Texture

Departmental administrator Nykia Omphroy talks about her favorite textures from the Met's collection.

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It would swallow me up, but I have this vision of myself putting it on like a cloak, and being draped in it. It has that textural association.

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  • Nykia Omphroy
    1280852
  • Goody Two Shoes' Picture Book  |  1874–76  |  Illustrated by Walter Crane (British), engraved and printed by Edmund Evans (British), published by George Routledge & Sons (British and American)  |  Wood engraving, printed in colors  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Holme, 1982 (1982.1125.2)
    8931024
  • Woman's informal robe with butterflies  |  Qing dynasty, late 19th–early 20th century  |  China  |  Embroidered silk satin  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Miller, 1970 (1970.145)
    1280860
  • "Black Rotation" Vase  |  2005  |  Gaetano Pesce (Italian)  |  Resin  |  Gift of the artist, 2006 (2006.125)
    11501024
  • Body Mask (Det)  |  mid-20th century  |  Asmat people, Ambisu village, New Guinea, Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia  |  Wood, fiber, leaves, paint  |  The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Mrs. Mary C. Rockefeller, 1965 (1978.412.1282a)
    6581024
  • Dusasa II  |  2007  |  El Anatsui (Ghanaian)  |  Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks  |  Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008 (2008.121)  |  Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
    1280953
  • Dusasa II  |  2007  |  El Anatsui (Ghanaian)  |  Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks  |  Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008 (2008.121)  |  Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
    1280962
  • Dusasa II  |  2007  |  El Anatsui (Ghanaian)  |  Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks  |  Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008 (2008.121)  |  Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
    1280693
  • Madame Arthur Fontaine (Marie Escudier)  |  1901  |  Odilon Redon (French)  |  Pastel on paper  |  The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1960 (60.54)
    7931024
  • Woman with a Towel  |  1894 or 1898  |  Edgar Degas (French)  |  Pastel on cream-colored wove paper with red and blue fibers throughout  |  H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.37)
    8381024
  • Bather Stepping into a Tub  |  ca. 1890  |  Edgar Degas (French)  |  Pastel and charcoal on blue laid paper, mounted at perimeter on backing board  |  H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.190)
    8581024
  • Sunflowers  |  1887  |  Vincent van Gogh (Dutch)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Rogers Fund, 1949 (49.41)
    1280903
  • Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (born 1817), the Artist's Uncle, as a Monk  |  1866  |  Paul Cèzanne (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1993.400.1)
    8531024
  • Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (born 1817), the Artist's Uncle, as a Monk  |  1866  |  Paul Cèzanne (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1993.400.1)
    8521024
  • Bohemia Lies by the Sea  |  1996  |  Anselm Kiefer (German)  |  Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal, and powdered paint on burlap  |  Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund, 1997 (1997.4a,b)
    1280421
  • Bohemia Lies by the Sea  |  1996  |  Anselm Kiefer (German)  |  Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal, and powdered paint on burlap  |  Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund, 1997 (1997.4a,b)
    1280848
  • Oval Form with Strings and Color  |  1966  |  Barbara Hepworth (British)  |  Elmwood and painted Elmwood with cotton strings  |  Purchase, Gift of Hon. and Mrs. Peter I. B. Lavan, by exchange, 2007 (2007.95)  |  © Bowness, Hepworth Estate
    8221024
  • Nykia Omphroy
    1280852
  • My name is Nykia Omphroy. I am part of the administrative team in the department of nineteenth century, modern, and contemporary art. My topic is "Texture."

  • My boss, endearingly I think, calls me Miss Goody Two-Shoes. I have a reputation of being a solid rule-follower. I don't color outside the lines, I like to cross the t's, dot the i's. But

  • as I walk through the building, I think about things that I would love to run my hands over. Maybe it's my alter-ego showing itself, stepping outside of the lines.

  • Messy objects are complex objects. Texture, it's something that I look for in works of art.

  • There are these wonderful Body Masks, that scream out, "Touch me, touch me!" These fibrous skirts, wood, paint that looks like beading. The purpose is to commemorate someone after they've passed away. It's something physical, something that invites touch to maintain that connection.

  • The El Anatsui is this massive sculpture, but I like to think of it as a metallic tapestry. It has this sense of drapery, sense of movement that you would think of in terms of fabric, but in fact it's made of individual pieces of metal and plastic.

