Gone To The Metropolitan Museum Of Art


"A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires."
--
Hedy Lamarr

Last night, we completed the third and final leg of our cross country train trip by taking the
Northeast Regional from Washington DC to New York's Penn Station. We were excited to be in New York because we knew we were finally going to be able to settle somewhere for longer than a couple of days.

Today was our first full day in the Big Apple, so it was full of firsts. The big one for today was to go to America's version of
the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's the most visited museum in the United States (third in the world), and its permanent collection includes more than two million works.


With 19 curatorial departments, this museum is just massive. When we were just browsing, we walked into the European Paintings, which is an exhibit of over 20 rooms. One of the most famous paintings here is Jaques Louis-David's
Death of Socrates (1787).


While in this section, we ducked into the adjacent Musical Instruments section. This five room exhibit had a very ornate 18th century Roman harpsichord.


After walking around the European Art rooms for almost an hour, it became apparent that we were going to have to prioritize which sections of this museum we were going to see. I decided that my #1 priority was to see the 19th and 20th Century European Paintings and Sculpture, which contains a lot of Impressionist and post Impressionist artwork.

Some of the first pieces I saw in this section were
Edgar Degas paintings. This 1874 painting entitled The Dance Class and its variant in the Musee d'Orsay were among his most ambitious figural compositions.


Also in this section is one of the bluest paintings from
Pablo Picasso's Blue Period, The Blind Man's Meal.


This entire section of the museum contains works by many artists that I really admire, including
Henri Matisse, Camille Pissaro, Georges Seurat, and Edouard Manet. There was even an entire room dedicated to Claude Monet. One of my favorite paintings is in this room, Bridge Over A Pond of Water Lilies.


Of course, I was here to see my work from my favorite artist, Dutch painter
Vincent Van Gogh. This oil on canvas Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat was one of the many self portraits he painted to hone his skills as a figure painter.


My favorite Van Gogh piece was a summer composition called Wheat Field with Cypresses, which he painted when he was a patient at a mental asylum in 1889.


Van Gogh's most famous work is characterized by emotional honesty, brilliant colors, and expressive brushstroke lines. I just love how the paint comes out of the canvas giving his paintings a texture that other paintings just don't have (in my opinion).


After seeing these paintings, we ate. While we were in the cafe, I noticed a very big urn with a very familiar shape, a shape I had just seen less than a week ago. It was the trademark of
Frank Lloyd Wright. This urn made of volcanic rock was from the facade of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.


We walked over to the Medieval section where they had really impressive armor from several different countries. The hall had a really great display, and these included the horse armor as well.


This was just scratching the surface of what there is to see at this museum. I'm pretty sure I could visited it two or three more times and still not see everything there is to see. I was really impressed with the number of great pieces they have as part of their permanent collection. If you love art or are even interested in it a little bit, there is probably something you'll enjoy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I definitely recommend this museum.
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