Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A short bus ride across town from my apartment, the bus stops just outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art - a place that transports you to a different world once you enter its main hall that is now decorated with large urns full of cherry blossoms. Just beyond that main hall are the Greek and Roman Galleries, refurbished and re-opened almost exactly two years ago. In those halls and throughout the museum the array of art is dizzying. It took me a few moments today just to get my head around the treasures we have the good fortune to wander through.

What I find most amazing about the Met, and art in general, is that someone, an individual, had an image in his or her mind hundreds or thousands of years ago, put brush to canvas, anvil to stone, hand to clay, and shared with us, the world, what he or she was thinking of. These pieces of art are living history. They capture a moment in time for all of us to witness and appreciate.

After touring through the French Bronze exhibit and Rafael to Renoir sketches, I wanted to wander around the gift store and see if I could find some of the prints I've been looking for. The Met is so immense that I often just wander around from gallery to gallery, never quite sure where I am. I like to get lost in the art. I asked a docent just outside of the entrance to the Papua New Guinea Gallery how I could get to the gift shop.

"The Main Gift Shop?" he asked.

I nodded, thinking, "is there another one?"

"Walk straight ahead and take a left at the column from the Temple of Artemis."

It's not everyday you hear directions like this. I smiled to myself and followed the docent's instructions, imagining that I was walking through Ancient Greece, appreciating all of the treasures that were my landmarks.

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