By Qingcheng Huang, the OISS 2012 Summer Intern
After crossing Central Park, the Met was very easy to find. There were many artists selling their artwork next to the building. My group was really tired after the walk, and some of us could not feel our feet because we walked too much in one day.
But when we entered the Met, we forgot about our exhaustion and hurried around to see as many exhibitions as possible. I had about two hours for my visit. If you plan to visit the Met for a day, I would recommend renting an Audio Guide earphone for $7. This guide provides more details about items that are particularly interesting.
The Met doesn’t require an entrance fee, but you can donate money as a thank you. I think it's important to support an organization that contributes to society and works to document the human civilization.
We went to the Egyptian exhibits first. Visiting this section was like taking a journey back to ancient Egypt. The Met even build a copy of a mummy chamber inside the museum.
The staffs patrolling inside the Met made me think about Hollywood movies. I could imagine some high-tech thieves breaking in and taking away these treasures. Despite my daydreaming, nothing thrilling happened in the end I’m afraid.
In the Egyptian Art Department they have a collection of many exquisite decorations, statues, and jewelry.
The jewelry collection from one of the Pharaoh’s three foreign wives was truly incredible. The ancient sandals were very similar to today's style!
Museum guests throw coins into the pool of the Temple of Dendur. It seems to be a universal custom to toss coins into a pool for good luck. At least this custom is common in both China and America.
After passing through the Egyptian part we entered the American Wing. In the light-filled Charles Engelhard Court we found different kinds of sculptures and paintings. One of my favorite features in the Metropolitan Museum is the excellent lighting and intelligent layout of the artificial landscape and exhibits. Every exhibit is dislayed in a manner similar to its original environment, which makes the historical sense even stronger.
Cute objects, such as unicorn sculptures, are scattered throughout the museum, waiting to be discovered.
In the European Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Medieval Art and the Cloisters departments I discovered that most of the artwork was devoted to Christianity.
I liked the “Virgin and Child” sculpture which represents the Church’s acknowledgement process of the Virgin Mary.
In the Arms and Armors Department (which was one of my favorite parts), there was a vast ocean of objects to enlighten your enthusiasm about medieval knight legends! I lingered in this department for so long time I didn’t have time to go to the eastern part of the museum!
One display showed a very cute helmet that looked like the head of a gerbil. I almost can’t imagine someone wearing this on their head in the battlefield. Would it really frighten the enemy or just make the enemy laugh?
Due to the time issue, we hastily strolled through the painting exhibits. Unfortunately, I missed the Monet and Van Gogh paintings.
One of my favorite paintings was called “The Aegean Sea” by Frederic Edwin Church. The double rainbow in this grand scenery filled with ruins, sea and sky make me remember my days of adventuring in the Homer Epics in my literature classes.
The Met is like taking an amazing trip around the world within one building. But this experience made me realize that if you want to savor the deeper sense of a certain culture the best choice is to visit that country! That’s one of the reasons why I came to America. Reading about a culture and visiting museums is a great way to broaden your vision, but as a Chinese idiom states, "it is better to see once than hear a hundred times." So don’t hesitate to start your journey, especially when you’re young!
Links to attractions mentioned in this post: