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Now at the Met

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

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

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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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.