A treasury of more than 2 million individual objects, tens of thousands of which are permanently on display including many of mankind’s greatest masterpieces, New York’s Metropolitan Museum is the Western Hemisphere’s most important art institution. Spanning the entire history of human civilization, the collection features not only paintings, drawings, prints, etchings, sculptures and photographs, but also historic period rooms, furniture, decorative objects, architectural fragments, archaeological finds, musical instruments, religious icons, arms and armor, fashion and costume design and so much more.
Opened in 1870 and in its current landmark location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan since 1880, the museum has grown to include more than 400 galleries dedicated to arts divided into 17 separate curatorial categories. Among the most outstanding of these are the more than 70 galleries devoted to American art, 60 galleries devoted to European painting, 55 galleries devoted to Asian art, 50 galleries devoted to European sculpture and decoration, 40 galleries devoted to Ancient Egyptian treasures, 30 galleries devoted to Modern and Contemporary art and 25 galleries devoted to the art of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
The display of American art, the finest in the world, totaling 17,000 works dating from Colonial times to the early 20th century includes paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects in gold, silver, glass and ceramic plus twenty fully furnished historic interiors as well as salvaged exterior architectural elements reconstructed within the museum’s American Wing where the collection is displayed. Visitors flock to see noted masterpieces like Gilbert Stuart’s iconic “George Washington” portrait from 1795, Emanuel Leutze’s monumental canvas capturing “Washington Crossing the Delaware” from 1851, John Singer Sargent’s controversial painting of “Madame X” from 1883, McKim’s sculpture of “Bacchante and the Infant Faun” from 1896, Saint-Gaudens sculpture of “Diana” cast in 1928 and Louis Comfort Tiffany’s circa 1905 “Laurelton Hall Loggia” complete with stunning examples of his stained glass windows and light fixtures.
Blessed by the largesse of the nation’s most noted philanthropists, the famed display of 2,200 European paintings encompassing works of art from the 13th through the 19th centuries, providing a survey of the art history of England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain, rivals that of any museum on the other side of the Atlantic. In the galleries devoted to Old Masters find renowned works like Duccio’s “Madonna and Child” from 1300, Giotto’s “The Adoration of the Magi” from 1320, Botticelli’s “The Last Communion of Saint Jerome” from 1490, Titian’s “Venus and the Lute Player” from 1495, Raphael’s “Colonna Altarpiece” from 1505, Bruegel the Elder’s “The Harvesters” from 1565, Caravaggio’s “The Musicians” from 1595, El Greco’s “View of Toledo” from 1596, de la Tour’s “The Fortune Teller” from 1630, Poussin’s “The Abduction of the Sabine Women” from 1633, Velázquez’s “Juan de Pareja” from 1650, Rembrandt’s “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” from 1653, Vermeer’s “Lady with a Water Pitcher” from 1662, Tiepolo’s “The Triumph of Marius” from 1729, Goya’s “Condesa de Altamira and her Daughter” from 1787 and David’s “The Death of Socrates” also from 1787.
An entirely separate suite of galleries is devoted to French paintings from the 19th century, the finest grouping outside of Paris, complete with seminal works in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist canon by a roster of artists like Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Look for stunning achievements like Cézanne’s “The Card Players” from 1890, Degas’s “The Dance Class” from 1874, Manet’s “Young Lady in 1866” from 1866, Monet’s “Camille Monet on a Garden Bench” from 1873 and “Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog)” from 1903, Renoir’s “Madame Charpentier and her Children” from 1878 plus two of Van Gogh’s most celebrated canvases, “Self Portrait with a Straw Hat” from 1887 and “Wheat Field with Cypresses” from 1889 which the artist himself considered among his finest works.
