Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Metropolitan Museum with a tapestry focus

As the header said, I went to the Met today. It is about a 30-40 minute walk from where I am staying and it was cool again today. By the time I got there I was quite warm though. I really like the fact that they have a well organised system for putting away your coat and other warm clothing.
I went with the tapestries in mind but started off in the Egyptian section and was immediately taken with the tapestry that they have there with the clothing. The work is tiny, very fine threads. It is kept darkish, presumably to preserve the cloth, so was a little difficult to see in detail.
I spent quite a while looking at a number of tapestries and then decided to walk around and see some of the other works. Every time I went to a new place I found more tapestries! So I spent quite a lot of time looking at them, from different time periods.
I also enjoyed the French Art Deco display but then decided that I couldn't look at any more art work, I would be overwhelmed.
I thought I would see if I could find any inspirational books about tapestry in the Met shop. There were a few but they were enormous (and expensive) and there is no way that I would even think about carrying them home on the plane. So I will have to find my resources when I get home. I did find one paperback book about the textiles at the Met - it cost $1. But it will suit my purposes, one of which is to have a souvenir. Yesterday I got a colouring book of tapestries, not very deep but another good souvenir, and easy to transport.
I was glad to have a focus for my visit but I think I need to not worry about the course I am going to do and just enjoy what I can get to see, not focus too closely on possible future study. However, having a focus does give you a direction in such a huge collection and I found it useful.


parlance said...

Do you mean an ancient Egyptian tapestry!!!

Mary said...

Yes, I suppose I do. We are going to study Coptic tapestry in our course, I think, and the museum mentioned the coptic thing a few times. But the tapestries I saw were from a variety of times. The biggest ones seemed to be from the medieval times though, moving up to Renaissance and Roccoco times. There were even chairs with tapestry insets. Lots and lots of tapestries.