Friday, January 20, 2012

New American Story

The weather here is supposed to shift today from an unexpected ice storm (on top of record-setting snow fall) to warmer temperatures and rain. I have a feeling it's going to be a muddy mess by noon, and a good weekend to be indoors - although I have to say,  I'm getting a bit stir crazy. A museum visit seems to be the perfect way to mitigate cabin fever, and oh, how I wish I could visit the new American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

 Madam X, John Singer Sargent (1883-4)

Wouldn't I just love to visit Sargent's Madame X in her new digs? With both straps of her black column gown still painted firmly in place on her shoulders, I bet she still wouldn't condescend to say hello!

The New Galleries (The New York Times)

The New York Times calls the updated galleries "sensational" and from the photos alone, I would have to agree. I've always had a soft spot for the artwork of my countrymen, but the old space was a bit dark and clunky, with work stacked one on top of the other on the walls and flung about on separate floors, a bit like generations of family photos crowded together on display in a few narrow hallways at your great aunt's house.

 Woodwork and Wallpaper from the Great Hall of Van Rensselaer Manor House (1765-69)

 Two-handled Bowl, Cornelius Kierstede (1700-1710)

All of the galleries - all 47 of them - have plenty of room, not just for paintings but for sculpture, decorative objects, furniture and silver.

I think it could take the entire weekend to take in all 30,000 feet! Here are a few favorites I would love to see in their new Beaux-Arts style surroundings:

Mrs. Mayer and Daughter, Ammi Phillips, (1835-40)

Repose, John White Alexander (1895)

The Wyndham Sisters, John Singer Sargent (1899)

At The Sea Side, William Merritt Chase (1892)

Celia Thaxter's Garden, Childe Hassam (1890)

The Cup of Tea, Mary Cassatt (1880-81)

Central Park, Winter, William Glackens (1905)

Whether you're making the most of the winter weather outdoors or hiding from it inside, visiting the new American Wing in person or exploring it online, I hope you enjoy an artful weekend! XO


  1. I cannot believe the crazy weather you have been having..send some snow this way!
    Theres been a lot of talk about the new wing, and its been a long time in the making (and very very overdue) considering the vast amounts of square footage devoted to many European greats...its time for the Americans to get their spotlight in a big way! I would love to see "Washington crossing the Delaware" somehow that painting always fascinated me....anyway one day when my life settles down.....2013? Enjoy your weekend in!

  2. I have been watching the weather carefully...our pup left Germany today bound for Seattle so I assume that means they think the weather will be improving. But yes, the flooding should be a nightmare for a while! I am a big fan of Sargent - sounds like a great way to fight the weather.

  3. Great picks. I wanted to go to the opening last night but I had a conflicting event - always the way. I can't wait to go - hoping next week!! It's the ultimate Made In America!!

  4. Childe Hassam lived just down the street from my mother in the Hamptons and his paintings evoke the landscapes there... so pretty! If I didn't have to spend the day at the Hayden planetarium with my youngest, I'd be at the Met in a NY minute! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Jeanne.

  5. When I first moved to NYC, I went to the Met once a week. And at times I had to scrape up change to do so! I am so very excited about this wing--it is about time!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. There is nothing more wonderful than a trip to the museum. We have a wonderful museum, and I try to make the shows, not to mention the permanent exhibit.
    You have a beautiful choice of art here. Mary Cassatt is my favorite of all time.
    Have anise weekend, Jeanne.

  7. Always a good way to spend the weekend... and a "new wing" is a fantastic reason (as if you needed one!) to enjoy an afternoon at a museum. The New Galleries look like a must see. Have a good one!

  8. Wonderful art. Inspirational!! Thank you for sharing!



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