Thomas P. Campbell is the director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011
Since becoming Director, I have stressed two priorities: scholarship and accessibility. Our new website, which launched today, certainly embodies both of these aims, featuring complete listings of the Museum's catalogued collections, an interactive map—with descriptions of every gallery in the Main Building and at The Cloisters—suggested itineraries to help you plan your visit, special content for Members, and much more. Of course, favorite sections still remain, like the constantly evolving Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History and Connections, which takes us on personal journeys through the collection.
Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I am just back from Berlin, where my colleagues and I participated in the opening celebrations for a beautiful exhibition of fifteenth-century Renaissance portraits from Italy at the Bode-Museum. The show is the result of a remarkable four-year collaboration between the Met's curators and their German counterparts and represents the sort of international exchange that is the core of the Met's mission as a global resource for scholarship. The exhibition will be on view at the Bode-Museum until November 20 and at the Met from December 21, 2011, to March 18, 2012.
Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011
This week, a monumental statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat II (ca. 1919–1885 B.C.) was installed in the Met's Great Hall. It is a special loan from the collection of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz.
Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011
The recent news about this year's record attendance of over 5.6 million people marks an exciting moment in the Met's history; it is great to know that so many people are enjoying the Museum. But the Met experience need not be defined by crowds. To the contrary, I am struck every day by the intimate experiences that can be found within our galleries.
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011
It was a very significant week for the future of the Met.
Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011
Many Americans—and nearly all museum professionals—have noted with great concern the recent reports of the arrest and detention in Beijing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This news has come just as the City of New York prepares to install the artist's first major American exhibition, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, which opens at Central Park's Grand Army Plaza on May 2.
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights.
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011
Looking at art—really looking—can be a powerful thing. But it takes time. And patience. And even a bit of practice. The rewards, however, are well worth the effort. Looking often reveals details not registered by the viewer at first glance, elements that can bring a work of art to life.
Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011
As the situation unfolds in Egypt, I continue to reflect on my trip there last fall and the extraordinary country that I encountered during my stay. My visit was focused on the Met's archaeological work, and I was particularly struck by the relationship between the collection of the Cairo Museum and the holdings of the Met. Our strong relationship with our colleagues in Egypt has fostered more than a century of collaboration, and thirty years of partage (1906–36) has yielded two deeply connected collections.
Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011
In my first few months as director, some colleagues and I developed the idea of a series that would encourage people to think about the Met's collection in a new way. The result is Connections, a year-long exploration of the Met's holdings by staff from throughout the Museum. These journeys through the collection are not driven so much by art history as by broad, often personal, themes. Some are playful, some are deeply complex.