“One of the greatest adventures in life is to know something that nobody else knows. Something that makes you different, where it really counts: inside yourself.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of my favorite places in the world. Sure, it may be totally elitist and snobby but whenever I go there I feel reinvigorated and mentally stimulated. I have a degree in Art History so I just love museums in general. Since the Met has never been want for money they have an incredible collection of art spanning thousands of years. My favorite galleries are the 19th Century European Paintings and Sculpture, the Egyptian Wing, the Greek and Roman Galleries, the American Wing, and European Paintings. I know that place like that the back of my hand. It is a comfort to be to go there every time, it has never become boring to me. I can never get sick and tired of seeing my favorite painting Madame X by John Singer Sargent, she is stunning, sassy, gorgeous, and full of attitude.
I have loved museums ever since I was little. My parents used to take me to all kinds of museums because I was so into history. I cannot really remember the first time I ever visited the Met but I knew I loved it because I can remember getting excited when we had to read the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler when I was in elementary school. The book has always stayed in my mind and heart since it dealt with two kids basically living in the Met for a few days. That was (and is still) my dream to live in the Met! (or any museum for that matter haha). When I found out that the book had been made into a movie called The Hideaways and it starred my favorite classic film actress Ingrid Bergman, I HAD to see it!
Claudia is a young girl who is unhappy having to keep an eye on her younger brothers and doing chores. Her home life is fine but she is growing up and her parents are giving her more responsibilities. Claudia loves to read and dream about the stories of King Arthur. Her father tells her not to read those stories because he feels they are for little kids. Claudia comes up with the plan to leave home with her brother Jamie and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She comes up with an elaborate plan to not get off the school bus which will be brought into the city after the student drop off and then catch the train to New York City.
Once in the Met, Claudia and Jaime pay their entrance fee and then at hide out in the bathrooms when the museum closes. While walking around at night after the museum closes Claudia comes across the statue of an angel in one of the galleries. She is immediately infatuated with the statue. The next day Claudia begins to research the statue which is attributed to Michelangelo. She drags Jamie to the library to do some investigating. Claudia finds the statue gone from the pedestal in the gallery after it was moved to be part of an exhibition. On the velvet it had been placed on she finds the imprint of an inscription that had been carved at the bottom. She remembers reading about the inscription and that it was Michelangelo’s signature.
After investigating further, Claudia finds that the statue was owned and donated by a Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler and comes to the conclusion that the woman could hold the secret to the truth about the statue. With the last of their money Claudia and Jamie travel out to Mrs. Frankenweiler (Ingrid Bergman). She is an older lady who is not ready to just freely give up the secret of the statue. She does see that Claudia is genuinely interested and shows the young girl some information on the statue.
I have to talk about the scene where Claudia and Jamie are researching in the library. I loved it because Jamie said something about how he did not realize that investigating involved doing research. I unfortunately cannot remember exactly what he said but I loved it. As an Art Historian all I do is research art. Basically Art Historians are like history detectives constantly researching for facts and truths and learning. I do not mind researching whatsoever I love learning I love gathering facts and information. I just hate researching when it came to writing papers (although I must say I wrote some pretty good papers in college. One was on Jacques-Louis David and his portrayal of women in his works).
Ingrid Bergman was only in the movie at the end. Of course she was fabulous the woman never gave less than 100% no matter what her role was. She was perfect as this stuffy old regal rich woman. I must give a mention to Madeline Kahn who had a very small appearance as, I believe, a teacher who was guiding her class in part of the Egyptian Wing. I adore her way too much her scene was so funny.
The Hideaways was alright. The actors who played Jamie and Claudia were annoying as hell and sometimes that bogged down the movie for me. I had a good time seeing some of the galleries and some of the works of art. Is it sad that I know what works of art are still on display today and that I know exactly where they are?! It was also cool to see how much the museum has changed since 1973. I am only going to recommend seeing The Hideaways if you really like Art History or if you are an Ingrid Bergman completist like myself, otherwise skip it.