US art: the Met

Venue: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4

Music: Luciano Pavarotti – Nessun dorma (

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply the Met, can best be described as the American Louvre (from the European perspective at least). It is the largest art museum in the United States and hosts a huge collection of art pieces from all periods and locations of human life, meaning that it’s virtually impossible to visit it just once for a couple of hours and truly understand and appreciate fully everything. This was my second time at the Met and I originally planned to be very picky about the parts of the museum I see. As it turned out I also didn’t have too much time for the permanent parts of the museum as I was unexpectedly drawn to the temporary photo exhibition of Irving Penn’s works where I spent half of the time. So here comes a random and very limited collection of photos I took at the Met with my usual comments. No riddles this time (you can still try all the Guggenheim’s puzzles though, nobody got the right answers yet)!

Irving Penn was one of the most famous fashion and portrait photographers of his time. My personal observation is that his photos do interest people a lot and make them stop and stare as you see here and on the top photo where he captured Picasso in an iconic image.
Some people just looked closely at Penn’s photos…
..while others even made sketches. In any case very few passers by seemed indifferent to the collection so I urge everyone to check out Penn’s work even just online. I promise you it’s way better than anything you’ll probably ever see from me!
After the photo gallery I passed by some more abstract modern art that was more similar to the pieces I showed you from Guggenheim than the rest of the Met’s collections. Here we have the American painter Marsden Hartley…
..and here a sculpture that I liked but forgot the creator of. So I guess I do leave you with a small riddle here.
After the thin head above I had to counterbalance with a more massive sculpture that was towering over the museum visitors around.
And this is how Jean Dubuffet saw the apartment houses in Paris in the middle of the 20th century.
A more abstract black and white piece of art that didn’t seem very interesting to the girl rushing in front of my camera.
The Met also hosts a very interesting (and my personal favorite) section of tribal art from across the globe with very exotic statues made of wood, stone or various metals going under the name “Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas”. Here we have a wooden statue from somewhere in Oceania or Papua New Guinea I believe.
And here are the scary looking God-like creatures also typical for the same parts of the world.
Another wooden statue from some of the indigenous people in Papua New Guinea that served for decorating their ceremonial houses in the beginning of the 20th century.
Back in time and moving to the American continent with the golden statues of the cultures from Central and South America.
And naturally we finish with the continent where we all eventually come from, with a somewhat abstract wooden statue of a man…
..and the iron statues of a man and a woman elsewhere in Africa.


53 thoughts on “US art: the Met

  1. As a small child I lived across the street from the Met, but only visited the Egyptian and Medieval galleries. Now at 84, I must follow you into the present! At the Northwestern launch of my book in March, I also visited the First Nation totems in Victoria, BC and experienced the power of primitive art, such as you have shown in this blog.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hi Kirilson Photography! I’d like to personally thank you for following my blog. I’m so grateful for your support! Welcome to the “All the Places she goes” fam! Your photography is so unique, and I so wish I could take pictures like that. Thank you again.

    xx, Shreya

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Born in Brooklyn, NY and been to the Met many times. Love your photos here!! Your write-up makes me want to visit again even though I live 2 hrs away! The Met is so much fun. You can certainly lose yourself in art there.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow. The Met. Irving Penn. Guggenheim? Some of my favourite places (and artist)
    yes the first wooden sculptures are form New Guinea.
    The golden figure is most likely from Colombia.
    Thank you for the tour. (Haven’t been to the Met in a while… Hmmm. Must do something about that)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for following Indifferent Ignorance! Best of luck with your blog. I’d love to visit the Met, but I can’t remember the last time I went to an art museum in my home country haha!


    Liked by 3 people

  6. Fascinating. I live in a fairly isolated place now, which I enjoy, but I do miss the ability to visit art galleries and exhibitions. I saw the Salvador Dali exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, before I moved to North Cyprus and it was utterly amazing to see his original works.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such beautiful photographs, Kirilson. I especially liked your pictures of people looking at art. As a curator, I always enjoy standing back and watching how people engage with the things on show. And the Met, of course, is a veritable
    Mecca of museums!

    By the way, that sculpture you liked but have forgotten the name of is the Woman’s Head by the formidably talented Amadeo Modigliani.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I found this post fascinating. Sometime the people were more interesting than the art! Great photos. I’ve never been to the Met, even though I’ve hit some of the jewels of museums in Europe!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your pictures are wonderful. It makes me wonder how the picture of Jean Dubuffet apartment ever made it in a museum. It looks like one step above stick figures. The building is interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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