  • It would swallow me up, but I have this vision of myself putting it on like a cloak, and being draped in it. It has that textural association. It's so massive but it's perforated, and so there's this weight, but at the same time this ephemeral feel to it.

  • The artist and the team that works with him are binding these things together by hand. It's manipulated. It's not free-flowing, and each bend and fold and crimp changes the impact of the piece.

  • Pastel is so fleeting and fragile. When I was a little girl, being in the room while my

  • mom was getting dressed, whether it be for work, or for church, or some function, the last thing she would do before putting on her clothes is she would put powder on. She would always put powder on, excessively put powder on. And I remember that whenever I look at these: it's powder on paper, and that it creates

  • these images is quite amazing. It seems so appropriate that it's often used to depict these intimate, quiet moments. Pastels have a hushed texture and a hushed feel about them.

  • Van Gogh. In many of his canvases there's such a build up of paint, he creates texture. You look at his Sunflowers and it doesn't register as a painted sunflower, it is just a sunflower. In the crosshatch work, you feel the seed buds.

  • Cezanne is applying paint to canvas directly with a palette knife. It's the equivalent of using a trowel to apply mortar. It's pick it up, slap it on. His

  • nose is another dash of thick paint so that it's bulbous. There are ridges across the forehead. The paint is thick, it's fleshy. You feel skin.

  • This Kiefer is a massive work. It's imposing, it's heavy. I get the impression that he was in his studio throwing everything he could possibly get his hands on onto this canvas. There's oil, there's emulsion, and there's a buildup coming off of the surface of the painting. It's invading your space, like projectiles coming out at you. The scene that's being depicted is a road going through a poppy field.

  • I feel as if I'm wading through the space, I can feel the clumps in the palms of my hands.

  • I don't break the "do not touch" rule. I'm not at home in the storeroom, running my fingers over things.

  • But in a sense it's looking beyond the surface.

