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Antonio Tempesta's View of Rome: Portraying the Baroque Splendor of the Eternal City

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In 1593, the Florence-born artist Antonio Tempesta (1555–1630) published one of his absolute masterpieces in print: a View of Rome composed out of twelve folio-sized, etched plates. When joined together in two rows of six, the print forms an impressive frieze measuring almost 3.5 by 8 feet (fig. 1).

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Book Smart

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012

There's nothing like a good read, and today we're adding 643 books to your reading list. MetPublications puts nearly all of our publications—past, present, and future—online. That out-of-print catalogue from the Met's groundbreaking 1985 India exhibition? Now you can read it. The 1970 catalogue of the Wrightsman porcelain collection? That's there, too, along with hundreds of other titles from across the Museum.

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Ancient Egyptian Ostraca: A Reevaluation

Jennifer Babcock, 2009–2011 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Although I am an Egyptologist, I recently worked for two years in the Museum's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art as the 2009–2011 Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellow. The experience was invaluable, not only for its curatorial training, but also for the opportunity to approach my dissertation topic—ancient Egyptian ostraca—from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

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All Art Was Once Contemporary

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012

Last March I posted a message about my time at TED, the annual four-day conference dedicated to the concept of "Ideas Worth Spreading." My talk is now available, and I'm pleased to share it. I hope it inspires you to visit the Met and spread some of the great ideas that connect our collections, our scholarship, and our visitors.

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In Memoriam: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012

The Trustees and staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art mourn the passing of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, whose wise stewardship and tireless devotion benefited this institution in countless ways over the past four decades.

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Live Stream: Patti Smith in Concert

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Friday, September 28, at 7:00 p.m., rock legend Patti Smith will pay tribute to Andy Warhol, her fellow traveler on the cutting edge of the New York art and music scene in the 1970s. The concert is sold out, but a live audio stream of the performance will be available in Met Media.

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The French Franciscan Cloister in New York

Céline Brugeat, 2011–2012 Annette Kade Fellow, Department of Medieval Art

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Cloisters incorporates significant sculptural ensembles from medieval cloisters from the south of France, traditionally identified as coming from four sites: Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Trie-en-Bigorre, and Bonnefont-en-Comminges.

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The High-Tech Met

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Twenty-five digital artists and programmers descended upon the Metropolitan Museum's Art Studio on June 1 and 2 for our first 3D scanning and printing Hackathon. The invited guests, along with staff from MakerBot Industries, spent two action-packed days photographing Museum objects and using specialized printers to convert their images into 3D models.

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Spring Fashion Forecast for The Costume Institute = PUNK

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Costume Institute's next exhibition swerves to the streets and clubs of New York and London, then to ateliers and runways with PUNK: Chaos to Couture. The exhibition, on view from May 9 through August 11, 2013, will examine punk's impact from the 1970s to its continuing influence on high fashion now.

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If Tea Bowls Could Talk

Denise Patry Leidy, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hundreds of stories are embedded in the Chinese ceramics that have recently been reinstalled on the Great Hall Balcony (Gallery 200 through Gallery 205), at the heart of the Museum. Some of these stories tell of technological advances in ceramic production, others illustrate aspects of Chinese culture, and many—including comparative pieces from around the world—illustrate China's continuous and complicated impact in global ceramic history. All of these stories intertwine in fascinating and, sometimes, unexpected ways.

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What's New in Met Media

Maureen Coyle, Twelve-Month Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012

We have quite a few new items in Met Media this week, including videos of several symposia. The Discoveries symposium, held in conjunction with the opening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, featured scholarship focused on works on paper, textiles, the Damascus Room, the city of Nishapur, and stucco and ceramic figures.

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Digitizing the Libraries' Collections: Industrial Arts at the Metropolitan Museum, 1917–40

Antoniette M. Guglielmo, 2011–2012 Sylvan C. Coleman and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellow, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012

When the Museum Library took its first steps toward digitizing rare materials from its collection over two years ago, one of the first groups of items we selected for scanning was a set of pamphlets that accompanied a landmark series of American industrial arts exhibitions from 1917 to 1940.

