Thursday, March 7, 2013

NYC, the Met, and an amazing special exhibit

Here I am, finally, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where I returned a couple of days ago with a friend for just one day, because I wanted to finally see the Matisse exhibit, the one that I missed a month ago due to the big blizzard that send us home early.  Well this time I saw and loved the Matisse exhibit, and also saw another special exhibit that totally blew me away (which I will tell you about later in this post), but unfortunately they wouldn't allow photos in the special exhibitions, and at $50 for one exhibition book and $40 for the other, and a hefty weight and size for a day traveler trying to travel light, I didn't buy and bring home the books, and most of the postcards from the shows were not of the images that I wanted.  But anyhow, I still have a lot to show you, and tell you about.   But if you are in a hurry, scroll to the end of the post, about that special exhibit.

Meanwhile, while I've said it many times before, and probably will again, one more time won't hurt: the Met is simply an astounding museum, unmatched by any other art museum I have been to.  Huge, extensive, impressive, and awe-inspiring, and impossible to get through in one day. But we did what we could, and I will show you a sample of what we saw as we explored the museum.  We spent a bit of time in the galleries for 19th/early 20th century European art, though we didn't get through it all (how did I miss the Picasso rooms?!). Many of these images that follow are from those galleries, but not all.
encaustic painting
 Even though I have no pictures, I want to tell you about that Matisse exhibit.  It was an unusual, interesting, and effective arrangement.  The paintings were arranged in pairs, side-by-side, representing different treatments of the same subject, the same pose.  It was interesting to see him paint and repaint the same exact pose over and over again, treating it differently each time.  Missing from the exhibit were works from his later years, the cutouts, but otherwise it was a well-represented cross-section of work from a brilliant artist!  Now back to the rest of the musuem...

Painting a Vermeer copy!

digitally altered image, sorry it's sideways!

Me in Jackson Pollock camouflage


David Hockney - I love this painting!

 Below are snippets from some Tiffany windows.  Gorgeous, so rich and vibrant.  The window posted sideways  here so I deleted it and left the detail images.
Sideways or not, just lovely.  There's an extensive and fabulous collection of sculpture at the Met.
sideways me and painting by Chuck Close
by Vuilliard, one of my favorite impressionists

and another Vuilliard
Georgia O'Keefe
and another - do you see the leg and eyeball that I see?
a bracelet!!
by Stuart Davis
I'd like this shelf above in my studio (if I HAD a studio ha ha!)
necklace w/opal, my birthstone.  LOVE!
The Met has an extensive Egyptian collection, including a temple and reflecting pool, and rooms and rooms of mummies and artifacts of all shapes and sizes.  The wig below is from the Egyptian wing.  There's also many other extensive collections - Greek, Roman, African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Medieval; arms and armor, decorative arts; Modern and Contemporary, American, European... what have I left out?

And below, views from the train ride to NYC, as we breezed along the Hudson River.  Views 2 and 3 are what is known as "The Palisades". 

 And, drumroll please... below are paintings from the amazing special exhibition titled Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, newly on display at the Met.  These three images below are scans from postcards I purchased.  The actual dress from the first and second paintings below were both on display along with the paintings, as well as several other dresses, corsets, top hats, and more fashion items of the era.  I just love the first painting, by an artist unfamiliar to me.

The second painting by James Tissot, who, I swear, I had never heard of before, but who was prominently featured in this exhibition.  I was in love with basically every one of his paintings in the show.  Wonderful, just wonderful.

But the biggest surprise of the of the show was Monet, the same Monet we all know from waterlilies, Japanese bridges, cathedrals, and gardens.  These magnificent paintings of women, especially his wife Camille, in lovely dresses, were unlike anything I'd ever seen by Monet, absolutely spectacular, and showing a talent and skill that just blew us away.  A pair of paintings on one wall were sections from a massive painting.  One of them was so large it must have been painted  from a scaffolding.  The last painting in this post is a Monet, of his wife Camille.  It was the first painting in the exhibit, and the one featured on the exhibit signage, and the satin of her dress looked so real.  Other paintings showed sheer fabrics that you could see through, and textures that it seemed you could touch.  And the colors.  Oh, I was in awe!
In the Conservatory by Albert Bartholome
July: Specimen of a Portrait by James Tissot
Camille by Claude Monet
I believe this is a traveling exhibit, so maybe it could be coming to a museum in your part of the world!  If it does, go see it!  Many of the paintings are from museums in Europe that perhaps have not been seen in the US before.  I certainly had never seen most of them.  I think I may have to order that exhibition book. 


