You might do just that–miss it –in the basement, that is lower level of the Lehman Wing. It’s Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence. Curated by Colta Ives, now curator emeritus at the Met–was curator of prints and drawings and curator in charge of prints and drawings–someone who knows the Met’s collections in depth and put together a truly rich, telling and altogether grand treatment of the story of 19th century Public Parks and Private Gardens in France–the art history, the history, the social history, even the economic history –with paintings drawings, watercolors by a who’s who and not so familiar Impressionists and Realists, and period photographs, prints, books, ads, ledger sheets, garden tools.
Here’s a sampling:
Paul Cezanne, Entrance to a Garden, ca. 1878-80
Claude Monet, Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867
Louis Philibert Debucourt, The Public Promenade, 1792