Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Magnificent Met

Yesterday four friends and I drove into NY to see an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We are so very fortunate to have this fantastic museum, the largest art museum in the county with over two million works of art, only an hour's drive away. You could easily spend days there and not see everything.  But we went specifically to see one exhibit, Charles James: Beyond Fashion.  Quite frankly I had never heard of him and perhaps you never did either, but he was a huge influence on fashion in the 30's, 40's, 50's and beyond. Each ball gown was a work of art and an incredible fabric sculpture. The room was very dark with each gown on a pedestal with an ongoing video at its base that explained the construction.  My words definitely fail here, so please go here and click on the second video down on the page. I also did not take any pictures in that room because it was so dark. I've never been to an exhibit put on by their costume department that did not wow me and this was no exception.

As we walked through the museum from one gallery to another I was constantly overtaken with awe at the amazing and beautiful things to see.  I took a lot of pictures, but I'm just posting a few that caught my eye.

An exhibit of gold chalices.

This charming frieze high up on the wall had a companion piece on the opposite side of the room, Each one told a story.

This rooftop garden on the fifth floor was like an elevated park.  There were no flowers or sculptures, but just a floor of mostly astro-turf that was quite cushy to walk on and fabulous views of the city.  They had a small stand where you could buy drinks, alcoholic or otherwise and sandwiches.  People were strolling around or sitting on the "grass" drinking and eating.  We had already indulged in lattes and scones at a cafe inside, so we didn't get anything, but their martinis were tempting.

This is a view looking down on a small section of the Grand Hall, where you enter the building from 5th Avenue. This looked like a group of school girls on the bench.

I don't remember the significance of the stag entirely covered with clear glass balls , but  I thought it was incredible.

This fierce fellow was at the entry to an exhibit about the Edo period in Japan. He was larger than life.

This and the next photo were from the Temple of Dendur room

It was an absolutely perfect weather day, in the high 70's, no humidity and not a cloud in the sky.  We walked over 86th Street to 3rd Avenue to have a late lunch and found a great Greek restaurant. We marveled over the town houses and I was particularly taken by this one with the cherubs holding up the second floor balcony. We saw two for sale on the same street and wondered how many millions they were going for. Click on the picture for a bigger view.

The city was remarkably uncrowded, being a holiday weekend.  People were probably at the beach or elsewhere celebrating the Fourth.  It made for easy walking, driving and museum going.

I know that I've said it before, but I do love New York and am so glad to live in such close proximity.


Sarah said...

It looks as if you had great fun! I think I visited this museum when I was in NY. Does it have a fabulous Tiffany collection with an amazing window?

Linda M said...

I'm jealous! Sounds like it was a perfect time to be in NYC.

Sue said...

How delicious. Thanks for sharing. I really need to get back there and take it all in.

Hilary Florence said...

hi Norma
I have to admit that I had never heard of Charles James either, but his work is staggering. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to add the link. The collection is breathtaking - truly works of art. I would have loved to have seen it. Here's hoping they bring the exhibition to the UK at some point. In the meantime, I'm off to google him. Hope you are rested and inspired from your holiday
Best wishes

LA Paylor said...

oh how I wish I'd been with you at the Met! That rooftop garden!
LeeAnna Paylor