Manet and the American Civil War: The Battle of the "Kearsarge" and the "Alabama"
In June of 1864, an important episode in the American Civil War took place in international waters off the coast of Cherbourg, France. The duel between the U.S.S. Kearsarge and the C.S.S. Alabama created a sensation in Europe and America alike, and caught the imagination of the French artist Édouard Manet (1832-83), who made a painting of the battle before rushing to Boulogne to see the victorious Kearsarge. The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently acquired Manet's portrait of the Kearsarge and to celebrate the acquisition will present a small exhibition devoted to the battle, Manet's response, and the effect of Manet's paintings on his immediate friends. Manet and the American Civil War: The Battle of the "Kearsarge" and the "Alabama" is a dossier exhibition that opens on June 3.
Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus
The remarkable flowering of the world's earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia some 5,000 years ago will be the focus of a landmark exhibition opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 8. Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus will survey the evolution of Mesopotamian art and culture and its impact on the cities of the ancient world – stretching from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Central Asia to the Indus Valley – during one of the most seminal and creative periods in history.
Celebrating Saint Petersburg
The 300th anniversary of the founding of Saint Petersburg will be celebrated with a display of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's important holdings of sculpture and decorative works of art, either made in the imperial Russian capital or formerly included in Saint Petersburg collections. Reflecting the splendor and cosmopolitan culture of the czarist court, the selection of approximately 65 objects, dating from about 1700 to the early 20th century, includes exquisitely crafted furniture, silver, porcelain, jewelry, and other luxury items of Russian, as well as French and German manufacture. On view from late spring 2003 through fall 2004, Celebrating Saint Petersburg inaugurates the Metropolitan's new European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department's Special Exhibitions Gallery.
Chinese Export Porcelain at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the most important and comprehensive collections of Chinese export porcelain in America will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on January 14, 2003. Featuring more than 80 works drawn from the Museum's own collections, Chinese Export Porcelain at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will examine the precious porcelain created in China for export to Europe and America. Dating from the mid-16th century through the third quarter of the 19th century, the exhibition includes bowls and vases, services and tureens, reverse glass paintings, and works in ivory. Together with the Metropolitan's winter 2003 Bulletin on the subject, the exhibition will spotlight this little-known facet of the Museum's collections.
Charles Sheeler's Contemporaries
Forty vintage photographs from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Gilman Paper Company will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from June 3 through August 17, 2003, complementing The Photography of Charles Sheeler. Ranging from Frederick H. Evans's rich platinum prints of the interior of William Morris's home (1896), to Ralph Steiner's Power Lines and Insulators (1929), Charles Sheeler's Contemporaries will feature works by early 20th-century photographers who drew inspiration from the American city, the machine, and the radical innovations of European modernists.
Seventy works—many grandly scaled—by photographer Thomas Struth (German, born 1954), one of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from Europe in the past two decades, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from February 4 through May 18, 2003. From his early black-and-white streetscapes of European and American cities to his recent mural-sized color views of primeval landscapes in Asia, Australia, and South America, Struth's superb photographs explore the traditions and the actual conditions of our world on the cusp of this newly global millennium.
The Photography of Charles Sheeler
One hundred and twenty photographs by Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), one of the most important American artists of the first half of the 20th century and a pioneer of American modernism, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from June 3 through August 17, 2003. The Photography of Charles Sheeler is the first major exhibition to concentrate on each of Sheeler's major photographic series made between 1915 and 1939, and will consist of rare vintage prints. The exhibition will reveal the full significance of Sheeler's photographic works as the foundation from which his better-known works in other mediums were derived.
Roy Lichtenstein on the Roof
Six sculptures by the celebrated American artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) will go on view in The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden of The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1. Selected from the collections of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and the estate of the artist, Roy Lichtenstein on the Roof will highlight brightly painted or patinated bronze and fabricated aluminum sculptures. Created in the 1990s, each work makes witty reference to Lichtenstein's own painting or to the work of such modernist artists as Picasso and Brancusi. The works will be exhibited in the 10,000-square-foot open-air space that offers spectacular views of Central Park and the New York City skyline. The installation will mark the sixth single-artist installation on the Cantor Roof Garden.
French Nineteenth-Century Drawings in the Robert Lehman Collection
This is the first exhibition in 20 years to survey the rich holdings of French 19th-century drawings and watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's renowned Robert Lehman Collection. On view from November 19, 2002, through February 9, 2003, French Nineteenth-Century Drawings in the Robert Lehman Collection will feature more than 80 works by most of the leading artists — Ingres, Delacroix, Rousseau, Degas, Renoir, and Seurat, to name just a few — of this pivotal epoch in the history of French art. Organized to coincide with the publication of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century European Drawings, volume IX in the complete series of Robert Lehman Collection scholarly catalogues, both the exhibition and the book will reveal yet another facet of the taste of one of the great American collectors of the 20th century.
Metropolitan Museum to Show Medieval Masterworks from New York City's Morgan Library
For a period of two-and-one-half years beginning this fall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will display seven superb examples of medieval art from the Morgan Library, while that facility undergoes a major expansion project. The long-term loans include some of the favorite works of the noted financier and collector J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), a past President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. After Morgan's death, nearly 7,000 paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from his astonishing collection were given to the Metropolitan, while his private library – and the illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and Old Master drawings and prints it contained – became The Pierpont Morgan Library. Most of the works that are being lent to the Metropolitan had been kept in Mr. Morgan's study during his lifetime and, since his death, have been displayed in the room with other personal belongings.