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Buddhism along the Silk Road

Kurt Behrendt, Assistant Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

At the end of the fifth century, the great Buddhist centers of Gandhara in Northern Pakistan collapsed in the wake of Hun invasions that swept in from the area north of Afghanistan. The current exhibition Buddhism along the Silk Road: 5th–8th Century (on view through February 10, 2013) focuses on art produced as a result of contact with the dispersed Gandharan Buddhist communities, who were moving into Afghanistan and up into the Western parts of Central Asia.

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Met 3D: The Museum's First 3D Scanning and Printing Hackathon

Jackie Terrassa, Managing Museum Educator for Gallery and Studio Programs, Education; and Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012

Artists come to the Met every day to be inspired, discovering visual and technical solutions in works from every corner of the world, ranging from ancient times to the present day. They might attend a program, sketch from objects, or create their own copies of original paintings, as they have done since 1872 when the Met first allowed artists to re-create works of art on display.

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Behind the Scenes of Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City

Thomas B. Ling, Associate Manager, The Photograph Studio

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each spring, as soon as the weather gets warm, friends start asking me when the Museum's Roof Garden will be open. By the time they ask, I've already been excited for months, anticipating the installation process and the opportunity to collaborate with the exhibiting artist (or artists), curators, fabricators, and installers who, each year, transform one of my favorite places in the city into a totally new space.

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Through Monet's Garden, a Collaboration Blossoms

Masha Turchinsky, Senior Manager for Digital Learning & Senior Media Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012

It's springtime in New York, and to celebrate we've collaborated with the New York Botanical Garden on a free app that invites you to experience Claude Monet's living masterpiece, his garden at Giverny.

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Murder Goes Mobile at the Met!

Alice W. Schwarz, Museum Educator; Masha Turchinsky, Senior Manager for Digital Learning & Senior Media Producer, Digital Media; and Katherine Abbey, Twelve-Month Education Intern

Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What do Madame X, a murder, and a mobile phone have in common? They are all part of Murder at the Met: An American Art Mystery, the first mobile detective game created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with Green Door Labs and TourSphere.

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Eight New Languages for My Audio Tour of the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012

We like to think that the language of art is universal, but a museum like the Met, with an audience that is forty percent international, cannot ignore the global scope of its visitors. There are some days when the Met's Great Hall is a glorious cacophony of languages from all over the world—and from all over New York.

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Met Museum Presents...

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012

We are delighted to unveil the 2012–13 season of Met Museum Presents, our newly renamed performing arts and talks series. This is the first season programmed by Concerts & Lectures General Manager Limor Tomer, who began working at the Met in July 2011. The video above certainly captures the new approach that the Met is taking toward performance at the Museum.

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Featured Publication—Interview with the Photographer: Joe Coscia

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chief Photographer Joe Coscia has worked at the Museum for more than twenty years. One of his recent assignments was to photograph the works of art for Masterpieces of European Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1900, written by Ian Wardropper and published last fall. I asked him about the unique work of a museum photographer, as well as the collaborations and complex choices involved in shooting the masterpieces illustrated in this book.

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Today in Met History: March 20

Anna Bernhard, Archives Assistant, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One hundred and forty years ago today, on March 20, 1872, the City of New York's Department of Public Parks designated the area between 79th and 84th Streets in Central Park as the future site of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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What's Your Met?

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012

"What's your Met?" We asked this question of eleven celebrities, and were delighted by the range of answers we got from Alex Rodriguez, Claire Danes, Marc Jacobs, Alicia Keys, Jeff Koons, Seth Meyers, Zaha Hadid, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, and Carmelo and La La Anthony.

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Featured Publication: The Renaissance Portrait

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the words of the historian Jacob Burckhardt, fifteenth-century Italy was "the place where the notion of the individual was born." In keeping with this notion, early Renaissance Italy hosted the first great age of portraiture in Europe.

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My Time at TED

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am just back from Long Beach, CA, where I spoke at TED, the annual four-day conference started twenty-five years ago and dedicated to the concept of "Ideas Worth Spreading."

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This Weekend in Met History: February 20

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012

One hundred and forty years ago, on February 20, 1872, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors to the public for the first time.

