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Stories in Features

Precious Punctuation?

Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, December 27, 2013

Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom

Dragons? Cashews? Crescent moons? What are those comma-shaped ornaments seen in the exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom?

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Installing Ink Art

Mike Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman of the Department of Asian Art

Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013

Installing Ink Art

What does it take to install an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art?

The diversity in scale, media, and format of the seventy-some pieces in Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China have tested the talents and ingenuity of the Museum's incredibly resourceful staff. After a number of advance planning meetings, our installation began in earnest on October 30 in the Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture Gallery (206)—just off the Great Hall Balcony. There, we planned to display three 16 1/2-foot-tall hanging scrolls from Qiu Zhijie's 30 Letters to Qiu Jiawa, (2009) and the five triptychs of Yang Jiechang's Crying Landscapes (2002). Together, these works would announce to visitors to the Asian Wing that they were entering the world of contemporary China, where old and new often come together.

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Balthus: Cats and Girls—Interview with Curator Sabine Rewald

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013

Balthus: Cats and Girls Cover

With less than a month left to see the exhibition Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I sat down with Sabine Rewald—Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art,  and author of the accompanying exhibition catalogue—to discuss her many years of fascination with Balthus, as well as her latest research that has brought such a renewed richness to the artist's subjects.

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A Very Burdick Christmas

Freyda Spira, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints; and Liz Zanis, Collections Management Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013

Best Wishes for a happy Christmas, early 20th century

Since the establishment of the Print Department in 1916 there has been a clear mission to gather all types of printed material ranging from Rembrandt's magnificent and widely collected etchings to the more ephemeral, which includes, among many others things, American and European trade and calling cards, bookplates, illustrated catalogues, and even greeting cards.

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Spectrum Spotlight: Ian Alteveer

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media; and Christopher Gorman, Assistant for Administration, Audience Development

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Refusal of Time, MMA Installation

Perhaps you have attended one of Spectrum's many concerts, panel discussions, trivia nights, or the annual Oktoberfest at The Cloisters museum and gardens. Now the group would like to bring you closer to the Met and introduce some of the staff members that make the Museum such a special place. This post is the first in our "Spectrum Spotlight" series, which will introduce some of the Met's rising stars on the curatorial staff. Look for more installments throughout the year, and, of course, please attend Spectrum events!

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Comparing Pairs

Perrin Stein, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a comparison is worth at least two thousand.

The exhibition Artists and Amateurs, Etching in Eighteenth-Century France (on view through January 5) offers many thought-provoking pairings illuminating aspects of artistic process and individual style. An etching, which is printed from ink held in sunken lines on a copper plate, can be reworked between printings, resulting in distinct states. Such is the case with a print depicting soldiers trudging through a bleak landscape, off to join their regiment. An extremely rare first state is etched by the hand of Antoine Watteau, renowned painter of fêtes galantes. His delicate sinuous line imbues his figures with a grace more balletic than warlike.

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A Pensive Treasure

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013

Bodhisattva in pensive pose, National Museum of Korea, National Treasure 83

Last shown in the U.S. in 1981—and now on view in Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom—this breathtaking gilt-bronze sculpture of a bodhisattva may never be seen in New York again.

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A Neighborhood of Castles in the Sky:
Washington Heights before The Cloisters

Danielle Oteri, Lecturer, The Cloisters museum and gardens; Program Director, International Center of Medieval Art; Curator, Feast on History

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013

The Cloisters museum and gardens, 1938

Washington Heights—the neighborhood in northern Manhattan that houses The Cloisters museum and gardens—is built upon a series of bluffs and cliffs. Concrete staircases and creaky subway elevators connect different sections of the neighborhood, and buildings stand tall on stilts driven deep into Manhattan schist. From a distance, blocks of apartment buildings appear like castellated European villages. However, despite its once-impenetrable terrain, or maybe because of it, Washington Heights is a place where some of the wildest and most romantic medieval-architecture fantasies in New York City have been realized for over 150 years.

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Featured Catalogue—Interview with the Curator: Mike Hearn

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ink Art Catalogue Cover

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mike Hearn—the Met's Douglas Dillon Curator in Charge of the Department of Asian Art—about his work in authoring the catalogue accompanying the upcoming exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, his inspiration for incorporating modern works into his department, and the role of the Chinese artist in today's art world.

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This Weekend in Met History: October 20

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013

John Christen Johansen (American, 1876–1964) | Robert W. de Forest | 31.36

One hundred years ago this weekend, on October 20, 1913, Robert W. de Forest was unanimously elected the fifth president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. De Forest had been involved with the Museum since its inception in 1870 and had served on its Board of Trustees since 1889, first as a Trustee and later as its secretary and vice president.

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Experiencing The Forty Part Motet

Andrew Winslow, Senior Departmental Technician, The Cloisters museum and gardens

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet

Janet Cardiff's The Forty Part Motet, currently on view through December 8, boasts the distinction of being the first exhibition of contemporary art in the seventy-five-year history of The Cloisters museum and gardens. A sound installation consisting of forty speakers mounted on tall stands and arranged in a large oval, Cardiff's work seems to have found its ideal home in the Fuentidueña Chapel—dominated by the monumental twelfth-century apse brought to The Cloisters from the church of San Martín in Fuentidueña, Spain.

