The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters museum and gardens will be open to the public on two Mondays in December—December 24 and 31, the days before Christmas and New Year’s Day, respectively—as part of the Museum's popular "Holiday Mondays" program. Closing time on both days will be 5:00 p.m.
Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum, stated: "During the winter holidays, when many of us wish we had a little extra time to take part in festivities of the season, the Museum is pleased to offer two additional days—two December Mondays—when tourists and area residents can visit our main building or The Cloisters and enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful works of art as well as special installations that are appropriate to the time of year."
What to See on December 24 and 31
In the Metropolitan Museum’s main building, at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue, visitors have the opportunity to see several exhibitions that will be closing soon: Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years examines the nature and impact of artist Andy Warhol on contemporary art (on view through December 31); and Bernini: Sculpting in Clay features 40 of the small clay models created by the great Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) to help him visualize life-size or colossal marbles (through January 6). Also on view will be George Bellows, a retrospective of the noted early 20th-century American artist, who is remembered for his depictions of boxing matches and crowded New York City’s parks and streets, often covered in snow (through February 18); African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde, revealing the American engagement with African art during the years that followed the 1913 “Armory Show” (through April 14); and Matisse: In Search of True Painting, showcasing the way in which the acclaimed French artist Henri Matisse questioned, repainted, and reevaluated his work (through March 17).
Of special interest to families during the holiday season will be the Museum's Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche—a brightly lit, 20-foot blue spruce decorated with 18th-century angels, cherubs, and a Nativity scene—in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall (through January 6).
A rare, fragmentary example of Jewish gold glass from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum is also on view. It is one of many bases of glass vessels with designs worked in gold foil that were found in catacombs, the underground burial chambers used by all religions in the late Roman and early Byzantine era. The Museum's collection of these works, mostly from Rome, includes a variety of images. The Jewish gold glass shows an open Torah ark with rolled scrolls on shelves flanked by the ritual implements of the temple in the upper zone; and a banquet scene, with a fish on a tripod table in front of a cushion below. Other glass vessels with Jewish images—including a menorah, shofar, lulav, and incense shovel—from the mid-fifth to mid-seventh century C.E. in Jerusalem are also on display. They too may have been used in burials.
Selected galleries featuring the Museum’s permanent collection will also be open on the Holiday Mondays in December. Family greeters will be present in the Museum's Great Hall to direct visitors to areas of particular interest.
At The Cloisters museum and gardens, visitors will find holiday wreaths and garlands, all hand-made from plants linked with the celebration of Christmastide in the Middle Ages. Striking installations of flowers, fruits, nuts, and evergreens, inspired by medieval sources, are on display and a great arch of holly—the plant associated above all others with the medieval feast—decorates the entrance to the museum (through January 1). Inside, the doorways of the Main Hall are adorned with arches of ivy, apples, hazelnuts, and rosehips, and an iron candelabrum is dressed with greens and roses. An extensive collection of evergreen topiary and displays of rosemary, cyclamen, citrus, and other potted plants appropriate to the season are on view in the Saint-Guilhem and Cuxa Cloisters. Visitors will also find masterpieces of the Museum’s renowned collection of medieval art, including the famed Unicorn Tapestries, and hundreds of examples of exquisite stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and paintings, all in a magnificent architectural setting along the Hudson River that evokes the Middle Ages. The Cloisters is located in Fort Tryon Park, in northern Manhattan.
Related Programs and Amenities
In the Metropolitan’s main building, Charles H. Tally Holiday Monday Family Programs specially organized for December 24 and 31 include discussion and sketching activities that will be available for families with children ages 5 through 12 at 11 a.m., noon, 1:15 and 2:30 p.m. These programs are free with Museum admission.
Museum cafés and restaurants and several of the Museum gift shops in the Main Building, and the gift shop at The Cloisters will be open on all Holiday Mondays.
Upcoming Holiday Mondays
The Museum’s main building and The Cloisters will also be open this winter and spring on four additional major Monday holidays: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 21), Presidents’ Day (February 18), Spring Break (March 25 and April 1), and Memorial Day (May 27).
A different selection of galleries and exhibitions will be open each Holiday Monday.
Credits: Regarding Warhol: Made possible by Morgan Stanley. Additional support provided by the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund and The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation. Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Bernini: Sculpting in Clay: Made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. George Bellows: Made possible by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Matisse: In Search of True Painting: Made possible in part by Vacheron Constantin. Additional support provided by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund and the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, and the Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche: Made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.
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December 19, 2012