Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Each picture told a story" ~ Jane Eyre

At the young age of eight, my father took me to the MET for the first time. Since then, he and I have made plenty of trips together, but that first visit is the most important. The visit invoked a passion for art, and even the inspiration to paint. I don't remember much about that first visit, except for the Van Goghs.

I remember the security guard in the Van Gogh gallery moving towards me as my father lunged towards my finger that went to touch Irises 1890. They were both smiling, but I was not happy. I wanted to touch and feel the thickness of the paint on the canvas even at that time. I still do now, but as an adult I have perfected the role of art museum decorum.

My high school started in eighth grade, so as an eighth grader I took an art class with all upperclassman. Our teacher took us to the MET to see the Magritte exhibit. Though we viewed the paintings together, we were allowed to walk around the museum by ourselves for the rest of the afternoon. I could not believe the freedom that was given to me. Since I was the little eighth grader who no one talked to, I set out on my own.

I roamed the MET in solitude, and to this day it was one of the best experiences of "alone time" I have ever had. It was my adventure. I took no map, and I walked into gallery after gallery after gallery. The Medieval Art gallery struck me the most; to this day I see the large gate in the hall and think about that day. At that time, I knew I was discovering treasure. I go back to discover treasure there all of the time. I was there just last month. Other favorite exhibits have been Vermeer and the Delft School (with Homig) and the French Daguerreotypes (with Dad).

MOMA is also a great place, but it is not as special to me as the MET. The MET is warm, filled with classical art that has fueled art lovers for centuries. MOMA is cooler, and although I like some cool modern funky art, I don't feel as home there as I do at the MET.

Sometimes I think about what I would do if given the chance to own my own art museum. I would make it somewhat petite, maybe four or five galleries with my favorite works. I would want various cafes and wine bars and coffee bars laced throughout; I don't like the fact that there is no where to really sit and talk about the art when you are at a museum. The benches are so uninviting. An art lover needs to sit comfortably and revel in the work.

Here are some of my favorite paintings and sculptures; ones I would display at the Amy's Cosmopolitan Museum of Art...

* Kandinsky's Small Pleasures - I love this painting for its warm colors. I can almost see a cellist in the midst of the abstract forms.

* Cassatt's Mother and Child - The roundness of this baby is adorable and it reminds me of Jack's chubby roundness. Art imitates life; I see Missy in this painting.

* Mondrian's Boogie Woogie Broadway - The colors and energy remind me of B'way. I recall as a high school thespian roaming down Broadway constantly because we got student discount tickets for shows like Miss Saigon.

* Picasso's 3 Musicians - This reminds me of spending some great nights at the Village Vanguard, including prom night when Sarah and I had the best non-prom night ever!

* One of Degas' bathers - The best shower is always one right after a day at the beach. I don't know what it is about the bathing experience, but it feels so good to have the sand wash away and feel refreshed.

* Michaelangelo's David - I think that only women can truly appreciate M's beautiful work here. I love each crevice of the sculpture, and one day I hope to see it in person.

* The Kiss by Klimt - This one always reminds me of Ben. I think I even gave him a card in college with this print on the cover. He used to kiss me on my cheek in addition to my lips; something boyfriend has done ever since. It was such sweetness.

* La Belle dans sans Merci by Waterhouse - This is just as beautiful as the poem by John Donne. I teach the poem to my students before going into Malory's Arthurian Legends.

* Rodin's Eternal Love - This sculpture could make me blush, but it doesnt. Its very riske, and that is why I find it mezmerizing.

* Vermeer's Girl Asleep at a Table - If you take a close look at the table, you will see a small wine glass: no wonder she must be sleepy!

* Hopper's Nighthawks - This one is in my kitchen. I love Hopper, and I live this painting constantly!

* Manet's Bar - I love the righthand corner where you see the man ordering a drink. I wonder what cocktail he is ordering or what kind of wine.

* Vincent's Cafe... - This reminds me of Hemingway's novel, The Sun Also Rises.


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