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Now at the Met

From Archimedes to Zansz: Inventor Souvenir Cards from the Burdick Collection

Allison Rudnick, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Monday, November 2, 2015

The 1880s witnessed an explosion in the production of souvenir cards in the United States. Among the first companies to take advantage of the marketing potential of these collectible cards were tobacco companies such as Allen & Ginter, Duke, and Goodwin, though producers of coffee, chewing gum, and other products also inserted souvenir cards into the packaging of their output.

As printed-ephemera collector Jefferson R. Burdick explained in The American Card Catalogue, published in 1960, collecting souvenir cards became so popular in this decade that tobacco companies issued albums of souvenir cards "intended to replace the individual cards if the smoker so desired, or at least enable him to own the entire collection of designs without the difficulty attendant to obtaining all the individual cards in a set."

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Harley Quinn: A Modern Harlequina

Jane A. Dini, Associate Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing

Posted: Friday, October 30, 2015

If you stop by the Met this Halloween, you might happen to see one of our many representations of the character Harlequin (or the female version, Harlequina), a comedic actor in a diamond-patterned costume who derives from the sixteenth-century Italian commedia dell'arte. But if your Halloween plans involve welcoming trick-or-treaters, you're more likely to see Harley Quinn, a modern version of the classic character and a Batman villain in the DC Comics universe—who also happens to be this year's most popular Halloween costume.

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When Mummies Were the Life of the Party

Joanne Pillsbury, Andrall E. Pearson Curator, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2015

In the twenty-first century, there is usually a sharp distinction made between the worlds of the dead and the living, with cemeteries now located in park-like settings that are removed from city centers and the daily lives of most. Yet if one reaches further back in time, there is a less pronounced division between the living and the dead, especially in the ancient Americas. The recently opened exhibition Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas, on view through September 18, 2016, provides a rare glimpse into relations between the living and the dead, particularly in one remarkable model on loan to the Met from the Museo Huacas de Moche (above).

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The Evolution of Peter Hristoff's My Metropolitan

Peter Hristoff, Artist in Residence, Education Department and Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015

The planning phase of my residency at the Met has given me the opportunity to explore the works on view in greater depth, with a focus on both study and documentation. Since January, I have selected one gallery, curatorial department, or exhibition per visit, with the goal of completing drawings of the objects that interest me. Later, while at work in my studio, I then choose the drawings that I would like to paint. I paint each object on an individual panel, which I then hang, salon-style, on the wall. I am attempting to create My Metropolitan—a monumental work that will be determined ultimately by the length of this residency, to be completed by the end of my tenure here at the Museum.

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Welcome to Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom

Adela Oppenheim, Curator, Department of Egyptian Art

Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015

October 12 marked the opening of Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom—a major exhibition that highlights the art, culture, literature, and religious beliefs of the Middle Kingdom (mid-Dynasty 11–Dynasty 13, around 2030–1650 B.C.). The Middle Kingdom was an era during which the ideas and concepts that formed the basis of ancient Egyptian civilization were dramatically transformed, sparking the creation of amazing works of art that remain compelling, immediate, and often poignant, thousands of years after their creation.

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Baseball Team Cards from the Jefferson R. Burdick Collection

Erin Florence, Collections Management Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A pivotal scene in the 2014 film Million Dollar Arm shows John Hamm's character, sports agent J.B. Bernstein, standing in an office directly in front of a pair of poster-sized photographs of old baseball teams. While the movie follows the factual story of Bernstein and his discovery of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel—young amateur baseball players from India—the photographs suggest another story steeped in the history of the sport, one that channels the careers of equally ambitious men dedicated to the game.

To some viewers these images would have escaped unnoticed, but their familiarity caught my eye as they are part of the Met's Jefferson R. Burdick Collection of Printed Ephemera—specifically series T200, Baseball Teams, published in 1913 by the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company to promote their Fatima "Turkish blend" cigarettes. Significant in subject matter, history, and medium, these large black-and-white prints shown in the film display the team roster for the Chicago Cubs (above) and the Boston Red Sox (below).

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Poetry in Action at Teens Take the Met

Maya Valladares, Education Assistant, Education Department

Posted: Friday, October 9, 2015

Next Friday, October 16, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., dozens of cultural and community organizations and over two thousand teens will gather at the Met for our third Teens Take the Met event. This teen night, open to any teen ages 13 and up, is an explosion of creativity and fun.

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Playoff Season Is Here! Highlights from the Jefferson R. Burdick Collection

Christopher Gorman, Assistant Administrator, Marketing and External Relations; Chair, Spectrum

Posted: Monday, October 5, 2015

The Major League Baseball playoffs begin tomorrow, and for fans everywhere, there is a lot to be excited about. It's the second season, in a manner of speaking, and the ten teams who made the cut now have their eyes set on championship glory. In just a few weeks the World Series will begin, about the same time as the next exhibition of the Jefferson R. Burdick Collection will go on view here at the Met.

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My Met: Peter Hristoff's Connections with the Museum

Peter Hristoff, Artist in Residence, Education Department and Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2015

As an artist in residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was recently asked what the Met means to me and about my relationship to the Museum. My professional relationship with the Met began in 1978, during my junior year at the School of Visual Arts. I say "professional" because that was when I, a young art student, first used the Museum as a resource for images to create new work.

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Following the Historical Thread

Warren T. Woodfin, Kallinikeion Assistant Professor of Art History, Queens College, City University of New York

Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

One of the most striking aspects of the silk and metal-thread embroideries on view through November 1, 2015, in Liturgical Textiles of the Post-Byzantine World is how labor-intensive they are. One might wonder who devoted so much time and eyestrain to creating these pieces, and at whose behest? Although they form a minority within the body of surviving liturgical embroideries, pieces inscribed with the names of the donor or the embroiderer help scholars to answer these questions.

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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.