Karen and I paid a visit to the Metropolitan on Sunday. I missed the Francis Bacon show. Not that I’m a fan of his work, but it’s always good to see a large body of work in a retrospective fashion from any artist. I was very surprised to find that the American Wing Painting Galleries are closed until 2011. This would be very unfortunate for the first time visitor. However, many paintings have been moved with majority of the well known works being moved to the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art or as they now call it…visible storage. This is a large room with aisles of large glass showcases that house an amazing array of American art examples from the decorative to the fine. I must admit that it was nice to see Madame X’s head at eye level for the very first time. If you don’t mind viewing work behind glass it is a great opportunity to see many works up close at a foot away.
I was glad to see that my all time favorite portrait still remains in the HL Center; Alfred Collins portrait of his wife “Mrs. Alfred Q. Collins”. I don’t think I have ever visited the Met without stopping by to see this painting. If anyone knows where I can find a good color image of this painting I would be very grateful.
One my favorite landscapes “Banks of the Loing” by William Picknell has been moved to the Robert Lehman Wing for an exhibition of American Landscapes. Here you can see some of the greats from the Hudson River School including Frederick Church and Thomas Cole.
Although I was disappointed at first with the temporary closing of the American Wing Painting Galleries, I still left fully enriched by seeing some old favorites in a new light...literally.