THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART OPENS WALKER EVANS ARCHIVE ON FEBRUARY 1
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open the Walker Evans Archive, one of the most complete single-artist archives of the 20th century, as a special research center devoted to the American photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975), on February 1, 2000. Acquired in 1994 by the Museum's Department of Photographs, the Walker Evans Archive includes Evans's black-and-white negatives, color transparencies, and motion-picture film from the late 1920s to the 1970s; the artist's original manuscripts, diaries, correspondence, and audiotape recordings of interviews and lectures; and his personal library and collections. This extraordinary trove will provide artists and scholars with a rare insight not only into the artistic achievement of Walker Evans, but also into the cultural, intellectual, and personal context of his career. The opening of the Archive coincides with the premiere of Walker Evans, the Museum's retrospective exhibition of the photographer's work, on view from February 1 through May 14, 2000.
THE WORLD OF SCHOLARS' ROCKS: GARDENS, STUDIOS, AND PAINTINGS
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present for more than six months beginning in February an exhibition of some 90 Chinese paintings, featuring images of ornamental rocks or landscapes inspired by the fantastic forms of such stones, complemented by more than 30 actual scholars' rocks. Drawn primarily from the Museum's holdings, and supplemented by a select number of loans from private collections, The World of Scholars' Rocks: Gardens, Studios, and Paintings – opening at the Metropolitan Museum on February 1, 2000 – will examine the Chinese taste for strangely shaped rocks during the last 1000 years, tracing through pictorial images as well as actual examples the evolution and transformation of the genre from the 11th to the 20th century.
NORTHERN DRAWINGS FROM THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM'S ROBERT LEHMAN COLLECTION TO BE SHOWN IN TWO ROTATIONS
Opening February 8, 2000, the second rotation of Northern drawings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Robert Lehman Wing will feature 15th- and 16th-century German, Netherlandish, and French drawings and manuscripts that have not been exhibited in nearly a decade. Selected from the trove of treasured master drawings and illuminations assembled by Robert Lehman, the works on view in Northern Drawings of the 15th and 16th Centuries in the Robert Lehman Collection will be complemented by several loans from the Museum's Department of Medieval Art. Four autograph sheets by Albrecht Dürer will be among the highlights of the presentation. Works by Martin Schongauer, Hans Baldung Grien, and Maerten van Heemskerck will also be featured, in addition to drawings from the Circle of Jan van Eyck and the Circle of Rogier van der Weyden.
MASTERPIECES OF JAPANESE ART FROM THE MARY GRIGGS BURKE COLLECTION
More than 200 works of Japanese art from the renowned collection of Mary Griggs Burke — a selection of ceramics, sculptures, paintings, and lacquers dating from the earliest cultures of around 3000 B.C. to the Edo period (1615-1867) — will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 30 through June 25, 2000. Organized chronologically, the exhibition will provide an overview of the development of Japanese art and will also explore the use of divergent artistic traditions, including those adapted from other cultures and those that reflect native tastes, within Japan.
SUBJECTS AND SYMBOLS IN AMERICAN SCULPTURE: SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
Nineteenth-century American artists regarded "ideal themes" — those inspired by mythology, history, and literature — as the most challenging and venerable in the hierarchy of genres. Such subjects provided an opportunity for sculptors to demonstrate their familiarity with allegorical, historical, and literary topics, their skill at incorporating identifying attributes into their compositions, and frequently also their expertise in rendering the nude.
ART AND ORACLE: SPIRIT VOICES OF AFRICA
A figure sculpted in central Africa's rainforest to determine guilt or innocence, a maternity image made by an Igbo potter to enable a woman to conceive children, and a set of dice carved to decide the destiny of a Shona chief will be among the works featured in Art and Oracle: Spirit Voices of Africa, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 26 through July 30, 2000. Throughout history and around the world, peoples have sought the intervention of divine powers to understand their fate, and this exhibition will demonstrate the dynamic relationship between ritual practice and creative expression through some 200 artifacts from more than 50 African cultures.
DAVID SMITH ON THE ROOF
A selection of works in burnished stainless steel by David Smith (1906-1965) — considered one of the most original and influential American sculptors of his generation — will be on view beginning May 15, on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. David Smith on the Roof will mark the third consecutive single-artist installation on the Roof Garden, a 10,000 square-foot open-air space that offers a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park.
AMERICAN MODERN: 1925-1940 — DESIGN FOR A NEW AGE
American Modern: 1925-1940 — Design for a New Age, an exhibition tracing the rise of a distinctively American modern design aesthetic through the efforts of 40 of its creative pioneers, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 16, 2000 through January 9, 2001. More than 100 objects, including furniture, clocks, appliances, lamps, textiles, posters, and more, from the Museum's collection and from the John C. Waddell Collection — a major promised gift to the Metropolitan — will reveal the aesthetic, cultural, and economic forces that ultimately shaped the modern design movement in America.
ANNENBERG COLLECTION OF IMPRESSIONIST AND POST-IMPRESSIONIST MASTERWORKS
Fifty-three paintings, watercolors, and drawings by 18 of the greatest artists who worked in France in the 19th and early 20th century comprise the Annenberg collection, which will return to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for six months beginning in May 2000. This annual event, now in its sixth year, provides an exceptional opportunity for visitors to experience this renowned private collection. The works are shown in the Museum's Nineteenth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture Galleries, hung together in three central rooms, surrounded by the Met's own collection of 19th-century European paintings.
No form of entertainment involves so much ingenuity at so great a cost for such a dazzling — but woefully ephemeral — effect as fireworks. Many attempts have been made over the centuries to create for posterity a visual record of fireworks displays, especially those mounted in connection with official occasions, such as a noble marriage, the entry of a ruler into a city, military victories, and coronations. Before photography became prevalent, these records were most often made as prints — woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and lithographs — since these could be made in multiple impressions and could thus be distributed to a wide audience as a document or souvenir of the occasion. In celebration of the new millennium, the exhibition Fireworks will feature more than 100 prints and drawings depicting firework displays from the 16th to the early 20th century.