  1. Wowza, Phyl!! I remember my trek through that amazing place back in 2001. I really love Matisse and hope the show hits a little closer to home (Chicago, maybe?)someday.Glad you had a good time with your friend. Am so jealous that Mr.E is in San Antonio without us!!!


    1. Hey, Pat, I replied to you here but oopsied and wrote it as a comment below, so hopefully this will call your attention to my reply!

  2. Hey, Pat! Maybe next year, wherever it is, we should all try to get to the convention. Wouldn't that be great?

    Matisse has always been my #1 favorite, and the exhibit was nice, but truthfully it didn't hold a candle to the amazing Impressionism exhibition. It was an unexpected treat, especially for someone (me) who had always had a bit of ambivalence about impressionist painters like Renoir. If it comes your way, don't miss it!

  3. ah man I would love to see the impressionism and fashion exhibit...I doubt it will come to Oregon :(

  4. I love the Met! It has always been one of my favorite museums! My sister took me there for the first time when i was 13. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing. I feel like I have just been on a mini-vacation!! I did a quick search in hopes that I would discover the exhibit would be coming to Los Angeles, but alas ..... I'll have to enjoy it vicariously through your pictures. Best of all, I am just now developing a landscape lesson and had forgotten about Bonnard. I'm going to use some of his art as inspiration!!!

    1. I had a college painting professor who first introduced me to Bonnard, especially his paintings that involved scenes out a window. Always so light and fresh, perfect antidote for the gray-brownness of this time of year here.

    2. Though today we have little fresh snow.

  6. For those interested, the Impressionism exhibit is at the Met until May, and then it travels to Chicago where it stays from June-September. Unfortunately those are the only US locations listed for this exhibition.

  7. glad you got to hang out with old friends:) At least that's how I feel when i get to spend time among the greats at the MET.

  8. It always amazes me how LARGE a lot of the canvases are that artists worked on! Love the photo of you in front of the Jackson Pollock painting! I need to convince my hubby to go with my to NYC...I've never been there!

    1. Oh my goodness, you live in New York State! You need to plan that trip to the city NOW! Heck, I'd go with you if your hubby wouldn't! Try to get there before this Impressionism exhibit is gone in May - as for size, there are some MASSIVE paintings in that show and I can't say enough what an amazing show it is; and as a whole, I've only given you a tiny peek at the Met in this post. You won't find a more extensive museum anywhere. You've been doing all that Egypt stuff in your classes - the Met's Egyptian galleries are fabulous;heck, you could spend 1/2 the day just looking at Egypt and never get to the rest of the museum!

      But don't just go to NY for a day like me; remember I was BORN in NYC and make a point to get there once or twice s year no matter what, so I don't need to try to see everything in the city. Take a train; don't try to drive in the city unless you are really sure you are cut out for that kind of insanity. And spend some time on the treadmill before you go! One thing you are guaranteed to do a LOT on a trip to NYC is walk. Go!!!

  9. Glad you made it to the exhibit Phyl. How long did you spend there? I'm going to the city tomorrow and will have a short amount of time Monday morning before I head home?

    1. Janis, if I only had a short amount of time, I'd go to the Impressionism exhibit first, and then go to the Matisse exhibit if I had some extra time. Seriously, the impressionism exhibit is THAT good! Plus it is way bigger, more extensive than the the Matisse exhibit.

      Let me know if you go and what you think! (Tell me your impression, hahaha.)

  10. I really like the Pollock camo picture!

  11. I've been there twice and was amazed by the size! What a great blog post! I want to see the show!

    1. It's there until June, so you still have time... or you could go to Chicago! Which is easier to get to for you? (Am I remembering correctly that you are in Texas?)