Stories in Features

Photographer Interview: Experiencing Art through Touch

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013

Matt Ducklo | Thutmose III, Dynasty 18, ca. 1504–1405 B.C. | 2006

The Metropolitan Museum has a long history of making its collections accessible to blind and partially sighted visitors through touch and description. In the 1970s, the Museum established the Touch Collection, a group of small artworks from different curatorial departments, for the purpose of tactile exploration by blind and partially sighted visitors. Since 1998, these visitors have been invited to engage with a range of Museum objects through touch tours—guided or self-guided visits in which they can explore specific objects with their hands. For several years, photographer Matt Ducklo has captured participants on these tours at the Metropolitan and other museums, creating a body of work that explores how all people—both sighted and otherwise—experience art. I interviewed Matt about his work and how it has affected his own experience of looking at art.

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Today in Met History: February 4

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013

Today in Met History: February 4

On Monday, February 4, 1963, a unique visitor entered The Metropolitan Museum of Art and remained in the building for the next three and a half weeks. Over one million people clamored to see her during her stay at the Museum, and the press reported extensively on her visit. To the great pleasure of the Metropolitan and its visitors, the Mona Lisa—perhaps the best known painting in the world—had come to the Museum as a loan from the Louvre.

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The Devoted Collector: William H. Riggs and the Department of Arms and Armor

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Portrait of William H. Riggs taken in Paris, about 1858

On Friday, May 9, 1913, the ship La France steamed into New York Harbor carrying William Henry Riggs, a wealthy American and lifelong collector of arms and armor. Riggs was returning from France to his native city for the first time in over forty years in order to donate his impressive collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accompanying Riggs was Bashford Dean, curator of the Metropolitan Museum's recently established Department of Arms and Armor and a well-known collector in his own right. Dean had spent close to a decade trying to persuade Riggs to give his collection to the Museum. Now, as a result of Dean's efforts, the Museum's new Arms and Armor department was set to acquire one of the greatest collections of its day.

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Near Neighbors: Brooklyn Dressmakers in the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

P. Grace Hernandez, 2010–11 Polaire Weissman Fellow, The Costume Institute

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013

Dress, Evening, 1912–1914 | Wedding Dress, 1893

When the Brooklyn Museum transferred its costume collection to the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute in January 2009, the Met acquired an impressive array of garments from renowned European and American designers. Some highlights from the collection were featured in the related 2010 exhibitions American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity at the Met and American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection at the Brooklyn Museum. Yet the collection also contains a set of objects with noteworthy local origins: garments and accessories made by Brooklyn-based clothing and accessory makers—milliners, tailors, and dressmakers—working independently or in department stores during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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Marking the Arms and Armor Centennial

Donald J. La Rocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Arms and Armor

One hundred years ago, on October 28, 1912, the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art officially created the Department of Arms and Armor. From relatively modest beginnings, the department rapidly developed into one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of its type in the world.

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Art of the Islamic World: A New Resource for Teachers

Claire Moore, Assistant Museum Educator

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012

Art of the Islamic World

The importance of the Islamic world within current geopolitics and the global context in which we live makes the study of these regions essential in K–12 classrooms around the world.

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This Weekend in Met History: November 24

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

William B. Astor

One hundred and thirty-seven years ago this weekend, on November 24, 1875, the American businessman and philanthropist William Backhouse Astor died. Just three years earlier, Astor had been responsible for a milestone in Metropolitan Museum of Art history: donating to the newly established institution its first work of art made by an American, the marble statue California by Hiram Powers.

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This Weekend in Met History: October 28

Aleksandr Gelfand, Former Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012

Edward S. Harkness, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives

October 28, 2012, marks the centennial of the election of Edward S. Harkness as Trustee and Fellow for Life of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A lifelong philanthropist estimated to have donated one hundred million dollars to charity, Harkness spent twenty-eight years working on the Museum's behalf. A number of his gifts are among the most beloved and visited works of art within the Met's galleries.

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Antonio Tempesta's View of Rome: Portraying the Baroque Splendor of the Eternal City

Femke Speelberg, Associate Curator in Ornament and Architectural Prints, Drawings, and Modelbooks, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Antonio Tempesta (Italian, Florence 1555–1630 Rome). Plan of the City of Rome: Part 7, with a Dedication to Camillo Pamphili, the Vatican and Part of the City Wall

In 1593, the Florence-born artist Antonio Tempesta (1555–1630) published one of his absolute masterpieces in print: a View of Rome composed out of twelve folio-sized, etched plates. When joined together in two rows of six, the print forms an impressive frieze measuring almost 3.5 by 8 feet (fig. 1).

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Ancient Egyptian Ostraca: A Reevaluation

Jennifer Babcock, 2009–2011 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Although I am an Egyptologist, I recently worked for two years in the Museum's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art as the 2009–2011 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow. The experience was invaluable, not only for its curatorial training, but also for the opportunity to approach my dissertation topic—ancient Egyptian ostraca—from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

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Now at the Met offers in-depth articles and multimedia features about the Museum's current exhibitions, events, research, announcements, behind-the-scenes activities, and more.