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  • Russ Ramsey

Where to Start at The MET

For this Art Wednesday we’ll look at works that can be found in one of the absolute finest museums out there: The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art on the eastern edge of Central Park in New York City.

Degas, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer 1922 (cast), 2018 (tutu)


The Dutch Baroque and Renaissance collections feature a world class collection of Rembrandt and Caravaggio, including this one—The Denial of St. Peter (c1610). Those rooms are often silent as people look on in reverence.

Caravaggio, The Denial of Saint Peter, c1610


Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream (1899) is a classic work of American art, and one of my favorites by Homer. A Caribbean black man adrift on a rough, shark-infested sea in a rudderless boat with a broken mast. This is one of Homer’ most dramatic works.

Homer, The Gulf Stream, 1899


I could stand in front of Panini’s “Interior of St. Peter’s” (c1754) for hours. It is a masterclass in perspective and scale. The Met's version dates after 1754, when the statues of Saint Theresa of Avila and Saint Vincent de Paul were erected.

Giovanni Paolo Panini, Interior of Saint Peter’s, c1754


The plaque beside this one reads, “a waitress leans forward… a cashier attentively tends to… her register. Though they appear detached, these two women hold posts newly available to female city dwellers outside the home.”

Hopper, Tables for Ladies, 1930


Vincent was very aware that the sunflower was one of his signatures. In a letter to his brother Theo, Vincent wrote, “You know that Jeannin has the peony, Quost has the hollyhock, but I have the sunflower, in a way.”

Van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1887


Go visit The MET. There was a time when I didn’t like Rothko’s art. But a friend of mine who is a Rothko fan told me how to look, and now I love his work. More on this next week. We’ll give him a whole week.

Rothko, No. 13 (White, Red on Yellow), 1958


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