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The Challenge of Interpreting Caricatures and Satires

Nadine Orenstein, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Caricatures and satires are generally created to comment on specific events or moments in history. The Headache, Enrique Chagoya's print of President Obama, for example, reminds us of the strident debates that took place more than a year ago about changes to the U.S. healthcare system. Chagoya based his image on a nineteenth-century print by George Cruikshank entitled The Head Ache that illustrates a man attacked by hammering and drilling demons who are the source of his woes.

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The Shows Go On: Exhibitions at the Met

Ryan Wong, Former Administrative Assistant for Exhibitions, Office of the Director

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011

When I joined the Metropolitan's Exhibitions Office, I could not have imagined the immensity of the work that goes into the exhibitions program. It can take up to five years for an exhibition to turn from a proposal into an installation and involve hundreds of workers across the Museum. In this post, I hope to answer the questions about the exhibitions process that I always had while roaming the galleries as a visitor.

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New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011

Today is a landmark day for the Metropolitan Museum as we celebrate the new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, a spectacular achievement for the Museum and its Islamic Art Department.

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Featured Publication—Turkmen Jewelry: Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection
Interview with the Collectors

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011

One of several new Met books that will accompany the November 1 reopening of the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, this month's featured publication will be the first English-language book devoted to the extraordinary silver jewelry of the nomadic Turkmen people of Central Asia.

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Infinite Jest: A New Exhibition about an Old Tradition

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011

Humor and museums are not often linked. We can be informative, inspiring, even entertaining. But funny? Perhaps not as often as we should be.

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Welcome to Our Newly Designed Website

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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The Met in Berlin

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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Curator Interview: Suzuki Kiitsu's Morning Glories

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Suzuki Kiitsu's Morning Glories is the signature work of art in the exhibition A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art, open through October 23. Assistant Curator Sinéad Kehoe discussed this splendid work with me.

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A Special Visitor

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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The Met's Online Community Responds to McQueen

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

At the Met, we're always eager to hear from our online community through our various social media channels. Whether it's a comment about the Featured Artwork of the Day on our Facebook page, a question posed on Twitter, or a photograph posted to our Flickr group pool, our online visitors' responses are thoughtful and varied, and we enjoy reading and responding to them. Recently, the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty provided the Museum with an opportunity to hear from our online community in a new way; on a special McQueen page, we invited visitors to answer the question "What made you realize that fashion is an art form?" Not surprisingly, we received a wonderful range of responses, and we're excited to share them with you.

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Great Escapes at the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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The Artistic Community of Seventeenth-Century Utrecht

Elizabeth A. Nogrady, 2010–11 J. Clawson Mills Fellow

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

As the J. Clawson Mills Fellow at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2010–11, my research has focused on the artistic community in the city of Utrecht during the seventeenth-century "Golden Age" of Dutch painting. Through close examination of this network of artists, I have explored Utrecht's role in the magnificent flourishing of the arts that occurred at this time in the Netherlands, despite the civil discord caused by the Dutch fight for independence from Spain. This circle of artists used several different avenues—including displays of camaraderie, strong professional organizations, an emphasis on artists' education, and joint artistic endeavors—to keep their community strong even as Utrecht buckled under the political, religious, and social strain of war.

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The Fellowship Program: Sixty Years of Scholarship

Marcie Karp, Managing Museum Educator for Academic Programs

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

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, Assistant 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

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

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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Winners Announced: "Get Closer" 2011 Photo Contest

Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On February 25, the Museum launched "Get Closer," a photography contest in which we invited visitors to share details from works of art in our collection that have intrigued or inspired them. Hundreds of visitors submitted photographs taken throughout the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of the Museum located in Northern Manhattan. Contributors described such details as the powerful eyes of an African mask, the sensual quality of a lemon peel in a Dutch still life, and the iridescence of a Tiffany vase. We extend our thanks to all of the contest participants for their inspired contributions.

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The Washington Haggadah: Of Mice and Men

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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

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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Met Receives Two Awards at Annual AAM Conference

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

At the recent American Association of Museums annual conference, the Metropolitan Museum won two awards for online projects.

