The View

Vice president Debra McDowell reflects on finding perspective.

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It's about reaching beyond where you are.

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  • Debra McDowell
    1280852
  • Colburn's Butte, South Utah  |  1873  |  Thomas Moran (American, born England)  |  Graphite, watercolor, and gouache on blue wove paper  |  Gift of David and Laura Grey, in honor of Kevin J. Avery, 2009 (2009.547)
    6901024
  • Office in a Small City  |  1953  |  Edward Hopper (American)  |  Oil on canvas  |  George A. Hearn Fund, 1953 (53.183)
    1280899
  • A Farm in Brittany  |  ca. 1894  |  Paul Gauguin (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Bequest of Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, in memory of her husband, Sam A. Lewisohn, 1954 (54.143.2)
    12801021
  • Haystacks: Autumn  |  ca. 1874  |  Jean-François Millet (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Signed (lower right): J.F. Millet  |  Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959 (60.71.12)
    1280997
  • From My Window at An American Place, North  |  1931  |  Alfred Stieglitz (American)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.47)
    8101024
  • The Ballet from Robert le Diable  |  1871  |  Edgar Degas (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Signed and dated (lower right): Degas / 1872  |  H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.552)
    8471024
  • The Block  |  1971  |  Romare Bearden (American)  |  Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shore, 1978 (1978.61.1–6)  |  © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
    1280285
  • The Block  |  1971  |  Romare Bearden (American)  |  Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shore, 1978 (1978.61.1–6)  |  © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
    8251024
  • The Block  |  1971  |  Romare Bearden (American)  |  Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shore, 1978 (1978.61.1–6)  |  © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
    8521024
  • Street Story Quilt  |  1985  |  Faith Ringgold (American)  |  Oil, felt-tip pen, dyed fabric, and sequins on canvas, sewn to quilted fabric  |  Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund and funds from various donors, 1990 (1990.237a–c)
    1250794
  • Street Story Quilt  |  1985  |  Faith Ringgold (American)  |  Oil, felt-tip pen, dyed fabric, and sequins on canvas, sewn to quilted fabric  |  Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund and funds from various donors, 1990 (1990.237a–c)
    450778
  • [231 Interior and Exterior Views of Robert Frank's House and Portraits of Robert Frank and June Leaf, Nova Scotia; also Interior Studies of the Heliker House, Cranberry Island, Maine]  |  1969–71  |  Walker Evans (American)  |  Film negative  |  Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.252.119.1–231)
    10561024
  • Northeaster  |  1895  |  Winslow Homer (American)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Gift of George A. Hearn, 1910 (10.64.5)
    1280872
  • The Lighthouse at Two Lights  |  1929  |  Edward Hopper (American)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962 (62.95)
    1280876
  • Celia Thaxter's Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine  |  1890  |  Childe Hassam (American)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Anonymous Gift, 1994 (1994.567)
    12141024
  • Autumn Grasses in Moonlight  |  Meiji period, ca. 1872–91  |  Shibata Zeshin (Japanese)  |  Two-panel folding screen; ink, lacquer, and silver leaf on paper  |  The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.137)
    1280485
  • Autumn Grasses in Moonlight  |  Meiji period, ca. 1872–91  |  Shibata Zeshin (Japanese)  |  Two-panel folding screen; ink, lacquer, and silver leaf on paper  |  The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.137)
    1280933
  • Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute  |  ca. 1835  |  Joseph Mallord William Turner (English)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Bequest of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1899 (99.31)
    1280961
  • Venetian Canal  |  1913  |  John Singer Sargent (American)  |  Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper  |  Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915 (15.142.10)
    1280956
  • View of London from Greenwich  |  1825  |  Joseph Mallord William Turner (British)  |  Watercolor and gouache over graphite  |  Bequest of Alexandrine Sinsheimer, 1958 (59.23.23)
    13571024
  • The Harvesters  |  1565  |  Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish)  |  Oil on wood  |  Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.164)
    1280946
  • The Harvesters  |  1565  |  Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish)  |  Oil on wood  |  Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.164)
    1280940
  • Snow Clearing: Landscape after Li Cheng  |  Qing dynasty, dated 1669  |  Wang Hui (Chinese)  |  Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1978 (1978.13)
    3841024
  • Snow Clearing: Landscape after Li Cheng  |  Qing dynasty, dated 1669  |  Wang Hui (Chinese)  |  Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1978 (1978.13)
    6841024
  • Debra McDowell
    1280852
  • I'm Debra McDowell, I'm the vice president for Human Resources. And my topic today is "The View."