Galleries devoted to European sculpture and decorative arts display not only sculptures from monumental to diminutive in media of all kinds from bronze to marble but also tapestries and textiles, ceramics and glass, jewelry and metalworking, clocks and mathematical instruments, furniture and wood carving, all from a collection that totals 50,000 individual pieces. Look for Bernini’s breathtaking marble “Bacchanal” from 1616, perhaps the collection’s most important sculpture along with Carpeaux’s “Ugolino and His Sons” from 1633, Houdon’s busts of the writer “Voltaire” and his own infant daughter “Sabine” both from 1788, as well as a 1985 cast of Rodin’s “Burghers of Calais”. Be sure to also seek out the “Gubbio Studiolo” designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1500, an intricately carved wooden study from an Italian Renaissance palace completely reconstructed within the galleries and among the museum’s most prized period rooms.
Encompassing works from 1900 to the present, the Met’s Modern and Contemporary art collection boasts not only iconic canvases and sculptures by Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse and Braque among its 13,000 pieces, but also masterpieces by early American modernists like Marsden Hartley, John Marin and Georgia O’Keeffe as well as definitive examples of large-scale paintings by Max Beckmann, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko plus seminal interior designs from Josef Hoffmann and stunning Art Nouveau jewelry by René Lalique. Standout achievements gracing these galleries include Picasso’s “Portrait of Gertrude Stein” from 1906, Beckmann’s “Beginning” from 1949, Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” from 1950 and Johns’s “White Flag” from 1955.
In 2013, in one of the most valuable and generous bequests in the Met’s history, Leonard Lauder donated his collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures including 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris catapulting the museum’s holdings of masterpieces from this influential movement to perhaps the world’s finest. Among the most extraordinary pieces are “The Trees at L’Estaque” from 1907, considered the first Cubist painting and “Fruit Dish and Glass” from 1912, the first Cubist paper collage ever created, both by Braque as well as “Head of a Woman” from 1909, thought to be the first Cubist sculpture and “Woman in an Armchair (Eva)” from 1913, the first Cubist nude, both by Picasso.
The Met is also the repository of the Robert Lehman collection of 2,600 paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, textiles, antique frames, majolica and precious jeweled, enameled and glass objects, dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries and hailed as the most distinguished art collection ever privately assembled in the United States. Displayed in 13 special galleries designed to evoke Lehman’s private residence, the collection is especially rich in exceptional examples of Old Master drawings and Italian Renaissance paintings with Botticelli’s “The Annunciation” from 1486 the most renowned.
Comprising 35,000 objects, artistic, decorative, ritual and functional, from paintings, prints and calligraphy to sculptures, ceramics and lacquers to metalwork and textiles, dating from 4000 B.C. to the early 20th century, surveying the cultures of East Asia, South Asia, the Himalayan kingdoms and Southeast Asia, the museum’s Asian art collection is the largest and most comprehensive in the Americas. Highlights include the delicate ceramic statue of a “Female Dancer” from the second century B.C., the magnificent sixth century, 15-foot tall “Bodhisattva” and the “Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru”, a monumental painting from 1319, all three from China, the 12th century statue of the “Dancing Celestial” from India, the 12th century, wood carved “Dainichi Nyorai” or “Supreme Buddha of the Cosmos” and Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” an iconic woodblock print from 1830 both from Japan. Take a moment to admire the peaceful “Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Style of the Ming Dynasty”, a painstakingly recreated traditional Chinese architectural design and one of the museum’s most distinctive attractions.
Second in breadth and depth only to those on display in Cairo, the collection of Ancient Egyptian art and artifacts, totaling 26,000 works of artistic, historical, and cultural importance is among the museum’s most popular attractions particularly “Temple of Dendur”, a first century B.C. religious structure dedicated to the Goddess Isis completely reconstructed within a stunning glass atrium looking out on Central Park. Other rare treasures to admire include the unique “Sphinx of Hatshepsut” from the 14th century B.C. commemorating the only female Pharaoh, the 13 “Meketre Models” that offer intricate representations of daily life in Egypt dating to the 17th century B.C., the ornate “Jewelry of Sithathoryunet” dating to the 18th century B.C. and the sculpture of the “Face of Senwosret III” also from the 18th century B.C. and among the most distinctive representations of a Pharaoh ever discovered.