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Introducing Alarm Will Sound

Meryl Cates, Press Officer, Met Museum Presents

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Alarm Will Sound

This year's Artist in Residence program brings Alarm Will Sound, one of the most creative ensembles working today, to the Met. Just beyond the cutting edge of music, dance, and theater, this hugely respected and highly accomplished group of performer-composers turns its collective imagination for one year to the Met's permanent collection and galleries.

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Fifty Years of the Met's Bulletin Now Available at MetPublications

Gwen Roginsky, Associate Publisher and General Manager, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013

MetPublications Banner

MetPublications is a portal to the Museum's comprehensive book and online publishing program from 1964 to the present, offering free content and information from an encyclopedic collection of publications—including exhibition catalogues, collection catalogues, Museum guides, and educational materials. And now, with the addition of two hundred thirty-five issues of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin spanning the past fifty years, MetPublications currently boasts close to nine hundred titles.

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#AskaCurator Day on Twitter

Taylor Newby, Online Community Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013

Ian Alteveer

On Wednesday, September 18, join us on Twitter for Ask a Curator Day with Department of Modern and Contemporary Art Associate Curator Ian Alteveer. Ian will answer your questions about his job, the collection, and exhibitions during this live Twitter Q&A.

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Looking to Connect with European Paintings: Visual Approaches for Teaching

Elizabeth Perkins, 2012–2013 Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013

Looking to Connect with European Paintings

As an art historian, my goal is to offer information and insight. As a teacher, I hope to encourage people to discuss, discover, and explore. Where is the balance between these things in museum teaching and interpretation? When and how is information meaningful? How do we help visitors look closely and relate to what they see? These are some of the questions that guided me during my Kress Interpretive Fellowship at the Met this past year. My main project was a thematic, digital publication focusing on teaching adults in the European Paintings collection. The exciting final result is Looking to Connect with European Paintings: Visual Approaches for Teaching in the Galleries—it has just been released and is available as a free download (PDF) within MetPublications.

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Medieval Drama at The Cloisters

Nancy Wu, Museum Educator, The Cloisters museum and gardens

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Play of Herod

Although theatrical plays had been presented at the original Cloisters museum at 699 Fort Washington Avenue until its closing in February 1936, it was not until the performance of The Miracle of Theophilus at The Cloisters' current home in January 1942 that a medieval drama was produced for the first time. Envisioned and organized by the curatorial staff, with a text translated from the original French into English by Curator James Rorimer—later director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art—and costumes designed by Associate Curator Margaret Freeman, the thirteenth-century play was enjoyed by a group of Museum members on the Feast of the Epiphany. Thus began a tradition of medieval theatrical performances at The Cloisters.

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"Round Table Capers": Medieval Festivals in the 1950s

Emma Wegner, Assistant Museum Educator, The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013

Medieval Festival for Children, 1955

From 1951 to 1957, The Cloisters hosted annual festivals for children of Members. Each of the seven festivals—held in the courtyard and given vibrantly titled themes such as "Round Table Capers" (1954) and "When Knights were Bold" (1955)—was an extravagant affair organized by the staff of the Met's Junior Museum, the precursor to what is now the Education Department. Children enjoyed puppet shows, games, donkey rides, and even trained bears.

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Ideas of Empire: The "Royal Garden" at Pasargadae

Fiona Kidd, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013

View of the Palace of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae

I am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters of the world.

—The Cyrus Cylinder (Line 20)

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Fun Facts: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide 2013

The Museum's new Guide highlights special works from each of our seventeen curatorial departments. Coming in at four hundred fifty-six pages and featuring almost six hundred works of art, it is the first new Guide to be published about the Museum in twenty-nine years. While reviewing the new publication, I discovered a few fun facts about the works of art from around the globe and across the centuries featured in its pages.

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The Cloisters in Popular Culture:
"Time in This Place Does Not Obey an Order"

Michael Carter, Librarian, The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

Posted: Monday, July 22, 2013

Joseph Cotton and Lillian Gish pose in the Cloister from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa (25.120.398–.954) during the filming of Portrait of Jennie in 1947.

For the past seventy-five years, The Cloisters has provided visitors with more than just a chance to view an exceptional collection of medieval art and architecture. In tourist guides and travel reviews, a trip to The Cloisters is commonly described as a way to be transported to the Middle Ages or—for locals seeking a "staycation"—a chance to get out of New York without leaving the city. The powerful effect of the place has clearly been noticed by screenwriters, novelists, and even comicbook authors, who have set a fair number of fictional works here over the years.

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Cyrus and the Judean Diaspora

Ira Spar, Research Assyriologist, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013

Facsimile drawing of Cuneiform tablet impressed with two stamp seals: promissory note for dates (obverse)

Toward the end of the first century a.d. Jerusalem lay in ruins, the second temple built by Herod the Great (74/73–4 b.c.) destroyed and ransacked by the Roman army. Meanwhile, in Babylon, scribes continued to copy ancient texts, inscribing some of them on cuneiform tablets made of clay. After the last cuneiform scribe passed to his fate, no one remained who could read or write documents in Babylonian, Assyrian, or Sumerian. In 1893, pioneer archaeologists and explorers digging in Iraq began to uncover vast archives of cuneiform tablets that had been buried for two thousand years. Today, philologists, archaeologists, and historians are able to combine narratives previously known only from the Bible with information gleaned from thousands of historic, literary, religious, and scientific texts, illuminating the world of Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, and Cyrus. The Cyrus Cylinder, now on view at the Met, helps us understand the peoples and policies of the ancient Near East.

