block of marble and was originally covered in gold leaf.
If you were entering the throne room appropriately, you’d see the creature “moving”, like this:
There was a dress/costume/textile section that was fascinating. I believe Daddy skipped this. The theme was technology and fashion. This dress was designed and manufactured on a 3D printer.
Here’s a gallery of the funky fashions:
I loved the Tiffany stained glass exhibit. The first is just a little something ripped from the front of Tiffany’s dream house and now flanks the American wing.
[Oh, and opposite from the Tiffany front is the front of an old New York Bank. The building was being torn down, so the Met saved the front of the building to serve as the entrance to their America exhibits.]
Daddy and I both probably like sculpture best. The best sculptures seems so alive and natural that you completely forget it began as a block of marble. This embraces that block:
Hercules (who killed the Lion of Somewhere and likes to wear the pelt) shows up twice in the Greek and Roman gallery:
Here’s an incomplete sarcophagus. The best guess is that he died first and no one got around to finishing her face.
Oh, Kyla, the ancient Egyptian gallery. Actually, it was dozens of galleries, but here’s the most impressive: The Temple of Dendor. The Egyptians were going to flood an area where this temple ruin stood, so they gave? sold? donated? it to the US and it ended up in it’s own private room at the Met.
I’ve heard of this happening, but today I got to witness it—200 year old graffiti among the ancient hieroglyphs!
See if you can spot it (hint, anything you can read is graffiti!).
Where was the Sphinx 200 years ago when those punks got out their chisels?
And here’s a few mummies and papyrus for kicks.
And you’ll recognize these as well.
There are so many paintings, but here’s just two (so I’m skipping approximately 5000 of them).
The first, a famous portrait of Alexander Hamilton.
The second—wow! I admire the technique used to paint this dress!
I lied. I thought I liked sculpture best, but there were several recreations of rooms—especially in Royal French styles, and other ultra-opulent fashions. They were all under low light, first to be somewhat authentic from the times of candle chandeliers, and secondly, I’m certain, to protect the elegant and very old furniture, some belonging to Marie Antoinette. Without flash, I got very little worth showing you, but here’s a few.
Piper, this is for you. Look closely at this room. Do you see what made me think of you?
Check out this fancy dog kennel in the middle of the parlor!
Kyla, the medieval period pieces were legion. A lot of it was religious and altar pieces—so much Mary and Baby Jesus! But I took pictures of the armor for you.
Look at all the creative ways to stab someone.
But check out this beautiful marble-inlaid period piece. It weights about 11000 pounds and takes a dozen men several days to move it.
Probably it’s base has something to do with its heft.
I raced through the contemporary and modern art, but I was stopped on a staircase by something strongly reminiscent of Wesley. This picture is not upside down.
We did have to leave at the 5:30 closing. It was between showers, and I wanted to circle the Met to find Hatshepsut's Needle, an obelisk, also originally from ancient Egypt, placed as to be seen from inside the Temple exhibit.
We found it, then ran for covering as the lightning and thunder were coming close together. Piper, this is the tunnel we ducked into, probably for about an hour (I had a copy of the NY Times, and Daddy his phone, so we were set for a long time).
Once we crawled out of our shelter (you’d never believe we were Seattleites!), I had it in my head I wanted a warm, gooey, deep dish New York pizza. We walked a few miles to a place with great reviews…that no longer existed. The only other place on the street was a tiny, classic hole-in-the-wall, Zagat-rated, Italian restaurante. We consoled ourselves over the loss of pizza with a glass of chianti and homemade lasagna, antipasto, and chocolate soufflé before the long walk back to the hotel, to soak in the bath while watching Michelle Obama give an awesome speech from the bathroom TV.