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Displaying Islamic Art at the Metropolitan: A Retrospective Look

Rebecca Lindsey, Visiting Committee Member, Department of Musical Instruments and Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Metropolitan Museum patron interested in Islamic art in the 1880s would have found little of relevance on display.1 By 1910, however, the situation was very much improved, and in the century since then, the Islamic art displays at the Museum have become the largest in the Western world. This essay briefly describes the evolution of the display of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum—from the first largely visual exhibitions to the present scholarly organization by style, material, and civilization.

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Love at the Met: Historic Valentines and Paper Kisses

Femke Speelberg, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Pity my life and be my wife."

These words were delivered in a round, white box to a Miss Oliver in Hythe, Southampton, in the mid-nineteenth century. The box contained a beautiful Valentine's Day card covered in lace, with a basket of textile flowers in its center. Although we may never know if Miss Oliver accepted the somewhat woefully expressed petition of the man who loved her, we do know that the card and even its container survived the test of time, cherished at the very least as a keepsake.

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Featured Publication: Heroic Africans

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012

Left: Heroic Africans exhibition catalogue; Right: Commemorative figure of a priestess, 19th century. Cameroon, Grassfields region, Bangwa chiefdom. Bamileke peoples. Wood, pigments. Musée Dapper, Paris (3343)

Alisa LaGamma, curator of Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures and author of the accompanying catalogue, recently discussed the Commemorative figure of a priestess, one of the masterpieces from the exhibition, for the Yale University Press blog. Don't miss the rare opportunity to see the powerful figure, on loan from the Musée Dapper, Paris (3343). The exhibition at the Met closes on January 29 before traveling to the Museum Rietberg in Zurich.

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The New American Wing Galleries

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012

This week we celebrated the completion of the rebuilding of the Met's extraordinary American Wing, and in doing so unequivocally acknowledged the importance of the arts of this nation to the Metropolitan Museum.

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Lisbon's Hebrew Bible: An Enlightened Acquisition

Barbara Drake Boehm, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012

By any standards, Lisbon's Hebrew Bible—now on view at the Met—is a masterpiece of medieval illumination. Its acquisition in 1804 by the National Library of Portugal may be credited to the enlightened intellectualism of the institution's first librarian, António Ribeiro dos Santos.

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Digitizing the Libraries' Collections: An Introduction

Robyn Fleming, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library; and Dan Lipcan, Assistant Museum Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Museum Library, authorized by the Museum's 1870 charter and formally established in 1880, is one of the world's great collections of art historical research materials. However, thousands of printed books in the Library and other departments of the Museum are deteriorating rapidly through heavy use, acidic paper, or both. In some cases, important information has already been lost.

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Connecting with Islamic Art at the Metropolitan

Deniz Beyazit, Assistant Curator, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Islamic art, architecture, and cultural traditions are closely related to other artistic movements around the world. In conjunction with the opening of the new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which house works from the Met's Department of Islamic Art, I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight related objects from the Museum's other curatorial departments.

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Connections Reaches 100

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011

At the beginning of 2011 we embarked on a project called Connections, a Web feature that explored the collections through themes that were personal to Met staff. One hundred employees from across the Museum participated in the project, which allowed them to articulate their own distinct relationship with objects in our collections. Some were surprising, others provocative, many deeply moving.

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A Great Year at the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011

Throughout 2011, our global audience has helped bring new energy to the Met. It's an exciting time for the Museum, marked by outstanding scholarship and incredible new ways to access and explore our collections. This short video captures some of my thoughts about this moment and the tremendous potential the Met's future holds. It comes with my thanks for your continued interest and support.

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Google Goggles

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011

Have you ever seen a work of art—on a poster, in a book, on a billboard, or even in one of the Met's galleries—and simply had to know more about it? Now you can. I'm pleased to announce a new collaboration with Google that lets you take a picture of a work of art with your mobile device and link straight to more information on metmuseum.org. This is yet another milestone in our effort to provide global access to our collections.

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Today in Met History: December 13

Julie Tran Lê, Library Associate, The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library

Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sixty-five years ago today, on December 13, 1946, The Costume Institute's first exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum opened to the public.

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The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt

Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, the Museum mounted a small exhibition, The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. On September 11, 2011, Museum visitors from all walks of life participated in various special events at the Museum: a lecture by artist Faith Ringgold—who designed the quilt with New York City youth—poetry readings, and a memorial concert.

