Monday, February 20, 2012

The Met at 146

Happy Birthday, Met!  Apparently the Met dates back to 1866,

when a group of Americans agreed to create a "national institution and gallery of art" to bring art and art education to the American people. The lawyer John Jay, who proposed the idea, swiftly moved forward with the project upon his return to the United States from France. 


  1. Strange how I never made it to the Cloisters even though I played paddleball at Ft Tryon park which is not too far away.

    However, made it several times to the Met where you can see the world's GREATEST painting, "Thanatopsis":

    The greatness of this painting will NEVER be equaled or even approached.

  2. A thought occurred to me re the book I am currently reading: "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian.

    While I'm only up to p 95, I was reminded of "Thanatopsis" because of the funeral scene and, while both are in a sense a study of death, there is much life affirmation in them. The settings and imagery are strikingly similar with hills, mountains, waterways, winding roads, birds flying overhead, sun rising or setting, Victorian era, mournfulness, etc. Yet, there is the promise of some hope.

    How interestng that Gintaras posts the topic of the Met when I'm reading this very intriguing book.

  3. The Met is a treasure trove. I suppose we have J.P. Morgan to thank for a large part of it.

  4. There was a time in American history when the very wealthy believed it was in the national interest (and thus theirs) to share the wealth and culture with the new generation of immigrants.

    Plus, there was a real estate development component to the placement of the building -- I don't remember the exact details but as I recall that was in the country back then.

  5. Also, such public benevolence quieted down talk of antitrust laws in those days.