Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
«The Cloisters marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this year. Since its opening on May 14, 1938, it has become a treasured landmark, celebrated for both its extraordinary setting and its world-class collection of medieval art and architecture. Located in Fort Tryon Park, a verdant oasis on the northern tip of Manhattan, the building commands sweeping views of the Hudson River and the towering Palisades on the river's opposite bank. The quiet of the lush gardens and the magnificence of the historic architecture create an ideal setting for the outstanding collection within.
Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
«Yesterday was an exciting and historic moment for the Met, as we announced the gift of Leonard Lauder's unrivaled collection of seventy-eight Cubist paintings to the Museum. This is among the greatest contributions to the Metropolitan in the course of its 143-year evolution, in the same league as gifts from J.P. Morgan, Louisine and H.O. Havemeyer, Benjamin Altman, Robert Lehman, Charles and Jayne Wrightsman, and Walter Annenberg—truly transformative collections that have come to the Met.
Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013
«In recent weeks, you may have read about a lawsuit filed by one of the Metropolitan Museum's Fifth Avenue neighbors. It inaccurately alleges that the Met deceives the public by not making its long-standing pay-what-you-wish admission policy clear enough, and asserts that we are violating a nineteenth-century New York State law that once mandated that we be free to the public. This was followed by a second legal action, filed by the same law firm, seeking monetary damages.
Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
We have just launched 82nd & Fifth, a new Web feature that asks one hundred curators from across the Museum to each talk about a work of art from the Met's collection that changed the way they see the world. One work. One curator. Two minutes at a time.
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I am thrilled to announce that Thomas Hart Benton's epic mural America Today—a sweeping panorama of American life, has been donated by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012
There's nothing like a good read, and today we're adding 643 books to your reading list. MetPublications puts nearly all of our publications—past, present, and future—online. That out-of-print catalogue from the Met's groundbreaking 1985 India exhibition? Now you can read it. The 1970 catalogue of the Wrightsman porcelain collection? That's there, too, along with hundreds of other titles from across the Museum.
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Last March I posted a message about my time at TED, the annual four-day conference dedicated to the concept of "Ideas Worth Spreading." My talk is now available, and I'm pleased to share it. I hope it inspires you to visit the Met and spread some of the great ideas that connect our collections, our scholarship, and our visitors.
Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012
We like to think that the language of art is universal, but a museum like the Met, with an audience that is forty percent international, cannot ignore the global scope of its visitors. There are some days when the Met's Great Hall is a glorious cacophony of languages from all over the world—and from all over New York.
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
We are delighted to unveil the 2012–13 season of Met Museum Presents, our newly renamed performing arts and talks series.
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012
"What's your Met?" We asked this question of eleven celebrities, and were delighted by the range of answers we got from Alex Rodriguez, Claire Danes, Marc Jacobs, Alicia Keys, Jeff Koons, Seth Meyers, Zaha Hadid, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, and Carmelo and La La Anthony.
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I am just back from Long Beach, CA, where I spoke at TED, the annual four-day conference started twenty-five years ago and dedicated to the concept of "Ideas Worth Spreading."
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012
This week we celebrated the completion of the rebuilding of the Met's extraordinary American Wing, and in doing so unequivocally acknowledged the importance of the arts of this nation to the Metropolitan Museum.
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011
At the beginning of 2011 we embarked on a project called Connections, a Web feature that explored the collections through themes that were personal to Met staff.
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011
Throughout 2011, our global audience has helped bring new energy to the Met. It's an exciting time for the Museum, marked by outstanding scholarship and incredible new ways to access and explore our collections. This short video captures some of my thoughts about this moment and the tremendous potential the Met's future holds. It comes with my thanks for your continued interest and support.
Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011
Have you ever seen a work of art—on a poster, in a book, on a billboard, or even in one of the Met's galleries—and simply had to know more about it? Now you can. I'm pleased to announce a new collaboration with Google that lets you take a picture of a work of art with your mobile device and link straight to more information on metmuseum.org. This is yet another milestone in our effort to provide global access to our collections.
