10 Reasons Why I Love The Met In NYC and You Will Too

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


If you’ve never been to New York before, The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) might seem like it’s just another museum in the longgggg list of museums and art galleries that are on must-see lists for the city. But it is not just like the others, ohhhhhhh no my friend, it is not. 

Here are 10 reasons why you need to add visiting The Met to your New York travel list.

1. Visit The Met for three days on ONE ticket! 
Admission is free or "pay as you wish" for New York State residents. For all other visitors: $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students. Admission for all children under 12 and Members and Patrons is free. Note that any full-priced admission ticket is valid for three consecutive days at The Met Fifth AvenueThe Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.

2. The Location
This sprawling, massive white building is perched on the edge of Central Park on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side. That means that views from its many windows are of the beautiful green space, and there are lots of paths for you to stroll if you need to take a break from a full day of wandering through galleries. 

3. The Quality of The Collection
The quality and diversity of the pieces at The Met are as good as, or arguably better than, those at The Louvre and The British Museum. Founded in 1870, it actually is home to one of the largest permanent collections in the world — more than 2 million objects, many of which are different than anything I have seen anywhere else.  

4. The Layout
The galleries cover an astonishing 17 acres! What I found incredible about the layout though, was how I never felt cramped or overwhelmed by the collection. Though the vast number of objects is staggering, they are displayed in a way that allows you to take everything in. As you wander through the different rooms, you will also find that each one is designed to reflect the antiquities that are inside it. Whether it is a Greek sculpture garden with soaring ceilings, a cozy Egyptian tomb, or a portrait gallery that feels like it's in the hall of a grand palace, you will feel completely transported. 

5. You Can Take Photos
Just like the art galleries and museums in Europe, photos are allowed as long as you don't use a flash. As an added bonus, a lot of the rooms have natural light, so taking photos without a flash doesn't pose as much of a problem as it does in the museums in Europe. 

6. The Egyptian Art
This wing was one of my favourites to walk through. There was an unrivalled collection of jewellery and adornments — necklaces, toe covers, hair decoration — and I loved the way it was displayed. The Temple of Dendur in this wing is an exhibit that is often used for special events, and you will recognize it from its appearance in multiple films. 

7. The Sculptures
I don't know about you, but I could sit and look at Greek and Roman sculptures for days. The way that bodies were carved out of marble to look so supple and soft that you imagine that it would feel like human skin if you touched them (don't touch them) is mesmerizing. And the multiple sculpture galleries at The Met do not disappoint. Make sure you spend some time in the European Sculpture Court and the gallery in the Greek and Roman Art wing.  

8. The Arts of Africa, Oceania & The Americas Collection
Spectacularly displayed, this is an unbelievable collection of work by Indigenous groups from all over the world. Artifacts vary from Mayan gold and carved Native American masks to ceramics from New Mexico and ceremonial ceilings from the tribes of New Guinea.   

9. The Restaurants
Not only is the food spectacular at the museum's many restaurants, but it is accompanied by stunning views overlooking Central Park. Don't miss the Great Hall Balcony Bar that is essentially a pop-up bar open only on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:30 pm – 8 pm. There are wine flights, cocktails, appetizers, and live music all set in the opulence of the Great Hall. 

10. There is More Than One Met! 
Yes, you read that right. The Met on Fifth is just one part (the largest part), of the collection. The Met Breuer houses a collection of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, and The Met Cloisters is dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.  

HOT TIPS TO MAKE YOUR VISIT EVEN BETTER! 
–If you want to see the entire collection without feeling rushed or overwhelmed, you will need more than one day.
–Don't miss the gift shop! Especially if you are a lover of art books — there is a fantastic collection to peruse.

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Why You Need To Visit The Gothenburg Museum of Art In Sweden

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


I recently paid a visit to The Gothenburg Museum of Art (aka Göteborgs Konstmuseum) in Sweden and was blown away by the incredible collection housed in this Swedish art gallery. The space contains an eclectic mix of historic works, Scandinavian art, contemporary sculptures, paintings by famous western artists, new work, and more.

The gallery spaces themselves are as unique as the work that they contain, making you feel like you are moving between buildings rather than just between floors.