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Travel with the Met: Russian Impressions

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

View of the Volga

I'm back in New York, and I've had a chance to reflect on my first Travel with the Met experience. The trip was truly unforgettable, thanks in part to the hospitality and humor of our Russian hosts and the stoic pride they take in their country.

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Living in Style: Five Centuries of Interior Design from the Collection of Drawings and Prints

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013

Living in Style: Five Centuries of Interior Design from the Collection of Drawings and Prints

Now on view (through September 8), the exhibition Living in Style brings together drawings, prints, books, and pieces of furniture from the Museum's collections to illustrate five centuries of interior design, from the Renaissance period through the 1960s. Following a chronological path of development, the show traces changes and continuities in the approach to materials, shapes, colors, and decorations as displayed by the works on paper.

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Renovating The Cloisters: Maintaining the Vision

Peter Barnet, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013

The Cloisters, Early Gothic Hall

"Creating the Cloisters," the spring issue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin written by curator Timothy B. Husband, is an engaging and nuanced narrative of the early history of The Cloisters. As a complement to that narrative, I'd like to review the more recent gallery renovations and reinstallations that have been undertaken, all guided by the principle of maintaining the integrity of the original architectural vision of The Cloisters.

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Travel with the Met: Wooden Architecture and Mysticism on Kizhi Island

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kizhi Island

Our local guide explained that the first settlers to the Kizhi Island area in the sixteenth century practiced two religions simultaneously: Russian Orthodox Christianity and pre-Christian pagan mysticism.

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New Labels for European Paintings Galleries

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gallery 637 during installation

As part of the installation of the New European Paintings Galleries last month, all of the wall labels were rewritten to reflect recent research.

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Travel with the Met: Yaroslavl

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yaroslavl

Here the Volga River meets the Kotorosl River as seen from the bluffs of Yaroslavl, a picturesque city with a population of 640,000. Decorative plantings in the shape of a bear, the city's emblem, commemorate the 1,003rd anniversary of Yaroslav.

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The Later Legacy of Cyrus the Great

Michael Seymour, Research Associate, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder

The Cyrus Cylinder, currently on display in the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: Charting a New Empire (June 20–August 4, 2013), is a document of unique historical significance. It records the Persian king Cyrus' conquest of the city of Babylon in 539 b.c., and his proclamation that cults and temples should be restored, their personnel allowed to return from Babylon to their home cities.

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Sublime Embrace:
Concerts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013

Program of the first free concert held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ninety-five years ago the halls of The Metropolitan Museum of Art resounded with the sounds of music, as the first public concert was held within the Museum's galleries.

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Travel with the Met: Backstage at the Bolshoi

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013

Backstage at the Bolshoi

In 1776, while America was starting a revolution, the Russians were building the Bolshoi Theater.

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The Boxer: An Ancient Masterpiece Comes to the Met

Seán Hemingway, Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013

The Boxer at Rest, from the Museo Nazionale Romano-Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, on view in Gallery 153

Since its discovery on the Quirinal Hill of Rome in 1885 near the ancient Baths of Constantine, the statue Boxer at Rest—currently on view at the Met—has astonished and delighted visitors to the Museo Nazionale Romano as a captivating masterpiece of ancient bronze sculpture.

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Travel with the Met: Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

I'm currently traveling as a Museum representative on a Travel with the Met cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg. One of our first stops in Moscow was Saint Basil's Cathedral. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible ensured that nothing quite like it could be built again . . . by taking out the eyes of the chief architect.

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Gothic Altarpiece

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013

Madonna and Child with Saints by Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia)  (Italian, Siena 1398–1482 Siena)

Before you can put a Gothic altarpiece together, you first have to know how to take it apart.

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Digitizing the Libraries' Collections: Pictorialist Photography Exhibition Catalogues, 1891–1914

Dan Lipcan, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Malcolm Daniel, Senior Curator, Department of Photographs

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013

Photo-Secession (detail of cover). New York: Photo-Secession, 1905. Thomas J. Watson Library (213.7 P56)

One of the first projects we undertook upon establishing the Thomas J. Watson Library's digitization initiative a few years ago was a collaboration with the Department of Photographs and its Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.

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Featured Publication: German Paintings
in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department; and Hilary Becker, Administrative Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600" exhibition catalogue

Just in time to celebrate the opening of the New European Paintings Galleries, Curator Maryan Ainsworth has coauthored a comprehensive guide to the Met's German paintings. The collection, which includes pictures made in the German-speaking lands (including Austria and Switzerland) from 1350 to 1600, constitutes the largest and most comprehensive group in an American museum today. Comprising major examples by the towering figures of the German Renaissance—Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Hans Holbein the Younger—and many by lesser masters, the collection has grown slowly but steadily from the first major acquisitions in 1871 to the most recent in 2011; it now numbers seventy-two works, presented here in sixty-three entries.

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Installing Tiepolo

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Monday, June 3, 2013

Installing Tiepolo

How many people does it take to hang a ceiling? How many rigs?

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Final Touches

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Warren Bennett, Associate Conservation Preparator

The last work installed for the New European Paintings Galleries the afternoon before the opening was the famous birth salver created in 1449 for Lorenzo de' Medici (known to later generations simply as Lorenzo the Magnificent).