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The Met Around the World

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today we launch a new section of the Met's website: The Met Around the World. The work of the Metropolitan Museum reflects the global scope of its collections and extends across the world through a variety of initiatives and programs including exhibitions, excavations, fellowships, professional exchanges, conservation projects, and traveling works of art. All these activities are now consolidated here to allow you to search them by location or category.

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Fellows Series: The Etched Decoration of German Renaissance Armor

Stefan Krause, 2010–2011 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Department of Arms and Armor

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011

Armor made from steel plates that covered almost the entire body was developed around the late fourteenth century in Northern Italy, and spread north of the Alps soon after. Most early examples were plain, but by the middle of the fifteenth century armorers began to emboss surfaces with ridges and grooves and add gilt copper-alloy applications, transferring current tastes in civilian fashion to create sumptuous garments of steel. The turn of the sixteenth century saw the first elements of armor embellished with etching, a technique that dominated the decor until the end of armor as an art form, in the middle of the seventeenth century.

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Today in Met History: November 15

Rebecca Weintraub, Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One hundred and twenty-five years ago today, on November 15, 1886, The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Board of Trustees officially approved the establishment of the institution's first curatorial departments—the Department of Paintings, Department of Sculpture, and Department of Casts.

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The Challenge of Interpreting Caricatures and Satires

Nadine Orenstein, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Caricatures and satires are generally created to comment on specific events or moments in history. The Headache, Enrique Chagoya's print of President Obama, for example, reminds us of the strident debates that took place more than a year ago about changes to the U.S. healthcare system. Chagoya based his image on a nineteenth-century print by George Cruikshank entitled The Head Ache that illustrates a man attacked by hammering and drilling demons who are the source of his woes.

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The Shows Go On: Exhibitions at the Met

Ryan Wong, Former Administrative Assistant for Exhibitions, Office of the Director

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011

When I joined the Metropolitan's Exhibitions Office, I could not have imagined the immensity of the work that goes into the exhibitions program. It can take up to five years for an exhibition to turn from a proposal into an installation and involve hundreds of workers across the Museum. In this post, I hope to answer the questions about the exhibitions process that I always had while roaming the galleries as a visitor.

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New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011

Today is a landmark day for the Metropolitan Museum as we celebrate the new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, a spectacular achievement for the Museum and its Islamic Art Department.

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Featured Publication—Turkmen Jewelry: Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection
Interview with the Collectors

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011

One of several new Met books that will accompany the November 1 reopening of the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, this month's featured publication will be the first English-language book devoted to the extraordinary silver jewelry of the nomadic Turkmen people of Central Asia.

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Infinite Jest: A New Exhibition about an Old Tradition

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011

Humor and museums are not often linked. We can be informative, inspiring, even entertaining. But funny? Perhaps not as often as we should be.

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Welcome to Our Newly Designed Website

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011

Since becoming Director, I have stressed two priorities: scholarship and accessibility. Our new website, which launched today, certainly embodies both of these aims, featuring complete listings of the Museum's catalogued collections, an interactive map—with descriptions of every gallery in the Main Building and at The Cloisters—suggested itineraries to help you plan your visit, special content for Members, and much more. Of course, favorite sections still remain, like the constantly evolving Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History and Connections, which takes us on personal journeys through the collection.

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The Met in Berlin

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am just back from Berlin, where my colleagues and I participated in the opening celebrations for a beautiful exhibition of fifteenth-century Renaissance portraits from Italy at the Bode-Museum. The show is the result of a remarkable four-year collaboration between the Met's curators and their German counterparts and represents the sort of international exchange that is the core of the Met's mission as a global resource for scholarship. The exhibition will be on view at the Bode-Museum until November 20 and at the Met from December 21, 2011, to March 18, 2012.

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Curator Interview: Suzuki Kiitsu's Morning Glories

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Suzuki Kiitsu's Morning Glories is the signature work of art in the exhibition A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art, open through October 23. Assistant Curator Sinéad Kehoe discussed this splendid work with me.

