Stories in Features

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, Associate 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 Senior Curator for The Met 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 Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters

Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011


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, Former 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 Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011


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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Now at the Met offers in-depth articles and multimedia features about the Museum's current exhibitions, events, research, announcements, behind-the-scenes activities, and more.