Explore the amazing artistic achievements of Ancient Greece and Rome through the museum’s collection of 17,000 objects magnificently displayed in sweeping marble galleries that reflect the grandeur of the cultures and societies that created them. From small, engraved gemstone jewelry to black-figure and red-figure painted vases to statues in marble, limestone, terracotta, bronze, gold, silver, ivory, bone, amber, wood and glass to ornately decorated period rooms the collection surveys 4000 years of art history with the most singular works being the massive Greek “Kouros” or marble statue of young man from 600 B.C., the sixth century Etruscan “Chariot” and the Roman “Cubiculum Frescoes from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor” from 50 B.C., an entire bedroom lushly painted with scenes depicting gracious living excavated from a home in Pompeii buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Reopened in 2011 after a massive, multimillion dollar, 10-year renovation, the 15 Islamic art galleries stunningly showcase the display of 1,700 objects dating from the seventh to the 19th century. Comprising sacred and secular works that highlight the geometric patterning and intricate vegetal ornamentation known as arabesques and reflect the diversity and range of Islamic cultural traditions throughout the world, most noteworthy are the 11-foot-high, mosaic-tiled, 14th-century “Isfahan Mihrab” or prayer niche from Iran, the elaborate, 30-foot long “Simonetti Carpet” woven around 1500 in Egypt and the period “Damascus Room” from 1707 decorated in poetic verses and inlaid with marble, mother of pearl and semi-precious stones.
Tour nine galleries that survey the art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas selected from a collection of 9,000 objects representing fascinating and diverse aesthetic and cultural traditions from as early as 3000 B.C. to the present. Look for standout holdings like the 16th through 19th century decorative and ceremonial “Objects from the Court of Benin” in Nigeria, “The Jan Mitchell Treasury for Pre-Columbian Works of Art in Gold” complete with exquisite and exceedingly rare examples from Mexico to Peru dating from 300 B.C. to 1600 A.D. and the awe-inspiring wood carvings from the Asmat People of New Guinea particularly the sculpted “Bis Poles” and the almost 50-foot long “Chief Chinasapitch Canoe”, both from the mid-20th century.
Documenting the civilizations that constitute the cradle of civilization, seven galleries present art from 900 B.C. through 700 A.D. created over a sprawling expanse of the Ancient Near East centered between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia, extending north to the Caucasus, south to the Arabian peninsula, west to Turkey and Syria and east to Iran and the Indus River Valley. From a collection totaling 7,000 objects exhibiting a vast variety of forms, styles and materials reflecting the many cultures, cities, kingdoms and empires that flourished in the region, the most illustrious examples are the Assyrian “Lamassu”, dating to 880 B.C., monumental relief slabs and guardian figures of winged lions carved in stone from the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud in what is today Iraq.
Offering a broad range of firearms, swords and scabbards as well as protective military gear for men and horses used not only in conquest and defense but also in court pageantry and ceremonial events, representing the highest artistic and technical capabilities of the societies and periods in which they were made, the 11 galleries dedicated to Arms and Armor contain 800 objects on permanent display out of a collection totaling some fourteen thousand objects. Featuring examples from America, Europe, India, Japan and a variety of Islamic cultures that date from the early fifth to the late 19th century, the “Field Armor of King Henry VIII of England” from 1544, the “Parade Armor of King Henry II of France” from 1555 and the elaborately decorated “Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver” from 1853 are among the display’s star attractions.
Trace the history of Medieval Art through 1,400 objects in eight galleries, ranging from early Celtic and late Roman ritual objects to the sumptuous household belongings of medieval courts to the rich religious iconography of Late Byzantium. Not to be missed are the six silver and gold plates depicting the life of biblical King David that comprise the renowned, sixth century “Second Cyprus Treasure” as well as the highly accomplished, French stained glass window from 1245 representing “Scenes from the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa”.
