While riding the D train I spotted a billboard featuring actor Hugh Jackman. Under the words “MY MET. MY FAMILY,” Jackman says, “A day at the Met with my kids is a simply perfect day. It widens our world and brings us closer together.” Among the works of art pictured with the Wolverine Boy from Oz is a Japanese suit of armor.
Curious, I checked out The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website and discovered that the billboard is part of the What’s Your Met? campaign, where the esteemed institution asks visitors to select their favorite works of art and collect them in a slideshow that can be shared with friends through social media.
Jackman is part of the Celebrities Share section that includes artist Jeff Koons, singer Alicia Keys, and even New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. (I have a feeling A-Rod’s PR staff took care of his selections.)
The slideshow by Jackman contains nine works of art, two that are Japanese. In addition to the 18th century armor by Bamen Tomotsugu, Jackman chose Hokusai’s ukiyo-e print “Under the Wave off Kanagawa” from the artist’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji series.
Of course, you don’t have to be a celebrity to participate in What’s Your Met? Seeing Jackman’s entry inspired me to create one of my own, My Met. My Culture.
It contains eleven pieces that reflect my love of Japanese art and culture: textiles, ceramics, woodblock prints, scrolls, lacquer, and metalwork. I even found a Bingata robe from Okinawa, the first selection in my slideshow.
Why don’t you create your own “My Met. My ____.”? I’m curious to see what fans of Japanese culture like in terms of art, and I’d love to compare what people select.
Sign up through the Met’s website. Share your links in the comments of this article or e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post them on JapanCulutre•NYC’s Facebook page and compile a collection for a future article on the website.