Many of you know that, before deciding to go back to grad school, I had a career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is FULL of beautiul representations of women throughout the centuries!
I'm often asked what my favorite piece in the ENTIRE museum is. That's an easy one for me, it's definitely the "Baker Dancer"- a tiny little bronze statue from Ancient Greece. This is a piece I often saw people just walk right by without noticing, but I'll never forget the first time I saw it.
|The "Baker Dancer", 3rd-2nd century BC, image via metmuseum.org|
I couldn't believe how lifelike this little figure was, she seemed to be moving in so many directions at once. Her form was so womanly, curvy and thick and yet graceful as liquid. So different from the Degas ballerinas upstairs, I was mesmerized by her. I remember lingering at that vitrine for as long as I possibly could, not wanting to lose a moment with this tiny marvel. I couldn't have imagined then that I would one day work at that very instution, and that I would get to visit her at least once a day!
Until I saw this little statue (it stands only 8 inches high) it never occured to me to think of curvy women as "graceful" or "lithe", I remember the card on the vitrine saying that dancers like her were celebrated by the Alexandrian aristocracy. This sculpture sparked my imagination in a way no other piece in that humongous museum had, to think that a larger, curvy body could move with as much expression and vitality as any other.
I hope she inspires you, too! And if you're ever in New York and get a chance to visit the Met, I hope you'll pay her a visit. You won't regret it!
Wishing you love with extra cheese-