  • 1982.1125.2
    Goody Two Shoes' Picture Book, 1874–76, Illustrated by Walter Crane (British), engraved and printed by Edmund Evans (British), published by George Routledge & Sons (British and American), Wood engraving, printed in colors Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Holme, 1982 (1982.1125.2)
  • 1970.145
    Woman's informal robe with butterflies, Qing dynasty, late 19th–early 20th century, China, Embroidered silk satin Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Miller, 1970 (1970.145)
  • 2006.125
    "Black Rotation" Vase, 2005, Gaetano Pesce (Italian), Resin Gift of the artist, 2006 (2006.125)
  • 1978.412.1282a
    Body Mask (Det), mid-20th century, Asmat people, Ambisu village, New Guinea, Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia, Wood, fiber, leaves, paint The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Mrs. Mary C. Rockefeller, 1965 (1978.412.1282a)
  • 2008.121
    Dusasa II, 2007, El Anatsui (Ghanaian), Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008 (2008.121) Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
  • 60.54
    Madame Arthur Fontaine (Marie Escudier), 1901, Odilon Redon (French), Pastel on paper The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1960 (60.54)
  • 29.100.37
    Woman with a Towel, 1894 or 1898, Edgar Degas (French), Pastel on cream-colored wove paper with red and blue fibers throughout H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.37)
  • 29.100.190
    Bather Stepping into a Tub, ca. 1890, Edgar Degas (French), Pastel and charcoal on blue laid paper, mounted at perimeter on backing board H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.190)
  • 49.41
    Sunflowers, 1887, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch), Oil on canvas Rogers Fund, 1949 (49.41)
  • 1993.400.1
    Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (born 1817), the Artist's Uncle, as a Monk, 1866, Paul Cèzanne (French), Oil on canvas The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1993.400.1)
  • 1997.4ab
    Bohemia Lies by the Sea, 1996, Anselm Kiefer (German), Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal, and powdered paint on burlap Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund, 1997 (1997.4a,b)
  • 2007.95
    Oval Form with Strings and Color, 1966, Barbara Hepworth (British), Elmwood and painted Elmwood with cotton strings Purchase, Gift of Hon. and Mrs. Peter I. B. Lavan, by exchange, 2007 (2007.95) © Bowness, Hepworth Estate
  • Goody Two Shoes' Picture Book, 1874–76, Illustrated by Walter Crane (British), engraved and printed by Edmund Evans (British), published by George Routledge & Sons (British and American), Wood engraving, printed in colors Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Holme, 1982 (1982.1125.2)
    Woman's informal robe with butterflies, Qing dynasty, late 19th–early 20th century, China, Embroidered silk satin Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Miller, 1970 (1970.145)
    "Black Rotation" Vase, 2005, Gaetano Pesce (Italian), Resin Gift of the artist, 2006 (2006.125)
    Body Mask (Det), mid-20th century, Asmat people, Ambisu village, New Guinea, Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia, Wood, fiber, leaves, paint The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Mrs. Mary C. Rockefeller, 1965 (1978.412.1282a)
    Dusasa II, 2007, El Anatsui (Ghanaian), Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008 (2008.121) Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
    Madame Arthur Fontaine (Marie Escudier), 1901, Odilon Redon (French), Pastel on paper The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1960 (60.54)
    Woman with a Towel, 1894 or 1898, Edgar Degas (French), Pastel on cream-colored wove paper with red and blue fibers throughout H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.37)
    Bather Stepping into a Tub, ca. 1890, Edgar Degas (French), Pastel and charcoal on blue laid paper, mounted at perimeter on backing board H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.190)
    Sunflowers, 1887, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch), Oil on canvas Rogers Fund, 1949 (49.41)
    Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (born 1817), the Artist's Uncle, as a Monk, 1866, Paul Cèzanne (French), Oil on canvas The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1993.400.1)
    Bohemia Lies by the Sea, 1996, Anselm Kiefer (German), Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal, and powdered paint on burlap Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund, 1997 (1997.4a,b)
    Oval Form with Strings and Color, 1966, Barbara Hepworth (British), Elmwood and painted Elmwood with cotton strings Purchase, Gift of Hon. and Mrs. Peter I. B. Lavan, by exchange, 2007 (2007.95) © Bowness, Hepworth Estate
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Goody Two Shoes' Picture Book
    1874–76
    Illustrated by Walter Crane (British), engraved and printed by Edmund Evans (British), published by George Routledge & Sons (British and American)
    Wood engraving, printed in colors
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Holme, 1982 (1982.1125.2)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Woman's informal robe with butterflies
    Qing dynasty, late 19th–early 20th century
    China
    Embroidered silk satin
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Miller, 1970 (1970.145)
    Not on view
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    "Black Rotation" Vase
    2005
    Gaetano Pesce (Italian)
    Resin
    Gift of the artist, 2006 (2006.125)
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Body Mask (Det)
    mid-20th century
    Asmat people, Ambisu village, New Guinea, Papua (Irian Jaya) Province, Indonesia
    Wood, fiber, leaves, paint
    The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Mrs. Mary C. Rockefeller, 1965 (1978.412.1282a)
    On view: Gallery 354
    Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasFirst Floor
    Dusasa II
    2007
    El Anatsui (Ghanaian)
    Found aluminum, copper wire, and plastic disks
    Purchase, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler 21st Century Art Fund; Stephen and Nan Swid and Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. Gifts; and Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp, 2008 (2008.121)
    Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Madame Arthur Fontaine (Marie Escudier)
    1901
    Odilon Redon (French)
    Pastel on paper
    The Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson Jr. Purchase Fund, 1960 (60.54)
    On view: Gallery 813
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Woman with a Towel
    1894 or 1898
    Edgar Degas (French)
    Pastel on cream-colored wove paper with red and blue fibers throughout
    H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.37)
    On view: Gallery 817
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Bather Stepping into a Tub
    ca. 1890
    Edgar Degas (French)
    Pastel and charcoal on blue laid paper, mounted at perimeter on backing board
    H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.190)
    On view: Gallery 817
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Sunflowers
    1887
    Vincent van Gogh (Dutch)
    Oil on canvas
    Rogers Fund, 1949 (49.41)
    On view: Gallery 826
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Antoine Dominique Sauveur Aubert (born 1817), the Artist's Uncle, as a Monk
    1866
    Paul Cèzanne (French)
    Oil on canvas
    The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1993.400.1)
    On view: Gallery 822
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Bohemia Lies by the Sea
    1996
    Anselm Kiefer (German)
    Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal, and powdered paint on burlap
    Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund, 1997 (1997.4a,b)
    On view: Gallery 915
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Oval Form with Strings and Color
    1966
    Barbara Hepworth (British)
    Elmwood and painted Elmwood with cotton strings
    Purchase, Gift of Hon. and Mrs. Peter I. B. Lavan, by exchange, 2007 (2007.95)
    © Bowness, Hepworth Estate
    On view: Gallery 920
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art