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Solace and Silence: The Music of Arvo Pärt

Michael Cirigliano II, Website Editor, Digital Media Department

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014

"Feel the World Stand Still"

This phrase is currently emblazoned on subway ads across New York City promoting the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary, which will bring the Estonian composer to New York for the first time since 1984. While this kind of dramatic hyperbole often surrounds any discourse regarding Pärt's music—"mystical," "heavenly," "timeless" are frequently used—the overwhelming acceptance of his work is a rare occurrence in the landscape of contemporary concert performance. His is a music that seamlessly bridges the gap between the modern and the ancient, minimalism and Gregorian chant, making the comparisons often cited between Pärt's music and that of both Phillip Glass and Josquin dez Prez the equivalent of an artist being equally heralded alongside Rothko and Caravaggio.

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Bashford Dean and the Arms and Armor Collection of William H. Riggs

Donald J. La Rocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014

The current exhibition Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department features a number of pieces donated by William H. Riggs (1837–1924), a lifelong collector of arms and armor who assembled the finest private collection of his time before giving it to the Museum in 1913.

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Spectrum Spotlight: Yaëlle Biro

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media; and Christopher Gorman, Assistant Administrator, Marketing and External Relations

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014

Brought to you by the Spectrum group, which encourages post-college audiences to experience the Met in new and unexpected ways, this post is the third installment of our "Spectrum Spotlight" series, which introduces some of the staff members who make the Museum such a special place.

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Living on the Edge: Tapestry Borders

Sarah Mallory, Research Assistant, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In the world of tapestry, it's hip to be square—or rectangular, for that matter. Why, you ask? The answer is quite simple: borders.

You might have noticed that a decorative, tapestry-woven strip traces the edges of many tapestries, which is referred to as the border. While the border is very much a part of the physical tapestry itself, it often has a personality all its own. And, while some border designs were reused on multiple sets of unrelated tapestries, these ornamental edges can still be thought of as something like a thumbprint, a distinguishing characteristic that is apparent only upon close inspection.

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Charles James: Beyond Fashion—Interview with Photographer Karin L. Willis

Rachel High, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I recently sat down with Karin L. Willis, the photographer for the Charles James: Beyond Fashion catalogue that accompanies the current exhibition of James's work, on view through August 10. The publication offers a comprehensive study of the life and work of the legendary Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906−1978), highlights his virtuosity and inventiveness, and includes early photographs and rarely seen archival items—including muslin study pieces, dress forms, and sketches. During our conversation Karin spoke about the challenging but rewarding process of photographing James's designs.

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Gloria—A Pig Tale Brings Farm Life to the Met

Meryl Cates, Press Officer, Met Museum Presents

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014

The opera Gloria—A Pig Tale, which will run for three performances at the Met between May 29 and June 1, is a wicked twist on the classic fairy tale—featuring a heroine pig, an unlikely (and wild) knight in shining armor, and a prince with an ulterior motive.

The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium stage will be inventively converted into a farm where the story can unfold in true operatic style, with rich, multilayered sets, a vaudevillian and dynamic score composed by HK Gruber, and unforgettable costumes. Designed by Doug Fitch of Giants Are Small and presented as part of the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Gloria will be brought to life with incredible detail in an unprecedented transformation of the Met's main stage.

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Memorial Day at the Met

Victoria Cairl, Tourism Marketing Manager

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014

Join us throughout the holiday weekend as we celebrate Memorial Day at the Met. Enjoy a special guided tour of the American Wing, use one of our many family guides to explore the galleries, or see artworks in the Museum's collection that were saved by the Monuments Men—a group of unlikely heroes culled from the art world who risked their lives to preserve Europe's cultural treasures during World War II.

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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month at the Met

Donna Williams, Chief Audience Development Officer

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This month affords us the opportunity to reflect on the various achievements and traditions of so many of our neighbors, friends, and family members. The Metropolitan's permanent collection and current exhibitions offer a calm and reflective setting for appreciating the art from this part of the world.

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Find the Chinese Treasury—if You Dare

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for Chinese Decorative Arts, located on the mezzanine at the north end of the Museum, are filled with extraordinary objects made in materials that include silk, lacquer, and jade. These galleries can only be reached by an elevator or a staircase from the Chinese painting galleries, however, so finding the artworks displayed there can be categorized as "extreme" museum-going: It takes true commitment.

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In the Footsteps of Saint Francis

Alexa Schwartz, Collections Management Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014

Published in Florence by Fra Lino Moroni in 1612, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia (Description of the Sacred Mount Alverno) serves as a guide to Monte della Vernia (today known as La Verna) in the Tuscan Apennines. Monte della Vernia was the location where Saint Francis of Assisi retreated in 1224 for a forty-day period of fasting and meditation. It was there where he had the vision of an angel carrying the crucified Christ and experienced the stigmata.

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New MetPublications: Spring 2014

Mark Polizzotti, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014

The Museum's Editorial Department has kept busy this spring, producing a range of new titles that celebrate the Met's collection and special exhibitions. The following are seven spectacular publications, just off the presses.

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Journeys to Divinity: A Preview

Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014

The upcoming Met Museum Presents talk Journeys to Divinity, along with the current exhibition Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations, touch on how imagery functions to convey complex social and religious meanings—a concept occurring today in a myriad of contexts, as the Internet penetrates deeper into our communal experience. Gonkar Gyatso considers just such media in his construction Dissected Buddha, which draws from fragments of pop culture, mass media, and advertising in a way that appeals to a broad audience and breaks down both language and geographic boundaries.

