Restored Renaissance Masterpiece on View in New Installation at Metropolitan Museum
Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) is one of the great artists of 15th-century Florence. Among his principal patrons was the wealthy banker Filippo Strozzi (1428–1491), who in 1487 contracted the artist to decorate his funerary chapel in Santa Maria Novella with an outstanding cycle of frescoes. Around the same time, Strozzi also commissioned a Madonna and Child for his villa at Santuccio, west of the city. This work was acquired from the Duveen firm in 1928 by Jules Bache and was bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum in 1949. In preparation for an exhibition on the artist that will be held in Rome next year, the picture was taken to conservation for examination this fall. A test cleaning revealed that beneath a thick, discolored varnish there was a beautifully preserved, richly colored painting. It emerged that the varnish had been artificially toned to create an almost monochromatic appearance—an amber-colored uniformity that conformed to the idea of how an Old Master should appear. So striking is the transformation that the picture seems a new acquisition.
New Installation Thinking Outside the Box to Feature Cabinets, Caskets, and Cases from Metropolitan Museum's Collection
Thinking Outside the Box: European Cabinets, Caskets, and Cases from the Permanent Collection (1500–1900)—on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning December 7, 2010— will feature 100 works selected from the Museum's Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. The objects featured in this installation will range from strongboxes to travel cases and from containers for tea or tobacco to storage boxes for toiletries or silverware. These lidded pieces, some of which have not been on display for many years, are made in a large variety of shapes and sizes, and of many different materials, and were created by mostly unknown artists, craftsmen, and amateurs. Viewed together, these works reflect changes in social customs as well as the evolution of styles over four centuries. Many are precious works of art that were collected in their own right.
Frans Hals in the Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the most important collection of paintings in America by the celebrated Dutch artist Frans Hals (1582/83-1666), whose portraits and genre scenes were famous in his lifetime for their immediacy and dazzling brushwork. Frans Hals in the Metropolitan Museum —on view from July 26, through October 10, 2011—will present 13 paintings by Hals, including two lent from private collections, and several works by other Netherlandish masters.
E. Gilliéron & Son's Reproductions of Art from Greek Bronze Age on View at Metropolitan Museum
Astonishing archaeological discoveries made during the extraordinarily successful excavations of Heinrich Schliemann at the ancient Greek site of Mycenae in 1876 and of Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos on Crete, beginning in 1900, stirred popular interest in archaeology in the early 20th century and helped create a demand among museums and private collectors for high-quality replicas of antiquities from the newly identified Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. Opening May 17 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron & Son focuses on the work of Swiss-born Émile Gilliéron (1850–1924) and his son—also named Émile (1885–1939)—who were among the foremost art restorers of their time. Their work influenced the study of Aegean art and was integral to its widespread introduction throughout Europe and America.
Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche on Display for Holiday Season at Metropolitan Museum
The Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche at The Metropolitan Museum
of Art, a long-standing yuletide tradition in New York, will be on view for the
holiday season, November 23, 2010, through January 6, 2011. The brightly lit,
20-foot blue spruce—with a collection of 18th-century Neapolitan angels and
cherubs hovering among its boughs and groups of realistic crèche figures flanking the
Nativity scene at its base—will once again delight holiday visitors in the Museum's
Medieval Sculpture Hall. Set in front of the 18th-century Spanish choir screen
from the Cathedral of Valladolid, with recorded Christmas music in the
background and daily lighting ceremonies, the installation reflects the spirit of the
Magnificent Tibetan Rugs and Ritual Utensils Now on View at Metropolitan Museum
Rugs and Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism, an installation dedicated to ritual practice in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, explores the role of the ritual objects that were employed by its practitioners in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Comprising 30 tantric ritual rugs and utensils—including knives, vessel, fire-offering ladles, ritual staff, daggers, offering table—the installation illustrates an esoteric Buddhism that flourished in Tibet from its beginnings in the eighth century through to the 20th century. While many of the objects on view—depicting gruesome images such as exposed brains in skull cups and flayed human skins—may be shocking to those unfamiliar with the meaning and purpose of Tibetan religious art, the deployment of these objects celebrates the power of detachment from the corporeal body that advanced Buddhist practitioners strive to attain. The installation features Tibetan rugs and ritual utensils from the collection of Anthony d'Offay, London, together with New York-based loans and works from the Museum's own collection.
Metropolitan Museum Presents Exhibition on Haremhab, Ancient Egyptian General Who Became Pharaoh
One of the most fascinating pharaohs of ancient Egypt, Haremhab (reigned ca. 1316–1302 B. C.) was a strong leader in a time of political and religious transition. As commander-in-chief of Tutankhamun's army, he oversaw important military campaigns at the border with Nubia and in the Levant; later, as the last king of Dynasty 18, Haremhab instituted laws that secured the rights of civilians and curbed abuses perpetrated by powerful groups, including the army. A statue that was created before he became king shows the general as a scribe and thus an administrator and wise man. This statue—the most famous three-dimensional image of Haremhab—is the focus of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition Haremhab, The General Who Became King, opening November 16. The display will feature some 70 additional objects in various media—wall reliefs, works on papyrus, statuettes, and garment fragments—from the holdings of the Metropolitan, with the addition of a pivotal loan from the Louvre and another from a New York private collection. Haremhab, The General Who Became King is
the inaugural presentation in a series of exhibitions that will spotlight masterpieces from the Museum's collection of Egyptian art.
Three Masters of 20th-Century Photography Featured in Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand at Metropolitan Museum
Three giants of 20th-century American photography—Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Paul Strand—will be featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from November 10, 2010, through April 10, 2011, in the exhibition Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand. The diverse and groundbreaking work of these artists will be revealed through a presentation of 115 photographs, drawn entirely from the Museum's collection. On view will be many of the Metropolitan's greatest photographic treasures from the 1900s to 1920s, including Stieglitz's famous portraits of Georgia O'Keeffe, Steichen's large colored photographs of the Flatiron building, and Strand's pioneering abstractions.
Views and Souvenirs from the Grand Tour Assembled in New Installation at Metropolitan Museum
In the 18th century, privileged Europeans embarked on the Grand Tour, traveling principally to sites in Italy, where they visited cherished ruins of the ancient world and the splendid architecture of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The influx of these travelers to destinations north and south – Venice, Rome, and Naples in particular – led to a flowering of topographical paintings, drawings, and prints by native Italians serving a foreign market eager to return home with pictures and souvenirs. Italy Observed: Views and Souvenirs, 1706-1899, currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum through January 2, 2011, showcases a selection of the rich holdings of Italian vedute (views) collected by Robert Lehman. From paintings of Venetian life by Luca Carlevaris to a Neapolitan album of gouache drawings documenting the eruption of Vesuvius in 1794 to sketches and watercolors of Italian antiquities, the installation captures the artist's romantic attraction to Italy and its irresistible Roman heritage. It also includes various marketed souvenirs—exquisite fans, spoons, teapots, and pocket watches—on loan from the Museum's Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.
Contemporary Artist John Baldessari's Groundbreaking Work Featured in Major Retrospective at Metropolitan Museum
Widely renowned as a pioneer of conceptual art, American artist John Baldessari (b. 1931, National City, California) is one of the most influential contemporary artists of the last 50 years. John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, the first major U.S. exhibition in 20 years to survey Baldessari's career, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from October 20, 2010, through January 9, 2011. This retrospective will feature approximately 120 works spanning the period from 1962 to 2010.