METROPOLITAN MUSEUM

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM

Fashion Collection at the Met

Fashion Collection at the Met

Can you really see New York in three days? We sure tried, we wanted to give Lana, our guest, the grand tour. In an email quote from her today. She said, “And my visit with you is still a highlight, despite the speed, as u say.”

Metropolitan Fashion collection

Metropolitan Fashion collection

I hoped we would get to at least two museums on Friday, the 5th, but alas, after only one, we were ready for the heap. Have you been to the Metropolitan lately? Egad, it’s a few cities in one building. It’s a place to get your fill of the innovative and of antiquity. The rooftop is amazing. If you don’t go anywhere else in this building, you must visit the rooftop. The glass-like structure, a 2-way mirror was fun, like the fun-house mirrors in a carnival.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rooftop glass garden exhibit until Nov. 2nd

Rooftop glass 2-way mirror garden exhibit until Nov. 2nd

Glass structure

Glass structure

There is an app for the Met, so you can plan your visit, but since I claim naivety in the app realm, we visited the Met without a plan.  At one time, I was familiar with the museum. I thought there would be no problem. I was sorely mistaken. The museum app starts with a lovely, clean design that begs to be explored. It doesn’t open on a home screen, but takes you immediately to its featured exhibitions, listing those that will end soonest at the top and exhorting you to “catch them while you can.” Clicking onto each exhibit’s page provides a nice description of the work being shown, while other sections of the app showcase both masterpieces and oddities in the museum’s extensive collection. These tabs are expertly curated, and echo the Met’s larger social media strategy, which feels surprisingly current for an institution filled with antiquities.

Entry into Temple Dendoor

Entry into Temple Dendoor

I was overwhelmed. But after a brief deep breath, I said, “Follow me.” I led Lana, and hubby Tom to the newest exhibition. The Temple of Dendur (Dendoor in nineteenth century sources) is an Egyptian temple that was built by the Roman governor of Egypt, Petronius, around 15 BC and dedicated to Isis, Osiris, as well as two deified sons of a local Nubian chieftain, Pediese (“he whom Isis has given”) and Pihor (“he who belongs to Horus“). The temple was commissioned by Emperor Augustus of Rome and has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 1978. If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth the trip, you get to walk through a real Egyptian temple. Those folks were really small, the door openings are quite narrow.

Central Park

Central Park

Lunch in the Member’s dining room, was the delight of the day, a lovely quiet space overlooking Central Park. Best place in the museum to dine. Next stop was to see the paintings, as much as we had the energy to see. 15-17th century, 18th century Impressionism, 19th century Hudson River, it was endless. To get to each exhibit, we walked miles and miles and miles. The museum is ten cities in one.

Monet

Monet

We had lots to see, so we ran, didn’t walk, over to the American Wing, since this was Lana’s first visit to America. Make sense? We whizzed through, which was frustrating for me since furniture and the decorative arts is part of my soul. But most important, I showed Lana and Tom (who bless his heart, chauffeured us into and out of the city) the Herter Brothers furniture that once graced the rooms at Lockwood, the very same company that decorated the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in 1867. I had to show Lana Lockwood, although we didn’t get there until Monday on the way to the airport.  Where else would she get her very own private tour of an American National historic landmark built in 1867.

What is your favorite at the Metropolitan Museum?

Albert Bierstadt part of an American Indian painting

Albert Bierstadt part of an American Indian painting in the West.

A LITTLE BIT OF EGYPT

A LITTLE BIT OF EGYPT

Egypt Karnak Temple at the banks Nile Karnak is an ancient Egyptian temple precinct located on the east bank of the Nile River in Thebes (modern-day Luxor). It covers more than 100 hectares, an area larger than some ancient cities.

Egypt’s history spans some five millenniums, and encompasses the origin of civilization, the rise of the Greeks and Romans, the establishment of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions, the colonial era when first France and then the English ruled the country, and finally, a return to independence. Egypt has played an important role through all of these eras, and today one can find monuments that evidence Egypt’s role in most of the world’s historic events.

Painting by Jean Leon  Cleopatra and Caesar

“Cleopatra and Caesar”    by Jean Leon Gerome

In Egypt, we find the earliest detailed records of warfare recorded thousands of years ago, but we also find the cemeteries and monuments of the world’s last global war, World War II.  In Egypt, we find some of the first written words of civilization, but we also find great thinkers and writers throughout the Greek period, into the Christian era, the archaic Islamic period and even modern Nobel Literates.  We find ancient pyramids and giant columns supporting massive temples; now we can  find these architectural elements spread throughout the world.  Along with the first monumental buildings made of stone, we find the first paved roads, the first wines and beer and even the first peace treaties between organized governments. We also find the world’s first scientists, doctors, architects and mathematicians.

Art of belly dancing

Art of belly dancing

Egypt is our window to humanity’s distant past and in understanding its history, we find both mankind’s greatest glories and achievements, as well as his often-repeated mistakes.  We can follow along with the building of empires, only to see them collapse again and again.  We find great men and rulers renowned, but we often also see their ultimate demise.  And here, we learn about religion, its evolution and, as the world grows older, its replacement with newer religions.

Please, take the time to understand ancient Egyptian history for you will find, within this knowledge, a better understanding of this modern world in which we live.

This article is Gail Ingis’s writing from her text book and lectures: History of Architecture & Interior Design. (unpublished).

egypt camel&boy imagesHave you been to Egypt? Any favorite sites? Did you ride a camel . . .  in Egypt? Can you belly dance?

 

 

TRABEATED, STONES AND THRONES

TRABEATED, STONES AND THRONES

Temple Precincts on the banks of the Nile

You are looking at Upper Egypt on the banks of the Nile River, with its ruins of the Temple Amon, built by King Tut after he took the throne, ca.1332BC-1323BC in the conventional chronology. The ruins, excavated in the 20th century, are huge, though nothing remains of the houses, palaces, and gardens surrounding the Temple. Since people always want more space, It was added onto over the centuries, expanding the temple area.

The exteriors of these areas gave important information to future generations about structure and design. What works and what doesn’t.

Stonehenge inside facing

At first, buildings were supported by vertical and horizontal elements. What you might know as post and beam, could be wood, could be stone, as in Stone Henge shown here. Technically this type of construction is known as Trabeated construction.

Trabeated construction: column and beam

In the image with the columns,  aesthetic elements in carvings of various designs have been cut/incised into the columns. We were and are still seeking the aesthetics.

Tutankhamun, King for only ten years, died at nineteen after a short reign.

King Tut's throne. Carving on back he & his sister-wife

He reigned long enough to change the direction of idol worship in his country. In my blog last week (http://gailingis.com/wordpress/?p=1862),  Samson died a pauper’s death, unlike Tutankhamun whose regal properties were buried with him.This young man, affectionately called King Tut, made an aesthetic difference in his kingdom. He not only had temple architecture designed and built, but he influenced the design of furnishings, to this

day. We still create chairs that mimic Tut’s throne. All were discovered in 1922 in his well-stocked tomb.

This iron and brass chair, with a leather seat and back, is a 19th century design taken from King Tut’s throne. This is still being made today, and with many variations. It was popular in the French Directoire period under Napoleon.

Do you have a throne? Would you like to have a throne, or would a simple chair suffice? Have you ever wanted to visit the pyramids?

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