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Toward Transcendent Enlightenment: Buddhist Sites in Central Tibet

Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014

As mentioned in a previous post, I conducted two survey trips in preparation for the exhibition Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations (on view through June 8), which focuses on eleventh- and twelfth-century connections and interactions between the Buddhist communities of Tibet and India. My trip to central Tibet in September 2010 allowed me to visit and study many of the extant Buddhist monasteries there, and to survey the wall painting preserved in monastic sacred structures.

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Glimpses of Joy and Sorrow in Chen Hongshou's Calligraphy Album

Shi-yee Liu, Assistant Research Curator of Chinese Art, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Calligraphy is considered the premier art form in Chinese culture because it so directly reflects an artist's character and mentality. Sequences of lines and dots trace the creative process with utmost immediacy, and one can envision the movements of the calligrapher's hand and sense his mood, while the words—especially poetry of one's own composition—convey his thoughts. The calligraphy album of Chen Hongshou (1599–1652), currently featured in the exhibition Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy—Selections from the Collection of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang, exemplifies this unique union of visual and verbal arts.

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Artist as Educator: Jeff Hesser at the Met

Michelle Hagewood, Assistant Museum Educator for Studio Programs, Education

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014

On March 14, the Met's Education Department kicked off the first of several events planned collaboratively with Jeff Hesser, a visiting artist leading a suite of programs related to the current exhibition The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. A sculptor who works with a range of media such as clay, 3D digital software, and toy and model making, Hesser has exhibited widely across the country and taught at the Rhode Island School of Design; University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; and the New York Academy of Art.

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Interview with Charles James: Beyond Fashion Co-author Jan Glier Reeder

Rachel High, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Costume Institute's 2014 exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, opens May 8 and offers a comprehensive study of the life and work of legendary Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906−1978). In the accompanying exhibition catalogue, co-author Jan Glier Reeder—consulting curator in The Costume Institute for the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art—highlights James's virtuosity and inventiveness, as well as his influence on future generations of fashion designers. This publication also includes early photographs and rarely seen archival items, such as muslin study pieces, dress forms, and sketches.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Opens The Costume Institute's Anna Wintour Costume Center

Nancy Chilton, Chief Communications Officer for The Costume Institute

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Yesterday morning, First Lady Michelle Obama cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of The Costume Institute's new Anna Wintour Costume Center, which has just undergone a two-year renovation. The space will reopen to the public this Thursday, May 8, with the exhibition Charles James: Beyond Fashion.

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Beautiful Tones in the Prints of Master IAM of Zwolle

John Byck, Research Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

One might not consider engraving to be a particularly "colorful" medium. Made by impressing paper with an incised metal plate primed with a single color of ink—typically black—an engraving lacks the spectrum of chromatic options of other arts, like painting. But it can often be surprising, upon close inspection, just how much tonal nuance engraved pictures can contain.

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Decoding Chinese Calligraphy

Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In the year 1561, the scholar, painter, and calligrapher Wen Peng sat down at his desk to write out the Thousand-Character Classic, a sixth-century poem often used by Chinese calligraphers to build or maintain their brush skills. The sixty-three-year-old Wen Peng was no stranger to the Thousand-Character Classic—he had likely written it several hundred times during his life, and no doubt knew the text by heart. But this time he did something unusual: He transcribed the text in a form of writing known as "clerical script," an archaic script used primarily for commemorative purposes; and he wrote the characters larger than normal, filling oversized sheets of paper with just twelve characters each.

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Met Museum Presents Announces 2014–15 Season

Meryl Cates, Press Officer, Met Museum Presents

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This morning, Director Thomas P. Campbell announced the 2014–15 season of performances and talks at the Met programmed by Concerts and Lectures General Manager, Limor Tomer. The third year of Met Museum Presents programming by Tomer, this new season will include groundbreaking commissions, New York premieres, and adventurous performances in iconic galleries—something our audiences have come to expect at the Met. A thrilling "new normal."

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Art Song in Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux's France

Michael Cirigliano II, Website Editor, Digital Media Department

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014

The mid-nineteenth century was a period of incredible stagnation for French music, especially for those composers working in the vocal arts. Only five new French operas were commissioned by the Opéra Comique in Paris between 1852 and 1870, and France had yet to forge their own style of art song, despite the widespread interest German composers had developed in the musical form earlier in the century. However, the passage of multiple revolutions and failed empires in the mid-nineteenth century gave French artists across all disciplines a spectrum of intense emotions to convey, and the wealth of art song in the country quickly began to accumulate.

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Pat Steir's Egg Sculpture at the Met

Carly McCloskey, Tourism Marketing Coordinator

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

American artist Pat Steir, known for her distinct painting technique, has a work on view in the Met's Modern and Contemporary Art galleries. Through tomorrow, April 17, eagle-eyed Museum visitors can also spot her work in the Great Hall. Steir designed an egg for the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, a citywide event featuring egg sculptures from leading artists and designers from around the world. The eggs will be auctioned off at the end of the hunt, and all proceeds raised will benefit two charities: Elephant Family and Studio in a School. We recently asked Pat a few questions about her creation.

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Event Highlights: Spring Break at the Met

Victoria Cairl, Tourism Marketing Manager

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014

Start your spring break with a day of family fun at the Met! We invite visitors of all ages to make new memories as a family by exploring the Museum's global collection. With the Museum now open seven days a week and offering events each day, the possibilities are endless.

