Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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.
Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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.
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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.
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012
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.
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012
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.
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012
"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.
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012
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.
Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012
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.
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012
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.
Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sixty-five years ago today, on December 13, 1946, The Costume Institute's first exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum opened to the public.
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.
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011
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.
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
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.
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
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.
Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011
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.
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011
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.
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.