  • The view is about possibilities. So many different views that I've had in my life. I see this piece and I can be someplace for real. A view can be to the outside; a view can be to the inside.

  • I'm an observer. And in dealing with people, I think about what their view is from the inside, what their view is from the outside, trying to help, trying to coach. It's about reaching beyond where you are.

  • I grew up on a thirty-acre farm, and the view could be of trees, it could be of crops, it could be of animals playing

  • it could be of parked cars or other houses. There's always something to look at. It's interesting, growing up on a farm how I seem to be comfortable living in the city.

  • Odd for me to be here, but I've been here for fifteen years. I like the pace, I like the variety that a city gives.

  • The arts, whether it's the visual arts, the art of dance, the art of music, so many opportunities to explore.

  • I'm a thinker, I like to examine. I love looking in windows and seeing what's happening

  • who's cooking what, who's watching what TV show, who's listening to music, who's reading a book.

  • The spirit around the life of the city. It's rich, there's so many views. You don't always have such a wonderful view

  • but here, you see people taking advantage of that. To look outside a window, that's moving art to me, that's living art.

  • I recently moved into an apartment where I have a new visual, in terms of what that window has to show. When you're in it, you feel the pulse of a city and you want to be a part of that pulse.

  • It's outside of a city that it's peaceful, it's quiet. Maine is where I go to find my rest and my peace. That could be me, sitting at a table with a cup of tea and a window, thinking about today and yesterday, and all the possibilities.

  • When I stay in Maine, I stay in a house that sits on a cliff. Waves crashing against the ocean, that's what I hear, and that's what I get to see sometimes. You

  • feel freshness and beauty, and you want to sit and rest with it. It's a quiet, peaceful spirit. Wherever I go in Maine, I try to make a point of visiting lighthouses. Sitting out on the rocks to take a look at a lighthouse and watch it from the beginning of the day to the end of the day, how it guides those who are outside on its waters.

  • I love landscapes. This one stood out to me as a very quiet, warm peace that reaches me. It's a summer and autumn landscape.

  • The Autumn Grasses in Moonlight, it's a different take on Maine, in a different space, in a different part of the world.

  • When I see it, I feel the calmness that I feel when I'm in Maine.

  • Venice! That takes me to a wonderful trip that I've had recently. I went during a quieter time, fall and the winter. Simply fascinated by

  • what's available in that city, reminds me of New York. There are windows where you can capture so many views.

  • When I look at these views, I put myself there thinking about the possibilities.

  • The museum's a busy place. There are 2,200 people here that I have some form of responsibility for.

  • Given the pace of the institution and the challenges that we face, it's wonderful to be able to walk away

  • and see a piece that can take you to a quiet moment

  • that can allow you to think and balance all the issues that you have to face.

  • So it makes a difference.