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Galleys in the Gallery: A Look at a Newly Acquired Drawing

Cabelle Ahn, Volunteer, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014

Louis François Cassas's View of Messina Harbor is a fascinating recent addition to the continuously expanding collection of eighteenth-century drawings in the Department of Drawings and Prints. The pen and wash drawing offers an idyllic view of the main harbor in Messina, Sicily, before the earthquakes that devastated the Calabrian coast in February and March of 1783. This large-format drawing is currently on view in Gallery 690 until April 28 as part of a rotation of drawings and prints from the permanent collection.

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April in Paris (at the Met)

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Known as the "City of Light" and the "City of Love," Paris is the world-renowned capital of romance. Its wide boulevards and enchanting architecture have captured the hearts and imaginations of artists, writers, and architects for centuries. But you don't have to get on a plane to enjoy the delightful sights of this historic city; spend April in Paris right here at the Met with French works of art from the collection and special Paris-related exhibitions.

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Met Museum Presents Spring Ticket Sweepstakes on Facebook

Taylor Newby, Social Media Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This spring, the Met Museum Presents Ticket Sweepstakes series is giving away tickets to upcoming performances and talks on the Museum's Facebook page. Every Tuesday through June 3 (with the exception of April 22 and May 5), a new event will be featured in the sweepstakes.

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Featured Publication—The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture

Rachel High, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Stone Sculpture (2014) is the first comprehensive publication of 635 stone sculptures in the Met's extensive collection of ancient art from the island of Cyprus. Published online, in a historic first for the Museum, the publication is available to read, download, and search in MetPublications at no cost. A paperbound edition, complete and printed as a 436-page print-on-demand book with 949 full-color illustrations, is also available for purchase and can be ordered on Yale University Press's website.

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Bashford Dean and Japanese Arms and Armor

Donald J. La Rocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

During scientific research trips to Japan in the 1890s, Bashford Dean (1867–1928), founding curator of the Department of Arms and Armor, immersed himself in the study of Japanese arms and armor. By about 1900 he had assembled a private collection of approximately 125 pieces. When Dean lent his collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1903, it was the most comprehensive of its kind in the United States.

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Cross-Departmental Dialogue: The Rock and the Revolution

Xin Wang, Research Assistant, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014

At the moment, we have on two different sides of the Museum great examples of contemporary artists who have created works that deal with history, politics, and social realities in their respective regions using stop-motion animation: The Refusal of Time (2012), an installation by William Kentridge (b. 1955) currently on view in the Modern and Contemporary Art galleries, and a selection of videos in the exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China by artists Chen Shaoxiong (b. 1962), Qiu Anxiong (b. 1972) and Sun Xun (b. 1980). Qiu and Sun in particular have acknowledged Kentridge as a source of inspiration. I spoke with Ian Alteveer, associate curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, about the connections between Kentridge's film and several videos in Ink Art.

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Collecting Inspiration with Supersisters

Liz Zanis, Collections Management Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014

Published in 1979, the Supersisters trading cards were a playful, informative, and accessible way to spread feminism to younger audiences. The series was inspired by Lois Rich's daughter, an eight-year-old baseball-card collector, who asked why there weren't any pictures of girls on the cards. With a grant from the New York State Education Department, Lois Rich and her sister, Barbara Egerman, contacted five hundred women of achievement and created cards of the first seventy-two to respond.

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On Pots, Poets, and Poetry

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The shadowy, newly blossomed plum tree and crescent moon painted on the interior of a black-glazed tea bowl (fig. 1) and delicately incised into the center of a green-glazed bowl (fig.2), both of which are now on view in the Great Hall Balcony, illustrate a complex web of cultural allusions. Understood as references to the ephemeral nature of life, plum blossoms also symbolize hope and endurance: They are the first flowers to bloom in early spring as winter begins to fade.

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What's New: Gallery 351

Yaëlle Biro, Associate Curator, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014

At the entrance to the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, in the gallery devoted to Ethiopian art (Gallery 351), an installation combines historical works from the Museum's collection with a series of related creations by a contemporary artist on loan from a private collection.

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Tapestries Report All the News That's Fit to Weave

Sarah Mallory, Research Assistant, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Before the advent of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, television, or the daily paper, looking at tapestries was one way to learn about the news of the day, observe fashionable trends in clothing and interior design, and perhaps even make a political statement. Since it is #tapestrytuesday, let's examine how the social medium that is a tapestry just might have been an early form of social media.

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A Change of Scenery: New Drawings and Prints in Cleopatra's Needle

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014

Coinciding with the conservation treatment of the obelisk of Thutmose III in Central Park, the current exhibition Cleopatra's Needle focuses on this important Egyptian icon. Through various works of art from the Museum's encyclopedic collection, as well as some important loans from other institutions and private collectors, the show explores the meanings, functions, and manifestations of obelisks, both in their original context in ancient Egypt and later adaptations in western culture.

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Featured Catalogue: Interview with Curator, Author, and World Book Award Recipient Helen C. Evans

Rachel High, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014

​Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art, traveled to Tehran, Iran, on February 8, 2014, to accept the twenty-first annual World Book Award for her catalogue Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. The award was presented by the World Book Award Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry of Culture and Religious Guidance.

