The Met - Part Two

Hello again! Ready for more of my personal Met highlights? I personally am a HUGE fan of van Gogh's work - cheesy, I know. But there really is something hauntingly beautiful to both his art and him as a person. If you don't know much about him or want to learn more, the Vincent van Gogh Gallery is a great resource. They have a translated catalogue of all his letters! Anyways, the Met has a fabulous collection of his works.


Below is the stunning Wheat Field with Cypresses. One of the amazing things about this painting is how well it captures the feeling of Southern France. While I was not able to make it to Saint-Rémy where this painting was done, I did spend a few days in Arles, less than twenty miles away. (Arles is where van Gogh lived prior to his institutionalization, where the famous "ear incident" happened.) I can see why the region inspired so many paintings from van Gogh, as the place is teeming with color and movement.



And below are works by another post-impressionist whose paintings I love, Gauguin. For a short time, he and van Gogh were roommates in Arles. One of the theories for van Gogh's ear incident is that Gauguin accidentally cut it off in a fight the two had. Gauguin is said to have had quite the temper. And while I do not adore him as a person, I do adore his use of color. The paintings below seriously POP in their gallery at The Met.


Well, that is all I have to share from The Met.

Until next time!

The Met - Part One

The Met. Oh, the Met. What is there not to love about the Met? I think this museum's only flaw is that it is far too large to be able to see everything in one day. Heck, I bet I could come to the Met every day for months and still not be able to absorb all this incredible museum has to offer. I spent nearly four hours there on my most recent trip to New York and barely walked through a third of the museum, only stopping to admire what really caught my eye.


The met has one of the most fabulous collections of Egyptian artifacts I have ever seen - and I have been to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. They have approximately 26,000 objects from Egypt. Inside of the Met is an entire Egyptian temple, the Temple of Dendur. It was a gift from Egypt to the City of New York.

I did not get many photos from the Egyptian exhibits as I was busy absorbing as much information as possible, however, I did get a photo of the above mummy casket. The colors on this piece are very rich, especially considering the age!


While the above statue is not from the Egyptian collections, it is a statue of Cleopatra. However, the sculptor, William Whetmore Story, was an American. The details of her robe are incredible. It is hard to believe that this is carved from pure marble! Her robe is truly life-like.


Another amazing sculpture in the American Wing is this golden statue of Diana, goddess of the moon, virginity, and the hunt. Both the above statue and the one below were created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and reside in the sculpture garden on the first floor of the Met. The sculpture below is of Saint-Gauden's idea of the ethereal female, whose sign reads "love and charity." My favorite detail of this piece is the belt of passionflowers.


Last but not least is this Tiffany fountain. I had always known of Tiffany lamps, but I was not aware that he had designed more than lampshades and stemware. The Met holds some amazing works, like the above fountain, as well as gorgeous mosaic columns. If you know me, you know I love a good mosiac (hence my obsession with Gaudí and de Saint-Phalle). The fountain is really spectacular and so detailed - according to the Met's website, the piece is roughly 8.5' x 9.5'.

Well, that wraps up my highlights from the very few things I was able to see on the first floor of the Met. Stay tuned for part two of the Met, where I will show you my highlights of the second floor!

Until next time!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

I must be totally crazy. Why, you ask. Because I, Shayna, chose to leave beautiful, sunny California and head to Boston for my spring break. I know. Crazy. The warmest it got while I was there as around 45 degrees. I packed all my warmest clothes, layered them all together, and still froze. And my last day in Boston there was a snow storm that delayed my flight home by two hours. Weather aside, Boston was a fun city to explore, and I got to see some really cool things while I was there.

I was only in Boston for a few days so I really had to prioritize my time. I asked around, and everyone seemed to agree on one thing: make sure to see the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I am so glad I followed that advice because it was the highlight of my time in Boston (besides, of course, seeing my best friend!) It is also a fairly afforable museum. It is $15 for adult admission, $5 if you're a student, and free on your birthday!


The entirety of the museum centers around this courtyard, with a beautiful tile mosaic of Medusa in the center. Very Versace. This mosaic came from a villa just north of Rome, where in 1892 this mosaic and two others dating back to 25 A.D. were discovered. The Met in NYC houses the other two mosaics, which I sadly missed during my visit there.


I could have spent an eternity in this courtyard. The fountain gives a very medatative ambiance, the fresias are so sweetly frangranced, and luckily, as it was raining the entire day, the courtyard is housed in a temperature-controlled glass dome so that one can truly enjoy it year-round.

That blurry figure in the back is the goddess Persephone, queen of the underworld and goddess of springtime, flowers, and vegetation. One of my favorite things about the courtyard is that all of the classical statues are of goddesses or female figures. The theme of female strength and empowerment runs throughout the museum.


Also, the flora is gorgeous. There are orchids of all colors, palm trees, fresias (oh, that perfume!), ferns, roses, and more. I personally adore green orchids. The atmosphere overall was very paradisiacal, which was very fitting considering the book I was carrying with me was Milton's Paradise Lost.

The photos above are only from the courtyard, but there is also an entire museum! The lighting in the museum itself is not too great, so I don't have many photos from that. However, the collection is fantastic. Isabella was good friends with the artist John Singer Sargent and comissioned several paintings from him. There are also quite a few Rembrandts, and even a Michelangelo. However, my favorite was a painting of Isabella herself, called "Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice" by Anders Zorn. It is really quite stunning (despite the poor quality of this photo!).


I truly hope that if you find yourself in Boston you carve out a good chunk of time to check out this museum.

Until next time!