In New York’s huge Metropolitan Museum of Art or simply the Met, tucked away in one of its hidden corners, is the Luce Center, a visible-storage facility that displays more than 10,000 works of American fine and decorative art. Walking its aisles is like walking through a fine department store. In it, objects are arranged by material (paintings, sculpture, furniture and woodwork, glass, ceramics and silver), and within these categories they are further arranged by chronology and form.
Think of the Luce Center as the chorus line of the Met’s artworks, on stage, but not yet in the spotlight. Someday, one or two or even a few of these pieces will leave their glass case and be featured in some art show, say a retrospective of colonial era silver-smithing, but for most items this is their lot in life. A work of art, but not a great work of art. The corridor lights are motion activated, where illumination signals the arrival of the next occasional visitor. The lights shine for only a brief while, as someone marches down the aisle reviewing, but not really seeing. There are too many to see or to savor. Still, it beats being locked away in a box. You are after all on display, in showbiz sort of speak, if only in the chorus line, but maybe, just maybe, someday a star.
The Met’s collection is all online. That includes all of the objects in the Luce Center. Objects can be searched for. Online though, each object is catalogued and displayed individually. There is no sense of their collective presence. No chorus line to review. Every one of these objects is just a singular sensation.
Even though yesterday was V-E Day, we took a break from our relentless pursuit of World War II era justice, in the series Foyle’s War. We had already screened pass the V-E Day episode and have entered the post-war era. For a break, we watched the 2010 Rom-Com Valentine’s Day. It is a star-studded affair. Virtually a who’s-who of that year’s silver screen luminaries. It was an enjoyable piece of fluff that indulged is some serious tinsel town navel gazing. Set entirely on its namesake’s day, we follow this truly large ensemble cast’s trials and tribulations, all in the name of love. The part that I liked the most actually occurred at the end of the movie, while the credits were rolling.
If featured Julia Roberts, who plays a returning servicewoman, on only a very brief leave. Most of the movie she has been seated next to Bradley Cooper on a plane. He is playing a high flying businessman, sort-of-speak. Throughout the movie is teased their A-list hookup, but this is not to be. Instead, Cooper lends her his limo, so that she can have a few more minutes, out of her all too brief leave, with her significant other. In the credits, she is headed back to the airport and while passing Rodeo Drive, the limo driver asks her, if she has ever shopped there. Her big meta moment comes with the answer, “Big mistake. Big. Huge.” An allusion to her Pretty Woman role. I warned you about the naval gazing.