Naked before the camera

One of the best things about living on the Upper East Side of New York was the close proximity to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met played an integral part of my Sunday Funday routine, honed to perfection over the course of four years with my UES neighbor, Tash. We share a love of travel, photography, and art, amongst many other things. So when I had an unexpected stop in NYC earlier in the summer, I was thrilled that she was able to spend the day with me!

That particular Sunday’s itinerary involved brunch at Sarabeth’s (their potato waffle is another thing we both love!), shopping, and a visit to the Met to see three of the current exhibitions: Naked before the Camera, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, and Tomas Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City.

Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Naked before the Camera showcases photographs depicting the human form, selected from the museum’s permanent collection. The works, dating from the latter half of the 19th century through the present, illustrate the progression of societal views, and changes in artistic style over time. The pieces cover the spectrum, from modest to brazen, scientific to sensual, kitschy to political, and everything in between.

Despite having little knowledge of the couture industry, I can appreciate the art behind fashion, and was completely blown away by the Alexander McQueen exhibit, Savage Beauty, at the Met last year. So this year, I was looking forward to the Met’s spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. The focal point of the exhibition is a
film depicting an imaginary conversation between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two iconic Italian designers from different eras.

Photo credit: NYMag

The “impossible” part? Such an exchange never actually took place; the conversation is a dramatization, with the late Elsa Schiaparelli played by actress Judy Davis. To be honest, I found the film a little bizarre and strained; personally, I got more from the display text and quotes. I did enjoy walking through the displays of clothing though – especially all the Prada shoes! I couldn’t help but think back to the McQueen exhibit, and sadly, this paled in comparison. But it’s a tough act to follow! I mean, what could live up to this:

This stunner is made from feathers and MICROSCOPE SLIDES! I would definitely wear this dress in the lab. With safety shoes, obvi. Photo credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

You may be surprised to learn that the Met has a rooftop garden with gorgeous views! Tash and I always cap our Met visits with a refreshing glass of Sangria (trust me, it’s worth waiting in line for!).

Also on the rooftop of the Met was the Cloud City exhibit, showcasing Tomas Saraceno’s futuristic architecture. Made up of large geometric figures, and both mirrored and open surfaces, the work provides views with several unique perspectives. You could even walk inside!

I love the Met, and always make a point to stop in when I’m in New York. What’s your favorite museum?

The deets:
Naked before the Camera, Through September 9, 2012
Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, Through August 19, 2012
Tomas Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City, Through November 4, 2012 (weather permitting)

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10 Comments on “Naked before the camera

  1. I loved the “naked” exhibit! I think my favorite photo was of the woman and her child on bed with light shining through blinders

  2. The Met garden is great! I think it has one of the best views in the city. I loved the “Naked” exhibit. Some of those photos were so raw and B&W really encourages an exploration of tone.

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