That Saturday was SWAN day! It was the 9th International Support Women Artists Day! We decided to spend it by going to a guided tour of the exhibition of Vigée le Brun at the Metropolitan Museum. Vigée le Brun was a famous female painter who was known for her intimate paintings of Marie Antoinette and other notables of the day. She’s quite an impressive painter who was one of four women in the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. However, initially her marriage to an art dealer made her ineligible but the king intervened and asked that she be admitted. Yeah, cause she was that beloved of the court. She eventually have to go into exile during the Revolution but she made use of the time traveling all over Europe. Read more about her here: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/vigee-le-brun
We spent the next hour wandering around the museum, letting us take in this magnificent place. We actually ended up in the American wing and saw my new old favorite “Madame X” by John Singer Sargent. We also stumbled upon the original ballroom from Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, VA. We had visited the house while we were there last summer and I remembered that they said the original room where George Washington danced was at the Met. And we found it. It is well-kept up with examples of period furniture. It was neat to see the real thing but it was weird that it was here in the Met and not in Virginia where the building is. But then again, the staircase from the Chicago Board of Trade is also at the Met…
We finished up our trip at the Temple of Dendur, my favorite room there. I know I’ve mentioned it before; I can’t go to the Met without stopping by. It just still astonishes me every time I see it. Someday I’ll make it to Egypt to see the pyramids. For now, this will do. (Also, it doesn’t help that one of my favorite bands from college played a concert in that room last summer!).
We hopped in a cab to head to broadway for a matinee. We had a short period of time before the show. But then we found the most wonderful kind of place: $1 pizza. It’s a very plain utilitarian place but they have cheap pizza. You could get pepperoni for $2, which I opted for. My husband had 2 slices of cheese and a coke for $2-$3. It was perfect for our needs.
The show we saw was Disaster! It was a musical parodying disaster movies. It was fun at times but not a great new addition to Broadway. The first half was a bit slow since it had to establish all the different characters, aligning with different disaster tropes. The music was all disco that came up at predictable and unpredictable times. It’s not my favorite era of music, I have to say. There was also a borderline racist joke in there involving an afro, which did not sit terribly well with me.
The second half got better as everything started to go wrong. The random deaths from ridiculous occurrences really worked for me. It got silly and outlandish, which is what I wanted. So not the best musical but definitely had its moments. Plus it’s not Mr. Foote’s Other Leg. Ugh!
Afterwards, we decided to head to the NY Public Library, the main branch. I realized that I don’t think I’d ever been in there before! Craziness! It’s absolutely stunning. Sadly, the main room (i.e. the room from Ghostbusters) was closed for remodeling but other rooms were well worth a visit. The periodicals room was gorgeous with all the wood paneling. The map room was filled with book after book of maps!
Upstairs, there was an exhibition about Women in Printmaking, which was so cool. They had works by Marie de Medici and Queen Victoria! Apparently the Queen took it up as a pastime! So cool! There was also a Gutenberg Bible in a case in the middle of the floor. Because. Unfortunately, the Winnie the Pooh was not on display yet but it should be back later this Spring. There’s a great story about the Winnie the Pooh. England asked for it back and the response was “You’ll get it back when you return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.” Touche!
That evening, we had wonderful tapas and seafood at a Spanish restaurant in the Village. I need to spend more time there, if only for all the food options! (Someday the Peanut Butter place will be mine to try!).
That’s all for now!