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
Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters
January 14, 2014 through March 30, 2014
This tightly focused exhibition presents a rare opportunity to view four masterpieces of Renaissance devotional painting by Piero della Francesca brought together through a special collaboration between the Met, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice and the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino. Consisting of, “Saint Jerome and a Supplicant,” (1460) on loan from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, “Madonna and Child with Two Angels,” (1478) on loan from the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, “Saint Jerome in the Wilderness,” (1450) from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and, “Madonna and Child,” (1439) on loan from a private collection in Delaware, the display is especially exciting because these four works have never been shown together before and their installation together documents the evolution over four decades of the process and style of one of the major artistic figures of Renaissance Italy.
Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China
December 11, 2013 through April 6, 2014
Featuring seventy works created during the last three decades by thirty-five artists working in various media including painting, calligraphy, photography, sculpture, video and woodblock printing, this groundbreaking display is the first major exhibition of contemporary Chines art ever mounted by the Met. Presented in the museum’s permanent galleries for Chinese art, the installation not only allows visitors to discover, cutting edge, experimental and conceptual works by both up-and-coming and established artists that however contemporary in form or content are still representative of the continuum of China’s traditional culture while also exploring how modern work from a non-Western culture can be contextually displayed and interpreted in an encyclopedic art museum.
December 18, 2013 through April 13, 2014
Through sixty-five bronze sculptures by twenty-eight artists, this exhibition, “The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925,” explores the popularity of Western themes as the subject for fine art bronze statuettes. Focusing on a seventy five year period when iconic images of cowboys, Native Americans, pioneers, prospectors, settlers and animals of the mountains and plains where eagerly collected and captured the imaginations of people around the world, among the artists represented are Solon Hannibal Borglum, James Earle Fraser, Edward Kemeys, Frederick William MacMonnies, Paul Manship, Alexander Phimister Proctor, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Charles Schreyvogel.
Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table
December 17, 2013 through April 13, 2014
From ancient Egyptian and Asian decorative boxes used to hold cosmetics to the vanity as we know it today, this exhibition focuses on the antecedents, evolution and history of the dressing table. Collectively the works in the display explore not only the art of cabinetry but how furniture can reveal changing social customs, leisure pursuits and popular tastes in beauty and style.
Antonio Canova: The Seven Last Works
January 22, 2014 through April 27, 2014
This exhibition unveils seven, newly restored, full-scale plaster models of reliefs illustrating episodes from the Old and New Testaments created by Antonio Canova, considered the greatest of all eighteenth century, neoclassical sculptors, famous for his elegant nudes of mythological subjects exquisitely carved in marble. Generously on loan from Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice and the Gipsoteca in Possagno, this is a rare opportunity to view Canova’s last, profoundly moving masterworks, striking for the marked linearity of the figures arranged in brilliantly syncopated compositions inspired by both ancient sculpture and early Renaissance masters.
Drawings and Prints – Selections from the Permanent Collection
February 11, 2014 through April 28, 2014
This broad-ranging exhibition of works on paper features both new acquisitions as well as examples from the permanent collection that are rarely on view due to their fragile nature. Among the highlights are a selection of prints that feature the color green in their composition including examples by Josef Albers and Edgar Degas, a selection of Neo-Impressionist prints and drawings that features works by Camille Pissarro and Paul Signac, a selection of prints by Rembrandt that demonstrates the influence of the Dutch Master on later printmakers including Henri Matisse and German Expressionist Otto Lange as well as groupings of recently acquired sixteenth-century prints of figures by Niccoló della Casa and Jan Vermeyen, watercolors from the Napoleonic era by Pierre François Léonard Fontaine and French Rococo period drawings by Jean Jacques François Le Barbier, Louis Jean Jacques Durameau, Jean Antoine Constantin and Louis François Cassas.
Paris as Muse – Photography from the 1840s to the 1930s
January 28, 2014 through May 4, 2014
Celebrating the first one hundred years of Parisian photography, the City of Light has served as muse for the medium since its invention in 1839. Home to one of the field’s creators Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre as well as many of the period’s most celebrated photographers, the display includes works by Eugène Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Charles Marville and Nadar among many and focuses primarily on architectural views, street scenes and interiors while exploring the physical shape and texture of Paris and how artists have found poetic ways to capture its essential qualities using only a camera.
Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris
January 29, 2014 through May 4, 2014
This exhibition presents a selection of around one hundred photographs taken by Charles Marville, widely acknowledged as one of the most talented photographers of the nineteenth century, who was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures of the new Paris Baron Haussmann built in their place at the direction of Emperor Napoleon III. Marking the bicentennial of Marville’s birth, the exhibit explores the full trajectory of his photographic career, bringing to light the extraordinary beauty and historical significance of his art as well as presenting a rare opportunity to rediscover his fascinating photographs of Paris which stand as one of the earliest and most powerful explorations of urban transformation on a grand scale.
William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time
October 22, 2013 through May 11, 2014
This exhibition presents the museum debut of South African William Kentridge’s, five-channel video installation, “The Refusal of Time,” created in 2012 and recently acquired by the Met in partnership with SFMOMA. In addition to a thirty-minute filmed meditation that explores time and space, the complex legacies of colonialism and industry and the artist’s own intellectual life, the installation includes at its center a moving sculpture entitled the, “breathing machine,” or “elephant,” an organ-like automaton with a pumping bellows.
Feathered Walls: Hangings from Ancient Peru
September 16, 2013 through May 12, 2014
This installation presents the rare opportunity to view twelve, spectacular, feather panels made between 600 A.D. and 1000 A.D. by the Wari tribe of southern Peru, considered among the most luxurious and unusual works created by indigenous textile artists prior to the Spanish conquest in 1532. The panels, which were most likely wall hangings, are made of finely woven cotton cloth and covered completely in the small, iridescent, body feathers of the blue and yellow macaw applied in an arresting design of large rectangles.
Lucas Samaras – Offerings from a Restless Soul
February 24, 2014 through June 1, 2014
This exhibition of works by Lucas Samaras, a compulsively productive sculptor, photographer, painter, filmmaker and writer is drawn from substantial holdings already in the permanent collection augmented by a recent donation of a group of additional works made by the artist personally which are making their public debut. Featuring over sixty works in a two-part installation designed in collaboration with the artist who painted the galleries with original decorations, the survey of examples include the artist’s curiously imaginative pastels from the early 1960s to his innovative experiments with Polaroid photography to his recent evolution into computer-generated imagery.
December 3, 2013 through June 8, 2014
In conjunction with the conservation on the Central Park obelisk popularly known as, “Cleopatra’s Needle,” this exhibition explores the meaning of obelisks in ancient Egypt and considers how the massive monuments were created and erected. Relying primarily on the museum’s own collection, enhanced with several important loans from local museums and private lenders, the display features a selection of paintings, prints, sculptures, textiles and other objects that highlight the significance of this ancient architectural form not only in Egyptian culture but in modern Western culture as well.
Tibet and India – Buddhist Traditions and Transformations
February 8, 2014 through June 8, 2014
This exhibition comprising eighteen individual objects including several unique representations of the Buddha focuses on two periods during the eleventh and twelfth centuries when the Buddhist Tibetan tradition drew from outside influences to develop new vocabularies of form after contact with the great monasteries of North India. Examining how esoteric Indian imagery, texts and ritual practices contributed to a reshaping of the complex religious landscape of Tibet, highlights of the installation include sculptural representations of, “Seated Buddha Reaching Enlightenment, Flanked by Avalokitesvara and Maitreya,” carved in black stone, “Seated Buddha Reaching Enlightenment,” fashioned out of brass adorned with colored pigment, a gilded, “Stele with Eight Great Events from the Life of the Buddha,” and a “Portrait of the Indian Monk Atisha,” painted on cloth with liquid gold.
Small Delights: Chinese Snuff Bottles
July 19, 2013 through June 15, 2014
Featuring a variety of Chinese snuff bottles created during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in almost every medium from ivory and lacquer to porcelain and precious stone to metalwork and even painting and calligraphy, this exhibition reflects the artistic developments over five millennia of Chinese civilization as seen through prized personal objects. A mixture of ground tobacco, herbs and spices, snuff was popularized in China by European envoys, merchants and missionaries during the second half of the seventeenth century resulting in the establishment of royal ateliers that manufactured the miniature masterpieces highlighted in this installation particularly those made during the Yongzheng (1723–35), Qianlong (1736–95) and Jiaqing (1796–1820) reigns which were especially prized for their high technical virtuosity and exquisite artistic sophistication.
Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings
December 11, 2013 through July 6, 2014
View a selection of extraordinary achievements in Qing dynasty (1644–1911) stone carving, when an abundant supply of raw materials, exceptionally accomplished craftsmen and in particular, keen imperial patronage, contributed to the creation of numerous superb works. Created in jade, agate, turquoise, malachite, chalcedony, quartz, jasper, or lapis lazuli, lustrously polished and classified by their decorative style as archaic or classical, the carvings are grouped in three categories including personal adornments such as bracelet, pendants and rings, articles for daily use, mainly in a scholar’s studio, such as brush holders, seals and water pots, and objects of purely decorative art such as miniatures of animals, human figures and mountain landscapes.
William Morris – Textiles and Wallpaper
February 3, 2014 through July 20, 2014
Acknowledged as the leader of the nineteenth century British Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris through his enterprise Morris & Company, produced a variety of decorative arts with textiles and wallpapers comprising a large portion of his artistic output. This installation presents examples of original patterns created by Morris printed on both paper and woven fabrics selected directly from the Morris & Company archives which the Met acquired in 1923.
Design Motifs in Byzantine Art
August 6, 2013 through August 3, 2014
Woven in linen and wool and meant to be worn or to decorate domestic and religious spaces, the textiles on view in this exhibition, discovered in Egypt and dating to the first centuries of the First Millennium, feature unique design motifs that generally refer to abundance and prosperity, among them birds and beasts, personifications of the seasons, vine scrolls and members of the retinue of the wine god Dionysus. This is a rare opportunity to view examples acquired soon after the museum’s founding in 1870, many of which have not been displayed for decades due to their fragility.
Making Pottery Art – The Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection of French Ceramics (ca. 1880–1910)
February 4, 2014 through August 18, 2014
This exhibition presents the public debut of the recently acquired Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection of European Art Pottery which is comprised of works produced during a period from 1880 to 1910 when French potters created technically experimental and aesthetically ambitious vases that revolutionized and expanded the boundaries of the ceramic medium. Works of imposing size in stunning shapes finished in dazzling glazes by the master ceramists of the period including Jean Carriès, Ernest Chaplet and Auguste Delaherche, are displayed with other works that served as inspirations ranging from Asian ceramics to German stoneware.
The Flowering of Edo Period Painting – Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection
February 1, 2014 through September 7, 2014
This exhibition of ninety paintings, hanging scrolls and folding screens which will be displayed in two forty-five piece rotations, draws on the holdings of noted American collectors Robert and Betsy Feinberg, who have put together one of the premiere private collections of seventeenth century Japanese painting from Edo period. Comprising many masterpieces of the genre, the display provides the opportunity for viewers to discover how Japanese painting evolved from the traditional modes of the orthodox output of the Tosa and Kano ateliers that dominated artistic production in the late medieval period, to new, exuberant styles of the Rinpa, Nanga, Maruyama-Shij? and Ukiyo-e schools that flowered as the Edo period reached its apex.
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Vision: In Pursuit of the Best in the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
October 8, 2013 through October 5, 2014
This exhibition highlights 50 masterpieces and a trove of unpublished documents selected from the more than 3,000 works in the Met from Africa, Oceania and the Americas gifted by Nelson Rockefeller. The display features not only a selection of historically significant pieces first displayed in Rockefeller’s Museum of Primitive Art whose collection is now housed in the Met’s Michael Rockefeller wing but also celebrates his singular appreciation of indigenous arts and honors his vision that the cultural and creative importance or art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas is equal to anything in the Western art canon.
Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department
October 2, 2012 through October 13, 2014
In celebration of the centennial of the Arms and Armor department’s establishment and of the tenure of Dr. Bashford Dean, its founding curator, this exhibit offers a display of 60 recent acquistions and the unveiling of all new, larger, more legible labeling throughout the Arms and Armor galleries. Also included are historic photos that document Dr. Dean’s career at the museum and in the field.
Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C. F. Martin
January 14, 2014 through December 7, 2014
This exhibit celebrates the lasting contributions of C.F. Martin to American guitar making through a display of thirty-five instruments from Met’s own collection as well as loans from the Martin Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and several private collections. The evolution of the objects in the exhibition mirror Martin’s own journey as he encounters the Spanish-style guitar in the United States after immigrating from Austria during the mid nineteenth century and then incorporates elements from that tradition into his own Viennese style of instrument construction, resulting in a new form of the guitar and a style that would become important as a basis for other American makers that followed.
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.