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European Sculpture and Decorative Arts


The fifty thousand objects in the Museum's comprehensive and historically important collection of European sculpture and decorative arts reflect the development of a number of art forms in Western European countries from the early fifteenth through the early twentieth century. The holdings include sculpture in many sizes and media, woodwork and furniture, ceramics and glass, metalwork and jewelry, horological and mathematical instruments, and tapestries and textiles. Ceramics made in Asia for export to European markets and sculpture and decorative arts produced in Latin America during this period are also included among these works.

Now at the Met

Introducing #tapestrytuesday

Sarah Mallory, Research Assistant, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A riddle, if you will: What type of artwork did Henry VIII love so much that he owned at least 2,500 examples, and Louis XIV and the Medici family value so immensely that they each established their own production workshops?

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Featured Publication—Interview with the Photographer: Joe Coscia

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

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.

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Now at the Met

Four Extraordinary Sculptures Acquired and On View

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010

Each year, the Met holds four meetings at which curators present works of art to a special committee of Trustees for possible purchase by the Museum. It is a thoughtful and rigorous process, and it is always a thrill to see the acquired objects when they finally arrive in our galleries. This past year's purchases included four exquisite works of sculpture spanning from the ancient world to the mid-eighteenth century.

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Messerschmidt Bust Enters the Collection

Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010

Earlier this month, the Met acquired its first work by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736–1783), the Austrian sculptor best known for his series of character heads, which are physiognomic and psychological studies.

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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.