Photocollages Reveal Wit and Whimsy of the Victorian Era in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening February 2
In the 1860s and 1870s, long before the embrace of collage techniques by avant-garde artists of the early 20th century, aristocratic Victorian women were experimenting with photocollage. Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art February 2 – May 9, 2010, is the first exhibition to comprehensively examine this little-known phenomenon. Whimsical and fantastical Victorian photocollages, created using a combination of watercolor drawings and cut-and-pasted photographs, reveal the educated minds as well as accomplished hands of their makers. With subjects as varied as new theories of evolution, the changing role of photography, and the strict conventions of aristocratic society, the photocollages frequently debunked stuffy Victorian clichés with surreal, subversive, and funny images. Featuring 48 works from public and private collections—including many that have rarely or never been exhibited before—Playing with Pictures will provide a fascinating window into the creative possibilities of photography in the 19th century.
SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITIONS
SEPTEMBER 2009– AUGUST 2010
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Information provided below is subject to change.
To confirm scheduling and dates, call the Communications Department at (212) 570-3951.
CONTACT NUMBER FOR USE IN TEXT IS (212) 535-7710.
Landmark Exhibition Devoted to Art of Samurai Opens at Metropolitan Museum October 21
"What Japan was, she owed to the samurai. They were not only the flower of the nation but its root as well." From Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe (1907)
Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Features 100 Iconic American Paintings That Tell Stories of Everyday Life
From the decade before the Revolution to the eve of World War I, many of America's most acclaimed painters captured in their finest works the temperament of their respective eras. They recorded and defined the emerging character of Americans as individuals, citizens, and members of ever-widening communities. Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall, American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765–1915 will bring together for the first time more than 100 of these iconic pictures that tell compelling stories of life's tasks and pleasures. The first overview of the subject in more than 35 years, the exhibition includes loans from leading museums and private lenders—and many paintings from the Metropolitan's own distinguished collection. American Stories features masterpieces by John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, William Sidney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, John Sloan, and George Bellows, and notable works by some of their key colleagues.
Exhibition of Rare Du Paquier Porcelain at Metropolitan Museum
The Du Paquier ceramic manufactory, founded by Claudius Innocentius du Paquier in Vienna in 1718, was only the second factory in Europe able to make true porcelain in the manner of the Chinese. This small porcelain enterprise developed a highly distinctive style that remained Baroque in inspiration throughout the history of the factory, which was taken over by the State in 1744. Imperial Privilege: Vienna Porcelain of Du Paquier, 1718–44, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 21, 2010, charts the history of the development of the Du Paquier factory, setting its production within the historic and cultural context of Vienna in the first half of the 18th century. The exhibition features more than 100 works, half drawn from the Metropolitan Museum's superb collection, and half from the premier private collection of this material.
First Comprehensive Exhibition Featuring China's 18th-Century Master Painter Luo Ping Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum October 6
The first comprehensive exhibition of Luo Ping's paintings ever presented in America, Eccentric Visions: The Worlds of Luo Ping (1733-1799) will bring together nearly 60 works, including many Chinese "National Treasures," by one of the most celebrated painters in 18th-century China. Complemented by 27 pieces from American collections, this momentous international-loan exhibition will reveal the range and brilliance of the artist's vision as well as his place among his peers. Highlights of the exhibition will include the sensational handscroll Ghost Amusements (ca. 1766)—one of the best known paintings in the late imperial China—depicting the world of ghosts that, he claimed, he had seen with his own eyes. The youngest of the so-called "Eight Eccentrics," a group of highly individualistic artists active in the prosperous metropolis of Yanzhou, Luo Ping was an extraordinary artist, whose works influenced the course of later Chinese painting.
Surface Tension at Metropolitan Museum Features Contemporary Photographs from the Collection
Photographs are often perceived as transparent windows onto a three-dimensional world. Yet photographs also have their own material presence as physical objects. Contemporary artists who exploit this apparent contradiction between photograph as window and photograph as object are featured in Surface Tension: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 15, 2009, through May 16, 2010. The exhibition presents 30 works that play with the inherent tension between the flatness of the photograph and the often lifelike illusion of depth.
Magnificent Selection of Chinese Red Lacquerware On View at Metropolitan Museum This Summer
Although lacquer is used in many Asian cultures, the art of carving lacquer is unique to China. Showcasing some 50 wondrously wrought examples, Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, opening on August 6, will explore the development of this important artistic tradition from the 13th to the 18th century. Drawn from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's holdings as well as the collection of Florence and Herbert Irving, the installation will feature a number of masterworks, including newly acquired, rare 13th-century lacquer boxes for holding incense or cosmetics, and a recently restored eight-panel screen depicting a birthday celebration in an elaborate private compound. Dated 1773, this screen has never before been exhibited in public.
Rare North Italian Renaissance Drawings Featured in New Installation at Metropolitan Museum
North Italian Drawings, 1410–1550: Selections from the Robert Lehman Collection and the Department of Drawings and Prints, on view from November 3, 2009–January 31, 2010, features 31 exceedingly rare drawings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Robert Lehman Collection, with an additional nine chosen from the Department of Drawings and Prints. The installation showcases a period in Italian art that saw the emergence of drawing as an essential tool for artists and includes a selection of works that illustrate the versatility of the medium over more than a century. Drawings from the later 15th century show how artists used the medium to work out elaborate, multi-figured compositions, and several works from the 16th century reveal the close relationship between drawing and painting.
Exhibition Featuring Musical Instruments of Pacific Islands Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum
Sounding the Pacific: Musical Instruments of Oceania, the first exhibition devoted to the subject ever mounted by an art museum, will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 17. Featuring more than 50 outstanding works—including percussion, wind, and string instruments and forms unique to the Pacific—the exhibition will explore not only the diverse forms of Oceanic musical instruments but also the many different roles they play, or played, in Pacific cultures, from announcing the onset of war, to embodying the voices of supernatural beings or softly enticing a lover. Drawn primarily from the Museum's collection, the exhibition will showcase the objects that were created and used from the early 19th to the late 20th century in all five regions of Oceania: Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia, Australia, and Island Southeast Asia. The works on view include instruments ranging from small flutes and ocarinas used for private entertainment or courtship, to massive slit gongs played in performances for entire communities, in which the thundering beats can carry for miles.