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Tibetan Buddhist Art in the Twenty-First Century

Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A rapidly evolving contemporary art movement has emerged both in Tibet and across the world in conjunction with the Tibetan diaspora, offering a wide range of perspectives on Buddhism and modern Buddhist practice. Two contemporary Tibetan artists currently featured in the exhibition Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations, Tenzing Rigdol and Gonkar Gyatso, both address Buddhist themes, but their intended audiences are global in scope, and their works are primarily vehicles of artistic expression and vision rather than objects of devotion. Nonetheless, merely presenting a Buddha or bodhisattva in a work of art charges it with a certain meaning, regardless of artistic intent. Buddhist ideas, traditional texts, and the current monastic tradition ground these images historically in a religious context, even if a contemporary viewer might not necessarily read them as "Buddhist art."

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A New Web Feature: MetCollects

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014

I am delighted to announce the launch of the Met's latest web series, MetCollects. This multimedia feature gives you an intimate look at some of the hundreds of works of art that the Met acquires each year. These exciting new additions are introduced by the curators who proposed them for the Met's collection.

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Featured Catalogue—Interview with the Curator: Keith Christiansen

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters, a new catalogue by Keith Christiansen—the John Pope-Hennessy Chairman of the Met's Department of European Paintings—is the first publication to explore the private devotional works of one of the Renaissance's great masters. Published in conjunction with the eponymous exhibition (on view through March 30), the appropriately small book matches the intimate exhibition, which focuses on one of the gems of the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice: Piero della Francesca's Saint Jerome and a Supplicant, a work that has long mesmerized Christiansen, and has never before left Italy. I sat down with him to discuss this work and why he felt compelled to put this show and publication together.

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A Tribute to J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere (1930–2014)

Giulia Paoletti, J. Clawson Mills Fellow, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On February 2, J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, one of the greatest African photographers of the twentieth century, passed away. Over a career that spanned more than fifty years, Ojeikere exhibited internationally in major venues such as the Venice Biennial, Tate Modern, Studio Museum in Harlem, Documenta, and Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, among others. He is represented in some of the most prestigious collections, including the Met's, which includes two photographs from his celebrated Hairstyles series.

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A Look at the Life of Bashford Dean

Donald J. La Rocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In October 2012, the Department of Arms and Armor marked one hundred years as an independent curatorial department, an event celebrated in the current exhibition Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department. Through the closing of the exhibition on October 13, 2014, a series of monthly blog posts will look at different aspects of Bashford Dean's unique and multifaceted career as a scientist, soldier, curator, and collector.

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A Reflection from Davos

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014

I arrived in Davos this year ready to talk about the critical relevance of culture within the World Economic Forum's annual meetings. But one thing was lingering in my mind and became a critical part of my discussions there. Last November Bill Gates did an interview with the Financial Times newspaper. In it, he said that it was morally questionable to give money to an art museum when there are still diseases that cause blindness in the world. While I greatly admire Mr. Gates's work as a significant philanthropic catalyst, this particular perspective seems limited and counter to the very priorities that he champions in his charitable work.

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In the Footsteps of Buddhist Pilgrims: Sites in North India

Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Last year, in preparation for the exhibition Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations (on view through June 8), I traveled to India to see about a dozen major museum collections. (In 2010 I conducted a similar survey in Tibet, which will be the subject of my next post.) While I was in India I also had the opportunity to study many of the major tenth- to twelfth-century Buddhist sites in the northern part of the country—sites made sacred by the actions of the Buddha. I spent most of my time in Bihar, but I also visited Buddhist centers in Odisha on the east coast.

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On the Road with Napoleon's Architect

Perrin Stein, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Before the ease of cameras and social media, there was still the basic human urge to document our journeys, even if that journey was a work assignment from Napoleon. One exquisite example of such a "carnet de voyage," or travel sketchbook, survives intact from 1811 and was presented to the Museum in 2008 as a gift of the Apollo Circle in honor of Philippe de Montebello.

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Dance Heginbotham and Alarm Will Sound Premiere Site-Specific Fly By Wire at the Met

Meryl Cates, Press Officer, Met Museum Presents

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Three days into a weeklong series of rehearsals, choreographer John Heginbotham had already created seven minutes of choreography for Fly By Wire, a ten-minute, site-specific performance that will premiere at the Metropolitan Museum on February 20. The piece will be a highlight of the evening-length program Twinned, and will be performed in the Museum's Charles Engelhard Court by his young company, Dance Heginbotham, alongside the Met's artists in residence, Alarm Will Sound. The program features an original score by contemporary composer Tyondai Braxton, as well as music by Aphex Twin and Edgard Varèse.

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Making a Tapestry—How Did They Do That?

Sarah Mallory, Research Assistant, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You are walking through a museum, your mind lost in thought (your feet perhaps aching ever so slightly), when suddenly you look up and see a fascinating object. You immediately begin trying to identify the specimen set before you: it's a fabric . . . no, it's an embroidery . . . wait . . . it's . . . the wall label says it's a tapestry! A tapestry?

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What Beautiful Dreams Are Made Of

Xin Wang, Research Assistant, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014

Duan Jianyu's Beautiful Dream series (2008), currently displayed in the exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, showcases clichéd renderings of tourist attractions and scenic Chinese landscapes on flattened cardboard boxes. The charming naiveté of the silhouetted forms belies her witty treatment of the banal subjects and materials: soda-can rings reinforce the Great Wall's bulk, and an exposed area of corrugation simulates rippling water, animating an otherwise bland Guilin representation where the distinct Karst mountain forms are typically shown with reflections in the Li River. By playing with these surface particularities, the artist seems to celebrate the cardboard's well-worn materiality rather than merely exploiting its symbolism to critique consumer culture.