Popular with families, more than 800 instruments are displayed in the five musical instrument galleries divided into those featuring Western instruments and those featuring non-Western instruments. Among the most distinctive treasures on display are Asian and African instruments constructed out of precious materials, finely crafted and sumptuously decorated instruments from the Renaissance and Baroque eras including several Stradivarius violins like the particularly fine “Antonius” from 1711 plus especially the rare, Italian “Cristofori Piano” from 1720, the oldest piano extant and “Appleton Pipe Organ” from Boston in 1830, the oldest and best existing example by America’s finest maker.
Exhibited intermittently in approximately three month intervals because of their fragile nature and susceptibility to fading, consult a museum calendar for information about which selections from the museum’s collection of more than one million drawings and prints created in Western Europe and America from the 15th century to the present are on display during your visit. Also with installations in the photography galleries changing on four to eight month rotations as well as larger special exhibition of the museum’s rich photographic holdings scheduled throughout the year, check to see which pieces will be on view from the permanent collection that spans the full history of the medium from its invention to the present day and includes the complete archives of Walker Evans and Diane Arbus.
The Met Costume Institute is the repository of 35,000 articles of fashionable dress, regional costume pieces and accessories for men, women and children dating from the 15th century to the present day. The collection is not on permanent public view but the department organizes fabled designer retrospectives each year which are among the museum’s most popular special exhibitions.
Top your visit off with a sojourn on the museum’s roof garden complete with breathtaking view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, cocktail bar and a new installation of large scale works by a contemporary artist every spring and summer. And for those who can’t afford the price of the museum admission, be advised that the entrance fee is regarded as a recommended donation and is voluntary. Visitors are entitled to pay what they can whether that’s full price or only a dollar and cashiers will accept whatever you offer allowing you to proceed unimpeded into the galleries.
Open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1 and the first Monday in May.
$25 recommended for an adult ticket.
$17 recommended for a senior ticket (65 and over).
$12 recommended for a student ticket (25 and under).
Free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
Fee includes access to the permanent collection and all exhibitions as well as admission to The Cloisters Museum and Gardens in northern Manhattan.
Purchasing tickets online requires that you pay the full suggested price plus a per ticket service charge.
If you would like to pay less than the suggested admission price, purchase your ticket at the museum box office.
To help cover the costs of exhibitions and operations, the museum respectfully requests that visitors pay the full recommended amount.
Must See in the Permanent Collection:
“George Washington” (1795) – Gilbert Stuart
“Washington Crossing the Delaware” (1851) – Emanuel Leutze
“Madame X” (1883) – John Singer Sargent
“Bacchante and the Infant Faun” (1896) – Charles McKim
“Diana” (1928) – Augustus Saint-Gaudens
“Laurelton Hall Loggia” (1905) – Architectural Elements by Louis Comfort Tiffany
“Madonna and Child” (1300) – Duccio
“The Adoration of the Magi” (1320) – Giotto
“The Last Communion of Saint Jerome” (1490) – Botticelli
“Venus and the Lute Player” (1495) – Titian
“Colonna Altarpiece” (1505) – Raphael
“The Harvesters” (1565) – Bruegel the Elder
“The Musicians” (1595) – Caravaggio
“View of Toledo” (1596) – El Greco
“The Fortune Teller” (1630) – de la Tour
“The Abduction of the Sabine Women” (1633) – Poussin
“Juan de Pareja” (1650) – Velázquez
“Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” (1653) – Rembrandt
“Lady with a Water Pitcher” (1662) – Vermeer
“The Triumph of Marius” (1729) – Tiepolo
“Condesa de Altamira and her Daughter” (1787) – Goya
“The Death of Socrates” (1787) – David
“Young Lady in 1866” (1866) – Manet
“Camille Monet on a Garden Bench” (1873) – Monet
“The Dance Class” (1874) – Degas
“Self Portrait with a Straw Hat” (1887) – Van Gogh
“Madame Charpentier and her Children” (1878) – Renoir
“Wheat Field with Cypresses” (1889) – Van Gogh
“The Card Players” (1890) – Cézanne
“Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog)” (1903) – Monet
European Sculpture and Decorative Arts:
“Bacchanal” (1616) – Bernini
“Ugolino and His Sons” (1633) – Carpeaux
“Voltaire” (1788) – Houdon
“Sabine” (1788) – Houdon
“Burghers of Calais” (1985) – Rodin
“Gubbio Studiolo” (1500) – Martini
Modern and Contemporary Art:
“Portrait of Gertrude Stein” (1906) – Picasso
“Head of a Woman” (1909) – Picasso
“Woman in an Armchair (Eva)” 1913 – Picasso
“The Trees at L’Estaque” (1907) – Braque
“Fruit Dish and Glass” (1912) – Braque
“Beginning” (1949) – Beckmann
“Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” (1950) – Pollock
“White Flag” (1955) – Johns
Robert Lehman Collection:
“The Annunciation (1486) – Botticelli
“Female Dancer” (second century B.C.) – China
“Bodhisattva” (sixth century) – China
“Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru” (1319) – China
“Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Style of the Ming Dynasty” (20th century) – China
“Dancing Celestial” (12th century) – India
“Dainichi Nyorai” (12th century) – Japan
“The Great Wave off Kanagawa” (1830) – Hokusai/Japan
“Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Style of the Ming Dynasty” (20th century) – China
“Temple of Dendur” (first century B.C.)
“Sphinx of Hatshepsut” (14th century B.C.)
“Meketre Models” (17th century B.C.)
“Jewelry of Sithathoryunet” (18th century B.C.)
“Face of Senwosret III” (18th century B.C.)
Greek and Roman Art:
“Kouros” (600 B.C.) – Greek
“Chariot” (sixth century) – Etruscan
“Cubiculum Frescoes from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor” (50 B.C.) – Roman
“Isfahan Mihrab” (14th century) – Iran
“Simonetti Carpet” (1500) – Egypt
“Damascus Room” (1707) – Syria
Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas:
“Objects from the Court of Benin” (16th through 19th centuries) - Nigeria
“Treasury of Pre-Columbian Works of Art in Gold” (300 B.C. to 1600 A.D.) – Central and South America
“Bis Poles” (20th century) – New Guinea
“Chief Chinasapitch Canoe” (20th century) – New Guinea
Ancient Near Eastern Art:
“Lamassu” (880 B.C.) – Assyrian
Arms and Armor:
“Field Armor of King Henry VIII of England” (1544)
“Parade Armor of King Henry II of France” (1555)
“Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver” (1853)
“Silver Plates from the Second Cyprus Treasure” (sixth century) – Constantinople
“Stained Glass Window Depicting Scenes from the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa” (1245) – France
“Antonius Model Stradivarius Violin” (1711) – Italy
“Cristofori Piano” (1720) – Italy
“Appleton Pipe Organ” (1830) – Boston
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Selections from the Baseball Card Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick
April 9, 2015 through October 20, 2015
An integral part of the Met’s collection of ephemera that tell the history of popular printmaking in the United States, the Burdick baseball card collection is the most comprehensive collection outside of the collection held by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Dating from 1887 to 1959, the cards on view document the history of baseball from the dead-ball era at the turn of the twentieth century, to the golden age of the twenties and thirties to the modern, Post-War era of the sport.
Scenes from the Life of St. Martin: Franco-Flemish Embroidery from the Met Collection
May 11, 2015 through October 25, 2015
This exhibition presents on view for the first time, seven, rare and elaborate, fifteenth-century embroideries illustrating scenes from the life of Saint Martin (316–397), drawn from the museum’s Cloisters and Lehman Collections. These magnificent examples of Franco-Flemish needlework, featuring detailed pictorial designs and luminous palettes created through a combination of colored silk and metallic threads, highlight the detail and sophistication of this artistic medium which was highly prized by the royal houses throughout Europe.
Hungarian Treasure: Silver from the Nicolas M. Salgo Collection
April 6, 2015 through October 25, 2015
Hungarian native and former US Ambassador to Budapest Nicolas M. Salgo (1914–2005), was fascinated by silver work and the role of the smith in Hungarian culture ultimately forming his own treasury over three decades by collecting pieces that are individual and unique. This exhibition will celebrate his generous gift to the Met of the major part of his silver collection in a premiere presentation of its finest works including its two most exceptional examples, rare medieval chalices ornamented with colorful filigree enamel.