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
«Today we launch a new section of the Met's website: The Met Around the World. The work of the Metropolitan Museum reflects the global scope of its collections and extends across the world through a variety of initiatives and programs including exhibitions, excavations, fellowships, professional exchanges, conservation projects, and traveling works of art. All these activities are now consolidated here to allow you to search them by location or category.
Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011
Today is a landmark day for the Metropolitan Museum as we celebrate the new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, a spectacular achievement for the Museum and its Islamic Art Department.
These fifteen new galleries now trace the full course of Islamic civilization, over a span of fourteen centuries, from the Middle East to North Africa, Europe, and Central and South Asia. This geographic emphasis signals the revised perspective we have on this important collection, recognizing that the monumentality of Islam did not create a single, monolithic artistic expression, but instead connected a vast cultural expanse through centuries of change and influence.
I recall Director Emeritus Philippe de Montebello's words at the 2007 opening of the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court and Roman Galleries, citing it as a defining moment in the life of the Met, after which the Museum would never quite be the same again. I would assert that today is another such moment—one perhaps all the more defining because of the global circumstances that surround this occasion, as the situation in the Middle East continues to shift and evolve in the wake of the Arab Spring.
We must recognize that we live in a nation where a widespread consciousness about the Islamic world really did not exist until ten years ago, and that awareness came at one of the darkest hours in American history. It is our job—and the great achievement of these galleries—to educate our audience about the depths and magnificence of the Islamic tradition, to allow the richness of fourteen centuries to be understood not solely through the narrow lens of contemporary politics, but with the broader perspective of history and through the evidence of a remarkable artistic heritage.
I am proud today to say that my colleagues have done just that; these new spaces will enrich the world view of every visitor who encounters them. This capacity to reach beyond one's own visual memory and position oneself in a world much greater than the confines of nationality or geography is why the Metropolitan Museum was established. Over 140 years ago, the founders of the Met looked beyond the limits of our city and our nation and built an encyclopedic museum that would position America within the world. These galleries are the legacy of that ambition and a triumph for all who worked to see them realized so beautifully.
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011
Humor and museums are not often linked. We can be informative, inspiring, even entertaining. But funny? Perhaps not as often as we should be. Our new exhibition changes all that. In Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine we travel through five centuries of outrageous imagery exploring eating, drinking, gambling, fashion, politics, and a whole of range of people—some famous, some forgotten. In this video, I talk to curators Nadine Orenstein and Constance McPhee about the many amusements to be found in this remarkable show:
Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011
«Since becoming Director, I have stressed two priorities: scholarship and accessibility. Our new website, which launched today, certainly embodies both of these aims, featuring complete listings of the Museum's catalogued collections, an interactive map—with descriptions of every gallery in the Main Building and at The Cloisters—suggested itineraries to help you plan your visit, special content for Members, and much more. Of course, favorite sections still remain, like the constantly evolving Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History and Connections, which takes us on personal journeys through the collection.
Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
«I am just back from Berlin, where my colleagues and I participated in the opening celebrations for a beautiful exhibition of fifteenth-century Renaissance portraits from Italy at the Bode-Museum. The show is the result of a remarkable four-year collaboration between the Met's curators and their German counterparts and represents the sort of international exchange that is the core of the Met's mission as a global resource for scholarship. The exhibition will be on view at the Bode-Museum until November 20 and at the Met from December 21, 2011, to March 18, 2012.
Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011
«This week, a monumental statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat II (ca. 1919–1885 B.C.) was installed in the Met’s Great Hall. It is a special loan from the collection of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz.
Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011
«The recent news about this year's record attendance of over 5.6 million people marks an exciting moment in the Met's history; it is great to know that so many people are enjoying the Museum. But the Met experience need not be defined by crowds. To the contrary, I am struck every day by the intimate experiences that can be found within our galleries.
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011
«It was a very significant week for the future of the Met.
Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011
Many Americans—and nearly all museum professionals—have noted with great concern the recent reports of the arrest and detention in Beijing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This news has come just as the City of New York prepares to install the artist's first major American exhibition, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, which opens at Central Park's Grand Army Plaza on May 2.