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Featured Publication:
Photography and the American Civil War

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department; and Hilary Becker, Administrative Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Photography and the American Civil War" book cover

Photography was invented just twenty years before the American Civil War. In many ways the war—its documentation, its soldiers, its battlefields—was the arena of the camera's debut in America. "The medium of photography was very young at the time the war began but it quickly emerged into the medium it is today," says Jeff Rosenheim, curator of the current exhibition Photography and the American Civil War (on view through September 2), and author of its accompanying catalogue. "I think that we are where we are in photographic history, in cultural history, because of what happened during the Civil War . . . it's the crucible of American history. The war changed the idea of what individual freedom meant; we abolished slavery, we unified our country, we did all those things, but with some really interesting new tools, one of which was photography."

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This Weekend in Met History: March 17

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) | View of the Domaine Saint-Joseph | 13.66

One hundred years ago this weekend, on March 17, 1913, The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired its first painting by the French Post-Impressionist master Paul Cézanne. The Museum purchased Cézanne's View of the Domaine Saint-Joseph at the groundbreaking International Exhibition of Modern Art, popularly known as the Armory Show.

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Today in Met History: March 1

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013

The Douglas Mansion at 128 West 14th Street

One hundred and forty years ago today, on March 1, 1873, The Metropolitan Museum of Art signed a lease for the Douglas Mansion, located at 128 West 14th Street in Manhattan. The rapidly expanding museum had outgrown its original location in the Dodworth Building in midtown and was in need of additional gallery space.

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Photographer Interview: Experiencing Art through Touch

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013

Matt Ducklo | Thutmose III, Dynasty 18, ca. 1504–1405 B.C. | 2006

The Metropolitan Museum has a long history of making its collections accessible to blind and partially sighted visitors through touch and description. In the 1970s, the Museum established the Touch Collection, a group of small artworks from different curatorial departments, for the purpose of tactile exploration by blind and partially sighted visitors. Since 1998, these visitors have been invited to engage with a range of Museum objects through touch tours—guided or self-guided visits in which they can explore specific objects with their hands. For several years, photographer Matt Ducklo has captured participants on these tours at the Metropolitan and other museums, creating a body of work that explores how all people—both sighted and otherwise—experience art. I interviewed Matt about his work and how it has affected his own experience of looking at art.

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Today in Met History: February 4

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013

Today in Met History: February 4

On Monday, February 4, 1963, a unique visitor entered The Metropolitan Museum of Art and remained in the building for the next three and a half weeks. Over one million people clamored to see her during her stay at the Museum, and the press reported extensively on her visit. To the great pleasure of the Metropolitan and its visitors, the Mona Lisa—perhaps the best known painting in the world—had come to the Museum as a loan from the Louvre.

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The Devoted Collector: William H. Riggs and the Department of Arms and Armor

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Portrait of William H. Riggs taken in Paris, about 1858

On Friday, May 9, 1913, the ship La France steamed into New York Harbor carrying William Henry Riggs, a wealthy American and lifelong collector of arms and armor. Riggs was returning from France to his native city for the first time in over forty years in order to donate his impressive collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accompanying Riggs was Bashford Dean, curator of the Metropolitan Museum's recently established Department of Arms and Armor and a well-known collector in his own right. Dean had spent close to a decade trying to persuade Riggs to give his collection to the Museum. Now, as a result of Dean's efforts, the Museum's new Arms and Armor department was set to acquire one of the greatest collections of its day.

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Near Neighbors: Brooklyn Dressmakers in the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

P. Grace Hernandez, 2010–11 Polaire Weissman Fellow, The Costume Institute

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013

Dress, Evening, 1912–1914 | Wedding Dress, 1893

When the Brooklyn Museum transferred its costume collection to the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute in January 2009, the Met acquired an impressive array of garments from renowned European and American designers. Some highlights from the collection were featured in the related 2010 exhibitions American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity at the Met and American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection at the Brooklyn Museum. Yet the collection also contains a set of objects with noteworthy local origins: garments and accessories made by Brooklyn-based clothing and accessory makers—milliners, tailors, and dressmakers—working independently or in department stores during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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Marking the Arms and Armor Centennial

Donald J. La Rocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Arms and Armor

One hundred years ago, on October 28, 1912, the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art officially created the Department of Arms and Armor. From relatively modest beginnings, the department rapidly developed into one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of its type in the world.

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Art of the Islamic World: A New Resource for Teachers

Claire Moore, Assistant Museum Educator

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012

Art of the Islamic World

The importance of the Islamic world within current geopolitics and the global context in which we live makes the study of these regions essential in K–12 classrooms around the world.

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This Weekend in Met History: November 24

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

William B. Astor

One hundred and thirty-seven years ago this weekend, on November 24, 1875, the American businessman and philanthropist William Backhouse Astor died. Just three years earlier, Astor had been responsible for a milestone in Metropolitan Museum of Art history: donating to the newly established institution its first work of art made by an American, the marble statue California by Hiram Powers.

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This Weekend in Met History: October 28

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012

Edward S. Harkness, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives

October 28, 2012, marks the centennial of the election of Edward S. Harkness as Trustee and Fellow for Life of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A lifelong philanthropist estimated to have donated one hundred million dollars to charity, Harkness spent twenty-eight years working on the Museum's behalf. A number of his gifts are among the most beloved and visited works of art within the Met's galleries.