Liturgical Textiles of the Post-Byzantine World
August 3, 2015 through November 1, 2015
Presenting a selection of liturgical textiles dating from the fourteenth through nineteenth century which are rarely displayed due to their fragility, the examples demonstrate the evolution and migration of imagery developed in the Byzantine era over a wide geographical range, from workshops in Georgia to Russia, Greece and beyond. Consisting of rich and complex woven silks with gold-embroidered details, these vestments are works of complex textile art while communicating the continuing power and prestige of the Orthodox Church and its clergy despite the fall of Byzantine Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
The Roof Garden Commission: Pierre Huyghe
May 12, 2015 through November 1, 2015
Comprised of a bedrock bolder, a disarray of pavers and a giant aquarium filled with lava rock, sand and several ancient species of fish, French conceptual artist Pierre Huyghe has created a site specific work for the Met Roof Garden that evokes a prehistoric Manhattan Island. Exploring the transformation of biological and cultural systems, the installation presents a stark contrast to the landscape of skyscrapers, reminding visitors that this incarnation of New York represents only a blip in time.
Wolfgang Tillmans: Book for Architects
January 26, 2015 through November 1, 2015
Wolfgang Tillmans’s installation Book for Architects (2014) is on view at the Metropolitan Museum for the first time since its debut at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Over a period of ten years, Tillmans (German, born 1968) photographed buildings in thirty-seven countries on five continents to produce Book for Architects. The 450 photographs are presented in a site-specific, two-channel video installation projected onto perpendicular walls.
Paintings by George Stubbs from the Yale Center for British Art
April 6, 2015 through November 8, 2015
This exhibition highlights eight paintings by eighteenth century British artist George Stubbs on loan from the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven as it undergoes a renovation. Renowned for his bucolic representations of recreational pursuits such as hunting and riding, the display is shown together with selection of similarly themed English old master paintings from the museum’s permanent collection.
Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 2003–2014
November 11, 2014 through December 6, 2015
This exhibition presents forty works from Europe, India, Japan, Tibet and the United States acquired between 2003 and 2014. In addition to finely decorated armor, daggers, firearms and swords, the display features designs and schematics as well as drawings and prints that provide context and add to appreciation of arms and armor as an art form unto itself.
The Royal Hunt: Courtly Pursuits in Indian Art
June 20, 2015 through December 8, 2015
Focusing on representations of rulers hunting, with the pursuit of prey serving as a metaphor for power and an expression of imperial authority, the exhibition showcases 30 Indian royal court paintings dating from the late 16th to the early 20th century. A collaboration between the museum’s departments of Asian Art, Islamic Art and Arms and Armor augmented by loans from several important private collections, the display also includes an array of fine Indian weapons such as daggers, lances, swords and matchlock guns inlaid with precious materials and intricately engraved with scenes of the hunt.
About Face: Human Expression on Paper
July 27, 2015 through December 13, 2015
Revealing how facial expression underpins artistic narrative and provides a window into the character of subjects, the diverse works in this installation dating from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, illuminate how human emotion is communicated through countenance. Highlighting works on paper by Francisco Goya, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Hans Hoffman and Thomas Rowlandson, the display is anchored in particular by Charles Le Brun’s series, “Expressions of the Passions” (Caractères des passions) and Guillaume-Benjamin-Armand Duchenne de Boulogne and Adrien Tournachon’s photographic series, “The Workings of Human Physiognomy” (Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine), each of which explores in exacting detail how the animated face is a window into the soul.
