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2015

2016


2015

Kongo: Power and Majesty
September 2015–January 2016

Artists from a swathe of Central Africa that extends across present-day Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola have been responsible for one of the world's great sculptural traditions. Their communities south of the Zaire River were historically united as part of a precolonial state known as the Kingdom of Kongo. The leaders of that polity developed close diplomatic ties with Portugal beginning in 1482. As a result of that engagement with the outside world, Kongo's political leadership elected to convert to Christianity. By the early sixteenth century Kongo's King Afonso I adopted Christianity as the official state religion and sent envoys to the King of Portugal and the Vatican. The global impact of this legacy has been unparalleled as a result of those early relationships and the subsequent diaspora to the Americas.

Kongo culture is epitomized by a landmark creation acquired by the Metropolitan in 2008—the commanding Mangaaka Power Figure that is an electrifying presence at the entrance to the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing. That work, attributed to the Chiloango River Master, was conceived to at once inspire awe for the preeminence of an abstract force of law and order, and instill in members of a Kongo community a sense of the consequences of their failure to do so. In Kongo society such works allowed the greatest sculptors of the day to give human form to an unbounded power. The dramatic visual impact of such works was intensified by virtue of the fact that they represented the outer limits of a broader sculptural tradition. Such creations stood at one extreme of a richly diverse artistic tradition that also embraced the most refined and delicate miniature figurative genres and abstract decorative arts that include finely embroidered textiles and ivory tusks adorned with carved geometric motifs.

In September 2015 the Metropolitan will present a special exhibition that will introduce the array of forms of material culture developed by Kongo masters responsible for their society's most exceptional creations. The selection of some 120 Kongo masterpieces will assemble for the first time twenty of the monumental power figures attributed to the Chiloango River Master. These nineteenth-century works will be historically grounded in relation to the earliest Kongo artifacts dispersed in European princely collections, where they have been preserved since the sixteenth century. The exhibition has been organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan will publish an accompanying catalogue.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $300,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $150,000

Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom
October 2015–January 2016

Arguably the least known of ancient Egypt's major eras, the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2030–1700 B.C.) was a transformational period during which artistic conventions, cultural principles, religious beliefs, and political systems first conceived and instituted during the Old Kingdom (from ca. 2650 B.C.) were revived and reimagined. This was an age that saw the creation of powerful and compelling works of art rendered with great subtlety and sensitivity. The exhibition will open with examples of how Middle Kingdom artists transformed crucial visual themes of the Old Kingdom and passed them on to the New Kingdom (1070 B.C.). The core of the exhibition will open with sections devoted to the distinctive early Middle Kingdom artistic traditions that arose in the south, the subsequent return to Egypt's traditional capital in the north, and the renewed construction of pyramid complexes. Art created for different layers of Egyptian society will then be highlighted in displays devoted to the pharaoh, the women of his family, courtiers, and the vital role of the family, including significant objects created by nonelite communities.

Egypt's relations with foreign lands will be explored and the importance of literature visualized. Magnificent objects created for tombs, chapels, and temples will be displayed, all of which reflect altered religious beliefs and practices such as the pilgrimage to the holy city of Abydos. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $1 million
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $300,000

Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620
October 2015–January 2016

Printed sources related to the design of textile patterns first appear in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Six highly enigmatic Milanese engravings with groppi, or knotwork designs, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and later copied by none other than Albrecht Dürer, stood at the beginning of a fruitful exchange of designs and ideas between Italy and the countries north of the Alps. From the 1520s onward, small booklets, each containing a few dozen pattern designs, were published on a regular basis, their publishers proudly advertising the novelty of the patterns which they collected from all over Europe. These highly influential sources instructed and inspired many in the arts to make embroideries, weavings, and lace, and were considered a source of marvel and delight. This interdisciplinary display brings together printed pattern books, drawings, textile samples, costumes, paintings, and various other works of art, evoking part of the colorful world in which the Renaissance textile pattern books functioned.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $300,000

Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas
October 2015–September 2016

From the first millennium B.C. until the arrival of Europeans in the sixteenth century, artists from the ancient Americas created small-scale architectural effigies to be placed in the tombs of important individuals. These works in stone, ceramic, wood, and metal range from highly abstracted, minimalist representations of temples and houses, to elaborate architectural complexes populated with figures, conveying a rich sense of ancient ritual and daily life. Often called models, these effigies were not so much prototypes for use in the design process as critical components in funerary practice and beliefs about an afterlife. This exhibition, the first of its kind in the United States, will provide new insights into ancient American architectural design and also shed light on the role of tomb furnishings in general in mediating relationships between the living, the dead, and the divine. This exhibition will present some fifty works from ancient Mexico and Peru, drawn from collections in the U.S. and Latin America, providing a rare glimpse into the domestic and ritual spaces of the Aztecs, the Incas, and their predecessors. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Partial corporate sponsorship available for $150,000

Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style
November 2015–January 2016

The Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, the ultimate personification of Parisian elegance, was, with the American and Italian beauties Babe Paley and Marella Agnelli, among the small flock of "Swans" photographed by Richard Avedon, written about by Truman Capote, and celebrated by students of fashion for their impeccable sophistication. Capote suggested that a true swan required substantial wealth, great beauty, and unwavering taste to transcend mere fashionability.

