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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011