Visible Storage at The Met
When I visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I turn left once thru the main doors and enter the art proper thru the Greek and Roman Galleries. The other way leads to the Egyptian galleries, which are a little too samey and deathy for my taste.
The first attraction in the Greek and Roman Galleries is a giant column, ionic. Turn left here for the first bathroom break. When visiting The Met, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the locations of bathrooms as their locations follows no logic.
Beyond the Greek and Roman Galleries, I go to the Oceanic Gallery. It’s bright, and most of the stuff is huge and amiable.
From there, the route anybody’s guess. I just start turning and twisting from Islamic to Impressionist, from photography to iconography. I cannot rest. I must see it all. Or not. It’s too big. I’ve been to The Met dozens of times, and I still find new rooms full of new thing each time. I like to go with others. Half the fun of going to a museum is chatting with a friend and figuring out what they like. I usually pretend I’m following them.
But I have a destination, Visible Storage in the American Wing. Visible Storage is where I can finally rest.
Visible Storage is exactly what the name implies. Objects —all American, as the name of the wing would imply —are on shelves behind glass, labeled with accession numbers. So many objects. Ever want to see twenty-seven examples of 19th century American glass salt-cellars? They’re here, next to any number of chicken-shaped serving dishes. There’s bronze sculptures from St. Gardens and Remington down the aisle from a Tiffany Studios workstation. The Peaceable Kingdom is here, along with a very scary porcupine-themed screen. Empty frames as objects in themselves. Chairs on shelves!
It’s cool and dark. Orderly, yet chaotic.
And empty of people.
I can twirl and not knock anything over. My main standard for whether a location will or will not send me into a claustrophobic spiral is the availability of unencumbered twirling space.
When twirling’s done, there’s actual couches in the place of hard benches. This is good place to eat Cheetos without having to worry about getting orange dust on the art or being hassled by The Man.
I also think it would be fun to make out on one these couches with only The Peaceable Kingdom as witness.
Then we can twirl some more.