New York, home of some of the world’s most fantastic museums neatly packed into one tiny island. (Yes, the island of Manhattan is tiny, geographically speaking. It packs a SERIOUS punch for it’s size, but really? It’s quite small, even if you are measuring from North to South.) Even if I had a month in New York I doubt I’d be able to visit all the museums and see all the exhibits, and since 5 days is nothing close to a month, I kept my museum visiting to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim.
My favorite artists are the Impressionists (Monet, Manet, Gaugin, Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas), anything by Picasso or George Seurat, Chagall, Salvador Dali and the abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Rothko. (Is anyone still with me? Ok then, moving on.) I mostly hung out in that wing of the Met, devouring previously unseen paintings by these artists, admiring the transition from their early work to later masterpieces, and blissfully leaving my camera in my bag. (I have never been a fan of photos–or, horror, camera-phone images–of Real Art. If it really moves you either a) sketch it yourself like the dozens of art students hanging out with sketch-pads or b) track down a book or poster with the art piece. Please don’t whip out your iPhone to “capture” the essence of a masterpiece, it hurts my feelings.)
The Met also has quite an extensive African Art exhibit, and it was fascinating to wander from tribal masks to ancient carvings and right onto the Egyptian mummy exhibit and the Egyptian temple/tomb. None of my pictures really do justice to the size of the Egyptian Temple, but being able to see the delicate hieroglyphics carved into the stone was simply incredible. Once upon a time, when I was young(er) and considerably more fanciful, I used to imagine that I was an Egyptian Princess who had been sent away in disguise so the Bad Guys wouldn’t capture me…I realize with my Scandinavian looks and an identical twin–who never was part of the Egyptian conspiracy day-dream–this was quite the stretch; what can I say? I’ve always had a great imagination!
The Guggenheim is under a LOT of construction; inside, outside, and probably up-side down as well, so I borrowed this picture from Google. I have always been an enormous fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, American Architect, so naturally I would visit his museum near Central Park. The design of this building is brilliant, with a ramp winding it’s way from the lobby to the skylight ceiling to showcase a constantly rotating exhibit. One Problem: due to the construction the ramp was closed, most wings were closed, and one of the two exhibits available to the public was children’s art. I only spent about 25 minutes in the museum proper, and gave myself permission to buy the Complete Guggenheim Collection book in the museum shop to console myself. I really was quite disappointed I wasn’t able to wander around this museum, it’s like going to Disneyland and finding your favorite ride (Splash Mountain? The Matterhorn? The Indiana Jones ride? is closed for repairs. Sigh…next time I’m in the Big Apple I hope the Guggenheim comes through for me. Despite massive construction, I did manage to take this gem of a photo, which I ended up liking so much I am having it framed to hang in my apartment.
Next on my New York Agenda: Walking the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island and Lady Liberty
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