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Antonio Tempesta's View of Rome: Portraying the Baroque Splendor of the Eternal City

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Antonio Tempesta (Italian, Florence 1555–1630 Rome). Plan of the City of Rome: Part 7, with a Dedication to Camillo Pamphili, the Vatican and Part of the City Wall

In 1593, the Florence-born artist Antonio Tempesta (1555–1630) published one of his absolute masterpieces in print: a View of Rome composed out of twelve folio-sized, etched plates. When joined together in two rows of six, the print forms an impressive frieze measuring almost 3.5 by 8 feet (fig. 1).

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Ancient Egyptian Ostraca: A Reevaluation

Jennifer Babcock, 2009–2011 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ostracon

Although I am an Egyptologist, I recently worked for two years in the Museum's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art as the 2009–2011 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow. The experience was invaluable, not only for its curatorial training, but also for the opportunity to approach my dissertation topic—ancient Egyptian ostraca—from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

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The French Franciscan Cloister in New York

Céline Brugeat, 2011–2012 Annette Kade Fellow, Department of Medieval Art

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

Element from Cordeliers of Tarbes at the Cloisters

The Cloisters incorporates significant sculptural ensembles from medieval cloisters from the south of France, traditionally identified as coming from four sites: Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Trie-en-Bigorre, and Bonnefont-en-Comminges.

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The High-Tech Met

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Met Museum 3-D scanning and printing Hackathon, June 1–2, 2012

Twenty-five digital artists and programmers descended upon the Metropolitan Museum's Art Studio on June 1 and 2 for our first 3D scanning and printing Hackathon. The invited guests, along with staff from MakerBot Industries, spent two action-packed days photographing Museum objects and using specialized printers to convert their images into 3D models.

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If Tea Bowls Could Talk

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bowl with hare's fur decoration

Hundreds of stories are embedded in the Chinese ceramics that have recently been reinstalled on the Great Hall Balcony (Gallery 200 through Gallery 205), at the heart of the Museum. Some of these stories tell of technological advances in ceramic production, others illustrate aspects of Chinese culture, and many—including comparative pieces from around the world—illustrate China's continuous and complicated impact in global ceramic history. All of these stories intertwine in fascinating and, sometimes, unexpected ways.

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What's New in Met Media

Maureen Coyle, Twelve-Month Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012

We have quite a few new items in Met Media this week, including videos of several symposia. The Discoveries symposium, held in conjunction with the opening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, featured scholarship focused on works on paper, textiles, the Damascus Room, the city of Nishapur, and stucco and ceramic figures.

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Digitizing the Libraries' Collections: Industrial Arts at the Metropolitan Museum, 1917–40

Antoniette M. Guglielmo, 2011–2012 Sylvan C. Coleman and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellow, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012

Installation views

When the Museum Library took its first steps toward digitizing rare materials from its collection over two years ago, one of the first groups of items we selected for scanning was a set of pamphlets that accompanied a landmark series of American industrial arts exhibitions from 1917 to 1940.

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Buddhism along the Silk Road

Kurt Behrendt, Assistant Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Buddhism Along the Silk Road

At the end of the fifth century, the great Buddhist centers of Gandhara in Northern Pakistan collapsed in the wake of Hun invasions that swept in from the area north of Afghanistan. The current exhibition Buddhism along the Silk Road: 5th–8th Century (on view through February 10, 2013) focuses on art produced as a result of contact with the dispersed Gandharan Buddhist communities, who were moving into Afghanistan and up into the Western parts of Central Asia.

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Met 3D: The Museum's First 3D Scanning and Printing Hackathon

Jackie Terrassa, Managing Museum Educator for Gallery and Studio Programs, Education; and Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012

Artists come to the Met every day to be inspired, discovering visual and technical solutions in works from every corner of the world, ranging from ancient times to the present day. They might attend a program, sketch from objects, or create their own copies of original paintings, as they have done since 1872 when the Met first allowed artists to re-create works of art on display.

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Behind the Scenes of Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City

Thomas B. Ling, Associate Manager, The Photograph Studio

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each spring, as soon as the weather gets warm, friends start asking me when the Museum's Roof Garden will be open. By the time they ask, I've already been excited for months, anticipating the installation process and the opportunity to collaborate with the exhibiting artist (or artists), curators, fabricators, and installers who, each year, transform one of my favorite places in the city into a totally new space.

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Through Monet's Garden, a Collaboration Blossoms

Masha Turchinsky, Senior Manager for Digital Learning & Senior Media Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012

Monet's Garden App

It's springtime in New York, and to celebrate we've collaborated with the New York Botanical Garden on a free app that invites you to experience Claude Monet's living masterpiece, his garden at Giverny.

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Murder Goes Mobile at the Met!

Alice W. Schwarz, Museum Educator; Masha Turchinsky, Senior Manager for Digital Learning & Senior Media Producer, Digital Media; and Katherine Abbey, Twelve-Month Education Intern

Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Title screen from the Murder at the Met mobile game

What do Madame X, a murder, and a mobile phone have in common? They are all part of Murder at the Met: An American Art Mystery, the first mobile detective game created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with Green Door Labs and TourSphere.

