«We've moved forward in time, traveling from Europe to the United States, and have left the Italian Renaissance exhibition for the recently renovated American Wing. Though we are leaving the golden age of the Renaissance, we are entering the period from the eighteenth to early twentieth century in America, an exciting time in history with its own enchantments.»
The American Wing at the Met presents the art of a young nation with new ideas and many different artistic styles. In place of the Medici family, new characters such as George Washington and Andrew Jackson take the stage. In school you may have read about George Washington crossing the Delaware, but have you seen the life-size painting of George Washington in the Met's collection?
Emanuel Leutze (American, 1816–1868). Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of John Stewart Kennedy, 1897 (97.34)
During our time in the American Wing we will respond to two of the most popular works of art in the Met's collection: Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze and Madame X by John Singer Sargent. We will begin by sharing our thoughts about the mysterious Madame X herself.
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925). Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau), 1883–84. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1916 (16.53)
My drawing below shows the young Renaissance woman from Fra Filippo Lippi's Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement inviting Madame X back into the galleries after her long hiatus in storage. Don't forget to check back next week to read what we have to say about this portrait and to let us know what you think about Madame X.
What do you think about the new American Wing?
We welcome your responses to this question below.