I escape to the MET several times a month. Sometimes it's with my kids, but most of the time it's not. Recently I've been trying to take their 7pm gallery talk/tours on Saturday evenings, because they are given by local art history professors on a specialized topic (much better than the 6pm general tour if you are an art history enthusiast). I often find myself missing being a student, and this is one way that I feel like I can keep my head in the game by learning about topics that I wouldn't study otherwise.
Last month some of my girlfriends and I met up for a tour, which happened to be a talk regarding Mary Cassatt and her European contemporaries. It was absolutely fascinating to learn more about her life and work, and she was an artist that I had little interest in learning more about prior to the tour. The professor used her iPad to talk about comparative works, and it was so amazing! I had one of those "how in the world did we live with out technology" moments.
After the talk in the European Painting gallery, we dashed over to the American Painting gallery to check out the Cassatt paintings in person (that we'd seen on the iPad). Alas, the new gallery was in a members-only preview for the new opening. And even though I was a member, I'd missed the entrance by 4 minutes. FOUR minutes. Thankfully, our professor was headed there too, and she sweet talked the guard into letting us in. So we got a quick, private tour of the new American painting gallery by a Columbia professor. It was an evening I will not soon forget.
You can see a typical evening at the MET right here. I have a few more posts coming up about the MET, including museum-going with children, as well as a gallery overview of the new American painting gallery. It's one of the most stunning museum spaces I've ever seen.
Washington Crossing the Delaware in its new-framed glory. Isn't it gorgeous?