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Ten Reasons to Visit Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014

With just ten days remaining until the special exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom closes on February 23, here are our top ten reasons to visit (or revisit) these exquisite treasures.

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Circles of Influence: A Recently Acquired Print

John Byck, Research Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Department of Drawings and Prints houses more than 1.2 million prints, dating from the Middle Ages through the present, and the collection is continually expanding. One recent and interesting addition is a rare print by the fifteenth-century German engraver and goldsmith Israhel van Meckenem depicting six religious scenes in roundels.

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In the Footsteps of the Monuments Men: Traces from the Archives at the Metropolitan Museum

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives; and James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014

During the last years of World War II, Allied forces made a concerted effort to protect artworks, archives, and monuments of historical and cultural significance as they advanced across Europe. They also worked, during the war and after the German surrender, to secure artworks looted by the Nazis and restitute them to their rightful owners. Approximately 345 men and women from thirteen nations were charged with this task; most were volunteers in the Monuments, Fine Art, and Archives program, or MFAA, established in late 1943 under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies. Popularly known as "Monuments Men," their ranks included museum curators, art historians, and others trained to identify and care for artworks subject to harsh conditions.

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Modern Technology Meets Ancient Art in Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom

Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014

Do you like the digital media in the exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom? Ranging from an eye-catching, wide-screen projection of a majestic burial site to a 3D animation of a famous monument, the technology in the exhibition is there to enhance a visitor's experience of the art on display.

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Spectrum Spotlight: Freyda Spira

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media; and Christopher Gorman, Assistant Administrator, Marketing and External Relations

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Brought to you by the Spectrum group, which encourages post-college audiences to experience the Met in new and unexpected ways, this post is the second installment of our new "Spectrum Spotlight" series—bringing you closer to the Met and introducing some of the staff members that make the Museum such a special place. Look for more posts throughout the year, and, of course, please attend Spectrum events!

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Celestial Steeds: A Celebration of the Year of the Horse

Zhixin Jason Sun, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

To celebrate the Year of the Horse, the Metropolitan Museum is presenting a selection of exceptional works in Gallery 207 for a limited period.

Since its domestication in prehistoric times, the horse has played an essential role in Chinese life. During the Shang and Zhou dynasties (ca. 1600–256 B.C.) horse-drawn chariots were a sign of high social status and the premier weapon of war. By the fourth century B.C., increasing encounters with nomadic horsemen led to the adoption of mounted cavalry as a dominant force in the battles between rival states that culminated with the unification of the country and establishment of the first Chinese empire—the Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.).

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Highlights of Gridiron Greats: Vintage Football Cards in the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick

Freyda Spira, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014

On the occasion of the 2014 Super Bowl—the first ever played in the New York area—the Metropolitan Museum is displaying a selection of vintage football cards from its celebrated Jefferson R. Burdick Collection of printed ephemera. The exhibition Gridiron Greats: Vintage Football Cards in the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick, on view through February 10, features some 150 football cards printed between 1894 and 1959.

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Small Delights: Chinese Snuff Bottles

Zhixin Jason Sun, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The current exhibition Small Delights: Chinese Snuff Bottles (on view through June 15, 2014) is drawn entirely from the Museum's extensive collection, and features many works that haven't been shown in decades. These exquisite miniatures not only illustrate the extraordinary technical virtuosity and refined aesthetic sensibility achieved by Qing craftsmen, but also provide a window on life and culture in late imperial China.

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Featured Catalogue: The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

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.

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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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A Three Kings Day Reunion

C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014

Today, January 6, marks the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day. This festival is widely celebrated, especially in western Christianity, as the day that the three wise men offered frankincense, myrrh, and gold to the Christ Child following their long journey from the East. This year, Three Kings Day is especially auspicious for the Museum's collection because today we celebrate the exceptional reunification of the sculptures pictured above.

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Peacocks and Dragons, Oh My!

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014

The lush green hue of this Chinese court robe was created using peacock feathers, which were twisted onto silk threads before weaving the garment. The use of such peacock-feather threads is thought to have begun in China in the fifth century. However, the first preserved examples date to the early seventeenth century, and costumes woven with peacock feathers are extremely rare. This robe, which has not been displayed for more than fifty years, is now on view in Power and Prestige: Chinese Dragon Robes, 18th–21st Century.

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Precious Punctuation?

Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, December 27, 2013

Dragons? Cashews? Crescent moons? What are those comma-shaped ornaments seen in the exhibition Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom?

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Installing Ink Art

Mike Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman of the Department of Asian Art

Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013

What does it take to install an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art?

The diversity in scale, media, and format of the seventy-some pieces in Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China have tested the talents and ingenuity of the Museum's incredibly resourceful staff. After a number of advance planning meetings, our installation began in earnest on October 30 in the Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture Gallery (206)—just off the Great Hall Balcony. There, we planned to display three 16 1/2-foot-tall hanging scrolls from Qiu Zhijie's 30 Letters to Qiu Jiawa, (2009) and the five triptychs of Yang Jiechang's Crying Landscapes (2002). Together, these works would announce to visitors to the Asian Wing that they were entering the world of contemporary China, where old and new often come together.

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Balthus: Cats and Girls—Interview with Curator Sabine Rewald

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013

With less than a month left to see the exhibition Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I sat down with Sabine Rewald—Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art,  and author of the accompanying exhibition catalogue—to discuss her many years of fascination with Balthus, as well as her latest research that has brought such a renewed richness to the artist's subjects.