I released the following statement today:
As a member of the world museum community, The Metropolitan Museum of Art calls for the immediate release of the artist Ai Weiwei. While our relationships and cultural exchanges with museums in China are crucially important to this institution, the Metropolitan Museum remains unequivocally committed to the principle of free artistic expression. We maintain our sincere and urgent hope that Ai Weiwei will regain his liberty and resume his work soon.
See an online petition calling for Ai Weiwei's release.
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
«In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights.
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011
«Looking at art—really looking—can be a powerful thing. But it takes time. And patience. And even a bit of practice. The rewards, however, are well worth the effort. Looking often reveals details not registered by the viewer at first glance, elements that can bring a work of art to life.
Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011
As the situation unfolds in Egypt, I continue to reflect on my trip there last fall and the extraordinary country that I encountered during my stay. My visit was focused on the Met's archaeological work, and I was particularly struck by the relationship between the collection of the Cairo Museum and the holdings of the Met. Our strong relationship with our colleagues in Egypt has fostered more than a century of collaboration, and thirty years of partage (1906–36) has yielded two deeply connected collections.
Seeing the footage of damaged objects in the Cairo Museum, I had the same response as if those works of art were in our own galleries. I was equally moved by the scenes of Cairo residents linked arm in arm to protect their heritage from looting.
Of course, we will continue to carefully watch the ongoing developments in Tahrir Square. As the waves of violence remain precariously close to the Cairo Museum, we must hope that the sweep of current events will not harm this unique representation of four thousand years of human history.
Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011
«In my first few months as director, some colleagues and I developed the idea of a series that would encourage people to think about the Met's collection in a new way. The result is Connections, a year-long exploration of the Met's holdings by staff from throughout the Museum. These journeys through the collection are not driven so much by art history as by broad, often personal, themes. Some are playful, some are deeply complex.
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Velázquez's portrait of Philip IV, king of Spain, went back on view in the European Paintings galleries today after an absence of more than a year, following the completion of a particularly complex restoration.
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010
I'm pleased to share with you a video that takes you to some of my favorite works of art in our galleries and highlights why the Met belongs to all of us—families, students, scholars—visitors from across our nation and around the globe.
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010
In eighteen months on the job, I have traveled all over the globe, and it is incredible to understand the scope of the Met's international reach. In fact, I have just returned from a tour of the Met's archaeological work in Egypt, activity that extends back to the earliest days of the Museum.
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010
The fall season is in full swing and the Met has never felt more vibrant. Our current exhibitions take our visitors through the full span of history, telling the story of art as no other museum can.
Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010
We have just opened a new show, The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, one of the most complex and ambitious exhibitions ever mounted by the Metropolitan Museum.
Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The Museum's Members just received their Summer Bulletin, which details the archaeological excavations in the ancient Near East that have been supported by the Metropolitan from 1931 to 2010. It reminds me that many people don't realize that the Met has been involved in the study of antiquity since the Museum's founding in 1870 (the Met's Egyptian Expedition began in 1906 and continued with extraordinary success for thirty years).
Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
John D. Rockefeller Jr. once said, "I can think of nothing so unpleasant as a life devoted to pleasure." How extraordinary, then, that he would create perhaps the most idyllic retreat on the island of Manhattan: The Cloisters Museum and Gardens in Fort Tryon Park.
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010
Each year, the Met holds four meetings at which curators present works of art to a special committee of Trustees for possible purchase by the Museum. It is a thoughtful and rigorous process, and it is always a thrill to see the acquired objects when they finally arrive in our galleries. This past year's purchases included four exquisite works of sculpture spanning from the ancient world to the mid-eighteenth century.
Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Eight curators, five conservators, five research scientists, and eight researchers worked together for nearly a year to create our current exhibition Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and its accompanying catalogue, shedding new light on a subject that one might think had been completely exhausted. Their work revealed many important discoveries, but perhaps none more compelling than the identification of a long-lost painting by the master.
Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010
We've heard from many of you that you enjoy this website and find it to be an exciting, in-depth access point into the Museum's collections, exhibitions, programs, and research. But we've also heard that you would appreciate a single page where you can sample what's on at the Museum right now and what our experts are working on behind the scenes.