Ever since its establishment in 1870 the Museum has acquired important examples of American Art. A separate "American Wing" building to display the domestic arts of the seventeenth–early nineteenth centuries opened in 1924; paintings galleries and an enclosed sculpture court were added in 1980.
Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
To coincide with the opening of the exhibition The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925, Thayer Tolles—the Met's Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture in The American Wing—has coauthored an evocative catalogue that explores the themes of the Old West as brought to life in enduringly popular sculptures. The publication includes new photography, essays that consider the complex role artists played in constructing the public perception of the West, and an illustrated chronology of historical and artistic events.
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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.
Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012
This week we celebrated the completion of the rebuilding of the Met's extraordinary American Wing, and in doing so unequivocally acknowledged the importance of the arts of this nation to the Metropolitan Museum.
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011
In the early nineteenth century, American wall paintings developed from oil-on-wood works that formed part of a room's wall paneling into large-scale, floor-to-ceiling works on plaster. Much of the scholarship surrounding these wall paintings has focused on the artists who created them for homes throughout New England. As the 2010–2011 Douglass Foundation Fellow in The American Wing, my goal is to study instead the homeowners who commissioned the works, as well as the histories of the houses in which they were completed.
Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010
For visitors to the Metropolitan, the vast amount of amazing art on display may make it difficult to appreciate the main building's architecture as anything other than a backdrop. However, with a brief introduction, the Museum's rich architectural history comes to life and serves as a valuable complement to its collections.
Posted: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Last May, when the seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and early nineteenth-century period rooms in the "old" American Wing building (1924) reopened after several years of renovation, visitors noticed many changes. Some were huge—we had removed several rooms and moved or replaced others—while some were more subtle, like the new lighting.
Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010
Over the past four months, I have been writing posts and responding to comments on a blog dedicated to the special exhibition American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765–1915. The exhibition closed last Sunday, but both the blog and a special feature will remain online for those who'd like to revisit the more than one hundred iconic paintings that were included in galleries.