The Department of Musical Instruments closed its galleries on February 22, 2016, for a yearlong renovation and reinterpretation project. The reframed galleries will feature inspiring new displays and narratives that will invite visitors to explore the scope and artistry of instrument making and music across history and around the world within the context of The Met collection.
While the galleries are closed, we invite you to learn about the department's collection in a variety of ways: browsing the online collection, reading the new publication Musical Instruments: Highlights of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, learning more about the department's history in the multimedia feature A Harmonious Ensemble: Musical Instruments at the Metropolitan Museum, 1884–2014, or watching videos of the instruments in action on The Met's YouTube channel. Additionally, over the coming months, we will be providing updates on Of Note about the progress of the galleries and highlighting recordings from the department's archives.
This week we feature a live recording from an event that took place in May 2014, when the American String Quartet performed at The Met using four instruments from the Museum's collection: "The Antonius" and "The Francesca" violins by Antonio Stradivari; a 17th-century viola by Jacob Stainer; and a mid-19th-century violoncello by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume.
The Met Store: Musical Instruments: Highlights of The Metropolitan Museum of Art