Two degrees of Edward Hopper (Three degrees of Rockland)

If there’s a more delightful experience than being in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman galleries on an April morning, I can’t imagine it. Light pours through the central courtyard, giving the sculpture the semblance of antique figures on a chessboard. A horde of schoolchildren pass by, giggling at a Hellenistic male nude.

“What do we notice here?” their teacher asks. Perhaps she should rephrase the question.

WAG photographer John Rizzo and I are at The Met to report on the blockbuster “Pergamon” show (through July 17), featuring 300 years of Hellenistic art. Look for our stories in WAG’s June “Celebrating the Globe” issue.

But while we’re there, we can’t resist a trip to The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden to take in “The Roof Garden Commission: Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn).”

Picture a nearly 30-foot-tall recreation of the house in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho” – with its sinister gables and mansard roof – set against a panorama of Manhattan. But just as the British Parker was inspired by the Bates’ home in “Psycho” – as well as the color of the innocent red American barn – Hitchcock was inspired by the eerily solitary structure in Edward Hopper’s “The House by the Railroad,” a reimagination of a Second Empire Victorian in Haverstraw. (Hopper grew up in Nyack, where his fascination with the play of light was born as he watched it slice through his bedroom window.)

“PsychoBarn” is only a partial recreation. The back suggests it could be part of a film set, emphasizing the tension between art and everyday life.

Or as Hitch was wont to say to one of his leading ladies (Ingrid Bergman), “Ingrid, it’s only a movie.”

For more, visit And for more on rooftop gardens, look for WAG’s May “Celebrating Spring” issue. – Georgette Gouveia

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