The American Wing is a favorite destination for the Metropolitan's visitors, so I am particularly pleased that, once again, there is in print a handy and dependable guide to its treasures. The joint work of the curatorial staffs of the Departments of American Decorative Arts and American Paintings and Sculpture, the text is informed by the latest scholarship presented in an informal and accessible manner.
The American Wing is a living organism, with its collections and their means of display continually evolving. Since 1980, for example, literally hundreds of works of art have been acquired thanks to the generosity of many collectors and donors; a half dozen important period rooms, including a masterpiece by Frank Lloyd Wright, have been installed; and the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, in which most of the Wing's reserve collections are on public view, has opened. Changes will continue, and it is our hope that this new volume, organized to guide the visitor through three stories and many galleries, will be as popular, and go through as many editions, as the original Handbook of the American Wing.