Featured Press Releases

Kongo: Power and Majesty

September 18, 2015–January 3, 2016
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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • International Loan Exhibition of Korean Art Opens at Metropolitan Museum on March 17

    The early Joseon period, a time of extraordinary artistic achievements in Korea, will be explored in a loan exhibition opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in March 2009. Showcasing approximately 47 spectacular works—painting, ceramics, metalwork, and lacquer—Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400-1600 will illustrate the lively and nuanced story of the formidable cultural renaissance that flourished during these two centuries. Drawn from major museums and collections in Korea, Japan, Germany, and the United States—including the National Museum of Korea; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; Kyushu National Museum of Japan; Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka; Museums of East Asian Art, Cologne; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cleveland Museum of Art; Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation; and the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection—the exhibition will also include the Metropolitan's recently acquired mid-16th-century hanging scroll, Gathering of Government-officials. The presentation will launch a series of focused exhibitions on important periods in Korean art history, to be held at the Museum over the next 10 to 15 years.

  • Promised Gift of American Ceramics Transforms Metropolitan Museum's Art Pottery Collection

    (New York—January 13, 2009) The Metropolitan Museum of Art has accepted the promised gift of 250 exceptional examples of American art pottery from the collector Robert A. Ellison Jr., it was announced at a meeting of the Museum's Board of Trustees today. The collection—which spans the years 1876 through 1956 and represents all regions of the nation—ranks among the foremost of its kind, and will be unveiled on the mezzanine level of the Museum's Charles Engelhard Court when the second phase of the newly renovated American Wing opens on May 19, 2009.

  • Brilliant Chinese Paintings and Calligraphies of Ming Dynasty in New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum

    Drawn entirely from the extensive resources of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China's Age of Brilliance will present a grand array of artworks created during one of the most celebrated dynasties in Chinese history. Featuring 70 paintings and calligraphies, including masterpieces by Wang Fu (1362-1416), Xia Chang (1388-1470), Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), Dong Qichang (1555–1636), and Chen Hongshou (1599–1652), the exhibition will examine various artistic trends as well as the distinctive personal expressions of many of the leading artists of the time. The works will be complemented by more than 30 ceramics, textiles, lacquers, cloisonnés, jades, and bamboo carvings that will showcase the material prosperity experienced during the period.

  • Pierre Bonnard's Luminous Late Interiors Featured in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening January 27

    The first exhibition to focus entirely on the radiant late interiors and still-life paintings of Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) will open January 27, 2009, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors features 80 paintings, drawings, and watercolors that date from 1923 to 1947, when Bonnard centered his painting activity in Le Cannet, a hill town in the south of France. Working in his modest house overlooking the Mediterranean, Bonnard's paintings transformed the rooms and objects that surrounded him into dazzling images infused with intense light. It is these luminous late interiors that define Bonnard's modernism and prompt a reappraisal of his reputation in the history of 20th-century art. Among the 45 paintings, 16 watercolors and gouaches, and 19 drawings and sketches in the exhibition are numerous rarely seen works from private collections, as well as loans from prominent museums in Europe and the U.S. The exhibition will also reunite several pictures that once hung side-by-side on Bonnard's studio wall in Le Cannet.

  • Master Drawings from Collection of Jean Bonna On View at Metropolitan Museum

    Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the European Old Master and 19th-century drawings from this distinguished Swiss collection. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning January 21, 2009, Raphael to Renoir provides a rare opportunity to see 120 master drawings, ranging across 500 years of the history of art, from the Renaissance to 1900. Representing a range of artistic schools, the selection includes works by famous artists—such as Carpaccio, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Canaletto, Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain, Watteau, Chardin, Boucher, Fragonard, Goya, Ingres, Gericault, Delacroix, Manet, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Degas, Cézanne, Redon, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Seurat—as well as superb and poignant drawings by lesser-known artists.

  • Walker Evans's Eclectic Picture Postcard Collection Featured in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening February 3

    Nine thousand picture postcards amassed by American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975) are among the fascinating works in The Walker Evans Archive, acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard, to be presented at the Museum from February 3 through May 25, 2009, will be a dynamic installation of hundreds of these postcards from Evans's collection, which he built and refined over the course of 60 years. The direct influence of the postcard on his pictorial style will be demonstrated with the inclusion of a small group of Evans's own photographs, also from the Museum's collection.

  • Contemporary Artist Raqib Shaw's Fantastical Tableaux On View at Metropolitan Museum November 4

    Never-before-seen paintings and works on paper by London-based artist Raqib Shaw (Indian, born 1974) will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 4, 2008, through March 8, 2009.

  • Vermeer's The Milkmaid on View in the United States for First Time in 70 Years in New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum

    On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage from the Netherlands to New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has sent The Milkmaid, perhaps the most admired painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (1632—1675), to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. To celebrate this extraordinary loan, the Metropolitan Museum presents Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid, a special exhibition beginning September 10, which also includes all five paintings by Vermeer from its collection, as well as a select group of works by other Dutch artists, placing Vermeer's superb picture in its historical context. The exhibition marks the first time that the painting has traveled to the United States since it was exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair.

  • Art of Second Millennium B.C. Explored in Landmark Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum

    Beginning around four thousand years ago in the lands of western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean, one of the first international ages in human history emerged. Intense exchange fostered a burst of creativity in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, and the Aegean in the second millennium B.C.—the time of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. The quest for raw materials such as metals, semiprecious stones, and other exotic luxury goods led to contacts with the Iranian plateau and Central Asia. Within this lively sphere of interaction, societies that otherwise differed strongly in culture and language were linked by the exchange of objects and ideas. In response, new international styles and imagery arose, reflected in the art, trade and diplomacy that connected the Mesopotamian heartland with the regions "Beyond Babylon."