Imatge de l'autor

Ressenyes

Es mostren totes 14
This was a fantastic little tour of the Metropolitan and , at the same time, something of a coming of age story and a primer on dealing with grief. You’ll definitely want to keep a device handy so you can see all the works referenced in the book. The author provides a helpful list at the end of the book
 
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cspiwak | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Mar 6, 2024 |
This memoir provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Through the author's eyes, we go behind the public spaces to view the work of the huge cadre of museum guards. Details about the training and support of the guards (including a sock allowance!) provide insights about museum operations that patrons would never guess. Bringley's back story about grieving the death of his brother make this book all the more memorable.
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sleahey | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Feb 6, 2024 |
I didn't read very far into this.... Bringley writes beautifully about art and the impact it has on him, but I just don't like memoirs.
 
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Gwendydd | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Jan 11, 2024 |
“...definition of art: something more beautiful than it has any right to be.”

“Much of the greatest art, I find, seeks to remind us of the obvious.”


Patrick Bringley has written the most kind-hearted and touching memoir I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. If you are after crazy museum escapades and tall tales, this is not it (there are some ;)). If you are after art history, this is not it. This is a book of grief and heartache; of love, grace and slow healing.

When your parents give you the love of art, it is a blessing. Patrick’s first visit to the Met as a child is beautiful. “What was beautiful in the painting was not like words, it was like paint – silent, direct, and concrete, resisting transformation even into thought. As such, my response to the picture was trapped inside me, a bird fluttering in my chest.” (The painting in question is Pieter Bruegel’s The Harvesters.)

The mundane details of the museum guard job are described in ways that are not mundane at all. After you’ve had this job for a while, you can tell who is a New Yorker and who isn’t, who has been to a great art museum before, and who is here for the first time. The author has respect and patience and care for them all. There is a lot of pride in a job well done.“I’m surprised at the meaning I begin to find in even small interactions with guards and visitors.”

Oh, by the way, would you prefer a twelve-hour day on a wood floor or en eight-hour day on a marble floor? (Hint: pick the former.) There are days when you hope that your post will be beside Titian (I would cherish the same hope, if I were a museum guard ;))

I love, love, love the way the author writes about art. It’s so personal, so universal, so humane. I’m happy to have walked through the museum with him. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece. Chinese paintings and music. Art from the African continent. The Renaissance. The impressionists. Etc...

“In a typical gallery, ten or twenty gold-framed windows are blowing holes through the four walls.” Yes, great paintings tend to do that...

I wish that this book were longer. Patrick Bringley, your memoir was a beautiful and unexpected gift. Thank you.
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Alexandra_book_life | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Dec 15, 2023 |
When his older brother dies of cancer at a young age, Patrick Bringley couldn't imagine working a desk job while dealing with his grief. Instead he works as a guard at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of over 600 in the organization's largest department. In this memoir, Bringley offers reflections on the art displayed on the museum from the perspective of someone who looked at them for ten years. He also offers stories of the visitors to the museum, often empathetic when it would be easy to be snooty. His relationships with the other guards - of widely divergent ages and geographical backgrounds - and their daily routines are also acutely observed. It's a very thoughtful and humane work that reflects on the dignity of work from the position of someone often overlooked by the public. It's a book that, as Bringley puts it, helps you not to learn about art, but from art!

Favorite Passages:
"I had lost someone. I did not wish to move on from that. In a sense I didn't wish to move at all."

 
I like baffled people. I think they are right to stagger around the Met discombobulated, and more educated people are wrong when they take what they see in stride.
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Othemts | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Nov 7, 2023 |
Beautiful book - audio read by author is excellent.
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carolfoisset | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Sep 19, 2023 |
Grieving the death of his brother in his 20s, Patrick Bringley slips the ropes of his life and applies to be a museum guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For ten years he stands guard in the rooms and imbibes the art and watches and talks to the visitors, and the fellow guards, many of whom become friends.

A beautiful memoir of the appreciation of extraordinary art and quiet meditation upon it, and its healing powers.
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Caroline_McElwee | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Sep 9, 2023 |
I am officially bored. I loved this at first, but the more it is about the guards the more I really do not care. It does pick up when he talks about his reaction to and thoughts about the art, but it is not enough when I have so many books waiting for me. This is well written, and I am sure a lovely read for those who spend less time in the Met than I do. I am going to DNF at page 160, but it is a nice book, well written, and I think the right reader would really enjoy it.
 