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A Special Visitor

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2011

This week, a monumental statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat II (ca. 1919–1885 B.C.) was installed in the Met's Great Hall. It is a special loan from the collection of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

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The Met's Online Community Responds to McQueen

Lucy Redoglia, Associate Online Community Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

At the Met, we're always eager to hear from our online community through our various social media channels. Whether it's a comment about the Featured Artwork of the Day on our Facebook page, a question posed on Twitter, or a photograph posted to our Flickr group pool, our online visitors' responses are thoughtful and varied, and we enjoy reading and responding to them. Recently, the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty provided the Museum with an opportunity to hear from our online community in a new way; on a special McQueen page, we invited visitors to answer the question "What made you realize that fashion is an art form?" Not surprisingly, we received a wonderful range of responses, and we're excited to share them with you.

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Great Escapes at the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011

The recent news about this year's record attendance of over 5.6 million people marks an exciting moment in the Met's history; it is great to know that so many people are enjoying the Museum. But the Met experience need not be defined by crowds. To the contrary, I am struck every day by the intimate experiences that can be found within our galleries.

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The Artistic Community of Seventeenth-Century Utrecht

Elizabeth A. Nogrady, 2010–11 J. Clawson Mills Fellow

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

As the J. Clawson Mills Fellow at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2010–11, my research has focused on the artistic community in the city of Utrecht during the seventeenth-century "Golden Age" of Dutch painting. Through close examination of this network of artists, I have explored Utrecht's role in the magnificent flourishing of the arts that occurred at this time in the Netherlands, despite the civil discord caused by the Dutch fight for independence from Spain. This circle of artists used several different avenues—including displays of camaraderie, strong professional organizations, an emphasis on artists' education, and joint artistic endeavors—to keep their community strong even as Utrecht buckled under the political, religious, and social strain of war.

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The Fellowship Program: Sixty Years of Scholarship

Marcie Karp, Managing Museum Educator for Academic Programs

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Established in 1951, the Fellowship Program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is flourishing, with scholars taking up residence in all corners of the building—from the curatorial departments, conservation labs, libraries, and study rooms to the Education Department, gallery spaces, offices, and archives.

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Today in Met History: July 15

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011

Ninety years ago today, on July 15, 1921, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its first solo exhibition of works by a female artist. The Children's World: Drawings by Florence Wyman Ivins, a group of watercolor drawings, woodcuts, and black-and-white drawings, was shown in the Education Department through November 19, 1921.

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Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents

Yaëlle Biro, Assistant Curator, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011

The current exhibition Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents reflects the dynamic intersection of two areas of the Museum's permanent collections—it is presented in the spacious passageway between the galleries of modern art and those dedicated to the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.

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The Rise of Pastel in the Eighteenth Century

Marjorie Shelley, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper and Photograph Conservation

Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The current exhibition Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europe opens a window on one of the most popular art forms of the Rococo and Enlightenment eras. These works slipped from public notice long ago as they became associated with the artificiality of the ancien régime, and in modern times because their fragility discouraged exhibition and travel. This is the first exhibition of such portraits in at least seventy-five years. It presents a sense of the great numbers of artists who practiced in this once popular medium, the many different styles in which they worked, and the materials and techniques they employed.

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This Weekend in Met History: July 2

Jonathan Bloom, Intern, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011

One hundred and ten years ago this weekend, on July 2, 1901, American locomotive magnate and Metropolitan Museum of Art benefactor Jacob S. Rogers died. Unbeknownst to the Museum's staff and Trustees at the time, Rogers's death would result in the largest and most significant financial contribution to the institution until that time, and among the most important in its history.

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McQueen and Tartan

Jonathan Faiers, Reader in Fashion Theory at Winchester School of Art

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alexander McQueen had a unique understanding of the dramatic potential of tailoring, as well as of how the actual fabric of a garment is intrinsic both to its shape and historical, cultural, and psychological impact. In the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a retrospective of the late designer's work, we can appreciate the designer's superb craftsmanship up close; from shells to feathers, from traditional embroidery to cutting-edge digital print, we see the dazzling array of textile techniques that cemented his reputation as the most inventive fashion designer of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

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Winner of McQueen Fashion Design Contest Selected

Shannon Bell Price, Associate Research Curator, The Costume Institute

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011

In conjunction with the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art held a competition for fashion design graduate students this spring. The winner was announced at the Met's McQueen for a Night event on May 20; Paula Cheng, a student at Parsons The New School for Design, won the contest and received an internship at Alexander McQueen, a yearlong Metropolitan Museum Membership, and several other exhibition-related prizes.

