Today is officially the one-year anniversary of MetEveryday! In the last year, I have visited The Met more than 150 times — I have learned so much and met some awesome people; and, most importantly, I have discovered in myself a true passion for art history, specifically museums that display it. As a mini-recap, I've developed my own list of Museum HIghlights — my Top Ten Things to See at The Met Museum:
1. The Roof: I know this is kind of unfair, since it is only open from May-October (and weather permitting, at that), but I LOVE the roof at the Met. It is my favorite place in the city. One of the highlights of my year at the Met was the Young Members Party, where we looked out over the park from the roof at night, and drank cocktails in Petrie Court. I love to go at sunset or just after nightfall — the lights of the skyline are so beautiful. And best of all, it's been extended this year, so it is open until November 29 — GET THERE, you won't regret it.
2. Egyptian Art: Obviously, the Temple of Dendur tops this list. It is the most impressive part of the museum (next to the roof, in my opinion). The Sackler Wing that houses the temple is a beautiful space bathed in sunlight with Central Park as its backdrop. Besides the Temple of Dendur, my personal favorite part of the Egyptian Wing is Tomb of Meketre, where archaeologists found dozens of little models of boats and everyday activities dating back to 2009 b.c.
3. Modern Art: For me two artists stand out above all the rest in Modern Art. The both have two major pieces displayed in close proximity to each other, and they have actually worked together as well. The first is Chuck Close; I remember learning about his work back in high school, when we were given the challenge of painting a portrait using a grid format. His painting, Mark, in the mezzanine gallery simply blows my mind (it faces Lucas, provides a juxtaposition with a more expressive style). The other is Stephen Hannock, whose Oxbow and Kaaterskill Falls paintings hang right in the southwest corner in front of the stairwell on the first floor. After posting about these pieces, Hannock himself actually contacted me and I was able to meet him at a book signing! It was so exciting for me to meet such an impressive living artist.
4. 19th-20th Century Painting and Sculpture: I love Impressionists, so I frequent these galleries to look at the museum's huge collection of Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Renoir, and more. In the sculptures department, my favorite is Ugolino and His Sons by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, which can be found in Petrie Court (and a bronze version resides in the Musée D'Orsay in Paris).
5. Asian Art: Astor Court Chinese Garden is a tranquil, beautiful place to sit and think.
6. African and Oceanic Arts: I like to call African Art the Dr. Seuss Wing, well, because so many of the sculptures look like Dr. Seuss characters. The Oceanic Wing is so fascinating to me, particularly because the a lot of the pieces are from the 20th century, even though they look completely primitive.
7. European Painting: Anything by Rembrandt, especially Man in Oriental Costume and Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, and of course, Vermeer's: Young Woman with a Water Pitcher.
8. Greek and Roman Wing: Ionic capital and shaft of a column from The Temple of Artemis at Sardis, Bronze Chariot Inlaid with Ivory.
9. European Decorative Arts: All of the period rooms are beautiful, period.
10. American Wing: The Palace and Gardens at Versailles by John Vanderlyn, The Roccoco Revival Room by John Henry Belter,, Vanderbilt's Herder Brothers' Library Table, and the Living room from the Little House, Wayzata, Minnesota, by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Read my very first post about a visit with my friend Megan here.