The Met Museum in Black and White

When I find myself in New York City with nothing to do on a hot summer day (a rare occurrence, but it does happen), one of my favorite ways to while away the hours is in the cavernous, air-conditioned halls of the Met Museum. 

An immediate sense of the promise of pleasure washes over me when I walk through those giant, heavy front doors, past the security line, and into the Great Hall, always teeming with visitors and the hum of hundreds of voices. 

Each and every time, I stand in the center of the hall, wondering where to begin that day's exploration. I am most often drawn to the Greek and Roman Art galleries, and could spend hours marveling at the ancients' knowledge of human anatomy and proportion, wondering how it could all have been lost in the Dark Ages. The collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Catholic Church as the primary seat of power in Europe led the continent down a dark road; although it was artistically rich in its own way, Medieval Europe lost the Graeco-Roman texts and arts, having to literally reinvent its understanding of depth-of-field and proportion. (You can read more on this artistic and social regression here.)

The Met Museum offers a trove of information on its collections through its website. I would highly recommend perusing the online resources before visiting the galleries. For example, a brief overview of the Roman Republic or the Art of Classical Greece

Looking at the rise and fall of human knowledge between the Graeco-Roman period and the Middle Ages, I wonder: can one part of our world experience a similar regression in the future, or is human knowledge now so well documented and interconnected that such loss is no longer possible? I can only hope we're climbing a steady road upward, never to lose what we have learned in the past 2,000 years. 
Yours truly, one objet d'art at a time,

Met Museum
1000 5th Ave. at 82nd Street 
Admission: $25 suggested donation for adults, discounted rates available for students and seniors. You can purchase tickets in advance here... But if you live within the greater New York City area, just get yourself a membership and skip the lines to all special exhibitions.  
Dining: If you're on a budget, either bring your own lunch and picnic on the front stairs, or venture down to the cafeteria, where the self-service options are decent.


Matthew Raketti said...

Hey Radina: I didn't know you blogged (or frequented the met!) If we can find the time this summer we should plan a pecc museum tour! -M

Radina Valova said...

That's a lovely idea! I can't get enough of that place.

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