But the exhibition reveals, through biographical elements and extraordinary works from Dior, Ricci, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Lauren, and Cavalli, among others, the discipline, intelligence, and originality that are the true underpinnings of the apparently effortless chic of one of the most celebrated fashion icons of the twentieth century.

Based on a narrative supported by photographs, ephemera, haute couture, and prêt-à-porter from her personal archives, the Countess's interest in fashion, developed over decades, resulted in a successful design business. The exhibition tracks her life from naturally gifted amateur, student of the couture as a client of design houses, professional muse and creative director of Cassini and Pucci, and culminates with works from her own fashion house in the 1980s.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $1 million
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $750,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $500,000

Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age: George A. Schastey
December 2015–May 2016

This focused exhibition will highlight the work of the New York cabinetmaker and interior decorator George A. Schastey (1839–1894). Although little known today, Schastey operated one of the largest and most successful decorating firms of the late nineteenth century, rivaling Herter Brothers in its quality and scope. His furniture is in major museums throughout the country, and several of his sumptuous interiors are displayed in public institutions in New York City, Chicago, and Richmond, Virginia. The exhibition will comprise approximately fifteen to twenty furniture pieces by or attributed to Schastey, and another ten to fifteen examples by rival firms such as Herter Brothers, Pottier & Stymus, and Herts, which will help place his output in context, highlight its distinctive characteristics, and forcefully demonstrate the quality and skillful execution of his work. Most of the Schastey pieces will be loans from institutions and private collections, while the works by his competitors will be largely drawn from the Museum's holdings. The scale of objects ranges from a grand piano to diminutive side chairs. Several large photo blowups of period interiors will provide dramatic backdrops and contextualize the individual objects on display. Additional archival material will likely include design drawings by Schastey and facsimiles of his correspondence with various patrons. The exhibition coincides with the opening of the Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room, also by Schastey.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $300,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $150,000

2016

Vigée Le Brun
February–May 2016

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) was one of the finest eighteenth-century French painters and among the most important of all women artists. She was an autodidact, with exceptional gifts as a portraitist in oils and pastels. She married, in 1776, the leading dealer in Paris. Despite her husband's profession, and through the intervention of Marie Antoinette, she was admitted in 1783 to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Obliged to flee because of her association with the queen, she traveled widely and painted members of the royal families of Naples and Russia, and Austrian, Polish, and German princely sitters. In 1790 she was elected to membership in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome, and while in exile she exhibited at the Paris Salons. This will be the first retrospective and only the second exhibition devoted to Vigée in modern times. The seventy-five works will be mostly paintings, supplemented by a few drawings and pastels from European and American public and private collections. Organized by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $300,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $150,000

Prints & People: The Making of a Metropolitan Collection
January–May 2016

To commemorate the centennial of the Department of Drawings and Prints in 2016, this in-house exhibition will celebrate two transformational figures: William Ivins, the inaugural curator of the department, and his great protégé, Hyatt Mayor. As social historians and amateur print specialists, as they referred to themselves, Ivins and Mayor transformed how Americans understand and collect prints. Their scholarship and numerous exhibitions also galvanized print scholarship in the twentieth century. The aim of the exhibition is not only to demonstrate how the Metropolitan's print collection was constructed according to the vision of Ivins and Mayor, but also to display the most beautiful, rare, and exceptional prints alongside the equally important popular and ephemeral works that were collected in the first fifty years of the department's history. The exhibition will show how the print collection was meant to be like a library—conceived from the beginning as a corpus of works (not all distinctly masterful works of art) that described, in the most comprehensive way, man's aspirations. On view will be works by Andrea Mantegna, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacques Callot, Francisco de Goya, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as works by lesser-known artists. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $145,000

Pergamon and the Art of the Hellenistic Kingdoms
April–July 2016

The Hellenistic period, the three centuries between the death of Alexander the Great of Macedon in 323 b.c. and the establishment of the Roman Empire at the end of the first century b.c., was a critical era in the history of Greek art that has traditionally received less attention than earlier periods. This major international loan exhibition examines the rich diversity of art forms that arose through the patronage of the royal courts of the Hellenistic Kingdoms. Special emphasis is placed on Pergamon, capital of the Attalid dynasty, which ruled over large parts of Asia Minor. A wide variety of artworks—including marble, bronze, and terracotta sculptures, gold jewelry, vessels of glass and precious metals, engraved gems, and coinage—highlight the innovations and technical mastery achieved by Hellenistic artists, whose enduring legacy profoundly influenced Roman art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $1 million
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $300,000