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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

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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Met Launches First Interactive E-publication

Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This month, the Museum launched its first iPad app interactive e-publication for the exhibition Poetry in Clay: Korean Buncheong Ceramics from Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. The Met Buncheong app complements the exhibition catalogue and includes highlights from each chapter in the book, a video introduction from Soyoung Lee, co-curator of the exhibition and co-author of the catalogue, 360-degree object views, multiple image views, panoramas of the gallery, and links to publications and related sections of the Museum's website.

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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

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

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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Two Big Announcements for the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011

It was a very significant week for the future of the Met.

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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 Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The 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, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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 Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The 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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Statement from the Director on the Detention of Ai Weiwei

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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Today in Met History: April 6

Anna Bernhard, Archives Assistant, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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

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

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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Building History: The Making of the Met's New Moroccan Court

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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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

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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Foursquare at the Met: Are You a Met Lover?

Morgan Holzer, Associate Project Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Many of you may already know about Foursquare, which lets smartphone users share their location with friends and get tips and special discounts from the places they visit. But did you know that it also lets you connect with the Met?

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Understanding Photographic Processes

Silvia Centeno, Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research

Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

As a chemist in the Museum's Department of Scientific Research, I work closely with Anna Vila-Espuña, also in the Department of Scientific Research, and Nora Kennedy, in Photograph Conservation, on collaborations with Met curators to increase our understanding of methods and materials used to create paintings, works of art on paper, and photographs. This knowledge not only enlightens us about the artists' techniques, but it also aids in the care and preservation of the works.

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"Get Closer" Contest

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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A Day in the Life of Visitor Services

Claire Bowman, Visitor Services Assistant

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Here at the Met, no two days are alike, especially in my job as a member of the Visitor Services staff. Each new person who comes into the Museum has new questions. Many visitors feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the Museum's collections, and may not know quite where to begin. When people ask my colleagues or me for guidance, we encourage them to join a Museum Highlights Tour or to pick up helpful printed materials such as a Museum Floor Plan, a list of the day's events, or one of our Family Guides. I find the best approach is to try to imagine myself in the visitor's shoes and ask, "What might this person need to help her comfortably enjoy the Museum and get the most out of her visit?"

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Connections

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011

Since its debut on January 5, Connections has allowed tens of thousands of viewers to become acquainted with members of our staff. Each episode sparkles with the personality of a narrator who weaves together works of art from the Met's collections, based on a theme that he or she finds particularly inspiring. Our viewers have been inspired as well.

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This Weekend in Met History: February 6

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011

On February 6, 1871, a committee of the Board of Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art discussed the plan that led to the construction of the Museum's first building at its current site on the east side of New York's Central Park.

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Continuing Developments in Egypt

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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Met Museum Taking Part in Google Art Project

Posted: Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Met is taking part in the Art Project, which Google launched today at a press conference in London. Seventeen museums from nine countries are currently participating in the Art Project, which can be accessed at www.googleartproject.com. This allows viewers both to explore the museums using Street Views technology and to view one iconic work from each museum's collection in a more in-depth way using state-of-the-art zooming technology.

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On View January 25–30: Original Autochromes Produced Using the First Color Photographic Process

Luisa Casella, Research Scholar in Photograph Conservation, Department of Photographs

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011

Developed in the early years of the twentieth century, Autochromes were the result of the first commercially viable color photographic process. Yet the dyes used to impart the color in Autochromes are so sensitive to light that typical exhibition conditions cause rapid and irreversible fading, which has led to the Metropolitan Museum's policy of not exhibiting these vulnerable photographs. As the Museum's research scholar in photograph conservation, I spent three years studying the stability of Autochrome dyes. I began my research with a desire to better understand how and under what conditions Autochromes fade and, ideally, to devise a safe way to exhibit these important photographs. The exciting culmination of my work will take place next week, January 25–30, when five original Autochromes by Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen will be displayed in low-oxygen enclosures as part of the special exhibition Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand.

