Highlights include an expanded daytime lectures series; the New Spark conversation series continues with Plato at the Met; and curators illuminate two spectacular exhibitions Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China and The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925
SPARK: A New Conversation Series
The Spark series explores vital ideas and issues through the lens of the Met’s collections. Each cabaret-style program gathers artists, thought leaders, and performers from theater, film, politics, literature, science, and pop culture to engage in wide-ranging, fresh conversations and performances. Spark is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.
Plato at the Met
Thursday, March 6, 6:00 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, philosopher and novelist
Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist
Join novelist and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and her husband, acclaimed cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, as they debate the topic of philosophy, past and present, in relation to her new book Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away. In this latest volume, Goldstein investigates complex concerns in our society today, including sexuality, child-rearing, and the reason for existence by allowing us to imagine Plato in today's world.
Met Salon Series
Curators illuminate current exhibitions and examine contemporary issues in a more intimate presentation style.
What’s Chinese About Contemporary Chinese Art?
Wednesday, March 5, 6:00 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Maxwell Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman, Department of Asian Art,The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Examine a distinct subset of art produced by Mainland Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present: a contemporary "ink aesthetic" in which references to traditional pictorial and calligraphic concepts suggest a conscious effort by the artists to engage with and transform inherited Chinese art forms—to extend, question, or subvert them—as a defining feature of their artistic vision.
This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, on view from December 10, 2013, to April 6, 2014.
The American Bison: Live and Sculpted
Wednesday, March 19, 6:00 p.m. in the Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education
Patrick Thomas, Vice President & General Curator and Associate Director, Bronx Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Society
Thayer Tolles, Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
As the North American bison population was hunted from millions to mere hundreds by the early 1880s, the animal captured the popular imagination as a symbol of the Old West. Sculptors produced bronze statuettes representing the bison as a metaphor for a bygone past, basing their work on direct observations from western travels as well as visits to urban zoos. Their eastern destination of choice was the Bronx Zoo, which opened to the public in 1899, and led efforts to display bison in an appropriate habitat setting and to repopulate the breed in its native West. The speakers for this event examine the impact and interconnectedness of artistic representations and conservation efforts, past and present, involving this iconic animal.
This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925, on view through April 13, 2014.
Daytime Lecture Series
This spring, the popular daytime lecture series features Met curators and thought-leaders on a variety of topics and themes. This series of ticketed talks provides the public with the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s top curators and gain a deeper understanding of the Met’s collections and current exhibitions.
"The Canticle of the Birds" of the Poet Attar
Tuesday, March 4, 11:00 a.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Michael Barry, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
Canticle of the Birds, the most beautiful intact Persian manuscript in the Metropolitan, was illustrated for a king in Herat in present-day Afghanistan in 1487. This talk illuminates some of the prodigiously rich mystical symbolism of the manuscript’s art—the flight and fusion of all the world's soul-birds into the radiance of the Divine Sun-Bird—in light of some of the most glorious Islamic paintings from the Persian and Indian regions in the Metropolitan's collection.
Innocents Abroad: 19th-Century American Painters in Europe
Tuesdays, March 11 and 25, 11:00 a.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
H. Barbara Weinberg, Curator Emerita The American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Most leading 19th-century American painters sought instruction and inspiration in Europe. This series focuses on their studies abroad—in Germany, England and France—and the effect of these experiences on their art, whether they remained overseas or returned home.
March 11: Discussion examines artists in England (Whistler, Sargent, and others).
March 25: Discussion examines artists in Germany (Leutze, Chase, and others).
The final talk in this series will take place on Tuesday, April 8.
Tickets: $30. Series price for all three talks: $70
About Met Museum Presents
A wide-ranging series of performances and talks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores contemporary issues and innovations through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces. Met Museum Presents creates a platform for curators, thought-leaders, and artists to come together and explore the Met as a generative force.
For tickets, visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212-570-3949.
Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.—3:30 p.m..
Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.
Leadership support for Met Museum Presents provided by: Adrienne Arsht, Brodsky Family Foundation, Isabel C. Iverson and Walter T. Iverson, Mrs. Joseph H. King Fund, Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Fund, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mrs. Donald Oenslager Fund, Grace Jarcho Ross and Daniel G. Ross Concert Fund, The Giorgio S. Sacerdote Fund, Estate of Kathryn Walter Stein, Xerox Foundation, and Dirk and Natasha Ziff.
Additional major supporters: Chester Dale Fund, Martha Fleischman, Martha Fling, Friends of Concerts & Lectures, The Arthur Gillender Fund, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Kaplen Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Samuel White Patterson Lecture Fund, The C.F. Roe Slade Foundation, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald J. Ulrich, Clara Lloyd-Smith Weber Fund, and Anonymous (2).
March 4, 2014
Image Credit: Alexander Phimister Proctor (American, 1860–1950). Buffalo, 1912. Bronze; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of George D. Pratt, 1935 (48.149.29)