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Narshkite | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Aug 1, 2023 |
I fell in love with this book.

It’s a beautifully written and a really touching memoir. He’s a good storyteller. I liked how he went back and forth with times in his life and with a change of focus, especially with his museum job and with his brother and with his family life. His narrative was riveting.

I haven’t been to the Met in nearly 50 years and I’ve never been to the Cloisters. I might have enjoyed this book even more if I was more familiar with the museum. I would like to visit it (and many NYC museums) again. The armchair traveling I did when reading this book whetted my appetite for another real visit.

I loved reading about the guards and their various backgrounds.

I appreciated how he gave Emilie Lemakis some page space and made a point of saying this was her real name and encouraging his readers to buy her art. I did a google search on her – very interesting.

This is a special book. It’s a memoir, an art book, a history book, a philosophy book, and a great book about a great museum. As I read I wanted to learn more about most of what the author was writing. The art, the artists, the history, the Met, and more.

I now wish I’d kept my copy of The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, at least long enough to look at the quilts again.

Despite the long chapters it was an easy read and I found it hard to put down and couldn’t wait to get back to it.

I appreciated the humor!

I greatly enjoyed the drawings by Maya McMahon. They made the book even better. Because of them I would not recommend reading an audio edition of this book. I’m unclear about why she does not get official illustrator credit. There are also a couple of images that include a thank you to museums for permission to include them in this book.

I’m thinking I might now have some different perspectives when looking at artworks during museum visits and I’ll definitely feel more curious about the museum guards I encounter.
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Lisa2013 | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Jul 26, 2023 |
A very well written book about being a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Patrick Bringley is certainly an educated and inquisitive person. His insights into art and the viewing of art resonated with me. I look forward to my next visit to any art museum.
 
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kayanelson | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Jun 20, 2023 |
As an old art history student and former employee (library clerk) at the Cleveland Museum of Art, I was eager to get my hands on this. And I loved it.

In the wake of the wrenching death of his beloved older brother, Patrick Bringley redirects his life. He quits an entry-level job in the very rarefied atmosphere of The New Yorker magazine, and decides he wants to spend his days quietly, unobtrusively, with space to breathe and think. To do so surrounded by the splendor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the answer. He spent ten years, four days a week, in a dark blue polyester suit, pacing, leaning, watching, musing, counting, and chatting in those halls. This lovely, open-hearted book strikes the delicate balance between the museum and the "me," where so many writers get it wrong, coming down heavily on the side of themselves. He keeps his curious, enthusiastic, generous gaze turned outward: on the art, on the museum visitors, on his colleagues, and it is through his descriptions and observations that we get a sense of who he is. He gives us a backstage tour of the basements and hallways, light switches and locker rooms; idiosyncratic rituals of post assignments; affectionate character sketches of the diverse guard corps; and hard-earned understanding of the impact of gallery flooring (wood is comfortable; marble is not; and good socks are serious business, funded by the museum). Bringley is a friendly guide through galleries of painting, statuary, Islamic tiles, medieval armor, African sculpture, and Chinese scrolls, considering the different impacts these have when examined with a fresh and open eye, absorbed over many hours of pondering.

A gem of rumination on life, art, people, and one great and beautiful museum.
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JulieStielstra | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Apr 10, 2023 |
I will never experience the Met in the same way again. I loved his ruminations on the art where he spent hours, his observations and surprises he found among his fellow guards and among the Met's many visitors.
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ccayne | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Mar 18, 2023 |
I think this is the epitome of a good memoir for me; the author is what’s considered a regular guy who isn’t extraordinary, but he sees the world in an extraordinary way. It’s truly a meditation on grief and handling it in the way that works best, and I’m inspired by that. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that more people are applying to be security guards at the Met after reading this as it does sound like a dream to be surrounded by the art every day (he made an excellent point that the “suits” just rush by it on their way to offices). Wonderful linking to all the works mentioned as well; I loved this so much and think I may reread it before it goes back to the library.
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spinsterrevival | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Feb 25, 2023 |
Es mostren totes 14