A May 2006 trip
to New York by Hun Ohm
Quote: In a museum where everything is a masterpiece, a few suggestions for quiet viewing.
Attraction | "The Met - Quiet Spaces: Asian Art Wing"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 14, 2006
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Attraction | "The Met - Quiet Spaces: The Ladies of Sargent"
Attraction | "The Met - Quiet Spaces: the First Floor Rooms"
Attraction | "The Met - Quiet Spaces: Individual Works"
Quiet Spaces: Individual WorksBy Hun OhmIf you only have one visit, you may be more inclined to head for some of the greatest hits, perhaps the Impressionist paintings or the Temple of Dendur. You will undoubtedly have more than enough choices, but if you’re looking for some exquisite but often ignored pieces, here are a few individual works that merit lengthy observation.Duccio’s Madonna and ChildThis very early work (1300) by the Renaissance master only recently entered the Met’s collection for an astonishing sum of money (reportedly in the $40-plus million range). It is a significant work, one of the earliest instances in which the religious figures have broken away from the highly stylized Byzantine tradition and toward the humanism and naturalism that are the hallmarks of the Renaissance; in fact, it was likened by some as the Met’s "Mona Lisa" because of its historical importance. And yet, it seems to be scarcely a blip on anyone’s radar screen. Take advantage—you will be able to study this work undisturbed by the tour groups and three deep crowds that plague the Mona Lisa. Note the burn marks on the bottom of the frame, evidence of many a devoted candle.Second Floor, European Paintings.Pensive BodhisattvaA relatively recent acquisition, this tiny gilt bronze statue dates from the 600s A.D. and patiently watches over the pottery in the Arts of Korea gallery. Its contemplative posture is not unknown in Korean art, but this particular work has received additional praise and admiration for its supple limbs, and if you look closely, the big toe, really, does bring this idealized image completely to life. Check it out, and then admire the charming and elegant celadon pieces.Second Floor, Asian Art wing, near the entrance.Jain Meeting Hall DomeTucked into the deep recesses of the South Asian galleries of the Asian Art wing, this installation is amazing for its intricate woodcarving. Dating back to the late 1500s, this teakwood structure comes from Gujurat, Patan and still bears some evidence of its original decorative coloration. Binoculars, though impractical to carry, would serve you well, as its difficult to fully admire the vast array of figures from the stairway.Second Floor, Asian Art wing, enter through east (right) entrance.MIA: Nur al-din RoomThe Islamic art galleries are undergoing an extensive renovation (to be completed in early 2008), and an unfortunate casualty of this process is perhaps one of the most alluring rooms in the entire museum. From Syria, and created during the 1700s, this room’s viewing area was miniscule and the entrance unobtrusive; thus, you often were the only one taking a look. However, the quiet trickle of the fountain, the incredible tile work, the luxuriant mats on which the wealthy once reclined, it’s all been lost—for the time being. Hopefully when the renovation is complete, this room will be open once again for our perusal.Second Floor, eastern wall, Islamic art galleries.
Hampshire County, Massachusetts