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A Very Burdick Christmas

Freyda Spira, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints; and Liz Zanis, Collections Management Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013

Since the establishment of the Print Department in 1916 there has been a clear mission to gather all types of printed material ranging from Rembrandt's magnificent and widely collected etchings to the more ephemeral, which includes, among many others things, American and European trade and calling cards, bookplates, illustrated catalogues, and even greeting cards.

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Spectrum Spotlight: Ian Alteveer

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media; and Christopher Gorman, Assistant Administrator, Marketing and External Relations

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Perhaps you have attended one of Spectrum's many concerts, panel discussions, trivia nights, or the annual Oktoberfest at The Cloisters museum and gardens. Now the group would like to bring you closer to the Met and introduce some of the staff members that make the Museum such a special place. This post is the first in our "Spectrum Spotlight" series, which will introduce some of the Met's rising stars on the curatorial staff. Look for more installments throughout the year, and, of course, please attend Spectrum events!

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Comparing Pairs

Perrin Stein, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a comparison is worth at least two thousand.

The exhibition Artists and Amateurs, Etching in Eighteenth-Century France (on view through January 5) offers many thought-provoking pairings illuminating aspects of artistic process and individual style. An etching, which is printed from ink held in sunken lines on a copper plate, can be reworked between printings, resulting in distinct states. Such is the case with a print depicting soldiers trudging through a bleak landscape, off to join their regiment. An extremely rare first state is etched by the hand of Antoine Watteau, renowned painter of fêtes galantes. His delicate sinuous line imbues his figures with a grace more balletic than warlike.

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A Pensive Treasure

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art; and Soyoung Lee, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013

Last shown in the U.S. in 1981—and now on view in Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom—this breathtaking gilt-bronze sculpture of a bodhisattva may never be seen in New York again.

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A Neighborhood of Castles in the Sky:
Washington Heights before The Cloisters

Danielle Oteri, Lecturer, The Cloisters museum and gardens; Program Director, International Center of Medieval Art; Curator, Feast on History

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013

Washington Heights—the neighborhood in northern Manhattan that houses The Cloisters museum and gardens—is built upon a series of bluffs and cliffs. Concrete staircases and creaky subway elevators connect different sections of the neighborhood, and buildings stand tall on stilts driven deep into Manhattan schist. From a distance, blocks of apartment buildings appear like castellated European villages. However, despite its once-impenetrable terrain, or maybe because of it, Washington Heights is a place where some of the wildest and most romantic medieval-architecture fantasies in New York City have been realized for over 150 years.

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Featured Catalogue—Interview with the Curator: Mike Hearn

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mike Hearn—the Met's Douglas Dillon Curator in Charge of the Department of Asian Art—about his work in authoring the catalogue accompanying the upcoming exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, his inspiration for incorporating modern works into his department, and the role of the Chinese artist in today's art world.

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Artists on Artworks Celebrates One Year at the Met

Molly Kysar, Former Assistant Museum Educator for Gallery Programs, Education

Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013

On Friday, September 20, the fall season of Artists on Artworks began as visitors gathered in the Vélez Blanco Patio to meet artist Lisa Corinne Davis, who led a tour of the galleries and an hour-long discussion of a few paintings that she had personally selected. During the tour, Davis shared her perspective as a painter, talking about the choices that artists make as they are creating a new work—including what they choose to include and not include in terms of both subject and composition.

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This Weekend in Met History: October 20

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013

One hundred years ago this weekend, on October 20, 1913, Robert W. de Forest was unanimously elected the fifth president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. De Forest had been involved with the Museum since its inception in 1870 and had served on its Board of Trustees since 1889, first as a Trustee and later as its secretary and vice president.

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Experiencing The Forty Part Motet

Andrew Winslow, Senior Departmental Technician, The Cloisters museum and gardens

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Janet Cardiff's The Forty Part Motet, currently on view through December 8, boasts the distinction of being the first exhibition of contemporary art in the seventy-five-year history of The Cloisters museum and gardens. A sound installation consisting of forty speakers mounted on tall stands and arranged in a large oval, Cardiff's work seems to have found its ideal home in the Fuentidueña Chapel—dominated by the monumental twelfth-century apse brought to The Cloisters from the church of San Martín in Fuentidueña, Spain.

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Introducing Alarm Will Sound

Meryl Cates, Press Officer, Met Museum Presents

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This year's Artist in Residence program brings Alarm Will Sound, one of the most creative ensembles working today, to the Met. Just beyond the cutting edge of music, dance, and theater, this hugely respected and highly accomplished group of performer-composers turns its collective imagination for one year to the Met's permanent collection and galleries.

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Breakthrough on 82nd & Fifth

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013

We just posted my episode, entitled Breakthrough, as part of 82nd & Fifth, the award-winning web series that has introduced our audience and our curators to a whole new way of looking at works of art: one object, one curator, two minutes at a time. I chose one of my favorite masterpieces—a Bernard van Orley tapestry of The Last Supper from 1524—and was amazed by the stunning details that Met photographer Peter Zeray was able to capture. This is the 75th of this 100-episode project, and I hope you take some time to enjoy them all.

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The Grand Tour

Meryl Cates, Press Officer, Met Museum Presents

Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In celebration of the New European Paintings Galleries, 1250–1800, the Museum hosted two special evenings of concerts on September 17 and 18. Music and art came together to illuminate the time period represented by the galleries, creating a resonant cultural experience.