The transition spaces between the galleries are also utilized in unique ways. Hallways are filled with collages of portraits (above), stairwells contain unique installations (first image below), and alcoves are the home of both historic and contemporary sculptures (second image below). 

Archive, 2014 by Michael Johansson

Double Blind, 2009/2014 by Charlotte Gyllenhammar

I was lucky enough to visit the museum during a weekday which meant that I was alone in most of the galleries. The sculpture gallery (below) was an especially impressive sight to behold. Turning the corner from the stairwell, you are faced with a vast room with a checkerboard floor that is filled with unique, large-scale pieces.

I was also surprised to see some incredible pieces by famous artists like Picasso, Munch, and Degas, as well as works that I had never seen before painted with a stunning use of light in the Scandinavian tradition. 

Youth from Gosol, 1906 by Pablo Picasso
Picasso's early work is my favourite. Most of these pieces are largely unknown, but the unfinished quality gives insight into the artist's process that I find fascinating and beautiful. 

Nordic Summer Evening, 1899-1900 by Richard Bergh

One of the best parts about the museum?

It's free to visit!

If you want to see the special, seasonal exhibition, there is a small charge, but you can see the majority of the collection without spending a single krona. 




"Show Me Something I Don't Know" — A Photography Exhibit Featuring The Anthrotorian's Photos!

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


When I saw that there was a call for submissions for travel photos at one of my local art galleries, I jumped at the chance to submit. I couldn't have been more excited a few weeks later when I found out that five of my photographs were chosen to be part of the exhibit! 

Show Me Something I Don’t Know was displayed at the U of A Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square for about three months in early 2016, and contained photographs from all over the world that documented "modern-day travel adventures." The idea was to give visitors to the gallery a chance to experience new places through the traveller's lens and personal point of view. Over 100 photographers from all over the world had work displayed. 

These are the photos that I had in the exhibit, and the descriptions for each that were included in the catalogue. 

1. (Top of the post) The perspective of this photo takes me right back to the early morning ride I took on the back of a motorcycle in Marrekesh.

2. I stepped out of my hot tent in the middle of the Sahara Desert and the first thing that I saw was our camels basking in the early morning sun — it was the perfect reminder that I was in a totally different world and on an incredible adventure! 

3. The moment I saw this incredible temple reflected in its moat, it took my breath away. Up close, it is covered in hundreds of carved faces, now cracked and overgrown with moss. From a distance, it is something to discover, to be explored, and this photo always reminds me that there is always a new adventure out there for me to have.

4. Observing locals and catching them in a moment is the best way to sense the essence of a place.

5. I had travelled all day to get to Angkor Wat in order to see the sunset from the top of the temple. Out of breath from climbing, I turned a corner and captured this monk walking swiftly down the corridor. This image always reminds me of the way I felt in that moment — truly alive. 

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Art or Eyesore? The Victor Emmanuel II Monument AKA "The Wedding Cake" In Rome

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


The glaringly white Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II AKA Altare della Patria AKA Il Vittoriano AKA The Victor Emmanuel II Monument AKA The Wedding Cake was built to honour the first king of unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel.

Completed in 1935, it sits in the core of Rome between the huge Piazza Venezia and Capitoline Hill. The marble monstrosity is 135m wide and 70m high making it clearly visible to most of the city.

Though impressive, this monument has had a contentious relationship with the people of Rome since its completion. Many consider it to be pompous, too large, and crowded with too many statues. Its stacked appearance has caused it to be called “the wedding cake” and “the typewriter” by residents and visitors alike. 

But, it is not its gaudy appearance that has created the most controversy, it is the location of the monument. 

Capitoline Hill is one of the 7 original hills of Rome and was home to the earliest Roman’s religious and ruling power. The hill represents thousands of years of history and ritual that was partially destroyed when the monument was erected.

The Wedding Cake Roman Monument

To only add to the reasons why locals dislike the building is the fact that many tourists are drawn to it because of its impressive size and bright shiny marble. They walk past the important brown remains of the forums of ancient Rome to explore the massive "wedding cake", viewing it as an example of what the ancient architecture looked like in its heyday and ignoring the history that it eclipses. 

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victor emmanuel II monument in Rome
The Wedding Cake in Rome