Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Night at the Met

Room from the Palais Paar, Vienna, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
It was a different kind of visit.  I desperately needed to get away and be left alone to my thoughts.  Social distractions have made me loose focus, professional issues(if you can call it a profession) have been weighing heavy on my mind causing numbness.  I needed Saturday night to be just for me and art.  As I walked up Lexington Ave. I could sense in the sunny afternoon air that this visit to the Met would be special.  Arriving at the museum was no different than any other day.  Crowds gathered in the main lobby waiting for coat check, or at the information desks.  Spanish, French, Italian, other foreign tongues and camera shutters clicking in the air was all I could hear.  Just one more day in the life of the Met.  I waited eagerly to pay my admission, thinking that this night I would get a couple of drawings done.  
Room from the Hotel de Cabris, Grasse, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
I walked straight to the Greek & Roman galleries knowing that there was something waiting for me to capture.  Didn't take long to find a subject,  my sketchbook and pen were at work in  no time.  After a couple of studies I walked around trying to find a new exhibit, Radiance from the Rain Forest: Feather Work in Ancient Peru.  Walking proudly I searched for small show that would shed a little light on my ancestry.  Bright yellow feathers here and there and exotic head pieces were all displayed in a very small section of a large gallery.   
Room from the Hotel de Cabris, Grasse, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
I moved on to explore more of the Met.  I walked through rooms I usually don't pay any mind to, but my head was like a sponge and it wanted to absorb beauty.  Somehow I entered to the period rooms.  I was transported to another time in Europe as I looked in amazement at the rich colors and textures.  It was all full of magic and I could not help feeling uplifted.  Moving along I made a quick stop at the European Sculpture Gallery.  I was among brothers seeing a few artists drawing with great concentration.  How could I let such perfect moment slip by, and quickly I began to draw.  Time flew by and no longer was it light outside.  Evening fell as I walked through galleries full of wonders.  Time to get this tour moving to the next destination just up the grand staircase to the second floor, the European Painting Galleries.   
Room from the Palais Paar, Vienna, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
How could I not pay my respects to my forefathers? And as always a surprise flashes in front of your eyes, and on this visit it came with the title Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions.  For the first time I got to see rooms full of Poussin's landscapes.  It was a treat to see his self portrait, a picture sent straight from the Louvre in Paris, greet visitors at the start of the exhibit.  It was like having a celebrity guest in your own home.  New York is a small town and I thought it funny running straight into Pat Lipsky.  She sat on a bench drawing one of Poussin's paintings.  Her gaze lost in the landscape.  Not wanting to intrude I passed right by her, admiring her concentration.  The exit to Poussin's show led me straight to the Italian paintings.  As I walked in the room a museum visitor, an artist most likely, sat on a bench staring for long minutes at the Caravaggio in front.  Seems like artists were out  on full force.  I realized I had spent almost four hours walking and looking.  I may have been tired but I needed to get one more drawing done.  As the last drawing of the night was finished so was my visit to the Met.  In good time too since it was closing time.  Walking out the main doors the crisp cold air hit my face, it was a clear beautiful night.  People walked straight into 5th Ave stopping cabs as others walked.  On a night like this you need to enjoy the moment of the scene of beautiful town houses across the street.  I sat on the front steps, cigarette in hand and camera on the other, thinking that this was a true New York night.  

2 comments:

Rhfarmingdale said...

You are an inspiration! What a lovely story! Best, Robert

Luis Colan said...

thank you Robert, hope you're doing well!