December 3, 2002
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will participate in International AIDS Awareness Day for the 14th consecutive year by observing Day Without Art on Tuesday, December 3. In recognition of the devastating losses suffered by the cultural community as a result of AIDS, the Metropolitan will remove from view or shroud at least one object in each of its 18 curatorial departments. In addition, the Museum will lower the flags on its plaza to half-mast to symbolize the losses due to AIDS-related deaths in the art community.
Where works of art have been removed from view in the galleries, the following text will appear:
This work of art has been removed from view as part of the Museum's participation in Day Without Art, an international program to mark AIDS Awareness Day. With this action, we hope to symbolize the profound social and cultural impact of the disease.
Many artists, collectors, and art historians, as well as employees, friends, and supporters of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, were among the millions of people lost to AIDS. In addition, more than forty million men, women, and children of all races, religions, ages, and sexual orientation are already infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
We mourn this tragedy and hope that our symbolic action will heighten the awareness of AIDS and help save lives in years to come. More information about AIDS is available in the Great Hall.
The works will be returned to view on Wednesday, December 4.
In the Metropolitan's Great Hall, a staffed desk will distribute educational information about AIDS.
Among the works of art to be removed from view in the galleries are Gilbert Stuart's George Washington (ca. 1798-1800), a 16th-century Nigerian Pendant Mask from the Edo peoples of the Court of Benin, Jean-Antoine Houdon's Bather (1782), an Egyptian Horus Statue of Nectanebo II (Dynasty 30, ca. 360-342 B.C.), an early sixth-century B.C. Greek Bronze Rod Tripod Stand, Pierre Auguste Renoir's Two Young Girls at the Piano (1892), Picasso's Gertrude Stein (1906), an 18th-century Benjamin Banks viola, and Julia Margaret Cameron's photograph of Philip Stanhope Worsley (1864-66).
The Cloisters, the Metropolitan's branch museum for medieval art in Fort Tryon Park, will also participate in observing Day Without Art by removing from view Giovanni di Balduccio's Relief with St. Peter Martyr and Three Donors (ca. 1340).
The attached list of the works removed from view will also be available in the Metropolitan's Great Hall for Museum visitors.
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