Turner's Whaling Pictures
May–August 2016

This focused exhibition will be the first to explore connections between the late seascapes of British Romantic painter J. M. W. Turner and Herman Melville's epic 1851 novel, Moby Dick. Turner's four canvases devoted to the subject of whaling, painted with vigor and freedom, generated considerable excitement when they were exhibited in London in the mid-1840s. Their influence on Melville's prose remains a tantalizing question. The four paintings, now in the Metropolitan Museum and the Tate Britain, will be shown together for the first time, along with related watercolors and books. The installation will offer viewers an opportunity to engage with the work of two great nineteenth-century artists, and to assess for themselves whether Turner's pictures inspired one of the crowning achievements of American literature.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $250,000
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $150,000

Souls Grown Deep
August 2016–January 2017

Souls Grown Deep celebrates contemporary African American artists from the Southern United States. The works presented in this exhibition are part of a significant donation to the Museum from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, an Atlanta-based organization established in the 1980s by William S. Arnett. The fourteen artists represented exemplify an indigenous tradition of the deep American South: it has made—and continues to make—an extraordinary contribution to the history of contemporary art, and in particular casts new light on the broader history of American artistic achievement. Despite poverty, lack of formal education, and a social environment of entrenched racism, these men and women created profound works of art from both conventional art media and cast-off materials—from toy cars and buttons to salvaged sheet metal—giving visual power to a rich vernacular tradition that expands conventional narratives of modern art.

Highlighted in the exhibition will be a core group of six large-scale works from the last decade by painter Thornton Dial. These multimedia assemblages demonstrate Dial's method of constructing pieces from wood, carpet, and other scavenged materials. In addition, Souls Grown Deep will present a large group of Gee's Bend quilts by a number of distinguished practitioners from this remote region in Alabama. These geometrically designed works have gradually evolved from their original functional role into dazzling works of art, and have been celebrated internationally through numerous exhibitions and private and public collections. This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $265,000

Jerusalem in the Middle Ages
September 2016–January 2017

This international loan exhibition, comprising some two hundred works of art, will demonstrate the key role that Jerusalem played in shaping the art of the Middle Ages. Whether controlled by Muslim or Western Christian rulers, medieval Jerusalem was a truly international city. Patrons and artists from Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions alike focused their attention on the holy city, endowing its sacred buildings, enriching their contents, and creating luxury goods for its residents. This artistic richness was particularly in evidence between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries, notwithstanding often devastating circumstances—from the earthquake of 1033 to the fierce battles of the Crusades. Jerusalem was so strong a magnet that it even inspired artists who were separated from it by great distances. The exhibition will break new ground in exploring the relationship between the historical and the ideal city of Jerusalem. It will also probe the way in which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were preoccupied with the city, and demonstrate the interaction between their competitive and complementary traditions. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $1 million
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $300,000

Fragonard in New York Collections
October 2016–January 2017

Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732–1806) was one of the most forward-looking artists of the eighteenth century, highly valued by collectors from his own day to the present. New York has long been, and actively continues to be, a center for the collecting of this artist, with the fruit of these efforts spread between various museums and a large number of private collections. Since the last retrospective of Fragonard's work, held in New York and Paris in 1987–88, many new sheets have come to light and entered local collections, including four outstanding works in the Met's collection. Moreover, our understanding of the artist, especially of the role drawings played in his oeuvre, has evolved considerably. Unlike many Old Master painters who used drawings primarily as preparatory tools, Fragonard explored their potential as works of art, ones that permitted him to work with great freedom and speed, and allowed his genius to shine.

This exhibition will include approximately ninety works on paper, drawn entirely from local collections, public and private. By combining the Met's holdings with loans from other New York City museums and private collections, Fragonard's entire range and achievement as a draftsman will be represented at the highest level. The selection will embrace the full chronological spectrum of his career as well as all the genres he worked in. The materials he mastered range from red chalk to brown wash to rare examples in colored gouache, and the works on display will include both the most spontaneous sketches and the most worked-up studio pieces intended to be framed and displayed. Aspects of his graphic talent will also be appreciated in his original etchings, which are among the most free and inventive of the eighteenth century. Fragonard in New York Collections will present to a contemporary public a virtuoso draftsman whose drawings count among the great achievements of the eighteenth century. The focus of the show on his graphic work will also shed light on this critical moment in the later eighteenth century when drawing was untethered from academic practice and increasingly appreciated as an independent art form. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exhibition budget: In formation

Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio
October 2016–January 2017

In the years following Caravaggio's death in 1610, the Spaniard Jusepe de Ribera and the Frenchman Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632) emerged as the two great protagonists of naturalistic painting in Italy. Unlike Ribera, who, in 1616, moved to Naples, then under Spanish rule, Valentin's entire career was spent in Rome, where he became one of the favored artists of the papal Barberini family, for whom he painted one of the most astonishing works of the seventeenth century, the Allegory of Italy (Finnish Institute in Rome), and through whom he was commissioned to paint a major altarpiece in Saint Peter's (Pinacoteca Vaticana). We know from a contemporary source that the installation of this work and another altarpiece by Valentin's countryman Nicolas Poussin inspired a lively debate about the virtues of a naturalistic versus a classical style—a debate that was to appear in various guises for the next two centuries. There is little question that when, in 1630, Velázquez arrived in Rome, he studied the work of both artists carefully and was particularly inspired by the example of Valentin. Valentin's reputation stood very high. Louis XIII's minister, Cardinal Mazarin—one of the great collectors of the seventeenth century—owned no fewer than nine canvases by the artist, some of which entered the royal collection after his death and are now in the Louvre. Valentin's reputation continued into the nineteenth century, when, through Courbet and, later, Manet, naturalism once again became the basis of modernism.

This will be the first fully monographic exhibition to be devoted to the artist. The French scholar Annick Lemoine, currently at Villa Medici and the author of a much-admired book on Valentin's contemporary Nicolas Régnier, will be the guest curator, working together with Keith Christiansen at the Metropolitan Museum and with Nicolas Milovanovic at the Louvre. Lemoine is presently at work on a monograph on the artist. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exhibition budget: In formation

Max Beckmann and New York
October 2016–February 2017

In late December 1950, Max Beckmann set out on foot from his apartment on the Upper West Side to see his last self-portrait shown at the Metropolitan Museum's survey of American Painting Today. On the corner of 69th Street and Central Park West, he suffered a fatal heart attack. The poignant circumstances of Beckmann's death serve as the inspiration for the exhibition.

During Beckmann's ten-year-long exile in Amsterdam, from 1937 to 1947, when his work was banned as "degenerate" by the Nazis, Americans saw him as a heroic figure much admired for his stoic endurance. Settling in America for good in 1948, he regarded his emigration to this country as "marking the end of his exile." He moved to New York in August 1949, where his works had been shown since the late 1920s.

The focused exhibition will be limited to some thirty-eight paintings. It will include works that Beckmann created while living in New York from 1949 to 1950, and those dating from the 1920s through the 1940s that are in museums and private collections in the city. Important works include a group of iconic self-portraits; expressionist, mythical interiors; robust, colorful portraits of women and performers; landscapes; and triptychs. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Metropolitan Museum.

Exclusive corporate sponsorship available for $500,000
Lead corporate sponsorship available for $300,000
Major corporate sponsorship available for $150,000

From Japanese Dress to the Bizarre Style
November 2016–February 2017

From Japanese Dress to the Bizarre Style will explore the transformations in seventeenth-century Western dress and designs of luxury silks that followed the migration of Japanese fashion to the Dutch Republic. Compelling untold stories will connect the Dutch reception of Japanese fashion and aesthetics to the West's first adaptation of the kimono. The seventeenth-century Japanese word for kimono is kosode, meaning a small sleeve opening for the wrist. The seventeenth-century Dutch term for kosode and for their adaptation of kosode is Japonsche rock, meaning Japanese dress coat—a garment for men, women, and children. The Dutch Japonsche rock reflected the lifestyle of the Dutch Republic's sophisticated merchant-and-trade culture, which valued curiosity, imagination, experimentation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and scientific inquiry. Study of the Dutch Japonsche rock has revealed its relevance to the innovative seventeenth-century mantua, the remarkable dress that evolved into the eighteenth-century robe volante, the dress that Watteau frequently depicted.

As Japanese fashion moved West with the Dutch, and their Japonsche rock became a transnational garment, luxury silks emerged in Europe with extraordinarily inventive patterning. The woven designs of the silks have been labeled "bizarre" since the mid-twentieth century and represent the seventeenth-century fascination with the "exotic" East, particularly Japan. The infusion of Japanese aesthetics defines the bizarre style in its beginnings. The exhibition will incorporate garments, silks, cottons, illustrated books, ceramics, prints, drawings, and paintings—all of which link seventeenth-century Japanese fashion and aesthetics to Western dress and the bizarre style, a style that was integral to the evolving eighteenth-century taste preferences and that continues to reemerge in designs to this day.

Exhibition budget: In formation

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