Kongo: Majesty and Power
September 18, 2015 through January 3, 2016
Central Africa’s Kongo artists, recognized as among the world’s most accomplished carvers and weavers, have an artistic tradition that spans more than five hundred years production. This exhibition featuring loans from international institutions that are the most important holders of this legacy, explores the region’s history and culture through 146 inspired creations made from the late fifteenth through the early twentieth century. Placing the objects on view including raffia basketry, carved ivory and geometric patterned textiles, in the context of specific historical developments, the display not only challenges misconceptions of Africa’s relationship with the West, it also offers a radical, evolved understanding of the art of the Kongo created during the last five centuries.
In and Out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa
August 31, 2015 through January 3, 2016
Seeking to expand understanding of West African portrait photography by exploring a broad variety of its practices and aesthetics, this exhibition presents eighty photographs taken between the 1870s and the 1970s, both inside and outside the studio, by amateur and professional photographers working in countries such as Cameroon, Gabon, Mali and Senegal. The selections, most of which have never been publically displayed, include works by renowned artists including Samuel Fosso, Seydou Keïta and J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere as well as lesser-known practitioners working at the turn of the twentieth century like Alex A. Acolatse, the Lisk-Carew Brothers and George A. G. Lutterodt who collectively developed a rich vocabulary of visual images from self-portraits to staged sittings of subjects against painted backdrops to candid captures in the unique natural environment.
Celebrating Sax: Instruments and Innovation
November 6, 2014 through January 3, 2016
Commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the eponymous saxophone, view a special display of instruments made by three generations of the Sax family. Not only does the display feature rare saxophones, but also a selection of woodwinds and brasses including an exquisite ivory clarinet that showcase the inventions and innovations of this historically significant, instrument-making family.
Pattern, Color, Light: Architectural Ornament in the Near East (500–1000)
July 20, 2015 through January 3, 2016
This exhibition features examples of architectural ornamentation such as capitals, columns, door posts, friezes and paneling excavated at sites in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Dating from approximately 500 to 1000 A.D., though very few buildings from this period survive fully intact in the Middle East, these embellishments shed light on the ingenious ways artisans created sumptuous interiors and stately facades.
Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawing #370
June 30, 2014 through January 3, 2016
Twentieth century American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt executed drawings by hand throughout his life, including compositions designed for limited duration and maximum flexibility applied directly to walls within a broad range of architectural settings. Emphasizing the creative idea that generates a work of art as opposed to its material existence, these pieces in their finished state were most often slated for destruction and only remain extant through documentary evidence. Executed by drafters, LeWitt’s 1982, “Wall Drawing #370: Ten Geometric Figures,” was recreated directly on a Museum gallery wall and will be on view until the exhibition’s completion when it will be painted over. Accompanying the wall drawing is “Composite Series,” (1970), a suite of five silkscreens based on the wall drawing plans which are among the artist’s earliest abstract prints.
Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection
September 29, 2015 through January 4, 2016
Highlights from this rotation include academic figure drawings from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries most notably a large-scale cartoon by Domenichino (Italian, 1581–1641) and etchings by the nineteenth-century Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny. Also included are a presentation of Renaissance and Baroque drawings and prints bequeathed to the museum by Phyllis Massar in 2011 as well as a selection of figure studies by John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925) and examples of prints by twentieth century American artists such as Frank Lobdell (1921–2013), Richard Tuttle (born 1941), Thomas Nozkowski (born 1944) and James Siena (born 1957).
Grand Illusions: Staged Photography from the Met Collection
August 10, 2015 through January 18, 2016
Presenting 41 works by 36 photographers dating from the advent of traditional photography in the early nineteenth century until the introduction of digital photography at the turn of the twenty-first century, this display explores the ways in which photographic artists invented images that picture the imaginary as if it were real. From Pierre-Louis Pierson and Julia Margaret Cameron to Degas and Magritte to Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin, the artists of this analog era manipulating their images in the studio through the use of used props, makeup, lighting, costumes and the developing process rather than in the computer, used the assumed truthfulness of photography against itself, forcing viewers to question the veracity of any image and how they think they see the world.
