Rarely Seen Medieval Drawings on View in New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
With strokes of genius, artists in the Middle Ages explored the medium of drawing, creating a rich panoply of works ranging from spontaneous sketches to powerful evocations of spirituality and intriguing images of science and the natural world. Opening June 2 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages is the first museum exhibition to examine in depth the achievements of the medieval draftsman. Through some 50 examples created in settings as diverse as a ninth-century monastery and the 14th-century French court, the presentation considers the aesthetics, uses, and techniques of medieval drawings, mastered by artists working centuries before the dawn of the Renaissance. Works from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum are displayed along with important loans from American and European museums, and the great national, university, and monastic libraries of Europe. Many of these manuscripts are so highly prized that they have never before been lent outside of their home countries.
Michelangelo's First Painting
Michelangelo's First Painting, a special exhibition beginning June 16 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, presents The Torment of Saint Anthony, the first known painting by Michelangelo Buonarroti (Florence 1475- Rome 1564), believed to have been created when he was 12 or 13 years old. Recently acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum, the painting has undergone conservation and technical examination at the Metropolitan Museum. Michelangelo's First Painting will run through September 7, after which the panel will return to the Kimbell Art Museum for display as part of its permanent collection.
Photography Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum Captures the Dramatic Transformation of Paris during the Rise and Fall of Napoleon III
During the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, the narrow streets and medieval buildings of Paris gave way to the broad boulevards and grand public works that still define the urban landscape of the French capital. Napoleon III and Paris, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from June 9 through September 7, 2009, portrays the quickly changing cityscape of Second Empire Paris through a presentation of 40 photographs and 13 works in other media, all drawn from the permanent collection. Spanning the period from 1851 to 1871, the installation begins with a photographic introduction to Napoleon III and his family, then traces the radical transformation of the city under the emperor and his master urban planner Baron Haussmann, and concludes with depictions of the ruins of Paris in the aftermath of the Commune. Many of the works in the installation are by the preeminent photographers of the period, including Gustave Le Gray, Charles Marville, Edouard Baldus, Louis-Émile Durandelle, Alphonse Liébert, and Pierre-Ambrose Richebourg.
New American Wing Galleries
When The Charles Engelhard Court—the grand, light-filled pavilion that has long served as the formal entrance to The Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing—reopens this spring after two years of construction and renovation, the Museum's unparalleled collections of American ceramics, sculpture, stained glass, architectural elements, silver, pewter, glass, and jewelry will finally be seen in all their glory. So, too, will its early American rooms—12 of the Met's historic interiors, mostly from the colonial period, located on three floors of the wing's historic core—that have been reordered, renovated, and reinterpreted. The popular American Wing Café will also reopen in its previous location on the park side of the court. The opening of the galleries marks the completion of the second part (begun in May 2007) of a project to reconfigure, renovate, or upgrade nearly every section of The American Wing by 2011.
Roxy Paine Creates Monumental Sculpture for 2009 Installation of Metropolitan Museum's Roof Garden
Conceptual artist Roxy Paine (American, b. 1966) has created a site-specific installation for the 2009 season of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, the most dramatic outdoor space for sculpture in New York City. Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom features a 130-foot-long by 45-foot-wide stainless-steel sculpture, Maelstrom (2009), that encompasses the nearly 8,000-square-foot Roof Garden, and is the largest sculpture to have been installed on the roof of the Metropolitan. Set against, and in dialogue with, the greensward of Central Park and its architectural backdrop, this swirling entanglement of stainless- steel pipe showcases the work of an artist keenly interested in the interplay between the natural world and the built environment, as well as the human desire for order amid nature's inherently chaotic processes.
Afghanistan's Dazzling National Treasures—Hidden for 25 Years—Presented at Metropolitan Museum
Ancient Afghanistan—located at the crossroads of major trade routes, where it attracted invading armies and nomadic migrations—was home to some of the most complex, rich, and original civilizations on the continent of Asia. Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer, the traveling exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, celebrates the country's unique role, as both the recipient of diverse cultural elements and the creator of distinctive styles of art from the Bronze Age into the Kushan period. The presentation also commemorates the heroic rescue of Afghanistan's national treasures long thought to have been destroyed. The exhibition features a rich selection of artworks from four archaeological sites. All works belong to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. Highlights include gold vessels from the Bronze Age Tepe Fullol hoard; superb works and architectural elements from the Hellenistic city of Aï Khanum; sculptural masterpieces in ivory, plaster medallions, bronzes, and Roman glass from Begram; and extraordinary turquoise-encrusted gold jewelry and ornaments from the nomadic tombs at Tillya Tepe.
Spectacular French Bronzes on View at Metropolitan Museum in Exhibition Spanning Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment
Beginning in the 16th century, a tradition of bronze sculpture developed in France that was influenced by achievements of the Italian Renaissance, while manifesting its own distinct refinement and force. Even though French bronzes were among the glories of royal châteaux, including Versailles, and were collected eagerly by connoisseurs, they have received relatively little scrutiny from scholars. Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, brings together a large number of spectacular bronzes and is the first exhibition to address this subject in 40 years.
Contemporary Artist Liza Lou's Continuous Mile on Display at Metropolitan Museum for Two Years
Liza Lou's recent work Continuous Mile, an ambitious and engaging large-scale sculpture made of gleaming white beads, went on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on January 23, 2009. The work is a two-year loan from the artist and is on display on the second floor of the Museum's Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for modern and contemporary art.
Francis Bacon's Provocative Works Featured in Major Retrospective Opens May 20 at Metropolitan Museum
The first major New York exhibition in 20 years devoted to Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992)—one of the most important painters of the 20th century—will be presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 20 through August 16, 2009. Marking the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective will bring together the most significant works from each period of the artist's remarkable career. Drawn from public and private collections around the world, this landmark exhibition will consist of some 65 paintings, complemented by never-before-seen works and archival material from the Francis Bacon Estate, which will shed new light on the artist's career and working practices. The Metropolitan Museum is the sole U.S. venue of the exhibition tour.
Esteemed Photographer Helen Levitt Honored with Endowment Fund and Promised Gift of Photographs to Metropolitan Museum
(New York—April 23, 2009) The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today a new endowment fund and promised gift of artwork in memory of the great American street photographer Helen Levitt, who died on March 29, 2009, at the age of 95. The Helen Levitt Memorial Fund has been established through a generous planned gift of the artist's sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert O. Levitt, and will support the Museum's acquisition of photographs by Helen Levitt and other mid-20th-century American photographers working in her tradition. Mrs. Robert O. Levitt has also made a promised gift to the Metropolitan Museum of 12 of the artist's photographs.