Robert Frank's Groundbreaking Photographs Featured in Major Exhibition Marking 50th Anniversary of His Book The Americans
The 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans, Robert Frank's ground-breaking book of black-and-white photographs, will be celebrated with the major exhibition Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art September 22, 2009–January 3, 2010. Robert Frank is one of the great living masters of photography, and his seminal book The Americans captured a culture on the brink of social upheaval. The exhibition traces the artist's process of creating this once-controversial suite of photographs, which grew out of several cross-country road trips in 1955 and 1956. Born in Switzerland in 1924, Frank was an outsider encountering much of America for the first time; he discovered its power, its vastness, and—at times—its troubling emptiness. Although Frank's depiction of American life was criticized when the book was released in the U.S. in 1959, The Americans soon became recognized as a masterpiece of 20th-century art. Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans features all 83 photographs from his original book. Remarkably, the exhibition at the Metropolitan will be the first time that this body of work is presented in its entirety to a New York audience.
New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum Explores Influence of Music and Theater on the Work of Watteau and His Contemporaries
Watteau, Music, and Theater, the first exhibition of paintings by the great early 18th–century French painter and draftsman Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) in the United States in 25 years, is currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through November 29. The exhibition explores the place of music and theater in the work of the artist, comparing the imagery of power associated with the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, with a more optimistic and mildly subversive imagery of pleasure developed in contemporary opera-ballet and theater. Showing that the painter's utopian vision was influenced directly by these sister arts, it sheds light on a number of Watteau's pictures.
Musical Heritage of China Celebrated in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening September 5
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present an exhibition celebrating the musical heritage of China – one of the oldest continuously documented traditions with roots reaching back more than 8,000 years – beginning September 5. Featuring some 60 objects and illustrations – drawn largely from the Museum's collections of Asian art and musical instruments – Silk and Bamboo: Music and Art of China will reveal the dynamic interplay of cultures, the continuity of musical practice, and the diversity of China's musical traditions from the fifth century B.C. to the present.
SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITIONS
MAY 2009–APRIL 2010
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Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Features Work of Renowned 19th-Century American Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) was a French-Irish immigrant who became the greatest American sculptor of his day. From humble roots, through his prodigious talent, he rose in society, eventually counting some of America's most influential people in art and literature, diplomacy and economics, technology, and social policy among his friends and clients. The collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains nearly four dozen works by the accomplished artist, representing the entire range of his oeuvre, from early cameos to innovative bas-reliefs to character-penetrating portrait busts and statuettes derived from his public monuments. These unparalleled holdings will be supplemented with loans from private collections and public institutions in the exhibition Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The presentation will address the artist's groundbreaking position in the history of late-19th-century American sculpture, his role in advancing American art on the international stage, and the long history of presenting and collecting his work at the Metropolitan Museum.
Japanese Mandalas on View at Metropolitan Museum through November 29
An impressive group of Japanese mandalas—graphic depictions of the Buddhist universe and its myriad realms and deities—are featured in an exhibition on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through November 29. Showcasing more than 60 magnificent works—painting, sculpture, drawing, metalwork, stoneware, textile, and lacquer—drawn from major museums and collections in the United States, Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars illustrates the exceptional and complex world of Esoteric Buddhist art in Japan. Highlights of the exhibition include a set of monumental 13th-century mandalas on loan from the Brooklyn Museum—this pair was selected by the Japanese government to be conserved in Japan. Displayed in tandem with iconographic drawings that explain the character and placement of the deities, the mandalas introduce viewers to the supreme Buddha Dainichi Nyorai, the principal buddha of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, and his innumerable emanations and avatars across the Buddhist cosmos.
Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Explores Role of Fashion Models as Muses of Recent Eras
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion, the spring 2009 exhibition organized by
The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores the
reciprocal relationship between high fashion and evolving ideals of beauty,
focusing on iconic fashion models in the latter half of the 20th century and their
roles in projecting, and sometimes inspiring, the fashion of their respective eras.
The exhibition is on view at the Metropolitan from May 6 through August 9,
Rarely Seen Medieval Drawings on View in New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
With strokes of genius, artists in the Middle Ages explored the medium of drawing, creating a rich panoply of works ranging from spontaneous sketches to powerful evocations of spirituality and intriguing images of science and the natural world. Opening June 2 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages is the first museum exhibition to examine in depth the achievements of the medieval draftsman. Through some 50 examples created in settings as diverse as a ninth-century monastery and the 14th-century French court, the presentation considers the aesthetics, uses, and techniques of medieval drawings, mastered by artists working centuries before the dawn of the Renaissance. Works from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum are displayed along with important loans from American and European museums, and the great national, university, and monastic libraries of Europe. Many of these manuscripts are so highly prized that they have never before been lent outside of their home countries.
Michelangelo's First Painting
Michelangelo's First Painting, a special exhibition beginning June 16 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, presents The Torment of Saint Anthony, the first known painting by Michelangelo Buonarroti (Florence 1475- Rome 1564), believed to have been created when he was 12 or 13 years old. Recently acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum, the painting has undergone conservation and technical examination at the Metropolitan Museum. Michelangelo's First Painting will run through September 7, after which the panel will return to the Kimbell Art Museum for display as part of its permanent collection.
Photography Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum Captures the Dramatic Transformation of Paris during the Rise and Fall of Napoleon III
During the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, the narrow streets and medieval buildings of Paris gave way to the broad boulevards and grand public works that still define the urban landscape of the French capital. Napoleon III and Paris, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from June 9 through September 7, 2009, portrays the quickly changing cityscape of Second Empire Paris through a presentation of 40 photographs and 13 works in other media, all drawn from the permanent collection. Spanning the period from 1851 to 1871, the installation begins with a photographic introduction to Napoleon III and his family, then traces the radical transformation of the city under the emperor and his master urban planner Baron Haussmann, and concludes with depictions of the ruins of Paris in the aftermath of the Commune. Many of the works in the installation are by the preeminent photographers of the period, including Gustave Le Gray, Charles Marville, Edouard Baldus, Louis-Émile Durandelle, Alphonse Liébert, and Pierre-Ambrose Richebourg.
Roxy Paine Creates Monumental Sculpture for 2009 Installation of Metropolitan Museum's Roof Garden
Conceptual artist Roxy Paine (American, b. 1966) has created a site-specific installation for the 2009 season of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, the most dramatic outdoor space for sculpture in New York City. Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom features a 130-foot-long by 45-foot-wide stainless-steel sculpture, Maelstrom (2009), that encompasses the nearly 8,000-square-foot Roof Garden, and is the largest sculpture to have been installed on the roof of the Metropolitan. Set against, and in dialogue with, the greensward of Central Park and its architectural backdrop, this swirling entanglement of stainless- steel pipe showcases the work of an artist keenly interested in the interplay between the natural world and the built environment, as well as the human desire for order amid nature's inherently chaotic processes.
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.