Today's New York Times has an article about the new Africa exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum: "Heroic Africans," statues and busts based on historic figures but abstracted into ideal moral and leadership qualities. And I saw it first-- on Wednesday. It has wonderful big idealized portraits in wood and other materials of chiefs and other leaders, everything with great presence and dignity.
I love when this happens, when I wander into and exhibit and have my own reactions. I knew it was opening from the website, and I knew that was the first day, but I knew nothing about it, was surprised by how large it was, and very, very impressive. I apparently started at the wrong end, the direction the guard told me to go when I asked, and I definitely want to go back.
It was my ideal way to begin to get to know an exhibit (except that I was tired from visiting other things already): to wander in and around an exhibit, pretty innocent of critical apparatus, just let it capture me, whatever piece (for me Wednesday it was the magnificent and naturalistic terra cotta Yoruba heads. Then to go back with systematic reading of labels and/or audioguide, etc.
Cool to have been there before the Times gave its imprimatur!