Central Park: A Sesquicentennial Celebration
This summer, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the legislation (July 21, 1853) that designated as "a public place" the lands that were to become New York's Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present an exhibition about the design and construction of the park. The Metropolitan Museum has been located in Central Park since 1880.
First Survey of French Daguerreotypes—Many Among the Earliest Photographs Ever Taken—Opens at Metropolitan Museum on September 23
Some 175 of the best surviving examples of a medium that changed the history of art and visual representation forever will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 23, 2003, through January 4, 2004. The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839-1855 is the first survey of key monuments from photography's first moments, when its pioneers used the invention for artistic, scientific, ethnographic, documentary, and other purposes. The exhibition will employ state-of-the-art display and lighting techniques to reveal the incomparable detail and sculptural quality that distinguishes this process and which led one of its earliest champions, Jules Janin, to describe the daguerreotype as "divine magic."
The first major retrospective in more than 20 years devoted to the great 16th-century painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (1541-1614) – known to posterity as El Greco – will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 7, 2003. One of the most original artists of his age, El Greco was celebrated for his highly expressive and visionary religious paintings. The international loan exhibition's approximately 80 works include an unsurpassed selection of his psychologically compelling portraits, as well as his rare incursions into landscape, genre, mythology, and sculpture. Particular emphasis will be placed on his late works, in which mystical content, expressive distortions, and monumental scale are taken to ever greater extremes, culminating in the Adoration of Shepherds, the spectacular nine-foot-tall painting created to decorate his own tomb.
The American painter Philip Guston (American, b. Canada, 1913-1980) will be the subject of a major retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from October 27, 2003, through January 4, 2004. The exhibition will include more than 75 paintings and drawings dating from 1930, when he was 17, to 1980, the year of his death. Beginning with his childhood fascination with popular American comic strips, through mural painting laden with political imagery, to easel painting and a burgeoning interest in, advancement of, and ultimate disenchantment with abstraction and Abstract Expressionism, through his invention of a highly controversial figurative mode of painting and drawing that influenced younger artists, Guston courageously changed styles according to his beliefs and in response to social and political issues of the day.
Urban Art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Gates Project for Central Park, 1979-2005 Previews at Metropolitan Museum in April 2004
The evolution of the widely anticipated outdoor work of art for New York City initiated in 1979 by the husband-and-wife collaborators Christo and Jeanne-Claude will be the subject of the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates, Central Park, New York, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 6 through July 25, 2004. Some 45 preparatory drawings and collages by Christo, 40 photographs, and 10 maps and technical diagrams will document the soon-to-be-realized work of art, which when completed will consist of 7,500 saffron-colored gates placed at 10- to 15-foot intervals throughout 23 miles of pedestrian walkways lacing Central Park from 59th Street to 110th Street and from Central Park West to Fifth Avenue.
Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
The first-ever public presentation of 101 works from the impressive group of Italian illuminated manuscripts assembled by Robert Lehman (1891-1969), one of the foremost American collectors of his day, opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 30, 2003. Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, on view through February 1, 2004, features some of the finest examples of the illuminator's art—many of them previously unknown even to scholars—produced in Italy from the 13th through the 16th century. Among the many important new discoveries presented in the exhibition is the only known illumination by the great Sienese master Duccio di Buoninsegna.
The Responsive Eye: Ralph T. Coe and the Collecting of American Indian Art
Some 200 American Indian objects assembled over almost half a century by the renowned Santa Fe authority and collector Ralph T. Coe will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning September 9. Featuring objects dating from 3000 B.C. to the present, The Responsive Eye: Ralph T. Coe and the Collecting of American Indian Art will display a wide-ranging selection of works representative of most of the diverse Native American regions and periods. Objects on view will range from authoritative masks and headdress frontlets of painted wood made by peoples of the Pacific Northwest, to splendidly ornamented deerskin shirts and smoking pipes of the high Plains, to delicate and carefully wrought works of the Northeast region made with a clear understanding of European taste and acquisitiveness.
Dreams of Yellow Mountain: Landscapes of Survival in Seventeenth-Century China
An exhibition focusing on the 17th-century landscape painting of China's Nanjing School will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning September 13. Comprising nearly 60 works, Dreams of Yellow Mountain: Landscapes of Survival in Seventeenth-Century China will highlight works created by "leftover subjects" of the Ming dynasty, who lived in and around Nanjing during the early years of the Manchu Qing dynasty (1644-1911). For these loyalist artists, images of landscape – often inspired by Yellow Mountain – symbolized survival, resistance, and reclusion in response to alien rule. Including works from the Museum's permanent holdings as well as loans from East Coast collections, the exhibition will be the most comprehensive presentation of such landscapes ever mounted in the United States.
Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting to Open at Metropolitan Museum March 4
The first major exhibition ever to examine the impact of 17th-century Spanish painting
on 19th-century French artists will feature nearly 240 paintings and works on paper spanning several centuries of European art at the most astounding levels of achievement. On view will be some 130 paintings by Velázquez, Murillo, Ribera, El Greco, Zurbarán, and other masters of Spain's Golden Age as well as masterpieces by the 19th-century French artists they influenced, among them Delacroix, Courbet, Millet, Degas, and, most notably, Manet. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 4 through June 8, 2003, Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting will also include works by American artists such as Sargent, Chase, Eakins, Whistler, and Cassatt, who studied in France but learned to paint like Spaniards.
African-American Artists, 1929-1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
More than 70 works—drawn extensively from 204 prints donated to the Museum by Reba and Dave Williams in 1999—will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from January 15 through May 4, 2003.