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Featured Publication—Interview with the Photographer: Joe Coscia

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

European Sculpture, 1400–1900

Chief Photographer Joe Coscia has worked at the Museum for more than twenty years. One of his recent assignments was to photograph the works of art for Masterpieces of European Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1900, written by Ian Wardropper and published last fall. I asked him about the unique work of a museum photographer, as well as the collaborations and complex choices involved in shooting the masterpieces illustrated in this book.

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Today in Met History: March 20

Anna Bernhard, Archives Assistant, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Building in Central Park

One hundred and forty years ago today, on March 20, 1872, the City of New York's Department of Public Parks designated the area between 79th and 84th Streets in Central Park as the future site of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Featured Publication: The Renaissance Portrait

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Renaissance Portrait Catalogue

In the words of the historian Jacob Burckhardt, fifteenth-century Italy was "the place where the notion of the individual was born." In keeping with this notion, early Renaissance Italy hosted the first great age of portraiture in Europe.

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This Weekend in Met History: February 20

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012

Detail of the Dodworth lease

One hundred and forty years ago, on February 20, 1872, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors to the public for the first time.

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Displaying Islamic Art at the Metropolitan: A Retrospective Look

Rebecca Lindsey, Visiting Committee Member, Department of Musical Instruments and Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012

Postcard showing Gallery E-14, the so-called "Persian Room," 1912

A Metropolitan Museum patron interested in Islamic art in the 1880s would have found little of relevance on display.1 By 1910, however, the situation was very much improved, and in the century since then, the Islamic art displays at the Museum have become the largest in the Western world. This essay briefly describes the evolution of the display of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum—from the first largely visual exhibitions to the present scholarly organization by style, material, and civilization.

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Love at the Met: Historic Valentines and Paper Kisses

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heart-shaped valentines card, 1850–1899 | 1989.1154

"Pity my life and be my wife."

These words were delivered in a round, white box to a Miss Oliver in Hythe, Southampton, in the mid-nineteenth century. The box contained a beautiful Valentine's Day card covered in lace, with a basket of textile flowers in its center. Although we may never know if Miss Oliver accepted the somewhat woefully expressed petition of the man who loved her, we do know that the card and even its container survived the test of time, cherished at the very least as a keepsake.

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Featured Publication: Heroic Africans

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012

Featured Publication: Heroic Africans

Alisa LaGamma, curator of Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures and author of the accompanying catalogue, recently discussed the Commemorative figure of a priestess, one of the masterpieces from the exhibition, for the Yale University Press blog.

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Lisbon's Hebrew Bible: An Enlightened Acquisition

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012

Reading Room of the National Library of Portugal, Lisbon

By any standards, Lisbon's Hebrew Bible—now on view at the Met—is a masterpiece of medieval illumination. Its acquisition in 1804 by the National Library of Portugal may be credited to the enlightened intellectualism of the institution's first librarian, António Ribeiro dos Santos.

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Digitizing the Libraries' Collections: An Introduction

Robyn Fleming, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Dan Lipcan, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012

NE57 .C6 1874

The Museum Library, authorized by the Museum's 1870 charter and formally established in 1880, is one of the world's great collections of art historical research materials. However, thousands of printed books in the Library and other departments of the Museum are deteriorating rapidly through heavy use, acidic paper, or both. In some cases, important information has already been lost.

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Connecting with Islamic Art at the Metropolitan

Deniz Beyazit, Assistant Curator, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Lion Court at the Alhambra, Viewed from Beneath the Portico Temple

Islamic art, architecture, and cultural traditions are closely related to other artistic movements around the world. In conjunction with the opening of the new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which house works from the Met's Department of Islamic Art, I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight related objects from the Museum's other curatorial departments.

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Today in Met History: December 13

Julie Tran Lê, Library Associate, The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library

Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Image from a section entitled “1867-1870: Flamboyant Lines”

Sixty-five years ago today, on December 13, 1946, The Costume Institute's first exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum opened to the public.

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The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt

Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, the Museum mounted a small exhibition, The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. On September 11, 2011, Museum visitors from all walks of life participated in various special events at the Museum: a lecture by artist Faith Ringgold—who designed the quilt with New York City youth—poetry readings, and a memorial concert.

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Fellows Series: The Etched Decoration of German Renaissance Armor

Stefan Krause, 2010–2011 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011

Detail of a left pauldron

Armor made from steel plates that covered almost the entire body was developed around the late fourteenth century in Northern Italy, and spread north of the Alps soon after. Most early examples were plain, but by the middle of the fifteenth century armorers began to emboss surfaces with ridges and grooves and add gilt copper-alloy applications, transferring current tastes in civilian fashion to create sumptuous garments of steel. The turn of the sixteenth century saw the first elements of armor embellished with etching, a technique that dominated the decor until the end of armor as an art form, in the middle of the seventeenth century.

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Today in Met History: November 15

Rebecca Weintraub, Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wilford S. Conrow | Professor William H. Goodyear | 1916 | Brooklyn Museum | 25.182

One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, on November 15, 1886, The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Board of Trustees officially approved the establishment of the institution's first curatorial departments—the Department of Paintings, Department of Sculpture, and Department of Casts.

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The Challenge of Interpreting Caricatures and Satires

Nadine Orenstein, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Enrique Chagoya | The Headache, A Print after George Cruikshank | 2010 | 2010.285

Caricatures and satires are generally created to comment on specific events or moments in history. The Headache, Enrique Chagoya's print of President Obama, for example, reminds us of the strident debates that took place more than a year ago about changes to the U.S. healthcare system. Chagoya based his image on a nineteenth-century print by George Cruikshank entitled The Head Ache that illustrates a man attacked by hammering and drilling demons who are the source of his woes.

