Museum Musings

Inspiring Moments: China Through the Looking Glass at The Met Museum

Posted by Laura Katherine Smith

 PC: Laura Katherine Smith

PC: Laura Katherine Smith

Few things beat being home in NYC in the summertime; the urban metropolis calms as the temperatures fluctuate from bearable to an elevated blazing balminess! An opportunity to step outside for a stroll or subway ride to The Metropolitan Museum of Art is well worth it especially with their latest exhibit, China: Through the Looking Glass. This exhibit amasses not only in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, it spreads out within the museum in to the Chinese and Egyptian galleries. 

This is one of the larger exhibits the museum has put on and it is doing such in a way that pays homage to the "influence of Chinese culture on Western fashion". Approaching the main area of the exhibit in the lower levers as the Costume Center, you are greeted by red walls, representing a mainstream perception of the traditional color of China, embracing visitors for an inkling of what's to come.

Perfectly curated in mirrored displays, traditional Chinese shawls are hung with an article of clothing that draws inspiration from Western designers. The likes of Tom Ford, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and so many brilliant designers graced the exhibit with magical pieces plucked from their years of collections. The mastery of thought, detailing, design and execution brings a certain enlightenment of style to the minds of those who may have been skeptical or even greater appreciation for lovers of fashion, art, style, design and beyond. 

The places and moments where art and inspiration can be curated and placed in such a resonating existence can perhaps help designers of all trades fuel their psyche. I can't help but share some of the incredible moments from my visit to one of my favorite museums...

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Museum Musings • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Posted by Laura Katherine Smith

 Met Museum Grand Hall White Quince Urn Centerpiece

Met Museum Grand Hall White Quince Urn Centerpiece

 Ceiling Above Grand Staircase in Met Museum

Ceiling Above Grand Staircase in Met Museum

Winter has only just begun and I am beginning to wish for warm weather, sunshine and bright colored blooms. Nonetheless, inspiration is always around no matter the season and one must constantly keep an open watchful eye to absorb it. And after being cooped up inside on a trip to NYC due to the frigid holiday weather, I decided to trek (only ten blocks) south to one of my favorite city museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and explore some current exhibits to get the creative juices warmed up in this chill!

Some of the exhibits I was excited to explore and see were; Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection with not only 80 plus impeccable pieces of artwork from the early 20th century movement (including Picasso, Gris, Braque and Léger) but tasteful wall paint colors by Farrow & Ball (what an enhancing experience); Carleton Watkins: Yosemite, because honestly what is more inspirational that nature, particularly images of nature from the mid 19th century throughout Yosemite (natures true beauty of untouched and preserved land) that is forever cherished- it makes me eager to travel there and explore; Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection which has been on exhibit at the museum for time in which I finally saw the exquisite pieces, specifically the three of the fifty Imperial Easter Eggs created for the Romanov family by Fabergé beginning in 1885 (decadent and impeccably desirable). 

Exploring new exhibits at museums is rather enchanting, especially if they are only there short term, but not to forget about the collections that are housed permanently as it is all quite special. My favorite part of The Met is the Impressionism gallery (european art of the 19th century that stepped away from traditional painting) that houses the greats; Monet, Pissaro, Renoir, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, and more. Not only have I always been awed by the transition away from the norm (at the time) as well as the change in technique, but what is so profoundly defying about the imagery, colors and use of natural light.

Needless to say, I constantly find my love for impressionist art as a drive for inspiration in lighter, ethereal events, especially with the use of airy draping, soft lighting and precious blooms. Below are a few iPhone shots from my visit throughout The Met. I hope you can draw inspiration, if not, a pleasant tour through my eyes of one of my favorite museums. -LKS

 Vincent van Gogh, Roses, 1890

Vincent van Gogh, Roses, 1890

 Thomas Struth, Paradise 13, Yakushima, Japan, 1999

Thomas Struth, Paradise 13, Yakushima, Japan, 1999

 Pierre Bonnard, Garden, ca. 1935

Pierre Bonnard, Garden, ca. 1935

 Juan Gris, Head of a Woman, 1912

Juan Gris, Head of a Woman, 1912

 Claude Monet, Chrysanthemums, 1882

Claude Monet, Chrysanthemums, 1882

 Thomas Struth, (images of NYC)

Thomas Struth, (images of NYC)

 Claude Monet, Landscape: The Parc Monceau, 1876

Claude Monet, Landscape: The Parc Monceau, 1876

 French Porcelain from the 18th Century

French Porcelain from the 18th Century