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Filippino Lippi's Madonna and Child

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

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In 1949 the Metropolitan Museum was bequeathed a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance painting. Painted around 1485 by the Florentine master Filippino Lippi, it shows the Madonna and Child seated in a domestic interior, with a view through a window onto a landscape with a river.

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Exotic Scenes and Familiar Landscapes: The Search for American Painted Interiors

Ruthie Dibble, 2010–11 Douglass Foundation Fellow, The American Wing

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.

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Connections

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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This Weekend in Met History: January 1

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010

Forty years ago this weekend, on January 1, 1971, The Metropolitan Museum of Art first distributed admission buttons, replacing the envelope-sized, two-color tickets that had been used during a transitional period in 1970.

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Back on View: A Velázquez Fully Restored

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Velázquez's portrait of Philip IV, king of Spain, went back on view in the European Paintings galleries today after an absence of more than a year, following the completion of a particularly complex restoration.

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Special Message from the Director

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm pleased to share with you a video that takes you to some of my favorite works of art in our galleries and highlights why the Met belongs to all of us—families, students, scholars—visitors from across our nation and around the globe. I hope you will support the collections and programs that make the Met such an extraordinary place.

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New Look, New Home for Artwork of the Day

Denise Canniff, Senior Manager for Online Strategy and Marketing, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010

Our new and improved home page—which has beautiful, rotating images of our special exhibitions and permanent collections—launched today. In addition to listing general information about the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens more prominently, the new design also makes it easy to buy online admission tickets directly from the Museum.

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Today in Met History: December 20

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010

Thirty-five years ago today, on December 20, 1975, United States President Gerald R. Ford signed into law the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act (PDF), which gave the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities the authority to insure international exhibitions that traveled from overseas to U.S. museums. This legislation was a watershed moment in the history of art exhibitions in the United States, making it possible for museums around the world to collaborate with U.S. institutions on traveling loan shows while minimizing insurance costs to the participating institutions.

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The Museum, Constructed

Brian Cha, Intern, Design Department

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.

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Day without Art

Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In 1989, the World Health Organization designated December 1 World AIDS Day, a day of action and mourning in response to the pandemic. Along with other cultural institutions, the Met continues to participate in an annual observance of the day.

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Exploring the Met's Work in Egypt

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010

In eighteen months on the job, I have traveled all over the globe, and it is incredible to understand the scope of the Met's international reach. In fact, I have just returned from a tour of the Met's archaeological work in Egypt, activity that extends back to the earliest days of the Museum.

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This Weekend in Met History: November 21

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010

On November 21, 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art accessioned its first work of art—a Roman marble sarcophagus found in 1863 at Tarsus in Cilicia (modern southern Turkey). This finely worked but unfinished sarcophagus came to the Museum as a gift from J. Abdo Debbas, the American vice consul at Tarsus. Debbas, a native of the province of Adana, Turkey, served in the United States Department of State there until 1882.

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This Weekend in Met History: November 14

Barbara File, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010

Forty years ago this weekend, on November 14, 1970, the exhibition Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was the last in a series of five major exhibitions organized over the course of eighteen months (October 1969–February 1971) in celebration of the Museum's centennial.

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Met and Egyptian Government Jointly Announce Recognition of Egypt's Title to 19 Objects

Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Met Director Thomas P. Campbell and Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, announced jointly today that, effective immediately, the Museum will acknowledge Egypt's title to nineteen ancient Egyptian objects in its collection since early in the 20th century.

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Met to Undertake Major Redesign and Reconstruction of Fifth Avenue Outdoor Plaza and Fountains

Posted: Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Museum announced yesterday that it will undertake a comprehensive, multi-year effort to redesign and rebuild the four-block-long outdoor plaza that fronts its landmark Fifth Avenue facade. The project will feature as one of its centerpiece elements the design and installation of all-new fountains outside the building. Following formal approval of the project at yesterday's meeting of its Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan further announced that it has named OLIN, the award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm with studios in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, to lead this effort.

