«Since its debut on January 5, Connections has allowed tens of thousands of viewers to become acquainted with members of our staff. Each episode sparkles with the personality of a narrator who weaves together works of art from the Met's collections, based on a theme that he or she finds particularly inspiring. Our viewers have been inspired as well.»
We've been posing questions about each episode to our Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and the responses—from witty to sweet to hilarious—have been wonderful. Curator Nadine Orenstein's episode, "The Ideal Man," and our follow-up question on Twitter—"Which work of art at the Met best represents your ideal man, and why?"—provoked thoughtful, often carefully researched replies.
Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, 1599–1660). Juan de Pareja (b. about 1610, d. 1670), 1650. Oil on canvas; 32 x 27 1/2 in. (81.3 x 69.9 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Fletcher and Rogers Funds, and Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, supplemented by gifts from friends of the Museum, 1971 (1971.86)
"I've always loved Juan de Pareja," replied Sara. "460 years later and he still seems so alive," she added.
Lilly Martin Spencer (American, 1822–1902). Young Husband: First Marketing, 1854. Oil on canvas; 29 1/2 x 24 3/4 in. (74.9 x 62.9 cm). Private collection, Promised Gift to The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"My ideal man is Lilly Spencer's Young Husband: First Marketing. Any man who knows to share the work is the sexiest man on earth," wrote Stephanie Stambaugh.
Sir Joshua Reynolds (English, 1723–1792). Captain George K. H. Coussmaker (1759–1801), 1782. Oil on canvas; 93 3/4 x 57 1/4 in. (238.1 x 145.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of William K. Vanderbilt, 1920 (20.155.3)
While Twitter follower Lauren chose Sir Joshua Reynold's portrait of Captain George K. H. Coussmaker because of a connection between Coussmaker and Jane Austen, one commenter claimed that the ideal man could not be found among the works of the Met: he chose himself.
On a recent snowy day, we launched Curator Andrew Bolton's episode, "White," which struck a chord with our Facebook fans. "I find the color white Bold, Crisp, Clean, and a color that many people cannot wear in fashion well. I love a room decorated in textures of white," commented Marcia. "For me, white is peace, tranquility, endlessness," said Casey. Barbara added, "We have atypical, sylvan snows down here in Georgia. I'd prefer to appreciate them as [others] do: serene, classic, beautiful, pure. But for the sake of Georgia's good, sensible folk, limited encores."
Follow us on Twitter and "friend" us on Facebook to participate in discussions about new Connections episodes as they are released.
Jennette Mullaney is associate email marketing manager in the Department of Digital Media.