  • 2009.547
    Colburn's Butte, South Utah, 1873, Thomas Moran (American, born England), Graphite, watercolor, and gouache on blue wove paper Gift of David and Laura Grey, in honor of Kevin J. Avery, 2009 (2009.547)
  • 53.183
    Office in a Small City, 1953, Edward Hopper (American), Oil on canvas George A. Hearn Fund, 1953 (53.183)
  • 54.143.2
    A Farm in Brittany, ca. 1894, Paul Gauguin (French), Oil on canvas Bequest of Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, in memory of her husband, Sam A. Lewisohn, 1954 (54.143.2)
  • 60.71.12
    Haystacks: Autumn, ca. 1874, Jean-François Millet (French), Oil on canvas, Signed (lower right): J.F. Millet Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959 (60.71.12)
  • 49.55.47
    From My Window at An American Place, North, 1931, Alfred Stieglitz (American), Gelatin silver print Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.47)
  • 29.100.552
    The Ballet from Robert le Diable, 1871, Edgar Degas (French), Oil on canvas, Signed and dated (lower right): Degas / 1872 H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.552)
  • 1978.61.1-6
    The Block, 1971, Romare Bearden (American), Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shore, 1978 (1978.61.1–6) © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
  • 1990.237a-c
    Street Story Quilt, 1985, Faith Ringgold (American), Oil, felt-tip pen, dyed fabric, and sequins on canvas, sewn to quilted fabric Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund and funds from various donors, 1990 (1990.237a–c)
  • 1994.252.119.1-231
    [231 Interior and Exterior Views of Robert Frank's House and Portraits of Robert Frank and June Leaf, Nova Scotia; also Interior Studies of the Heliker House, Cranberry Island, Maine], 1969–71, Walker Evans (American), Film negative Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.252.119.1–231)
  • 10.64.5
    Northeaster, 1895, Winslow Homer (American), Oil on canvas Gift of George A. Hearn, 1910 (10.64.5)
  • 62.95
    The Lighthouse at Two Lights, 1929, Edward Hopper (American), Oil on canvas Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962 (62.95)
  • 1994.567
    Celia Thaxter's Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine, 1890, Childe Hassam (American), Oil on canvas Anonymous Gift, 1994 (1994.567)
  • 1975.268.137
    Autumn Grasses in Moonlight, Meiji period, ca. 1872–91, Shibata Zeshin (Japanese), Two-panel folding screen; ink, lacquer, and silver leaf on paper The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.137)
  • 99.31
    Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute, ca. 1835, Joseph Mallord William Turner (English), Oil on canvas Bequest of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1899 (99.31)
  • 15.142.10
    Venetian Canal, 1913, John Singer Sargent (American), Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915 (15.142.10)
  • 59.23.23
    View of London from Greenwich, 1825, Joseph Mallord William Turner (British), Watercolor and gouache over graphite Bequest of Alexandrine Sinsheimer, 1958 (59.23.23)
  • 19.164
    The Harvesters, 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish), Oil on wood Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.164)
  • 1978.13
    Snow Clearing: Landscape after Li Cheng, Qing dynasty, dated 1669, Wang Hui (Chinese), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1978 (1978.13)
  • Colburn's Butte, South Utah, 1873, Thomas Moran (American, born England), Graphite, watercolor, and gouache on blue wove paper Gift of David and Laura Grey, in honor of Kevin J. Avery, 2009 (2009.547)
    Office in a Small City, 1953, Edward Hopper (American), Oil on canvas George A. Hearn Fund, 1953 (53.183)
    A Farm in Brittany, ca. 1894, Paul Gauguin (French), Oil on canvas Bequest of Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, in memory of her husband, Sam A. Lewisohn, 1954 (54.143.2)
    Haystacks: Autumn, ca. 1874, Jean-François Millet (French), Oil on canvas, Signed (lower right): J.F. Millet Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959 (60.71.12)
    From My Window at An American Place, North, 1931, Alfred Stieglitz (American), Gelatin silver print Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.47)
    The Ballet from Robert le Diable, 1871, Edgar Degas (French), Oil on canvas, Signed and dated (lower right): Degas / 1872 H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.552)
    The Block, 1971, Romare Bearden (American), Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shore, 1978 (1978.61.1–6) © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
    Street Story Quilt, 1985, Faith Ringgold (American), Oil, felt-tip pen, dyed fabric, and sequins on canvas, sewn to quilted fabric Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund and funds from various donors, 1990 (1990.237a–c)
    [231 Interior and Exterior Views of Robert Frank's House and Portraits of Robert Frank and June Leaf, Nova Scotia; also Interior Studies of the Heliker House, Cranberry Island, Maine], 1969–71, Walker Evans (American), Film negative Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.252.119.1–231)
    Northeaster, 1895, Winslow Homer (American), Oil on canvas Gift of George A. Hearn, 1910 (10.64.5)
    The Lighthouse at Two Lights, 1929, Edward Hopper (American), Oil on canvas Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962 (62.95)
    Celia Thaxter's Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine, 1890, Childe Hassam (American), Oil on canvas Anonymous Gift, 1994 (1994.567)