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Today in Met History: October 31

Adrianna Del Collo, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2010

One hundred years ago today, Edward Robinson, curator of classical art and assistant director at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, was named the Museum's third director. Known for his broad knowledge, connoisseurship, and professionalism, he was a logical choice to replace the accomplished Sir Casper Purdon Clarke, who had reluctantly resigned from his duties after a long struggle with declining health.

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"The Secret of Édouard Baldus Revealed"

Malcolm Daniel, Senior Curator, Department of Photographs

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"The secret of Édouard Baldus"—that was the subject line of an email I received recently. I rolled my eyes. "Right," I said to myself, "the secret of Édouard Baldus." I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Édouard Baldus (1813–1889), the nineteenth-century French photographer of landscape and architecture, and had the enormous pleasure of introducing him to the general public through a beautiful show and catalogue in 1994. Ever since, I've been "Mr. Baldus."

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Fall Season

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010

The fall season is in full swing and the Met has never felt more vibrant. Our current exhibitions take our visitors through the full span of history, telling the story of art as no other museum can.

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Today in Met History: October 18

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010

On October 18, 1880, Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Luigi Palma di Cesnola urged the Museum's Trustees to create an art library that would help fulfill the institution's educational mission. The Museum's original 1870 New York State charter had specifically committed the new institution to "establishing and maintaining . . . a museum and library of art."

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Curator Interview: Mezzetin

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jean Antoine Watteau's Mezzetin is among the Museum's most evocative works. Katharine Baetjer, curator in the Department of European Paintings, spoke with me about this small, striking painting.

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Khubilai Khan

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

We have just opened a new show, The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, one of the most complex and ambitious exhibitions ever mounted by the Metropolitan Museum. It is a true tour de force of scholarship and international collaboration, and it aims to cover every aspect of the arts and culture of China of the Yuan dynasty, one of the most dynamic and pivotal periods in Chinese history.

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The Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel

Christopher S. Lightfoot, Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

In 1996 mosaics were accidentally uncovered during highway construction in the modern Israeli town of Lod, not far from Tel Aviv (see map). Lod is ancient Lydda, which was destroyed by the Romans in a.d. 66 during the Jewish War. Refounded by Hadrian as Diospolis, Lydda was awarded the rank of a Roman colony under Septimius Severus in a.d. 200.

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Between Here and There: Contemporary Photography at the Met

Douglas Eklund, Associate Curator, Department of Photographs

Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inside the museum—not just the Met but any art museum—photography has been birthed in hallways. It began to spring from the shoulders of museums' print departments in the 1920s and 1930s, when modernism was making a case for photography as an independent art form. Over the decades it has spread institutionally through the in-between spaces that architecturally mirror the medium's proudly mongrel status as both art and not art.

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Today in Met History: September 14

Barbara File, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

INDIA!, an exhibition of the art of India from the fourteenth through the nineteenth century, opened on this day in 1985 as part of a nationwide Festival of India jointly organized by the Government of India and the Indo-U.S. Sub-commission on Education and Culture.

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Curator Interview: Armadillo-Shell Charango or Jarana

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On view in the Musical Instruments galleries is an arresting stringed object, an armadillo shell for its back. Ken Moore, the Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of Musical Instruments, spoke with me about this work.

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New York City through Its People

Alex Hills, Former Online Marketing Coordinator, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The current exhibition Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein's New York Photographs, 1950–1980 features candid photographs of New Yorkers, with each of Levinstein's subjects representing a particular neighborhood. In the thirty years since these photographs were taken, New York City's neighborhoods have changed dramatically: new buildings have appeared, businesses have opened or closed, and a new generation has moved in. What would Levinstein see in the people of New York today?

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Giovanni da Milano: Seeing with the Senses

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

Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010

Two years ago I had the good fortune of being in Florence when, at the Accademia, which every tourist visits for its collection of sculpture by Michelangelo, there was a marvelous exhibition devoted to the great fourteenth-century painter Giovanni da Milano (Italian, Lombard, active 1346–69). I spent hours in the exhibition and it was there that I first saw Christ and Saint Peter; the Resurrection; Christ and Mary Magdalen.