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Syrian Art at the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The situation in Syria is both grave and deeply troubling. In the midst of such striking human suffering, all other concerns can easily get lost in the shadows. But we must believe that there will be a time when peace returns to Syria, and when that moment arrives, it would be tragic to find that most of the country's heritage had been lost.

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Fifty Years of the Met's Bulletin Now Available at MetPublications

Gwen Roginsky, Associate Publisher and General Manager, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013

MetPublications is a portal to the Museum's comprehensive book and online publishing program from 1964 to the present, offering free content and information from an encyclopedic collection of publications—including exhibition catalogues, collection catalogues, Museum guides, and educational materials. And now, with the addition of two hundred thirty-five issues of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin spanning the past fifty years, MetPublications currently boasts close to nine hundred titles.

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#AskaCurator Day on Twitter

Taylor Newby, Social Media Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013

Associate Curator Ian Alteveer will answer your questions on September 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

On Wednesday, September 18, join us on Twitter for Ask a Curator Day with Department of Modern and Contemporary Art Associate Curator Ian Alteveer. Ian will answer your questions about his job, the collection, and exhibitions during this live Twitter Q&A.

Tweet your questions to @metmuseum on September 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. EDT using the hashtag #AskaCurator. You may also tweet your questions in advance. Ian is the curator of the current exhibitions The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi, The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi's Miniature Paintings, and In Praise of Shadows: William Kentridge in the Collection.

See a list of museums participating in Ask a Curator Day and learn more in this Guardian article. Follow the #AskaCurator hashtag and @metmuseum on Twitter to view the Q&A. You do not need to have a Twitter account to follow the questions and answers.

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Presenting TEDxMet: ICONS

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Earlier this year, the Met became the first art museum to ever receive a TEDx license to hold a conference in the style of the globally known TED Talks. We chose the (broadly interpreted) theme of Icons and started to plan right away...

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Looking to Connect with European Paintings: Visual Approaches for Teaching

Elizabeth Perkins, 2012–2013 Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013

As an art historian, my goal is to offer information and insight. As a teacher, I hope to encourage people to discuss, discover, and explore. Where is the balance between these things in museum teaching and interpretation? When and how is information meaningful? How do we help visitors look closely and relate to what they see? These are some of the questions that guided me during my Kress Interpretive Fellowship at the Met this past year. My main project was a thematic, digital publication focusing on teaching adults in the European Paintings collection. The exciting final result is Looking to Connect with European Paintings: Visual Approaches for Teaching in the Galleries—it has just been released and is available as a free download (PDF) within MetPublications.

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Medieval Drama at The Cloisters

Nancy Wu, Museum Educator, The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013

Although theatrical plays had been presented at the original Cloisters museum at 699 Fort Washington Avenue until its closing in February 1936, it was not until the performance of The Miracle of Theophilus at The Cloisters' current home in January 1942 that a medieval drama was produced for the first time. Envisioned and organized by the curatorial staff, with a text translated from the original French into English by Curator James Rorimer—later director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art—and costumes designed by Associate Curator Margaret Freeman, the thirteenth-century play was enjoyed by a group of Museum members on the Feast of the Epiphany. Thus began a tradition of medieval theatrical performances at The Cloisters.

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"Round Table Capers": Medieval Festivals in the 1950s

Emma Wegner, Assistant Museum Educator, The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013

From 1951 to 1957, The Cloisters hosted annual festivals for children of Members. Each of the seven festivals—held in the courtyard and given vibrantly titled themes such as "Round Table Capers" (1954) and "When Knights were Bold" (1955)—was an extravagant affair organized by the staff of the Met's Junior Museum, the precursor to what is now the Education Department. Children enjoyed puppet shows, games, donkey rides, and even trained bears.

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Ideas of Empire: The "Royal Garden" at Pasargadae

Fiona Kidd, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013

I am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters of the world.

—The Cyrus Cylinder (Line 20)

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The Met's New Global Museum Leaders Colloquium

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013

Today we announced a new program aimed at connecting more directly with the global museum community. The Met has been an international institution since its founding; it was established in 1870 not as a museum of American art but as an encyclopedic collection—with the goal of including works of art from around the world. Since then we've collaborated with nations and institutions across the globe, through exhibitions, excavations, training, and all types of scholarly exchange.

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Fun Facts: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Museum's new Guide highlights special works from each of our seventeen curatorial departments. Coming in at four hundred fifty-six pages and featuring almost six hundred works of art, it is the first new Guide to be published about the Museum in twenty-nine years. While reviewing the new publication, I discovered a few fun facts about the works of art from around the globe and across the centuries featured in its pages.

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The Cloisters in Popular Culture:
"Time in This Place Does Not Obey an Order"

Michael Carter, Librarian, The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

Posted: Monday, July 22, 2013

For the past seventy-five years, The Cloisters has provided visitors with more than just a chance to view an exceptional collection of medieval art and architecture. In tourist guides and travel reviews, a trip to The Cloisters is commonly described as a way to be transported to the Middle Ages or—for locals seeking a "staycation"—a chance to get out of New York without leaving the city. The powerful effect of the place has clearly been noticed by screenwriters, novelists, and even comicbook authors, who have set a fair number of fictional works here over the years.

