Last Saturday, my wife and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had been putting it off because we’d been busy with going out to different places every day and we were wearing ourselves out and sleeping in. It’s Winter holiday from school, and she’s not working yet, so we’re trying to do a lot and take it easy at the same time. I’m not sure how well that’s going to work out for us.
Anyway, Saturday seemed like a great opportunity to both catch up on sleep and still spend a good chunk of time at the museum, since it is open until 9 PM on both Friday and Saturday. We got there around 2 PM, after having a good brunch with my mom over at IHOP. The place was packed, as usual, but not as busy as the last time I was there. From what I’m seeing over the last few days of touring my wife around, the city’s tourist spots are a lot emptier during the winter. For people who don’t like competing with crowds, that might be something to keep in mind. It generally doesn’t snow here until after Christmas. It’s just cold. If I didn’t live here, I could deal with the cold to avoid the crowds that are usually packing every place of interest in the city.
Anyhow, the Met is just as awesome as I remember it! We didn’t get the chance to see everything in the museum, because it’s just too huge a building and their collection is just too massive. Not that that’s a bad thing! I’m looking forward to going back again. Where that can become problematic, though, is with the entry fee. The entry fee last Spring, when I went to the museum for some class projects was 20 dollars for an adult and 10 dollars for a student. Now it’s 25 dollars for an adult. Shocking, right? The good thing about the pricing is that they’re “recommended,” meaning the prices can’t be enforced. If you can swallow your pride you can give them 10 bucks per person and walk in. You could give them a quarter per person and still get the clip-on Met pin that guarantees your safe passage past the guards. I gave 20 for myself and my wife, total. I think it was fair, seeing as how we got there halfway through the day and would be making repeat trips throughout the year.
I have a feeling that high pricing is targeted at tourists who usually only go to the museum once on one day and then never see it again. I certainly don’t think it’s meant for people like the gentleman in the photos above, who come into the museum to practice sketching. I saw a lot of people doing that, young and old, and I think it’s awesome, because they’re in there, developing their talent in a productive way, instead of running the streets getting into trouble, or causing it.
Like I said, we didn’t get to see everything. The Met is really a two or three day affair and even then you could go back again and notice plenty that you missed. We saw some of the Roman stuff, the Greek gallery, Oceanic gallery, Native American (South/Central/North) gallery, African gallery, and Egyptian gallery. I’d spent quite a bit of time in the Greek gallery already and Egyptian art is covered in so many movies, documentaries and TV specials that I just couldn’t get into it, except for the Temple of Dendur. That was really neat. The part I liked best about it was the 19th century graffiti on its walls though:
The galleries I enjoyed most were the ones that seemed to be the least populated by visitors, the African and Native American galleries. I imagine its because I’ve been exposed those types of art the least, but there’s something powerful about the imagery as well.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go back and see the rest of the Met, probably later this week, if we can squeeze it in. I’m particularly interested in seeing the Medieval Art gallery and the Islamic Art gallery, which just opened recently. Before leaving we quickly passed through the Met gift store and they’ve added Islamic art items to their selection. It seems nice.