Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NYC Icon: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, known more commonly as "The Met", is one of the most iconic sites in all of Manhattan, housing countless pieces of art from civilizations around the globe.  You can take a trip through Ancient Rome, marvel at the elaborate paintings of the Renaissance, and enjoy the sites of feudal Japan—all within the span of 30 minutes.  No matter what your artistic interests are, the Met will have something for you.

I was recently assigned an Art History paper which required me to write about several pieces of Ancient Egyptian Art in the Met, so I recently made the trip to this NYC landmark on a quiet Sunday morning.  The beginning of my journey into the city was easy enough.  I decided to take the Ram Van to Lincoln Center, which was a quick 30 minute ride to edge of Midtown Manhattan.  Once I was there, I was greeted by the characteristic diverse sights, smells, and sounds that one can expect to find in New York City.

After wandering through Columbus Circle for a little while (so many places to eat!), I decided to start making my way up to the Met.  I had two options that I had to decide between—take the quicker route by walking up 5th Avenue or go on a longer, scenic walk through Central Park.  I eventually decided that the weather was too nice to waste and opted to trek through Central Park. 
The Mall in Central Park

Walking through the park was beautiful, so much so that I stayed there an extra 30 minutes before going to the Met.  The weather was perfect, and walking through the park on a warm, Sunday afternoon was very calming.  As you can see from the picture above, the views were also spectacular throughout the park and made for a great experience.

An Ancient Egyptian structure in the Met
After enjoying my time in the park, I decided it was time to head over to the Met.  Conveniently, one of the exits for Central Park is right next to the museum, so I was able to immediately go from the park into the Met.  Once there, I was greeted by the thick columns, high vaulted ceilings, and throngs of people that are typical of the museum.  After getting admission to the museum (which is actually free—there is only a recommended donation), I found the Egyptian section and began my research.  I spent hours poring over the various sculptures, portraits, and architectural works that spanned this section of the museum.  It was amazing to see thousands of years of artistic history laid out right in front of me, with each sarcophagus or funerary portrait telling its own story about that particular place and time. 

However, these sights are not unique to the Ancient Egyptian exhibit.  You can venture to any part of the Met and find interesting, expressive art from almost anywhere in the world.  Experiencing this varied history and culture in such a comparatively small place is something remarkable and uniquely New York.  For any students attending or visiting Fordham, I highly recommend making the trip to the Met in order to appreciate amazing pieces of art and see the multi-cultural fabric of the city at work.

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