New American Wing Galleries
When The Charles Engelhard Court—the grand, light-filled pavilion that has long served as the formal entrance to The Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing—reopens this spring after two years of construction and renovation, the Museum's unparalleled collections of American ceramics, sculpture, stained glass, architectural elements, silver, pewter, glass, and jewelry will finally be seen in all their glory. So, too, will its early American rooms—12 of the Met's historic interiors, mostly from the colonial period, located on three floors of the wing's historic core—that have been reordered, renovated, and reinterpreted. The popular American Wing Café will also reopen in its previous location on the park side of the court. The opening of the galleries marks the completion of the second part (begun in May 2007) of a project to reconfigure, renovate, or upgrade nearly every section of The American Wing by 2011.
Afghanistan's Dazzling National Treasures—Hidden for 25 Years—Presented at Metropolitan Museum
Ancient Afghanistan—located at the crossroads of major trade routes, where it attracted invading armies and nomadic migrations—was home to some of the most complex, rich, and original civilizations on the continent of Asia. Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer, the traveling exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, celebrates the country's unique role, as both the recipient of diverse cultural elements and the creator of distinctive styles of art from the Bronze Age into the Kushan period. The presentation also commemorates the heroic rescue of Afghanistan's national treasures long thought to have been destroyed. The exhibition features a rich selection of artworks from four archaeological sites. All works belong to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. Highlights include gold vessels from the Bronze Age Tepe Fullol hoard; superb works and architectural elements from the Hellenistic city of Aï Khanum; sculptural masterpieces in ivory, plaster medallions, bronzes, and Roman glass from Begram; and extraordinary turquoise-encrusted gold jewelry and ornaments from the nomadic tombs at Tillya Tepe.
Spectacular French Bronzes on View at Metropolitan Museum in Exhibition Spanning Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment
Beginning in the 16th century, a tradition of bronze sculpture developed in France that was influenced by achievements of the Italian Renaissance, while manifesting its own distinct refinement and force. Even though French bronzes were among the glories of royal châteaux, including Versailles, and were collected eagerly by connoisseurs, they have received relatively little scrutiny from scholars. Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, brings together a large number of spectacular bronzes and is the first exhibition to address this subject in 40 years.
Contemporary Artist Liza Lou's Continuous Mile on Display at Metropolitan Museum for Two Years
Liza Lou's recent work Continuous Mile, an ambitious and engaging large-scale sculpture made of gleaming white beads, went on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on January 23, 2009. The work is a two-year loan from the artist and is on display on the second floor of the Museum's Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for modern and contemporary art.
Francis Bacon's Provocative Works Featured in Major Retrospective Opens May 20 at Metropolitan Museum
The first major New York exhibition in 20 years devoted to Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992)—one of the most important painters of the 20th century—will be presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 20 through August 16, 2009. Marking the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective will bring together the most significant works from each period of the artist's remarkable career. Drawn from public and private collections around the world, this landmark exhibition will consist of some 65 paintings, complemented by never-before-seen works and archival material from the Francis Bacon Estate, which will shed new light on the artist's career and working practices. The Metropolitan Museum is the sole U.S. venue of the exhibition tour.
Esteemed Photographer Helen Levitt Honored with Endowment Fund and Promised Gift of Photographs to Metropolitan Museum
(New York—April 23, 2009) The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today a new endowment fund and promised gift of artwork in memory of the great American street photographer Helen Levitt, who died on March 29, 2009, at the age of 95. The Helen Levitt Memorial Fund has been established through a generous planned gift of the artist's sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert O. Levitt, and will support the Museum's acquisition of photographs by Helen Levitt and other mid-20th-century American photographers working in her tradition. Mrs. Robert O. Levitt has also made a promised gift to the Metropolitan Museum of 12 of the artist's photographs.
"Pictures Generation" of New York Contemporary Artists Featured in Spring Metropolitan Museum Exhibition
The first major museum exhibition to focus on the highly influential group of New York artists known as the "Pictures Generation" will be presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 21 through August 2, 2009. The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984 will trace the development of one of the most important art movements of the last quarter of the 20th century, which included some of the key figures in contemporary art: Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, Matt Mullican, Jack Goldstein, James Welling, and Troy Brauntuch. The "Pictures Generation" worked in all mediums—photography chief among them—to explore how images shape our perceptions of ourselves and the world. Drawing from the Museum's collection as well as from public and private collections, the exhibition will feature more than 160 works by 30 artists, including photographic works by Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons, James Casebere, Allan McCollum, Sarah Charlesworth, and Louise Lawler, and film and video by Ericka Beckman, Michael Smith, and Dara Birnbaum. The exhibition will also examine the pivotal roles played by lesser-known artists such as Paul McMahon and Michael Zwack.
Performance, Video, Music, and Audio Features by Contemporary New York Artists Included in Metropolitan Museum's "Pictures Generation" Exhibition this Spring
The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 21 through August 2, 2009, will include performances, videos, and music by several contemporary New York artists, as well as related film screenings and audio features. This is the first major museum exhibition to focus exclusively on the highly influential group of artists known as the "Pictures Generation." Working most often in photography, but also in painting, sculpture, performance, film, video, and audio, this tightly knit group of artists explored how images shape our perceptions of ourselves and the world. Featured are 160 works by 30 artists, including Jack Goldstein, Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, David Salle, Matt Mullican, Louise Lawler, and Dara Birnbaum, among others. As part of the exhibition, three large-scale drawings by Robert Longo will also be presented in the Great Hall.
Credential Application Guidelines for Red Carpet Arrivals at the 2009 Costume Institute Gala
Applications must be received by Friday, April 24, from all media outlets wishing to be considered for accreditation to cover red-carpet arrivals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala Benefit, which will be held on the evening of Monday, May 4, 2009, to inaugurate the exhibition The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion.
Masterpieces of African and Oceanic Art from Barbier-Mueller Museum on View This Summer at Metropolitan Museum
An exhibition featuring exceptional works of African and Oceanic sculpture selected from the extensive holdings of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, one of Europe's preeminent private collections of non-Western art, will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 2. Presenting more than 35 works—most never before seen in the United States—African and Oceanic Art from The Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva: A Legacy of Collecting will explore the wide spectrum of artistic creativity from two distinct regional traditions that have profoundly influenced world art.