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Winners Announced: "Get Closer" 2011 Photo Contest

Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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.

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The Washington Haggadah: Of Mice and Men

Barbara Drake Boehm, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

As our presentation of the Washington Haggadah enters its final month, we turn not to the end of the book but to the first page of the manuscript. In both word and image, this page proclaims the privilege of preparing for Passover.

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The Mask of Agamemnon: An Example of Electroformed Reproduction of Artworks Made by E. Gilliéron in the Early Twentieth Century

Dorothy H. Abramitis, Conservator, The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation

Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The "Mask of Agamemnon" is one of the most famous gold artifacts from the Greek Bronze Age. Found at Mycenae in 1876 by the distinguished archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, it was one of several gold funeral masks found laid over the faces of the dead buried in the shaft graves of a royal cemetery.

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Met Receives Two Awards at Annual AAM Conference

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

At the recent American Association of Museums annual conference, the Metropolitan Museum won two awards for online projects.

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Today in Met History: May 31

Melissa Bowling, Associate Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One hundred and twenty years ago today, on May 31, 1891, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened to the public on a Sunday for the first time in its history. The decision to allow Sunday admission followed nearly twenty years of debate on the subject.

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The Gilliéron Paintings on Paper, from a Conservation Perspective

Rebecca Capua, Assistant Conservator, Department of Paper Conservation

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Many of the works on paper currently on view in Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron & Son required conservation treatment to address a variety of structural and aesthetic problems. The dedicated effort over the past two years to address the conservation of these objects and to look more closely at their method of production reflects a reconsideration of their role in the Museum and in the history of art itself.

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Met Launches First Interactive E-publication

Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This month, the Museum launched its first iPad app interactive e-publication for the exhibition Poetry in Clay: Korean Buncheong Ceramics from Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. The Met Buncheong app complements the exhibition catalogue and includes highlights from each chapter in the book, a video introduction from Soyoung Lee, co-curator of the exhibition and co-author of the catalogue, 360-degree object views, multiple image views, panoramas of the gallery, and links to publications and related sections of the Museum's website.

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Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age

Seán Hemingway, Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art

Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In the second half of the nineteenth century, archaeologists began to focus on understanding prehistoric Greece and its extraordinary flowering during the Greek Bronze Age (about 3000–1050 B.C.). Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of wealthy tombs at Mycenae in 1876 brought to life the Heroic Age immortalized in the epic poetry of Homer, in which King Agamemnon’s palace was described as "rich in gold."

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Historical Photographs on Display in the Uris Center for Education

Marlene Graham, Senior Manager, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011

My first day as senior manager of the Museum's Uris Center for Education in July 2010 was an exhilarating and hectic day, chock-full of new information, faces, and experiences. The third annual P.S. Art exhibition was on display in the corridor alongside Carson Family Hall, and the space was alive with the expressive and vibrant artwork of New York City public school students. This burst of artistic energy greeted me every morning until it came time to return the artwork to the talented young artists who had created it. Now empty, beige, and boring, the cases begged for something to fill them. I thought, "This area needs some visuals to introduce visiting schoolchildren to the Met experience. These walls should never be bare!" I began thinking about what we could exhibit that would be visually stimulating and representative of the Uris Center's educational mission.

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Two Big Announcements for the Met

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011

It was a very significant week for the future of the Met.

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The Washington Haggadah: The Delights of Ornament

Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Barbara Drake Boehm, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011

This week we turned the pages in the Washington Haggadah, which is on loan to the Museum from the Library of Congress through July 4.

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Featured Catalogue: Rooms with a View

Nadja Hansen, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Met produces around thirty publications a year, including special exhibition and permanent collection catalogues, guides, the quarterly Bulletin, the annual Journal, and many other special projects. As an assistant in the Editorial Department, I get a glimpse of all stages of production, from the initial proposal until the time the bound book arrives on my desk. Each project can take more than a year and requires close collaboration among the contributors—curators, photographers, designers, outside authors, and, occasionally, collectors—and the editorial staff.

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The Washington Haggadah: Participating in Passover

Barbara Drake Boehm, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011

The illustrations of the Washington Haggadah, currently on loan to the Metropolitan from the Library of Congress, suggest—with a touch of humor and not a little humanity—some of the challenges inherent in following the instructions for celebrating the Passover seder.

