Monday, May 9, 2011

Castles and 18th Century Theatrical Design: Whee!

One day last week I had a few hours to kill between work and drawing at the Society of Illustrators, so I walked a bit in Central Park and wandered into The Met.

Whenever I visit this most glorious of New York City museums, I always start by seeing what they have up in the constantly rotating Drawing and Print Gallery on the 2nd floor. The current exhibit, which is pulled from the permanent collection, is pretty fantabulous. They've pulled out all the big guns with Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and William Blake well represented. I remember being twelve or thirteen and staring at the famous self-portrait Dürer drew when he was thirteen and being completely upset that I wasn't as good. Yes, for what it's worth, even when I was a child I compared myself with the Renaissance greats. One of my favorites is included, "The Sea Monster" (at left). I love the tortoise shell being used as a shield and the romantic castle of my dreams situated in the landscape.

Also on display, are a number of 18th and 19th century stage designs. Most are ink and watercolor. There are some glorious ones for a mid-19th century Magic Flute, and an 18th century design (at right) for a sadly unidentified production drawn by Johann Heinrich Ramberg that made me want to jump into my trusty (imaginary) time machine and create something in his glorious, repurposed space. There are more - beautiful Italian watercolors and chalk drawings and an interior of The Met Opera House from 1884 that put the currently used software to shame. Why is it that so many useful modern instruments also neglect to be beautiful?

The current exhibit is up through June 12.

I also made a quick sweep through the Alexander McQueen exhibit, and it even more wonderful than hoped. More on that later!

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