I've been going into the city to browse museums since I was a teenager in high school. No matter what my passion of the moment was, there has always been something to inform and inspire me, in the city's great museums.
On Friday, I went in to the city for some shopping.
Afterwards, I took advantage of MOMA's free Friday night admissions (a saving of $20).
There's nothing like seeing great works of art in person. You can fall in love with a work through photographs, in a book or on the internet. But I really don't think you can fully appreciate what makes it a recognized masterpiece, until you see it up close.
For example, can you really get a sense of how large some of Monet's work is, unless you walk in a room full of Waterlilies? Or the size and thickness of Calder's jewelry? Or the beauty of Jackson Pollack's work? Or can you focus on one small section of a canvas, unless you see it up close?
Warhol's soup cans & Jasper John's flag
It's also a place where you get to understand what quality means. Once you see quality, you can recognize it. When I dealt with antiques, I needed to be able to recognize quality when I saw it. No antique price guide is ever going to have every possible antique you will find, even if you were able to look them all up, before deciding on a purchase. What I had to rely on, was knowing how a piece would stand up sitting in a gallery with the best from that era. And I couldn't do that, unless I saw enough of the best.
I didn't see any jewelry at the MOMA on Friday. But I saw quality, I saw passion, I saw boldness and thinking outside the box. Those are all the factors I'd like to show in my own art jewelry creations. So, I am inspired for the new week. I hope you are too!
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
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