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Stories in Features

Foursquare at the Met: Are You a Met Lover?

Morgan Holzer, Associate Project Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Met Lover badge

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?

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Understanding Photographic Processes

Silvia Centeno, Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research

Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Anna Vila-Espuña

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.

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A Day in the Life of Visitor Services

Claire Bowman, Visitor Services Assistant

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The central information desk in the Museum's Great Hall, 2006

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?"

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Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011

Image from episode titled "White"

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.

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This Weekend in Met History: February 6

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011

The original Central Park building of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1880

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.

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On View January 25–30: Original Autochromes Produced Using the First Color Photographic Process

Luisa Casella, Research Scholar in Photograph Conservation, Department of Photographs

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011

Edward Steichen's portrait of Alfred Stieglitz, 1907

Developed in the early years of the twentieth century, Autochromes were the result of the first commercially viable color photographic process. Yet the dyes used to impart the color in Autochromes are so sensitive to light that typical exhibition conditions cause rapid and irreversible fading, which has led to the Metropolitan Museum's policy of not exhibiting these vulnerable photographs. As the Museum's research scholar in photograph conservation, I spent three years studying the stability of Autochrome dyes. I began my research with a desire to better understand how and under what conditions Autochromes fade and, ideally, to devise a safe way to exhibit these important photographs. The exciting culmination of my work will take place next week, January 25–30, when five original Autochromes by Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen will be displayed in low-oxygen enclosures as part of the special exhibition Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand.

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Filippino Lippi's Madonna and Child

Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, Department of European Paintings

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Filippino Lippi's Madonna and Child, ca. 1485

In 1949 the Metropolitan Museum was bequeathed a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance painting. Painted around 1485 by the Florentine master Filippino Lippi, it shows the Madonna and Child seated in a domestic interior, with a view through a window onto a landscape with a river.

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Exotic Scenes and Familiar Landscapes: The Search for American Painted Interiors

Ruthie Dibble, 2010–11 Douglass Foundation Fellow, The American Wing

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the early nineteenth century, American wall paintings developed from oil-on-wood works that formed part of a room's wall paneling into large-scale, floor-to-ceiling works on plaster. Much of the scholarship surrounding these wall paintings has focused on the artists who created them for homes throughout New England. As the 2010–2011 Douglass Foundation Fellow in The American Wing, my goal is to study instead the homeowners who commissioned the works, as well as the histories of the houses in which they were completed.

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This Weekend in Met History: January 1

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fra Luca Pacioli (Italian, d. ca. 1514), after Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519) | Page from Divina proportione, June 1, 1509 | 19.50

Forty years ago this weekend, on January 1, 1971, The Metropolitan Museum of Art first distributed admission buttons, replacing the envelope-sized, two-color tickets that had been used during a transitional period in 1970.

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New Look, New Home for Artwork of the Day

Denise Canniff, Former Senior Manager for Online Strategy and Marketing, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010

Our new and improved home page—which has beautiful, rotating images of our special exhibitions and permanent collections—launched today. In addition to listing general information about the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens more prominently, the new design also makes it easy to buy online admission tickets directly from the Museum.

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Today in Met History: December 20

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

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.

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The Museum, Constructed

Brian Cha, Intern, Design Department

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.

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This Weekend in Met History: November 21

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

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.

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This Weekend in Met History: November 14

Barbara File, Archivist, Museum Archives

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.

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Today in Met History: October 31

Adrianna Slaughter, Archivist, Museum Archives

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.

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"The Secret of Édouard Baldus Revealed"

Malcolm Daniel, Senior Curator, Department of Photographs

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."

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Today in Met History: October 18

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010

On October 18, 1880, Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Luigi Palma di Cesnola urged the Museum's Trustees to create an art library that would help fulfill the institution's educational mission. The Museum's original 1870 New York State charter had specifically committed the new institution to "establishing and maintaining . . . a museum and library of art."

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Curator Interview: Mezzetin

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jean Antoine Watteau's Mezzetin is among the Museum's most evocative works. Katharine Baetjer, curator in the Department of European Paintings, spoke with me about this small, striking painting.

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The Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel

Christopher S. Lightfoot, Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lod Mosaic banner

In 1996 mosaics were accidentally uncovered during highway construction in the modern Israeli town of Lod, not far from Tel Aviv (see map). Lod is ancient Lydda, which was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 66 during the Jewish War. Refounded by Hadrian as Diospolis, Lydda was awarded the rank of a Roman colony under Septimius Severus in A.D. 200.

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Between Here and There: Contemporary Photography at the Met

Douglas Eklund, Associate Curator, Department of Photographs

Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inside the museum—not just the Met but any art museum—photography has been birthed in hallways. It began to spring from the shoulders of museums' print departments in the 1920s and 1930s, when modernism was making a case for photography as an independent art form. Over the decades it has spread institutionally through the in-between spaces that architecturally mirror the medium's proudly mongrel status as both art and not art.

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About this Blog

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.