Our day at The Met

The Sandy Schreier Collection of fashions over the course of a century, gilded scientific marvels and the popular Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche dominate this season’s goodies at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Senior writer Mary Shustack so thoroughly whetted our appetite for “In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection,” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute through May 17, that we had to run down to The Met the day after Thanksgiving to see the show for ourselves. And we must say, it didn’t disappoint, featuring as it does Schreier’s gift of French and American couture and ready-to-wear clothes to the museum, acquired not as a wardrobe but rather as a collection of aesthetic objects. Nonetheless, you’ll find yourself saying, “I’ll take that one,” and “Oh, I can see myself in that one.” Suffice it to say there’s an outfit for every woman there.

We got a different kind of kick out of “Making Marvels: Science & Splendor at the Courts of Europe” (through March 1). Never have scientific objects – culled from the royal houses of the 16th through 18th centuries – been so gilded, including one elaborate contraption for making wire. We were most struck, however, by a sensuous, commanding “painting” of “St. Michael Slaying the Devil,” made by 16th-century Mexican featherworkers for Emperor Rudolf II from an iconic print. It’s extraordinary how artists can use one medium to mimic another. For us, art outshines fashion and even the sciences.

No visit to The Met at this time of year is complete without a homage to its Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche (through Jan. 6), with angels swirling and soaring above the Nativity scene in a kind of apotheosis.

It’s like a late-Baroque painting come to life.

– Georgette Gouveia

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