On February 25, the Museum launched "Get Closer," a photography contest in which we invited visitors to share details from works of art in our collection that have intrigued or inspired them. Hundreds of visitors submitted photographs taken throughout the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of the Museum located in Northern Manhattan. Contributors described such details as the powerful eyes of an African mask, the sensual quality of a lemon peel in a Dutch still life, and the iridescence of a Tiffany vase. We extend our thanks to all of the contest participants for their inspired contributions.
The five winning entries and photographers' statements are below. Each winner will receive a one-year Individual Membership to the Met. All the contest entries are available on tumblr.
Karen Hofstein-Heyman: Few paintings in the Museum's collection invite such whimsical scrutiny as Modern Rome. The work is a veritable "Where's Waldo" of sights in the Eternal City. This close-up is of the Trevi Fountain, but you can spend twenty minutes peering at the picture to identify each image in the crowded room.
Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691–1765). Modern Rome (detail), 1757. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1952 (52.63.2)
Pamela A. Lewis: The creative life force, as represented by the sculptor's firm hold on his chisel, his thumb pressing hard upon it, contrasts powerfully with the softly modeled and open hand of the Angel of Death, who gently interrupts the sculptor. At once elegiac and dynamic, this poignant detail captures the meaning of life, death, and art.
Daniel Chester French (American, 1850–1931). The Angel of Death and the Sculptor from the Milmore Memorial (detail), carved 1921–26, modeled 1889–93. Marble. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of a group of Museum trustees, 1926 (26.120)
Ian James Roberts: Music can be a burden; all you have to do is look upon this strained face to see that not every musical endeavor is an easy one. While music itself is weightless, emotions aren't. In this case it is easily seen in his almost fearful expression.
Michele Todini (bapt. 1616–1689). Harpsichord (detail), ca. 1670. Rome, Italy. Wood, various materials. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.2929a–e)
Ruth Rogers: I can sense the artisan's hand in this work. And this is what I love about art—sensing the person behind the work. Look how perfect this wrapping is, thousands of years later. The time, the effort, still projects through time and space.
Mask and Foot Covers of Osiride Figure (detail), 305–30 B.C. Ptolemaic period. Egypt. Wood, paint, linen, gilding. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Goddard DuBois, 1944 (44.6.2a–c)
Dana Lim VanderHeyden: Aristide Maillol, La Nuit: Is she resting, reflecting, crying or perhaps sleeping? Only by crouching next to the sculpture does one know that the face is fully sculpted and quite serene. When viewing this "hidden" part of the sculpture, one feels as if a secret is being revealed—the secret of the face that Maillol hid from the casual observer.
Aristide Maillol (French, 1861–1944). Night (detail), modeled in 1902–9. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Maurice Wertheim, 1950 (50.100)