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Teen T-Shirt Design Competition: And the Winners Are…

Alice W. Schwarz, Museum Educator

Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010

After days of viewing the entries and hours of narrowing the field, we have chosen four winners of the Teen T-Shirt Design Competition inspired by the special exhibition American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity.

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The Worldwide Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Museum's Members just received their Summer Bulletin, which details the archaeological excavations in the ancient Near East that have been supported by the Metropolitan from 1931 to 2010. It reminds me that many people don't realize that the Met has been involved in the study of antiquity since the Museum's founding in 1870 (the Met's Egyptian Expedition began in 1906 and continued with extraordinary success for thirty years).

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Curator Interview: Picasso's Seated Harlequin

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The signature image of the exhibition Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (closing August 15) is the Seated Harlequin, a masterpiece painted by Picasso when he was just nineteen years old. Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, spoke with me about the painting's imagery and style, as well as recent discoveries made by Metropolitan Museum conservators.

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Curator Interview: American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010

Among the gorgeous garments on display in the exhibition American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (closing August 15) is an exquisite black evening dress attributed to Madame Marie Gerber of the house of Callot Soeurs. I spoke with Andrew Bolton, curator in the Met's Costume Institute, about the dress's bold design and glamorous, influential owner.

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Three Final Weeks for the Exhibitions Picasso and American Woman

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer visitors to the Met have only three more weeks—through Sunday, August 15—to view the popular exhibitions Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity.

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A Visit to The Cloisters

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

John D. Rockefeller Jr. once said, "I can think of nothing so unpleasant as a life devoted to pleasure." How extraordinary, then, that he would create perhaps the most idyllic retreat on the island of Manhattan: The Cloisters Museum and Gardens in Fort Tryon Park.

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Graduate Intern Gallery Talks: Perspectives from Scholars in Training

Ryan Wong, Former Administrative Assistant for Exhibitions, Office of the Director

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010

I recently posted an article about our twenty-two Summer College Interns (see "New Connections in the Permanent Collection"), and invited you to join us for one of our Highlight Tours or Special Topics Tours.

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Today in Met History: July 19

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010

One hundred years ago today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the doors of its library's new home to art historians, students, and the general public.

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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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Metropolitan Museum Reached 5.24 Million Annual Attendance, Highest Since 2001, at End of Fiscal Year

Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010

Attendance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art reached 5,240,000 visitors during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010. This is the first year since 2001 that attendance at the Metropolitan exceeded five million. The number, which includes attendance at The Cloisters museum and gardens, ranks among the highest in its entire 130-year history.

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P.S. Art 2010 at the Met: Celebrating the Creativity of New York City Kids

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Exceptional works of art by sixty-nine New York City public school students, ages four to twenty, are on view now through August 8 in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education through P.S. Art, a collaborative program between the New York City Department of Education and Studio in a School Association, Inc. This is the third consecutive year that the Met has hosted the juried exhibition, P.S. Art 2010: Celebrating the Creative Spirit of NYC Kids.

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Ringo Starr's Gold Drum on View at Met Museum

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On July 7, Ringo Starr's seventieth birthday, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will inaugurate a special display of his gold-plated snare drum that will remain on view through December 2010 in the Museum's second-floor Musical Instruments Galleries. On loan from Ringo Starr, it was originally presented to him by the Ludwig Drum Company during The Beatles' 1964 visit to Chicago when the legendary rock group was on its first tour of the United States.

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Summer Interns: New Connections in the Permanent Collection

Ryan Wong, Former Administrative Assistant for Exhibitions, Office of the Director

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010

When you visit the Met this summer, you will likely come across one of our twenty-two lilac-badged Summer College Interns—assisting visitors at one of the Information Desks (sometimes in a language other than English), lugging monographs out of Watson Library, or taking a break in the shade of Big Bambú. Or you may see us—and even join us—as we lead guided tours of the permanent collection.

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New Touch-Screen Labels for the American Wing Period Rooms

Amelia Peck, Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art

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.

