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Monday, June 2, 2014

Visiting the Met: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

I got in trouble at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day. As a rule, I try to avoid trouble, but sometimes it just happens anyway.
Pen and Ink Study, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rita Salazar Dickerson

I planned this visit to the museum with my drawing pen and sketch book in hand, ready to sketch paintings that caught my eye. Drawing works of art from the masters forces me to really look at the painting and study it more closely than I would if I just gazed at it or took a photograph.

Pen and Ink/Pencil study, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rita Salazar Dickerson
 After completing "Head of a Young Woman", I moved to the next room and began "Portrait of a Man". All was going well with this stylish young man who boldly faces the viewer with confidence and determination when a guard appeared out of nowhere and asked me what I was drawing with. I thought he was just trying to strike up a friendly conversation.

"What are you drawing with?", he asked. "A pen", I smiled. "A pen?" "Yes, a pen." "Not a pencil?" "No, a pen." "Its not a pencil?" "No", I replied. "Its a pen. See the nice little tip? Its a drawing pen."(I was so proud of my new pen.) "You cannot use a pen in the museum", he said sternly. "But this is just a nice little drawing pen." I replied. "No pens in the museum. Look." And he proceeded to show me the museum policy written in their brochure which he had hi-lighted in red ink. Red ink. Really?

I was so surprised I just stood there. He walked away and I continued to stand there thinking that maybe my drawing time was over. But no. Wait. It can't be over. I was really enjoying this special time, studying and drawing. Could I really give up so easily? No, I could not. Quickly I sprang into action, asking another guard (someone who didn't know my past) where the nearest exit was out of this incredible art maze. I tried not to run down the long flight of steps to the bookstore on the main level. I quickly purchased this fine drawing pencil, complete with the museum logo. A keepsake that I never knew I wanted.

 And then it was back to the "Portrait of a Man", now a mixed media sketch. Pen and graphite.

Pencil Sketch Study, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rita Salazar Dickerson
My final sketch of the day was this interesting portrait of "Maria Teresa". Her hair was adorned with translucent, crescent shaped ribbons woven into her massive waves. She was so much fun to draw. Velasquez must have had a blast.


  1. What a fun story and memory. Beautiful sketches. Who would of known, 'no pens'? Seems like a silly rule. Blessings! Tresa

    1. I know, right? The funny thing is, I have admired other artists in museums when I have seen them drawing pen sketches. Maybe its just a rule at the Met.
      Thanks for the comment, Tresa!