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Statement from the Director on the Detention of Ai Weiwei

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011

Many Americans—and nearly all museum professionals—have noted with great concern the recent reports of the arrest and detention in Beijing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This news has come just as the City of New York prepares to install the artist's first major American exhibition, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, which opens at Central Park's Grand Army Plaza on May 2.

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Today in Met History: April 6

Anna Bernhard, Archives Assistant, Museum Archives

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eighty-five years ago today, on April 6, 1926, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the "Pompeian Court," a new gallery space for classical art, to the public. Located in the Museum's recently constructed southern wing ("Wing K") designed by McKim, Mead and White, this gallery space was the company's last for the Metropolitan since becoming its official architect in 1904.

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This Weekend in Met History: April 2

Barbara File, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011

Sixty-five years ago this weekend, on April 2, 1946, The Metropolitan Museum of Art held a special ceremony inaugurating its seventy-fifth anniversary. One of the highlights of the day was a presentation honoring General Dwight D. Eisenhower in recognition of his oversight of the repatriation of artworks stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

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Today in Met History: March 28

Adrianna Del Collo, Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011

One hundred and forty years ago today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art made its first purchase of works of art—a group of 174 European old master paintings that became known as the "Purchase of 1871." William T. Blodgett, a founding member and Trustee of the Museum, facilitated the acquisition.

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Building History: The Making of the Met's New Moroccan Court

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights.

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Irish Musician Duke Special in Concert at the Met

Ashley Williams, Associate Administrator, Office of the Director

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Met is always interested in both new audiences and new perspectives. In 2009, we created an initiative called Spectrum to produce events that shed fresh light on our collections and exhibitions. Programs have included conversations with artists, a story-telling event co-hosted with The Moth, and live musical performances, all connected to the works of art in our galleries.

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Foursquare at the Met: Are You a Met Lover?

Morgan Holzer, Associate Project Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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

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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"Get Closer" Contest

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2011

Looking at art—really looking—can be a powerful thing. But it takes time. And patience. And even a bit of practice. The rewards, however, are well worth the effort. Looking often reveals details not registered by the viewer at first glance, elements that can bring a work of art to life.

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A Day in the Life of Visitor Services

Claire Bowman, Visitor Services Assistant

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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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Connections

Jennette Mullaney, Former Associate Email Marketing Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011

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

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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Continuing Developments in Egypt

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011

As the situation unfolds in Egypt, I continue to reflect on my trip there last fall and the extraordinary country that I encountered during my stay. My visit was focused on the Met's archaeological work, and I was particularly struck by the relationship between the collection of the Cairo Museum and the holdings of the Met. Our strong relationship with our colleagues in Egypt has fostered more than a century of collaboration, and thirty years of partage (1906–36) has yielded two deeply connected collections.

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Met Museum Taking Part in Google Art Project

Posted: Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Met is taking part in the Art Project, which Google launched today at a press conference in London. Seventeen museums from nine countries are currently participating in the Art Project, which can be accessed at www.googleartproject.com. This allows viewers both to explore the museums using Street Views technology and to view one iconic work from each museum's collection in a more in-depth way using state-of-the-art zooming technology.

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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

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

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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Connections

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In my first few months as director, some colleagues and I developed the idea of a series that would encourage people to think about the Met's collection in a new way. The result is Connections, a year-long exploration of the Met's holdings by staff from throughout the Museum. These journeys through the collection are not driven so much by art history as by broad, often personal, themes. Some are playful, some are deeply complex.

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This Weekend in Met History: January 1

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010

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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Back on View: A Velázquez Fully Restored

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Velázquez's portrait of Philip IV, king of Spain, went back on view in the European Paintings galleries today after an absence of more than a year, following the completion of a particularly complex restoration.

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Special Message from the Director

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm pleased to share with you a video that takes you to some of my favorite works of art in our galleries and highlights why the Met belongs to all of us—families, students, scholars—visitors from across our nation and around the globe. I hope you will support the collections and programs that make the Met such an extraordinary place.

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New Look, New Home for Artwork of the Day

Denise Canniff, 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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Day without Art

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.

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Exploring the Met's Work in Egypt

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

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.

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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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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.