    Autumn Grasses in Moonlight, Meiji period, ca. 1872–91, Shibata Zeshin (Japanese), Two-panel folding screen; ink, lacquer, and silver leaf on paper The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.137)
    Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute, ca. 1835, Joseph Mallord William Turner (English), Oil on canvas Bequest of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1899 (99.31)
    Venetian Canal, 1913, John Singer Sargent (American), Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915 (15.142.10)
    View of London from Greenwich, 1825, Joseph Mallord William Turner (British), Watercolor and gouache over graphite Bequest of Alexandrine Sinsheimer, 1958 (59.23.23)
    The Harvesters, 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish), Oil on wood Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.164)
    Snow Clearing: Landscape after Li Cheng, Qing dynasty, dated 1669, Wang Hui (Chinese), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1978 (1978.13)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Colburn's Butte, South Utah
    1873
    Thomas Moran (American, born England)
    Graphite, watercolor, and gouache on blue wove paper
    Gift of David and Laura Grey, in honor of Kevin J. Avery, 2009 (2009.547)
    Not on view
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    Office in a Small City
    1953
    Edward Hopper (American)
    Oil on canvas
    George A. Hearn Fund, 1953 (53.183)
    On view: Gallery 908
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    A Farm in Brittany
    ca. 1894
    Paul Gauguin (French)
    Oil on canvas
    Bequest of Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, in memory of her husband, Sam A. Lewisohn, 1954 (54.143.2)
    On view: Gallery 826
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Haystacks: Autumn
    ca. 1874
    Jean-François Millet (French)
    Oil on canvas
    Signed (lower right): J.F. Millet
    Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959 (60.71.12)
    On view: Gallery 802
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    From My Window at An American Place, North
    1931
    Alfred Stieglitz (American)
    Gelatin silver print
    Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.55.47)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    The Ballet from Robert le Diable
    1871
    Edgar Degas (French)
    Oil on canvas
    Signed and dated (lower right): Degas / 1872
    H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.552)
    On view: Gallery 815
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    The Block
    1971
    Romare Bearden (American)
    Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Shore, 1978 (1978.61.1–6)
    © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Street Story Quilt
    1985
    Faith Ringgold (American)
    Oil, felt-tip pen, dyed fabric, and sequins on canvas, sewn to quilted fabric
    Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund and funds from various donors, 1990 (1990.237a–c)
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    [231 Interior and Exterior Views of Robert Frank's House and Portraits of Robert Frank and June Leaf, Nova Scotia; also Interior Studies of the Heliker House, Cranberry Island, Maine]
    1969–71
    Walker Evans (American)
    Film negative
    Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.252.119.1–231)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Northeaster
    1895
    Winslow Homer (American)
    Oil on canvas
    Gift of George A. Hearn, 1910 (10.64.5)
    On view: Gallery 767
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    The Lighthouse at Two Lights
    1929
    Edward Hopper (American)
    Oil on canvas
    Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962 (62.95)
    On view: Gallery 908
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Celia Thaxter's Garden, Isles of Shoals, Maine
    1890
    Childe Hassam (American)
    Oil on canvas
    Anonymous Gift, 1994 (1994.567)
    On view: Gallery 769
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    Autumn Grasses in Moonlight
    Meiji period, ca. 1872–91
    Shibata Zeshin (Japanese)
    Two-panel folding screen; ink, lacquer, and silver leaf on paper
    The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975 (1975.268.137)
    Not on view
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute
    ca. 1835
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (English)
    Oil on canvas
    Bequest of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1899 (99.31)
    On view: Gallery 808
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Venetian Canal
    1913
    John Singer Sargent (American)
    Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper
    Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915 (15.142.10)
    Not on view
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    View of London from Greenwich
    1825
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British)
    Watercolor and gouache over graphite
    Bequest of Alexandrine Sinsheimer, 1958 (59.23.23)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    The Harvesters
    1565
    Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish)
    Oil on wood
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.164)
    On view: Gallery 642
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Snow Clearing: Landscape after Li Cheng
    Qing dynasty, dated 1669
    Wang Hui (Chinese)
    Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, in honor of Professor Wen Fong, 1978 (1978.13)
    Not on view
    Asian ArtSecond Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art