You don’t really enter the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You are consumed by it, and in pieces. It’s cacophonous, unending, perpetually self-editing, almost as vast and ungraspable as the ocean.
One approach is to stare down a detailed map, circle notable works, and make a tense scavenger hung of reaching them all. We much prefer to be taken by the current, to step into a room let whim act as a navigational star.
At times, this means being swept away with the foot traffic of a crowd – accidentally listening in on a lecture, watching sketch artists focus intensely, or stumbling upon a masterpiece with a solemn group gathered in reverence. Other times, it means swimming against the current – turning towards contrastingly deserted side corridors and having a curated oasis reveal itself, in this moment, just to you.
In this feature on the Met, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite such moments – gilded rooms with manmade sun streaming through the windows, sumptuous silk fabrics covering walls, stoic figures emerging from stone, and impossible divergent details converging into a perfect whole. We’ve also collected a group of lip colors inspired by each space, to work in harmony with your own ebb and flow.