Saturday, April 21, 2012

George Washington, the Hudson River School, and the Samurai

A couple of days ago (after explaining to Thing 2 the difference between "looking" museums and "touching" museums), the Things and I hit up the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I had planned to take them before Pesach, but between PT and cleaning, it just hadn't happened.  This trip, I would keep the map from Thing 1, and we would explore the Armory.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is easily one of my favorite places in the city.  Apparently, Thing 1 likes it too, since going this week was her idea.  As soon as I located the Armory on the map, we headed in that direction.  of course, in order to GET to the Armory, we had to pass through a roomful of medieval sculptures (read--icons).  Of course, Thing 2 noticed the subject matter right away.  "Look, Mama, a baby!"  "That's right, Thing 2, and when you get older...much, much, much, much, MUCH older, I'll tell you all about that baby."  (I'm not teaching my kids about J*sus until they are old enough not to get confused.)  Thing 1 said "Mama, these are idols."
Finally, we reached the Armory.  Both Things were fascinated by the armor, the chain mail, and the armor for the horses.  However, unbeknownst to me, the Met also has a collection of Samurai armor.  I got to explain to the kids that the Samurai were like Japanese knights.  At first, they thought that the armor was scary, then they thought it was funny.  Thing 1 noticed a suit of armor where small plates were actually connected by chain mail.
Also unbeknownst to me, the American Wing opened right off the Armory.  Since we had studied Bierstadt paintings all winter, we decided to see if they had any.  As we got to the area with the paintings, I pointed out the 18-century portraits of boys in gowns.  Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Washington Crossing the Delaware, and steered the kids in that direction.  To get there, we had to pass through a room of portraits, including Gilbert Stuart's famous one of George Washington.  Thing 2 got all excited.  "Mama, Mama, Geoge Wassington!"  Other patrons were amused that a little three-year-old got so excited by our first president.
After Washington Crossing the Delaware (which is freaking HUGE--took up almost a whole wall), we wandered into a room full of Hudson River School landscapes.  Thing 1 picked out a Bierstadt right away.  Of course, she thought ALL the Hudson River School landscapes were Bierstadt--but she's only five.

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