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Cyrus and the Judean Diaspora

Ira Spar, Research Assyriologist, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013

Toward the end of the first century a.d. Jerusalem lay in ruins, the second temple built by Herod the Great (74/73–4 b.c.) destroyed and ransacked by the Roman army. Meanwhile, in Babylon, scribes continued to copy ancient texts, inscribing some of them on cuneiform tablets made of clay. After the last cuneiform scribe passed to his fate, no one remained who could read or write documents in Babylonian, Assyrian, or Sumerian. In 1893, pioneer archaeologists and explorers digging in Iraq began to uncover vast archives of cuneiform tablets that had been buried for two thousand years. Today, philologists, archaeologists, and historians are able to combine narratives previously known only from the Bible with information gleaned from thousands of historic, literary, religious, and scientific texts, illuminating the world of Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, and Cyrus. The Cyrus Cylinder, now on view at the Met, helps us understand the peoples and policies of the ancient Near East.

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Travel with the Met: Russian Impressions

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I'm back in New York, and I've had a chance to reflect on my first Travel with the Met experience. The trip was truly unforgettable, thanks in part to the hospitality and humor of our Russian hosts and the stoic pride they take in their country.

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Living in Style: Five Centuries of Interior Design from the Collection of Drawings and Prints

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013

Now on view (through September 8), the exhibition Living in Style brings together drawings, prints, books, and pieces of furniture from the Museum's collections to illustrate five centuries of interior design, from the Renaissance period through the 1960s. Following a chronological path of development, the show traces changes and continuities in the approach to materials, shapes, colors, and decorations as displayed by the works on paper.

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Renovating The Cloisters: Maintaining the Vision

Peter Barnet, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013

"Creating the Cloisters," the spring issue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin written by curator Timothy B. Husband, is an engaging and nuanced narrative of the early history of The Cloisters. As a complement to that narrative, I'd like to review the more recent gallery renovations and reinstallations that have been undertaken, all guided by the principle of maintaining the integrity of the original architectural vision of The Cloisters.

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Travel with the Met: Wooden Architecture and Mysticism on Kizhi Island

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our local guide explained that the first settlers to the Kizhi Island area in the sixteenth century practiced two religions simultaneously: Russian Orthodox Christianity and pre-Christian pagan mysticism.

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New Labels for European Paintings Galleries

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013

As part of the installation of the New European Paintings Galleries last month, all of the wall labels were rewritten to reflect recent research. Each time I walked into the Rembrandt gallery (Gallery 637) during the installation, I wondered if I was seeing an art project or merely temporary storage for our new label holders.

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Travel with the Met: Yaroslavl

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Here the Volga River meets the Kotorosl River as seen from the bluffs of Yaroslavl, a picturesque city with a population of 640,000. Decorative plantings in the shape of a bear, the city's emblem, commemorate the 1,003rd anniversary of Yaroslav.

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The Later Legacy of Cyrus the Great

Michael Seymour, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder, currently on display in the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: Charting a New Empire (June 20–August 4, 2013), is a document of unique historical significance. It records the Persian king Cyrus' conquest of the city of Babylon in 539 b.c., and his proclamation that cults and temples should be restored, their personnel allowed to return from Babylon to their home cities.

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Sublime Embrace:
Concerts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013

Ninety-five years ago the halls of The Metropolitan Museum of Art resounded with the sounds of music, as the first public concert was held within the Museum's galleries.

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Travel with the Met: Backstage at the Bolshoi

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013

In 1776, while America was starting a revolution, the Russians were building the Bolshoi Theater.

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The Boxer: An Ancient Masterpiece Comes to the Met

Seán Hemingway, Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013

Since its discovery on the Quirinal Hill of Rome in 1885 near the ancient Baths of Constantine, the statue Boxer at Rest—currently on view at the Met—has astonished and delighted visitors to the Museo Nazionale Romano as a captivating masterpiece of ancient bronze sculpture.

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Travel with the Met: Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

Vanessa Hagerbaumer, Senior Special Events Officer

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm currently traveling as a Museum representative on a Travel with the Met cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg. One of our first stops in Moscow was Saint Basil's Cathedral. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible ensured that nothing quite like it could be built again . . . by taking out the eyes of the chief architect.

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Gothic Altarpiece

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013

Before you can put a Gothic altarpiece together, you first have to know how to take it apart. This is Giovanni di Paolo's polyptych from a church in Cortona, Italy, painted in 1454, en route to its permanent installation in Gallery 626 within the New European Paintings Galleries.

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Digitizing the Libraries' Collections: Pictorialist Photography Exhibition Catalogues, 1891–1914

Dan Lipcan, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Malcolm Daniel, Senior Curator, Department of Photographs

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013

One of the first projects we undertook upon establishing the Thomas J. Watson Library's digitization initiative a few years ago was a collaboration with the Department of Photographs and its Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.

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Featured Publication: German Paintings
in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department; and Hilary Becker, Administrative Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Just in time to celebrate the opening of the New European Paintings Galleries, Curator Maryan Ainsworth has coauthored a comprehensive guide to the Met's German paintings. The collection, which includes pictures made in the German-speaking lands (including Austria and Switzerland) from 1350 to 1600, constitutes the largest and most comprehensive group in an American museum today. Comprising major examples by the towering figures of the German Renaissance—Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Hans Holbein the Younger—and many by lesser masters, the collection has grown slowly but steadily from the first major acquisitions in 1871 to the most recent in 2011; it now numbers seventy-two works, presented here in sixty-three entries.

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Installing Tiepolo

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Monday, June 3, 2013

How many people does it take to hang a ceiling? How many rigs? This snapshot shows The Glorification of the Barbaro Family, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's great ceiling from Ca' Barbaro, Venice, going up in Gallery 600 during the last week of installation of the New European Paintings 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.