Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011
Sixty-five years ago this weekend, on April 2, 1946, The Metropolitan Museum of Art held a special ceremony inaugurating its seventy-fifth anniversary. One of the highlights of the day was a presentation honoring General Dwight D. Eisenhower in recognition of his oversight of the repatriation of artworks stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011
One hundred and forty years ago today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art made its first purchase of works of art—a group of 174 European old master paintings that became known as the "Purchase of 1871." William T. Blodgett, a founding member and Trustee of the Museum, facilitated the acquisition.
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights.
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Met is always interested in both new audiences and new perspectives. In 2009, we created an initiative called Spectrum to produce events that shed fresh light on our collections and exhibitions. Programs have included conversations with artists, a story-telling event co-hosted with The Moth, and live musical performances, all connected to the works of art in our galleries.
Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Many of you may already know about Foursquare, which lets smartphone users share their location with friends and get tips and special discounts from the places they visit. But did you know that it also lets you connect with the Met?
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011
As a chemist in the Museum's Department of Scientific Research, I work closely with Anna Vila-Espuña, also in the Department of Scientific Research, and Nora Kennedy, in Photograph Conservation, on collaborations with Met curators to increase our understanding of methods and materials used to create paintings, works of art on paper, and photographs. This knowledge not only enlightens us about the artists' techniques, but it also aids in the care and preservation of the works.
Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011
Looking at art—really looking—can be a powerful thing. But it takes time. And patience. And even a bit of practice. The rewards, however, are well worth the effort. Looking often reveals details not registered by the viewer at first glance, elements that can bring a work of art to life.
Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Here at the Met, no two days are alike, especially in my job as a member of the Visitor Services staff. Each new person who comes into the Museum has new questions. Many visitors feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the Museum's collections, and may not know quite where to begin. When people ask my colleagues or me for guidance, we encourage them to join a Museum Highlights Tour or to pick up helpful printed materials such as a Museum Floor Plan, a list of the day's events, or one of our Family Guides. I find the best approach is to try to imagine myself in the visitor's shoes and ask, "What might this person need to help her comfortably enjoy the Museum and get the most out of her visit?"
Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011
Since its debut on January 5, Connections has allowed tens of thousands of viewers to become acquainted with members of our staff. Each episode sparkles with the personality of a narrator who weaves together works of art from the Met's collections, based on a theme that he or she finds particularly inspiring. Our viewers have been inspired as well.
Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011
On February 6, 1871, a committee of the Board of Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art discussed the plan that led to the construction of the Museum's first building at its current site on the east side of New York's Central Park.