Day 3 - The HUUUUGE Metropolitain...

Trip Start Aug 25, 2005
1
3
6
Trip End Aug 30, 2005


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, August 28, 2005

VISITS:
- The Frick Collection
- The Metropolitain Museum of Art

The Frick Collection
     I really loved the Frick Collection and its building. The mansion was really beautiful and cosy... and to say someone actually once lived there and owned all these paintings! And what paintings! These is found Fragonard's "The Progess of Love", a pure masterpiece of the Rococo. And it fits the room as if it was meant to be there! These paintings are huge...! And so much better when seen in person. There are also quite a few Vermeer - I especially liked "Officer and Laughing Girl", which I bought a poster of. There is also a self-portrait by Rembrandt, one he did later in his life in his rough manner style.
     This was truly a key point in my NYC trip, since it's almost exclusively dedicated to Baroque and Rococo art, by far one of my favorite period.

MET
     One word: HUGE! We must have spent at least 6 hours in there, and STILL, we didn't see everything. Their permanent collection is EXTENSIVE. I have only one - well, two - regrets though: Han Gan's "Night-Shinning White" and Hokusai's "Off the Wave off Kanagawa" were nowhere to be found... Furthermore, when I asked around for them, no one seemed to know what I was talking about - they even asked if I was positively sure it was Asian, Chinese, Japanese...! Ouch... I understand permanent collections undergo rotations for restoration and also to give each work a chance to be on display, but major works usually don't, unless they do need restoration... Would the Louvre "rotate" the Mona Lisa and put it in storage? Of course not... Just like the National Gallery of Canada would never take off Barnett Newman's "Voice of Fire" from the wall. And I would sure as heck know how to direct visitors if they asked me for it at the info desk (and they always do - it's a major work at the NGC).
     But nonetheless, I'm still very happy I got to see some Chinese Ink Painting first-handed. You can actually lean over and observe details, brushstrokes, and how the paint is absorb in the fabric. Also, in textbooks, you usually only see sections of hand scrolls. Therefore, i found it truly interesting to see some of them opened up to their full length. They could take up the whole length of the room! (see my photo album for this entry for a video of one). Those would be used as "storybooks" at the time, and they WERE meant to be viewed very personally and one section at a time - as the viewer unrolled it, the story progressed, alternating between text and image. But it is still interesting to see them fully opened, just to get a sense of their sheer length. The MET would also list the names of each collophone's author underneath them, and offer translations, which is very useful for us Chinese-illiterate...!
     Other rooms we got to see were Greek and Roman Art (where I saw our much studied Goemetric Krater... it's HUGE! And I thought it was tiny...), Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (quickly), Modern Art (I preferred MoMA's collection), European Sculpture and Decorative Art (quickly for the Deco part), Medieval and Byzantine art, Egyptian Art (we get to step into a temple! Some of our pictures look as if we actually went to Egypt instead, haha. There's also a peep-hole for a statue, like they would have in the time - they would look in to pray that statue. And I saw "Haptseptsu with offering jars"... massive! Again, much bigger than I thought - that is what seeing works in the flesh is so interesting: you get the sense of scale), South Asian Art (I'm very glad I understand my Busshist and Hindu iconography! It really added to my visit), Southeast Asian Art, Chinese Art, and, finally, Japanese Art.
     By then, it was already well pass 6pm, so we decided to skip European Painting, Islamic Art and Ancient Near East art, and head to the roof of the MET for "Sol LeWitt on the Roof: Splotches, Whirls and Twirls" - a sculptural installation - and a view of NYC and Central Park. But actually, I was rather tired and my ankles were completely blocked by then that I THOUGHT I was just skipping European Paintings... I completely forgot about the two others! I wish I hadn't... The galleries aren't that big, it would've taken max an extra half hour... and I would of really liked to see them. Oh well, I get to get in free with Guy (yay), so if we have an hour or so to spare tomorrow after the Guggenheim, I'll go straight back there! :)

     Time for another good night's sleep! (my ankles will appreciate!)
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: