Stacey Loscalzo

Jan 13

The Met: Up Close and Personal

by Stacey

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This weekend we traveled to the city to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the girl’s art teacher and three other families from our elementary school. Last spring, we had bid on an item at our school’s silent auction that made this event possible. Caroline and I took this same trip two years ago following that auction and we had such an incredible time that I knew I wanted to do it again. This time we all went; the four of us and my mother  (who had heard such fabulous things the last time that she was dying to go).

Imagine the chance to be escorted through the Met (which an enormous and overwhelming museum on it’s own) by an art teacher who knows all the best stories, all the short cuts and the best time to hit the cafeteria. And imagine if she brings her husband, also an art teacher who has an equal amount of knowledge. Well, that was what we were lucky enough to do this weekend.

I’m going to try and share a few tidbits here as I truly feel a bit guilty that everyone can’t experience the Met this way.

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While most of the color from ancient art has been lost, the walls of this room were preserved under the volcanic ashes of Pompei and the metal bars on the window were melted by the heat of the same volcano. The picture obviously does not do the color justice. It was truly incredible.

IMG_4267In the main entrance there are dozens of these enormous vases filled with amazing floral arrangements that are changed every Monday. Until someone tells you to notice them, it is easy to forget that they are, in themselves, pieces of art.

IMG_4270A few years ago, when the Met was trying to find space for it’s ever growing collection, they realized there was indeed, unused space. Under the stair case. And I loved that they left the stairs uncovered.

IMG_4275Caroline went to the Met with her class last month and she told me that this her favorite piece from that trip. I did ask her to pose in front of it but no luck. She always wonders why there are more pictures of Katherine…

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IMG_4277This is ancient graffiti. Years ago, Egypt sold an entire temple to the United States because it was continually flooded in it’s original location. Each time it got wet, the surface was soft enough for people to write on it. After the sale, the Met took ten years to construct a room that would house the temple. Gorgeous windows surround the temple as one of the stipulations of the sale was that the public would be able to see it at all times.

IMG_4282It turns out when you go to a museum with a bunch of children that it’s pretty important to see any dead bodies that might be there. When the teacher asked for requests, multiple people asked to see the mummies. Truth be told, they were pretty cool.

In the world of painting, we saw some pretty amazing work by familiar artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichenstein and Jackson Pollock.

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IMG_4294And we learned about a ‘new-to-me’ artist named Chuck Close. If you don’t know this man’s story and if you haven’t seen any of his work, it is truly incredible. You should really Google him.

IMG_4291So… there was that and so much more. It was really an incredible experience.

And of course, I also loved the inspiration provided by a quick (and inevitable) trip to the gift shop.

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks for the virtual tour! I’ve never been to the Met, even without an amazing guide, so this was a real treat.  I agree that going somewhere like that with somebody who knows what they’re talking about takes the experience to a whole other level.

  2. Tamara says:

    Oh…sigh. I haven’t been there in YEARS. I’m happy to say it was adulthood, though, and probably on a field trip too. A lot of our field trips were NYC-bound, which was nice.
    What a way to go with an art teacher/guide! I think it’s very generous that you gave us such a nice virtual tour.

  3. Shana Norris says:

    Oh – thanks for sharing these photos.  Going to the Met is a dream of ours.  My husband is a huge fan of Chuck Close.  I think going to art museums and exhibits with my husband must be somewhat like the experience you had:  it’s totally different to go with someone who makes and teaches art.  It just takes the experience to an entirely new level!

    PS:  The first picture – those boots – PERFECT!  

    • Stacey says:

      So funny that your husband loves Chuck Close. I have to admit that I had never heard of him but his pictures and the stories behind his pictures were my favorite part of the day. 

  4. Kristen says:

    What a fantastic idea for a silent auction item–I wonder if our art teacher would go along with something like that. Hmmmm…and what a treat for you and your girls! I definitely lack when it comes to art appreciation and therefor so does my daughter so far. Tough I’m trying to change that by being an in-class “art docent” at my daughter’s school once a month. I am learning a ton already because you have to be prepared for whatever questions those Kindergarteners can ask so I prepare big time. And I became a member of a Boston art museum last month, thereby forcing myself to go so that I won’t have “wasted” the money. I’d love to go to the Met someday.

    • Stacey says:

      It is a fun auction item, isn’t it!? And so funny- we have the art docent program in our school too. It is a really fun way to get into the classroom and learn something along the way!

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