Thomas P. Campbell is the director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2015
This past October, The Met hosted a conference in Istanbul with Columbia University and Koç University about the crucial issues around cultural heritage preservation in Syria and Iraq. The gathering allowed us to convene key participants from both countries who would not otherwise have been able to get a visa to attend such a meeting in the United States. These participants shared their firsthand accounts of the challenging situations under which they are currently working as they try to salvage the heritage of their countries.
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015
In March 2012, I took the stage at TED in Long Beach, California, to give my own TED talk. My immediate thought in the wake of that experience was that we needed to do this at the Met. The Museum has so many stories and inspires so much diverse thinking that I was convinced that we could convene a great TED conference of our own. And so, on October 19, 2013, we presented TEDxMet: Icons.
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015
At the Season 2 launch of The Artist Project, I was struck by how many artists came up to me and said how much they loved being a part of this initiative. They enjoyed our academic attitude toward their work, an approach that seemed removed from the more glossy side of the contemporary art world. They are right. We address the work of living artists with the same rigor as an ancient tablet, a Chippendale table, or a Rembrandt. We equally enjoy the artists' approach to our work—their surprising choices and thoughtful discussion of what they see and feel from our collection.
Thomas Struth on Chinese Buddhist sculpture, Vik Muniz on our American art storage, Ann Hamilton on a Bamana marionette: each artist in Season 3 delights us with their exploration of the unexpected. Watch them all and discover a different Met through their extraordinary eyes.
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2015
Step aside, Game of Thrones; Season 2 of The Artist Project is the most anticipated follow-up of the year. With twenty new artists talking about how The Met is the place where they always find inspiration and make new discoveries, there is no better watching. Tune in and feel free to binge watch.
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2015
I often remind people that when the Met was founded in 1870, it did not own a single work of art. The collection that we know and love today is the collective achievement of many collectors and donors—private citizens determined to share their passion for art with the public. The giant names—J.P. Morgan, Louisine and H.O. Havemeyer, Benjamin Altman, Robert Lehman, Charles and Jayne Wrightsman, Walter Annenberg, and most recently Leonard Lauder—join hundreds of others who were, and are, profoundly generous in supporting the development of our collection.
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
We have spoken a lot lately about The Met's interest in looking at contemporary art through the lens of our historical collection. We have just launched a new project that gives you a glimpse of just what we mean when we talk about that kind of connected view of contemporary art.
Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015
Speaking with great sadness on behalf of the Metropolitan, a museum whose collection proudly protects and displays the arts of ancient and Islamic Mesopotamia, we strongly condemn this act of catastrophic destruction to one of the most important museums in the Middle East. The Mosul Museum's collection covers the entire range of civilization in the region, with outstanding sculptures from royal cities such as Nimrud, Nineveh, and Hatra in northern Iraq. This mindless attack on great art, on history, and on human understanding constitutes a tragic assault not only on the Mosul Museum, but on our universal commitment to use art to unite people and promote human understanding. Such wanton brutality must stop, before all vestiges of the ancient world are obliterated.
Posted: Thursday, February 5, 2015
The news that Walter Liedtke was among the victims of the Metro-North train crash on Tuesday night sent shock waves through the Museum. We had all heard about the accident, some considered for a moment who they knew who took that route, but then life continued. The revelation the next morning that among the five people in that first train car was one of our own curators suddenly made the world feel impossibly small. For 35 years, Walter had come and gone from the Met every day, and now that would never happen again.
Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2014
One of the great strengths of the Met is its extraordinary staff. In January, one of our legendary curators, Drue Heinz Chairman of Drawings and Prints George Goldner, is stepping down, and we made a special video to mark the impact of his twenty-two-year career here.
Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
At its best, tapestry is a mesmerizing art form, but it's an aspect of art history that has been largely overlooked by scholars. If you pick up any standard history of European arts, it's all about painters, sculptors, and architects. This exclusion of tapestries from the narrative of art history, however, is not an accurate reflection of the importance of the medium in shaping and defining the style of some of history's most influential artists. While Raphael and Rubens, for example, are among the most exceptional of painters, their designs for tapestries are every bit as remarkable. The truth is that few artists rarely work with just one medium. During the Renaissance in particular, tapestry was the most important figurative art, collected by the wealthiest and most powerful patrons, and was therefore a medium in which prominent artists strove to work.
The Met addresses one such remarkable artist in the exhibition Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry, on view October 8, 2014, through January 11, 2015. Coecke was truly a Renaissance master of all disciplines who achieved immense fame in his lifetime, though in the literature the overwhelming genius of his tapestry designs is often bypassed in favor of critique of his panel paintings and drawings. Certainly, to many of his contemporaries, Coecke's most admired works were his tapestry designs. In Grand Design, the breadth of Coecke's work is explored by reuniting nineteen of his most beautiful tapestries with more than thirty of his prints and drawings and seven of his panel paintings.