The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe’s Photographs of Angola and South Africa
August 24, 2015 through March 6, 2016
Using landscape photography to address themes of conflict, displacement, genocide and history, South African photographer Jo Ractliffe has captured post-conflict images of the repercussions of violence throughout the African continent. This exhibition brings together selected works from three recent series that focus on the aftermath of the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002) and its relationship with the Border War (1966–89) fought by apartheid era South Africa in Angola and present-day Namibia.
Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection
September 21, 2015 through March 13, 2016
Reflecting the interest of the museum’s Department of Photography in archiving and collecting contemporary works, this installation debuts recently acquired photos and videos created by fifteen artists during the last seven years. While quite different in tone and style, each of the works addresses the early twenty-first century concept of reconstruction, particularly in terms of creating an idealized online version of our real-life selves.
Korea: 100 Years of Collecting at the Met
February 7, 2015 through March 27, 2016
Showcasing more than 70 masterworks in a variety of media, from ceramics to lacquerware to metalwork to painting to sculpture, this exhibition celebrates the distinctiveness of Korean Art while highlighting the individuals and trends that shaped the Met’s distinctive holdings. Dating from the Bronze Age all the way to the present, the works on view include recently a acquired late eighteenth-century portrait of a scholar-official, two rare fourteenth-century Buddhist paintings, an exceptional twelfth-century lacquer box inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell, a sublime seventh century gilt-bronze statue of a pensive bodhisattva and a selection of the finest examples of Goreyo-period celadon, all of which exemplify the ability of Korean artists and the diversity of Korean art.
A Passion for Jade: The Heber Bishop Collection
March 14, 2015 through June 19, 2016
Consisting of over one thousand pieces, primarily Chinese jades from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as jades from Mughal India, Heber R. Bishop’s collection of carvings, the first major collection of its kind in the U.S., was formed in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum in 1902. This exhibition features a selection of the finest examples from this renowned collection while also commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the museum’s Department of Asian Art.
Chinese Textiles: Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection
August 15, 2015 through June 19, 2016
Exploring the cultural importance of silk in China, this exhibition showcases the most important and unusual Chinese textiles from the Met permanent collection. Rarely on display because of their fragility, view exceptionally finely spun Tang Dynasty (618–906) examples as well as spectacular embroideries including elaborate court costumes, an imperial fourteenth-century canopy decorated with phoenixes and flowers and a monumental late seventeenth-century panel portraying phoenixes in a garden.
American Quilts and Folk Art
July 17, 2015 through August 7, 2016
This exhibition presents the debut viewing of eight eighteenth and nineteenth century quilts, all recent additions to the Met collection. The display is augmented by a selection of folk art paintings and furniture from the museum’s American collection, as well as two important paintings by Edward Hicks (American, 1780–1840) on loan from a private collection.
Collecting the Arts of Mexico
July 17, 2015 through August 7, 2016
Among the particularly notable highlights of this exhibition of the museum’s Mexican collection is the debut of a rare series of five, elaborate, gilt, eighteenth-century devotional paintings on copper by the artist Nicolás Enríquez acquired by the museum in 2014. The display also includes important selections from the museum’s Puebla pottery collection, among the finest in the world, with examples dating from the Pre-Columbian through the Colonial periods.
New Discoveries: Early Liturgical Textiles from Egypt, 200–400 A.D.
September 23, 2015 through September 5, 2016
This unique installation presents the results of an iconographic analysis and scientific testing of two of the museum’s oldest Christian liturgical textiles, revealing new information about their meaning and use. Particularly exciting are five recently acquired elements extracted from, “The Astonished People” (2nd-4th century A.D.), revealing it to be a wall hanging for Christian or Jewish devotional use depicting the Crossing of the Red Sea as described in the book of Exodus.
Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection
This selection of works by fabled Carl Fabergé from the sumptuous collection of Matilda Geddings Gray, considered among the finest in the world, are on long-term loan at the museum and are the first Fabergé pieces exhibited publically in New York in almost a decade Works on view include fabulous examples originally commissioned by and created for the Romanov family like three, magnificent “Imperial Easter Eggs” plus the exquisite “Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket”, considered the most important single Fabergé item in a US collection.