Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Met and the Ukrainian Institute

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was so crowded over the Christmas holiday. Despite the absolutely incredible art, it was not fun being constantly jostled inside the buildings. The collections are so extensive that it is hard to navigate once inside. I did find my way to the Cezanne to Picasso exhibit, which was outstanding. I had already checked the exhibit catalog out of the library, so the paintings looked vaguely familiar. A relative had warned me that the label copy was a little tedious, so I did not fight the crowds to read all of the captions. But I did enjoy some marvelous Gauguin's, Cezanne's, and Van Gogh's. In fact I liked most everything except for the later works by Picasso.

It had been a long day and I needed to sit down, get warm, and rehydrate. On the corner of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street is the elegant and ornate Ukrainian Institute. Admission was $5 to see lousy contemporary art by Ukrainian artists for sale, but that was not the point. It was empty, quiet, and warm inside. The couches were exceptionally comfortable and the interior of the building itself was handsome. The carved wooden banisters were a treat as were the moldings and doors. I sat and wrote until I regained my strength. It was $5 well spent.


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