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The exhibition was made possible by Fleet.

The exhibition catalogue was made possible through the support of the William Cullen Bryant Fellows.

Art and the Empire City

New York, 1825–1861

September 19, 2000–January 7, 2001

Accompanied by a catalogue

By the second quarter of the nineteenth century, New York City—already the nation's financial center—was poised to become a "world city" on a par with London and Paris. With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, which linked the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River, the great port of New York became the gateway to the West, assuring the city's commercial preeminence. Over the next thirty-five years, until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, New York grew rapidly, becoming the "Empire City"—the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, and the nation's center of domestic and foreign trade, culture, and the arts. This landmark exhibition explores the history of American art during this time through works created in and for New York City. On view are more than three hundred objects—paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, maps and architectural drawings, decorative arts, and costumes—from American and European collections, as well as from the Metropolitan's holdings.