This weekend was probably one of the most restful weekends I’ve had in awhile, even as it involved a bit of travel. Friday night I finished The Calligrapher’s Daughter and tried to watch a few shows in an attempt to empty the DVR…but I found myself wanting the quiet of a book and the cool of my air conditioned room more than I wanted the noise of the television and the humidity of the living room.
On Saturday, I headed out to Brooklyn to visit a friend. We batted a few ideas about how to spend the day back and forth before settling on a trip into Manhattan to visit the Guggenheim and then Metropolitan Museum of Art (henceforth referred to as the Met). I had never been to the Guggenheim Museum before, in spite of my deep appreciation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, so we decided to start there.
In a word, the Guggenheim is amazing. It’s difficult not to be at least a little amazed by the the circular design with its grand height and winding ramps. The tickets to the museum come with a free audio tour, so we spent two hours winding through the museum learning about and admiring art in the genre of Abstract Expressionism (or Art Informel) that developed in both the United States and Europe post World War II. I can’t say that I am a huge fan of abstract art and the fact that so much of it seemed so angry really threw me, but whenever I go to an art exhibit when its genre that’s not my favorite I find I learn so much more.
We followed up our time in the Guggenheim with a visit to the Met. I love the Met. I could easily spend days wondering the museum, but I find I usually only allow myself a morning, or a few hours in the afternoon to admire just a section or two. Usually, I wind up in the European painting, but on this trip I found myself in the newly renovated and reopened American Wing which I loved.
Among other things, the American Wing has period rooms which display the American domestic arts and handicrafts from the seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century. They were fun to explore, but by far my favorite part is this random section towards the back which displays art from the American wing that is not currently on display in glass cases. There were sections of furniture- with all the grandfather clocks or chairs not currently being used in a display being lined up and numbered. I called it “the Ikea of the Met” because it totally reminded me of Ikea and its serve yourself warehouse section with its letters and numbers. I jokingly started “ordering” pieces for my house.
Saturday was restful and fun and filled with art. Sunday had a bit more adventure to it as experienced some issues with my car on the way out of Brooklyn. But even with the unexpected car trouble, my weekend still managed to maintain an air of restfulness and relaxation, and I am ready for Monday in a way I haven’t been in quite awhile.
Were there many books this weekend? Not so much. Lot’s of discussion about books but not so much reading. A fabulous weekend regardless.