Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010
Thirty-five years ago today, on December 20, 1975, United States President Gerald R. Ford signed into law the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act (PDF), which gave the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities the authority to insure international exhibitions that traveled from overseas to U.S. museums. This legislation was a watershed moment in the history of art exhibitions in the United States, making it possible for museums around the world to collaborate with U.S. institutions on traveling loan shows while minimizing insurance costs to the participating institutions.
Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010
For visitors to the Metropolitan, the vast amount of amazing art on display may make it difficult to appreciate the main building's architecture as anything other than a backdrop. However, with a brief introduction, the Museum's rich architectural history comes to life and serves as a valuable complement to its collections.
Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
In 1989, the World Health Organization designated December 1 World AIDS Day, a day of action and mourning in response to the pandemic. Along with other cultural institutions, the Met continues to participate in an annual observance of the day.
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010
In eighteen months on the job, I have traveled all over the globe, and it is incredible to understand the scope of the Met's international reach. In fact, I have just returned from a tour of the Met's archaeological work in Egypt, activity that extends back to the earliest days of the Museum.
Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010
On November 21, 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art accessioned its first work of art—a Roman marble sarcophagus found in 1863 at Tarsus in Cilicia (modern southern Turkey). This finely worked but unfinished sarcophagus came to the Museum as a gift from J. Abdo Debbas, the American vice consul at Tarsus. Debbas, a native of the province of Adana, Turkey, served in the United States Department of State there until 1882.
Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010
Forty years ago this weekend, on November 14, 1970, the exhibition Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was the last in a series of five major exhibitions organized over the course of eighteen months (October 1969–February 1971) in celebration of the Museum's centennial.
Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Met Director Thomas P. Campbell and Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, announced jointly today that, effective immediately, the Museum will acknowledge Egypt's title to nineteen ancient Egyptian objects in its collection since early in the 20th century.
Posted: Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Museum announced yesterday that it will undertake a comprehensive, multi-year effort to redesign and rebuild the four-block-long outdoor plaza that fronts its landmark Fifth Avenue facade. The project will feature as one of its centerpiece elements the design and installation of all-new fountains outside the building. Following formal approval of the project at yesterday's meeting of its Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan further announced that it has named OLIN, the award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm with studios in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, to lead this effort.
Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2010
One hundred years ago today, Edward Robinson, curator of classical art and assistant director at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, was named the Museum's third director. Known for his broad knowledge, connoisseurship, and professionalism, he was a logical choice to replace the accomplished Sir Casper Purdon Clarke, who had reluctantly resigned from his duties after a long struggle with declining health.
Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"The secret of Édouard Baldus"—that was the subject line of an email I received recently. I rolled my eyes. "Right," I said to myself, "the secret of Édouard Baldus." I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Édouard Baldus (1813–1889), the nineteenth-century French photographer of landscape and architecture, and had the enormous pleasure of introducing him to the general public through a beautiful show and catalogue in 1994. Ever since, I've been "Mr. Baldus."