Hey everyone, this past Friday I went on Marywood’s yearly fall semester trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC (I’m very grateful that the Art Department gives students opportunities like this to see artwork that they might otherwise never get a chance to see). We arrived at around 10:30 in the morning, so my boyfriend and I decided to walk around the city for a bit before returning to the Met for the last few hours of the trip. I definitely need to go back, though, as the size of the building and the amount of work it holds requires more than just a few hours to digest the information presented to you.
I started by quickly viewing the Egyptian gallery spaces since their ancient civilization continuously holds the most interest for me, then walking through the Oceanic and African arts, then some Dutch etching (really cool), and finally ending up at the Modern and Contemporary works (my favorite being the Futurist works). However, through the short couple hours remaining to walk through the Met, the Oceanic works left me the most in awe. Never have I seen works like that before in my life. Huge sculptures and wood carvings decorated this wide, open space…it really made you felt incredibly small in comparison to these beautifully haunting works.
My absolute favorite were the Asmat Bis Poles. These huge Poles, carved from trees, are used for memorial feasts to celebrate those who have passed away and became ancestors. In this celebration though, it remains necessary for the living to realize they must avenge the dead since Asmat cosmetology states that death was caused by an enemy, either through war or magic, and each death needed to therefore be avenged. What I found most astounding was that the Poles were carved from trees turned upside down and that the ‘wings’ protruding from some figures were actually carved from the trees’ roots.
You can learn more about the Bis Poles from these two web pages on the Met’s website (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/311718 and https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/313830). I hope everyone has a great week, and, as always, I hope y’all can try to see the exhibit for yourselves!