All The Beauty In The World : The Metropolitan Museum Of Art And Me by Patrick Bringley
View book: All The Beauty In The World : The Metropolitan Museum Of Art And Me
A mesmerizing, eye-opening depiction of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its masterpieces, as seen through the eyes of a former staff member who served as a museum guard for a decade. Every year, countless individuals traverse the majestic marble staircase to immerse themselves in the splendors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yet, few are bestowed with unrestricted access to explore every corner and crevice. These privileged individuals are none other than the guards, silently keeping a watchful eye over the immense two million square foot treasure trove, donned in their unobtrusive dark blue uniforms.
Patrick Bringley, caught in the whirlwind of his glamorous career at The New Yorker, could never have imagined himself as a member of this select group. However, when his older brother was faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis, Bringley found himself longing for an escape from the monotony of daily existence. Thus, he bid farewell to The New Yorker and sought solace within the confines of the most exquisite place he knew – the museum.
To Bringley’s amazement and the reader’s pleasure, what was intended to be a temporary refuge evolves into his beloved abode away from home for a decade. We embark on his journey as he safeguards delicate relics from civilizations ranging from Egypt to Rome, meandering through the labyrinthine passages beneath the galleries. Over the course of his tenure, he wears through a staggering nine pairs of company-issued shoes, all while marveling at the wondrous masterpieces entrusted to his care.
Initially, Bringley enters the museum as a ghostly figure, silently navigating the halls with near-invisibility. However, he soon discovers his voice and his tribe: the artworks and their creators, as well as the vibrant subculture of museum guards. Within this exquisite tapestry, one encounters artists, musicians, dedicated blue-collar workers, immigrants, jesters, and dreamers all interwoven together.
As Bringley grows closer to his colleagues and develops a profound connection with the art, he gradually comprehends the serendipity of his seclusion within this microcosm. He realizes how strikingly similar it is to the finest aspects of the larger world, to which he eventually and gratefully returns.
In the spirit of renowned workplace memoirs such as “Lab Girl” and “Working Stiff,” “All The Beauty in the World” presents an unexpected and uplifting depiction of a prestigious museum, its concealed treasures, and the individuals who bring it to life. Penned by one of its most intimate observers, this remarkable account invites readers into an extraordinary realm where beauty knows no bounds.
Finding Comfort: A Museum Guard’s Journey Through Art
Finding Comfort and Meaning in the Beauty and Solitude of Art
ABC News Live anchor Kira Phillips introduces us to a man who transformed his life within the walls of one of the world’s most renowned museums. Instead of finding solace through YouTube channels and videos, Patrick Brinkley discovered healing and inspiration through works of art at New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A Silent Haven of History
Works of art possess a unique power – they are still, silent, and breathtaking guardians of history. For Patrick Brinkley, they became a new lens through which to view the world, helping him navigate the depths of his grief. He found solace in the galleries, where time seemed to pause and life’s rhythm transformed. Standing amidst the masterpieces, Patrick could sense his brother’s presence and feel a profound spiritual connection.
A Shift in Life’s Course
Patrick’s journey began during one of the darkest times in his life. His career at the prestigious New Yorker magazine hit a dead-end while his beloved older brother, Tom, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Tom’s courageous battle and ability to focus on the things he loved motivated Patrick to seek his own refuge in the museum’s ethereal beauty. Intent on finding peace and purpose, Patrick embarked on a surprising career change.
A Museum Guard’s Transformation
Patrick joined the ranks of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a guard after his brother’s passing. Through his new role, he discovered the remarkable power of art to evoke feelings, memories, and deep connections. Paintings became windows into human experiences, and one masterpiece, “Peter Bruegel the Elder’s The Harvesters,” resonated with Patrick, reminding him of the intricate tapestry of life.
An Unexpected Brotherhood and Sisterhood
Beyond the art itself, Patrick found camaraderie and a newfound sense of belonging among the museum’s diverse community of guards. These men and women from all walks of life brought their unique stories and backgrounds, creating a tapestry of fellowship that enriched Patrick’s own perspective.
Finding Beauty Amidst Pain
Tom’s memory and the immense beauty Patrick discovered within the museum became intertwined. Amidst the pain and complexity of life, Patrick learned to embrace the struggles, losses, and inevitable ending we all face. In doing so, he discovered a profound beauty that expanded his heart and instilled gratitude and growth.
Patrick’s journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of art, reminding us that amidst life’s challenges, there is solace and meaning to be found in the beauty of creation.
Our thanks to Kira Phillips, as well as the producers of this piece, Gabby John and Andrea, for bringing us such a poignant and inspiring story.