I have a weird confession: Sometimes I imagine I'm the Bill James of fine art criticism. Bill worked as a boiler-room attendant at a factory in Lawrence, Kansas. Old box scores were his only companions, and after months of whisperings between them and Bill, he came to think of baseball in new terms. Had Bill James had anyone to talk to, things probably would have been different.
Me, I'm a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. All day long I stand in galleries and think my lonesome thoughts. I don't read boxscores, but the Museum is itself a sort of boxscore: a two-million object shorthand account of man's yearning for beauty over forty centuries. It's the nature of my job that I pay closer and longer attention than any curator, any art historian, in any office. My question is this. What can I -- an outsider -- achieve with my hours? Who knows, but anyway it's a lot of fun to have a go.
That's all for philosophizing. Meet the Met:
Stop by sometime, and