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A Day in the Life of an Art Librarian

Lisa Harms, Former Assistant Museum Librarian for Collections and Access, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

During my weekly shifts at the reference desk at the Thomas J. Watson Library, I routinely get asked the same question by inquisitive Museum visitors who pass by our doors: "The Museum has a library?" Over the years, I have learned to treat this as an opportunity to promote the library's collection, services, and resources.

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Today in Met History: June 12

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eighty-five years ago today, on June 12, 1925, The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased a collection of medieval sculpture and architectural fragments from George Grey Barnard (1863–1938), a prominent American sculptor and collector. This acquisition formed the nucleus of what would become The Cloisters, the branch of the Museum located in Northern Manhattan and devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.

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A Picasso Lost . . . And Found

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eight curators, five conservators, five research scientists, and eight researchers worked together for nearly a year to create our current exhibition Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and its accompanying catalogue, shedding new light on a subject that one might think had been completely exhausted. Their work revealed many important discoveries, but perhaps none more compelling than the identification of a long-lost painting by the master.

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Contemporary Aboriginal Painting from Australia

Eric Kjellgren, Evelyn A. J. Hall and John A. Friede Associate Curator for Oceanic Art, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ever since its inception in the early 1970s, the contemporary Aboriginal art movement in Australia has been continually developing and expanding to embrace an ever widening group of artists, communities, and artistic styles.

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Curator Interview: Mastering the Art of Chinese Painting

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The exhibition Mastering the Art of Chinese Painting: Xie Zhiliu (1910–1997) showcases a rich body of material that offers a rare glimpse into the creative process of a traditional Chinese artist. I spoke with Maxwell K. Hearn, Douglas Dillon Curator in the Museum's Department of Asian Art, about Hosta and Asters, one of the many stunning works on view.

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Family Concert: Dan Zanes & Friends

Lisa Musco Doyle, Senior Manager, Concerts & Lectures

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

As the Senior Manager for Concerts & Lectures at the Met I am extremely proud of our ability to present amazing programs each year. While many of our readers are familiar with the Museum's program of scholarly lectures, some of you may not realize that the Met also has a long tradition of presenting musical events, including special programs just for families.

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Calling All Fashion and Design Mavens!

Alice W. Schwarz, Museum Educator

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What do you get when you mix a groundbreaking exhibition, a cutting-edge curatorial team, two enthusiastic Museum educators, and a great American fashion company? A T-shirt design competition for teens!

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Surface Tension

Mia Fineman, Assistant Curator, Department of Photographs

Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Live snakes, talcum powder, cassette tapes, dust. These are a few of the unusual materials used to create the photographs currently on view in Surface Tension: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection. For many artists today, the process of making a photograph involves much more than just pointing a camera and clicking the shutter. In fact, a number of photographs in this exhibition didn't involve a camera at all.

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Curator Interview: Head of Tutankhamun

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This beautiful sculpture, a representation of the boy-king Tutankhamun, is among the nearly sixty objects featured in the current exhibition Tutankhamun's Funeral. I spoke with Dorothea Arnold, the Lila Acheson Wallace Chairman of the Department of Egyptian Art, about the significance and style of this work.

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Today in Met History: April 13

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One hundred forty years ago today, on April 13, 1870, the Legislature of the State of New York granted an act of incorporation that formally established The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The new institution was charged with "encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of the arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, furnishing popular instruction and recreation."

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The Packard Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sinéad Vilbar, Assistant Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, April 9, 2010

By all accounts, Harry C. G. Packard (1914–1991) was no ordinary collector. He is known to have crisscrossed the United States multiple times in order to sell works of Japanese art, only to return to Japan to purchase more. He had a most unusual vision; whereas the majority of collectors, scholars, and dealers tend to focus on a particular area or medium, Packard’s ambitions were more encyclopedic, not unlike that of the Met.

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Medieval Blogging

Wendy Stein, Research Associate, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We are just a little over a month into the run of The Art of Illumination—the exhibition with the impossibly long subtitle: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Come see it if you haven't already—or if you have, but couldn't get a turn with one of the magnifying glasses we have provided, come back to see the astounding detail in these magical little pictures.

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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.