First Major Survey of Rare British Photographs from Paper Negatives to be Presented at Metropolitan
Opening September 25 at the Metropolitan Museum, Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840–1860, is the first major exhibition to survey British calotypes — works of exceptional beauty and rarity which are made from paper negatives and are among the earliest forays into the medium of photography. During the first two decades of photography, British photographers turned their lenses on family, nature, and the landscape at home, and on historic architecture, ruins of past civilizations, and exotica abroad. Impressed by Light presents works by 40 artists, including such masters as William Henry Fox Talbot, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, Roger Fenton, Benjamin Brecknell Turner, and Linnaeus Tripe, as well as many talented but unrecognized artists. The majority of the works featured have never before been exhibited or published in the U.S. and are unfamiliar to scholars and the public alike.
New Gallery for Modern and Contemporary Photography to be Inaugurated at Metropolitan Museum in September
The Metropolitan Museum will inaugurate the Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography on September 25, 2007, establishing for the first time a gallery dedicated exclusively to photography created since 1960. With high ceilings, clean detailing, and approximately 2,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Menschel Hall is designed specifically to accommodate the large-scale photographs that are an increasingly important part of contemporary art and the Museum's permanent collection. Photographers represented in the collection include such modern masters as Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Jeff Wall, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Doug Aitken, and Sigmar Polke.
800th Anniversary of Islamic Poet-Philosopher's Birth Marked in Metropolitan Museum Fall Exhibition
The mystic writings of the Persian poet known as Rumi (1207-1273) are generally considered to be the supreme expression of Sufism, the mystical trend in Islamic thought and culture. Among the themes he explored were universal religious tolerance, communion with nature as a perception of God dwelling in and reflected in all things, and the soul's quest for a loving reunion with God. Opening October 23 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition Rumi and the Sufi Tradition coincides with the worldwide celebration of the 800th anniversary of the poet-philosopher's birth. On view will be nearly three dozen works from the Museum's Islamic art collection – including miniature paintings, Islamic calligraphy, ceramics, metalwork, glass, and textiles created between the 13th and the 19th centuries – that evoke the world in which he lived and suggest the scope of his enduring legacy.
Rare Example of Late 15th-Century Jewish Prayerbook and Christian Manuscript – Illustrated by One Artist – on View at Metropolitan Museum
Through the winter holiday season at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a Hebrew prayerbook on generous loan from The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and a page from a Latin choir book from the Metropolitan's own collection will be displayed side by side for the first time, both painted at the end of the 15th century by the same Florentine artist. The two works are attributed to Mariano del Buono (1433/4-1504), head of one of the most renowned and prolific ateliers in the city. His work for both Christian and Jewish patrons reveals their shared taste for embellishing books with beautiful lettering and evocative imagery and testifies to a dialogue among members of different faiths that was integral to Italian Renaissance culture.
Virtuosity and Artistic Richness of 18th-Century Chinese Court's Decorative Arts on Display at Metropolitan Museum
An exhibition featuring a remarkable assemblage of porcelain, metalwork, jade, lacquer, and textiles created during the Qing dynasty of China will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on August 25. Drawn from the permanent collection and complemented by select loans, Excellence and Elegance: Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth-Century Qing Court will explore the unprecedented level of technical virtuosity achieved during this period. The exhibition also illustrates the imperial taste for ancient themes, interest in Western motifs, and exacting patronage that contributed to the flourishing of the decorative arts. Among the 60 works on view will be a dazzling selection of rare porcelain wares, decorated with monochrome glaze or enamel colors.
New Gallery for Art of Native North American Art to Open at Metropolitan Museum in November
A new gallery for the exhibition of the art of Native North American peoples will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 13, 2007. After three years of renovation, the enlarged gallery will display a greater number of Native American works of art than has ever before been on view at the Museum. A select group of approximately 90 works will present the art of various North American peoples, regions, and time periods in which distinct cultural, stylistic, and functional aspects will be shown. The objects range from the beautifully shaped and finished stone tools known as bannerstones that date back several millennia to a mid-1970s tobacco bag made by the well-known Assiniboine/Sioux beadwork artist Joyce Growing Thunder.
Metropolitan Museum Offers Rare Viewing of Gates of Paradise, Lorenzo Ghiberti's Magnificent Renaissance Masterpiece
Adored by generations of artists – including Michelangelo, who is reputed to have given them the name "Gates of Paradise" – the magnificent gilded bronze doors of the east portal of the Baptistery in Florence are among the seminal monuments of the Italian Renaissance. The massive 17-feet-high doors were created by the eminent Florentine goldsmith, sculptor, and designer Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455), who decorated them with ten evocative, highly charged, and magically atmospheric scenes from the Old Testament, each superbly carried out in relief ranging from high to low. After more than 25 years of conservation, seven elements of this masterpiece – including three of the narrative reliefs for which they are famous – are in the United States for the first and only time since their creation more than 500 years ago. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view them at The Metropolitan Museum of Art begins October 30. After the conclusion of their four-city United States tour, the works return to Florence, to be reassembled in their original bronze framework and placed in a specially designed, hermetically sealed case in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, never to travel again.
New Galleries for Oceanic Art to Open at Metropolitan Museum November 14
Following an extensive three-year renovation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen on November 14 its New Galleries for Oceanic Art, a completely redesigned and reinstalled exhibition space for the display of one of the world's premier collections of the arts of the Pacific Islands. Divided into three separate galleries in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, the 17,000-square-foot exhibition space will present a substantially larger portion of the Metropolitan's Oceanic collection than was previously on view.
Two Preeminent 19th-Century American Silversmiths Featured in Fall Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
Established in Boston in 1808 and relocated to Philadelphia three years later, the silversmithing firm of Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner produced American silver of unprecedented quality and grandeur. Opening November 20 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Silversmiths to the Nation: Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, 1808-1842 is the first exhibition devoted entirely to their work, which, in its grand scale and patriotic imagery, reflected America's coming of age as a commercial, industrial, political, and artistic center. More than 100 examples in silver – from monumental vessels that celebrate military and civic heroes to domestic, ecclesiastical, and personal items resplendent with neoclassical ornament and displaying sophisticated design and craftsmanship – are arranged chronologically and thematically. A rare group of some 35 related drawings, purchased by the Metropolitan in 1953 and never before exhibited together, will offer important insights into the evolution of Fletcher and Gardiner's designs. Of particular interest will be the display of seven works in silver alongside their corresponding design drawings.
Ancestral Origins of African Masterpieces Explored in Major Metropolitan Museum Exhibition This Fall
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present a special exhibition of acclaimed sculptural masterpieces from the heart of Africa's equatorial rainforest, beginning October 2, 2007. The exhibition explores not only the significance of the works presented in their countries of origin but also how their reception in the West led them to enter the mainstream of universal art. Organized thematically, Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary explains the sources of cultural and spiritual inspiration that led to their creation in equatorial Africa. Drawn from the most important collections of African art in Europe and the United States, the more than 130 works featured in the exhibition relate to 12 distinct traditions in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were created to celebrate the lives of an extended family's most notable ancestors and to give expression to their ongoing role as advocates with the divine.