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The Shows Go On: Exhibitions at the Met

Ryan Wong, Former Administrative Assistant for Exhibitions, Office of the Director

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011

Gallery view of Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures

When I joined the Metropolitan's Exhibitions Office, I could not have imagined the immensity of the work that goes into the exhibitions program. It can take up to five years for an exhibition to turn from a proposal into an installation and involve hundreds of workers across the Museum. In this post, I hope to answer the questions about the exhibitions process that I always had while roaming the galleries as a visitor.

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Featured Publication—Turkmen Jewelry: Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection
Interview with the Collectors

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011

One of several new Met books that will accompany the November 1 reopening of the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, this month's featured publication will be the first English-language book devoted to the extraordinary silver jewelry of the nomadic Turkmen people of Central Asia.

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Curator Interview: Suzuki Kiitsu's Morning Glories

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Morning Glories

Suzuki Kiitsu's Morning Glories is the signature work of art in the exhibition A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art, open through October 23. Assistant Curator Sinéad Kehoe discussed this splendid work with me.

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The Met's Online Community Responds to McQueen

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, "Romantic Naturalism" gallery view

At the Met, we're always eager to hear from our online community through our various social media channels. Whether it's a comment about the Featured Artwork of the Day on our Facebook page, a question posed on Twitter, or a photograph posted to our Flickr group pool, our online visitors' responses are thoughtful and varied, and we enjoy reading and responding to them. Recently, the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty provided the Museum with an opportunity to hear from our online community in a new way; on a special McQueen page, we invited visitors to answer the question "What made you realize that fashion is an art form?" Not surprisingly, we received a wonderful range of responses, and we're excited to share them with you.

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The Artistic Community of Seventeenth-Century Utrecht

Elizabeth A. Nogrady, 2010–11 J. Clawson Mills Fellow

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

As the J. Clawson Mills Fellow at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2010–11, my research has focused on the artistic community in the city of Utrecht during the seventeenth-century "Golden Age" of Dutch painting. Through close examination of this network of artists, I have explored Utrecht's role in the magnificent flourishing of the arts that occurred at this time in the Netherlands, despite the civil discord caused by the Dutch fight for independence from Spain. This circle of artists used several different avenues—including displays of camaraderie, strong professional organizations, an emphasis on artists' education, and joint artistic endeavors—to keep their community strong even as Utrecht buckled under the political, religious, and social strain of war.

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The Fellowship Program: Sixty Years of Scholarship

Marcie Karp, Managing Museum Educator for Academic Programs

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The fellows on an architectural tour of the Metropolitan Museum led by Morrison H. Heckscher

Established in 1951, the Fellowship Program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is flourishing, with scholars taking up residence in all corners of the building—from the curatorial departments, conservation labs, libraries, and study rooms to the Education Department, gallery spaces, offices, and archives.

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Today in Met History: July 15

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011

Ninety years ago today, on July 15, 1921, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its first solo exhibition of works by a female artist. The Children's World: Drawings by Florence Wyman Ivins, a group of watercolor drawings, woodcuts, and black-and-white drawings, was shown in the Education Department through November 19, 1921.

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Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents

Yaëlle Biro, Assistant Curator, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011

The current exhibition Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents reflects the dynamic intersection of two areas of the Museum's permanent collections—it is presented in the spacious passageway between the galleries of modern art and those dedicated to the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.

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The Rise of Pastel in the Eighteenth Century

Marjorie Shelley, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper and Photograph Conservation

Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The current exhibition Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europe opens a window on one of the most popular art forms of the Rococo and Enlightenment eras. These works slipped from public notice long ago as they became associated with the artificiality of the ancien régime, and in modern times because their fragility discouraged exhibition and travel. This is the first exhibition of such portraits in at least seventy-five years. It presents a sense of the great numbers of artists who practiced in this once popular medium, the many different styles in which they worked, and the materials and techniques they employed.

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This Weekend in Met History: July 2

Jonathan Bloom, Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011

Jacob S. Rogers

One hundred and ten years ago this weekend, on July 2, 1901, American locomotive magnate and Metropolitan Museum of Art benefactor Jacob S. Rogers died. Unbeknownst to the Museum's staff and Trustees at the time, Rogers's death would result in the largest and most significant financial contribution to the institution until that time, and among the most important in its history.

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McQueen and Tartan

Jonathan Faiers, Reader in Fashion Theory at Winchester School of Art

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ensemble, Widows of Culloden

Alexander McQueen had a unique understanding of the dramatic potential of tailoring, as well as of how the actual fabric of a garment is intrinsic both to its shape and historical, cultural, and psychological impact. In the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a retrospective of the late designer's work, we can appreciate the designer's superb craftsmanship up close; from shells to feathers, from traditional embroidery to cutting-edge digital print, we see the dazzling array of textile techniques that cemented his reputation as the most inventive fashion designer of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

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Winner of McQueen Fashion Design Contest Selected

Shannon Bell Price, Associate Research Curator, The Costume Institute

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011

In conjunction with the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art held a competition for fashion design graduate students this spring. The winner was announced at the Met's McQueen for a Night event on May 20; Paula Cheng, a student at Parsons The New School for Design, won the contest and received an internship at Alexander McQueen, a yearlong Metropolitan Museum Membership, and several other exhibition-related prizes.

