The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Situated at 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is an art lover’s delight. The palatial building looks very impressive from outside and once one steps into it, he cannot escape the charisma and sheer grandeur of the place. This building was designed by William Morris Hunt and was incorporated in the year 1870. Since then there has been many additions to it like the American Section, which was added in 1924 and is spread in three floors and stretches out in a garden with glass enclosures, which is extremely impressive.
It is very difficult to go through all the items that the museum houses, in just one visit. It has more than 2 million objects in its permanent collection. The museum has been divided into different sections like the art of Pacific island, the art of Precolumbian and native America, the art of Africa, Asian art, European art and many more. Such an extensive collection is difficult to find under one roof. The list of objects in display is colossal ranging from paintings to sculptures, folk art, ivory, weapons, martial accoutrements, ritual objects and monuments, costumes and accessories of men and women spanning from seven centuries and five continents, ceramics, bronzes, textiles, jades, lacquer, screens, gems, glass, vases, jewellery, utilitarian items, calligraphy, etc.
The museum also boasts of a library, which apart from rare books and journals has illustrated atlases, scrapbooks, manuals, artists’ treaties, seminal works of art histories and fine bindings.
The cost of visit per person is $20, which is not mandatory, rather a form of donation but the staff at the admission office make you feel guilty by their looks if you choose not to shell out those $20 from your pocket. It is always advisable to decide before hand what one wants to see and accordingly roam around; otherwise one will drop in exhaustion if one does not indulge in selective viewing.
The museum organizes special exhibitions all round the year. This month the exhibitions are titled as Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective, Art of The Korean Renaissance 1400-1600, Pen and Parchment Drawing in the Middle Ages, Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom, Napoleon III and Paris, The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion, The Pictures Generation 1974 -1984, African and Oceanic Art from the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva: A legacy of Collecting, The New American Wing Part 2: The Charles Engelhard Court and the Period Rooms, Michelangelo’s First Painting, Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China’s Age of Brilliance, Masterpieces of Islamic Calligraphy From The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars.
I got an opportunity to see the traveling exhibition: Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective. The exhibition focused on the 130 works of which 65 were paintings and 65 were archival items. The accompanying catalogue stressed on the fact that the exhibition covers the best works of one of the most celebrated artist of the twentieth century. This had instilled in me certain expectations that the exhibition failed to meet. By this, I don’t intend to disrespect Bacon or the Metropolitan Museum of Art but somehow I feel that there are certainly other works of Bacon that would have adorned the exhibition and justified the place where it was being held.
However, there was a charisma in the beauty of the place, which surpassed my expectations. I would recommend everyone to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art at least once to understand and to get soaked in the grandeur that has been created by the human civilization.