The Met

My senior year of college I took a museum studies course taught by the wonderful Davis Museum director David Mickenberg. We traveled around the East Coast looking at various museums and had a particularly memorable trip to NYC where I fell in love with the Neue Gallery and really loved the playfulness of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. We made the obligatory visit to the Met which was certainly awe inspiring in terms of the size and collection of works, but the chaotic Saturday crowds were a little off putting and aside from the Frank Lloyd Wright living room, which totally blew me away, I don't remember much from my visit to the Met. So flash forward six years and I'm in a city which is currently in the process of having its only notable museum closed because of state budget cuts, wah! In an effort to fuel my slowly dying love of museum visits, I checked out Museum: Behind the Scenes and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was a surprised by the format of 35 interviews which read as first person essays by various members of the museum staff (I was expecting an insiders history of the museum). The author interviews everyone from the cleaning and floral staff to curators and the director himself. I'm only four interviews in but I'm loving the random and inspiring stories of how these various people made their way to the Met. I love that the head of museum security with a PhD in criminal justice spent a year in college wandering around the Museums of Europe and can still describe visiting a specific tomb in Florence.


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