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The Washington Haggadah: Of Mice and Men

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Haggadah page

As our presentation of the Washington Haggadah enters its final month, we turn not to the end of the book but to the first page of the manuscript. In both word and image, this page proclaims the privilege of preparing for Passover.

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The Mask of Agamemnon: An Example of Electroformed Reproduction of Artworks Made by E. Gilliéron in the Early Twentieth Century

Dorothy H. Abramitis, Conservator, The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation

Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Electrotype reproduction of the gold "Mask of Agamemnon" from Mycenae

The "Mask of Agamemnon" is one of the most famous gold artifacts from the Greek Bronze Age. Found at Mycenae in 1876 by the distinguished archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, it was one of several gold funeral masks found laid over the faces of the dead buried in the shaft graves of a royal cemetery.

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Today in Met History: May 31

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One hundred and twenty years ago today, on May 31, 1891, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened to the public on a Sunday for the first time in its history. The decision to allow Sunday admission followed nearly twenty years of debate on the subject.

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The Gilliéron Paintings on Paper, from a Conservation Perspective

Rebecca Capua, Assistant Conservator, Department of Paper Conservation

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Consolidation of flaking gouache paint on "Reproduction of a fresco with two women in a chariot" by Emile Gilliéron

Many of the works on paper currently on view in Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron & Son required conservation treatment to address a variety of structural and aesthetic problems. The dedicated effort over the past two years to address the conservation of these objects and to look more closely at their method of production reflects a reconsideration of their role in the Museum and in the history of art itself.

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Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age

Seán Hemingway, Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art

Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fresco Reproductions

In the second half of the nineteenth century, archaeologists began to focus on understanding prehistoric Greece and its extraordinary flowering during the Greek Bronze Age (about 3000–1050 B.C.). Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of wealthy tombs at Mycenae in 1876 brought to life the Heroic Age immortalized in the epic poetry of Homer, in which King Agamemnon’s palace was described as "rich in gold."

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Historical Photographs on Display in the Uris Center for Education

Marlene Graham, Senior Manager, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011

Class from P.S. 6 in the galleries, 1924

My first day as senior manager of the Museum's Uris Center for Education in July 2010 was an exhilarating and hectic day, chock-full of new information, faces, and experiences. The third annual P.S. Art exhibition was on display in the corridor alongside Carson Family Hall, and the space was alive with the expressive and vibrant artwork of New York City public school students. This burst of artistic energy greeted me every morning until it came time to return the artwork to the talented young artists who had created it. Now empty, beige, and boring, the cases begged for something to fill them. I thought, "This area needs some visuals to introduce visiting schoolchildren to the Met experience. These walls should never be bare!" I began thinking about what we could exhibit that would be visually stimulating and representative of the Uris Center's educational mission.

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The Washington Haggadah: The Delights of Ornament

Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011

Haggadah

This week we turned the pages in the Washington Haggadah, which is on loan to the Museum from the Library of Congress through July 4.

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Featured Catalogue: Rooms with a View

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rooms with a View catalogue cover

The Met produces around thirty publications a year, including special exhibition and permanent collection catalogues, guides, the quarterly Bulletin, the annual Journal, and many other special projects. As an assistant in the Editorial Department, I get a glimpse of all stages of production, from the initial proposal until the time the bound book arrives on my desk. Each project can take more than a year and requires close collaboration among the contributors—curators, photographers, designers, outside authors, and, occasionally, collectors—and the editorial staff.

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The Washington Haggadah: Participating in Passover

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011

Haggadah

The illustrations of the Washington Haggadah, currently on loan to the Metropolitan from the Library of Congress, suggest—with a touch of humor and not a little humanity—some of the challenges inherent in following the instructions for celebrating the Passover seder.

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Today in Met History: April 6

Anna Bernhard, Archives Assistant, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pompeian Court in Wing K, 1926

Eighty-five years ago today, on April 6, 1926, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the "Pompeian Court," a new gallery space for classical art, to the public. Located in the Museum's recently constructed southern wing ("Wing K") designed by McKim, Mead and White, this gallery space was the company's last for the Metropolitan since becoming its official architect in 1904.

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This Weekend in Met History: April 2

Barbara File, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011

General Eisenhower receiving an honorary Fellow for Life award from Roland Redmond

Sixty-five years ago this weekend, on April 2, 1946, The Metropolitan Museum of Art held a special ceremony inaugurating its seventy-fifth anniversary. One of the highlights of the day was a presentation honoring General Dwight D. Eisenhower in recognition of his oversight of the repatriation of artworks stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

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Today in Met History: March 28

Adrianna Del Collo, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011

William T. Blodgett

One hundred and forty years ago today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art made its first purchase of works of art—a group of 174 European old master paintings that became known as the "Purchase of 1871." William T. Blodgett, a founding member and Trustee of the Museum, facilitated the acquisition.

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Irish Musician Duke Special in Concert at the Met

Ashley Williams, Associate Administrator, Office of the Director

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Composite image

The Met is always interested in both new audiences and new perspectives. In 2009, we created an initiative called Spectrum to produce events that shed fresh light on our collections and exhibitions. Programs have included conversations with artists, a story-telling event co-hosted with The Moth, and live musical performances, all connected to the works of art in our galleries.

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