Traveling in NYC forces you to bring your A game. It's the center for everything happening in Art and Fashion and practically everything it seems. New Yorker's have an edge to them that comes with being able to block out certain aspects of the city and focus. As someone that tends to wander, experiencing all of that energy is exhilarating and gives me a high that I ride the entire time I'm there.
For those of you that have been following along, you know I've been obsessing over visiting the Heavenly Bodies exhibits at the Met and Met Cloisters. They did not disappoint. I visited the Met on Fifth Ave first. This part of the exhibit is housed in two separate galleries. I went downstairs to the Anna Wintour Costume Gallery first. Items on loan from the Vatican filled this space. The embroidery on these pieces was mind blowing. The gradients of threads when depicting human skin was so delicate and precise. The details in the sacred symbolic items was insane. Chalices, prayer books, and jewelry were all adorned with such storytelling detail that you could have taken hours to examine each item and listen to the audio listing each aspect of it.
The other part of the exhibit was housed in a main Gallery upstairs. It was constructed like a Catholic Church and music was playing loudly when you walked in. I don't remember any other show having music as part of the experience. It was a little bit intimidating and added to the experience. The way pieces were displayed and placed within the space it what really elevated this show, literally, as you had to really look p to see many of the pieces. The symbolism in that alone was so interesting and inspiring. I spent time watching other guests walk into the room and seeing their reaction. I teared up multiple times throughout this section of the show. I'm not sure that's happened to be before either but honestly the show is so beautiful how could you not?
I have never been to the Met Cloisters. I only knew you had to walk through gardens to get there and I wanted to choose the perfect travel day for that and I did. It was perfect. There was a breeze and the sun was out. The gardens are lovely and in bloom. It felt like a dream to walk through the open green space to our destination. Walking into the Cloisters felt almost like you had walked through a back entrance as opposed to the iconic Met stairs. Music played again, heightening the senses. The show fills the Cloisters which is a mix of Galleries with courtyards and hallways all part of the exhibit. It was amazing. It was as if Andrew Bolton looked at all of the detail on the pieces from the Vatican and deconstructed them into individual spaces you can walk through. Space was given for you to experience each fashion and iconic piece chosen. I was silent and in total awe of this show. I spent a huge amount of time noticing the placement of objects within the space and looked for the shadows and reflections. The fashion interacted with the stained glass and the light coming through. I would say that visiting the Cloisters at different times of the day would alter your experience. It was a beautiful sunny day when we attended at about 11am. The light was gorgeous, casting shadows and adding to the drama of the show. I will never forget this.
I'm not going to add any images to this post because I really believe everyone should see this show without any preconceived idea of what's there. The show book is beautiful as always but doesn't show the spaces at all. I think that was very purposeful also because to capture everything that goes into the experience of this show would be impossible. Go to see it! Do anything you can to get to NYC by Sept. If you can only get to one of the location, choose the Cloisters. It is not to be missed.