Paintings at the Met – before 1500

602. Gold Ground Best: Lorenzo Monaco, David (1405-10). David strikes a commanding pose, holds a ‘cither’ realistically on his knee, and has the most human face in the gallery. The gold background sets off the beautiful green, pink and blue of David’s robes. Worst: Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni, St. Catherine Disputing and Two […]

Paintings at the Met – 19c.

Without being pretentious but in an effort to look at familiar art more closely, I herewith embark on a project to evaluate the Met’s collection gallery by gallery, selecting the best and the worst – or, rather, my favorite work and least favorite, for I do not confuse my opinion with quality. (To see a […]

Valentin de Boulogne

The Met’s second big fall show opened last week, and as usual it is big: something like 40 of the 60 known paintings by Valentin de Boulogne – from the Louvre, above all, plus the Vatican, Indianapolis and several venues in Rome and Florence – have been gathered and, unfortunately, hung together. Unfortunate, because so […]


A quick but labored walk through the Met’s newest blockbuster exhibition, Jerusalem (1000-1400), made me wonder if I was ‘arted out,’ if I was going to museums out of habit or sense of duty and no longer able to truly enjoy myself. Yes, there were a few things that caught my eye, but for the […]

NY Museum Shorts

George Schastey The Met built a small show, Furniture in New York’s Gilded Age, around their “discovery” of furniture designer George Schastey, responsible for the Met’s newest period room, the dressing room from 4 West 54th Street completed in 1890 for Arabella Worsham, mistress and later wife of Colles Huntington. Period photographs allowed the Met […]

NY Notes – April ’16

Our quick visit to New York mid-April was triggered by and centered on the Tribeca Film Festival’s world premiere of Haveababy, a Serin-produced documentary on in vitro fertilization that is reviewed elsewhere, very favorably I might add, on this website. In the lulls before and between screenings, I checked out and checked off a few […]

Reimagining Modernism

[fusion_text]I don’t mind it when museums shake things up, to make you look at familiar works afresh and introduce new ones, but what the Met has done with its Modernism collection (1900-1950) is to destroy the context of its art without adding any new focus, leaving pieces dangling like isolated leaves on a naked branch. […]

Egypt at the Met

[fusion_text] The Met’s new show on the art of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom is pretty terrific – for me, not so much for its scholarship, which is largely beyond my ken, but just because Egypt’s art is so terrific. I don’t think the show argues that Middle Kingdom art is any better than art from Egypt’s […]