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
Painting with Threads: Chinese Tapestry and Embroidery, 12th–19th Century
October 25, 2014 through August 9, 2015
View selections from the museum’s holdings of Chinese embroideries and tapestries including works that have never before been publically exhibited. Featuring representations of birds, flowers, landscapes and the pantheon of immortals as well as stunning examples of calligraphic work, this installation showcases the artistic imagination and technical sophistication of Imperial China’s textile artists.
Sumptuous: East Asian Lacquer, 14th–20th Century
October 25, 2014 through August 9, 2015
Explore the many ways in which lacquer has been manipulated to create designs by carving, painting and through the inlay of gold and mother-of-pearl in this exhibition of rare and precious works drawn entirely from the permanent collection. Featuring boxes, chests, dishes, screens, trays and vases, the installation celebrates the creativity and talent of East Asian lacquer artists, highlighting the skill required to work this demanding material while illustrating both the similarities and differences found in the lacquer arts of China, Korea and Japan.
Van Gogh: Irises and Roses
May 12, 2015 through August 16, 2015
This exhibition reunites for the first time in 125 years, Van Gogh’s exuberant, “Irises,” and, “Roses,” from the Met permanent collection with their counterparts, the “Irises,” from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the, “Roses,” from National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Painted as an ensemble in contrasting formats and color schemes on the eve of the Van Gogh’s departure from the asylum at Saint-Rémy, the display provides a singular opportunity to consider the impact of dispersal on the artist’s artistic aims as well as color fading on his intended results.
Fatal Attraction: Piotr Ukla?ski Photographs
March 17, 2015 through August 16, 2015
In the first major museum survey of the artist Piotor Ukla?ski’s photography, this exhibition presents his series, “The Joy of Photography,” (1997–2007) which explores clichés of popular picture-taking using intentionally ironic and kitschy subjects and effects adapted from a how-to manual for the amateur photographer published by Eastman Kodak during the mid-twentieth century. Celebrating the outmoded artistic language from a position at once ironic and heartfelt, Ukla?ski simultaneously pays homage to and subverts formal photographic expression appropriating the source material while at the same time creating new works that bring out its hidden or repressed aspects.
China through the Looking Glass
May 7, 2015 through September 7, 2015
Exploring the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the imagination of artists and designers for centuries, the Met’s Costume Institute 2015 show is a groundbreaking collaboration with the Department of Asian Art juxtaposing international haute-couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear garments and accessories with authentic Chinese masterpieces including costumes, paintings, porcelains and other decorative objects from which they took their inspiration. Divided into sections including the Imperial Kingdom, 1920s-1930s Shanghai, the Peoples Republic and Chinese Opera, the display features more than 140 selections augmented by feature film clips which are incorporated throughout the installation to highlight how Western impressions of China are shaped by popular culture. Designers represented in the exhibition galleries include Balenciaga, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Galliano, Gaultier, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Lavin, Valentino, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Westwood and many more. Drawn mostly from the Met’s exceptional permanent collection, highlights of the Chinese examples include Imperial jades, bronzes, lacquers and blue-and-white porcelain dating from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
Maurice Prendergast: Boston Public Garden Watercolors
June 1, 2015 through September 7, 2015
From 1895 to 1897, American artist Maurice Prendergast filled the pages of a folio with watercolors sketched on-site in the Boston Public Garden capturing freeform images of carefree children and loving families set against the colorful backdrop of a blooming landscape. Part of the museum’s permanent collection since 1961 though rarely on display, this exhibition presents all of the watercolors as well several drawings in a fitting tribute to an artist whose radiant imagery chronicled the lives lived in and around his beloved city Boston.
Coptic Art: Dikran Kelekian and Milton Avery
August 11, 2014 through September 7, 2015
A 1943 portrait of Dikran Kelekian, a noted collector of Coptic and Islamic art who encouraged contemporary artists to become interested in ancient art, painted by the modernist Milton Avery is the centerpiece of this installation. The Avery portrait which captures Kelekian against a backdrop suggesting ancient Coptic textile patterns is shown alongside twenty, exceptional decorative objects from Kelekian’s personal collection including a comb, a necklace, a statuette and textile fragments created in Egypt between 300 and 800 A.D.
Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art
December 9, 2014 through September 16, 2015
Recreating a 1974 exhibition held in Paris that revealed a tradition unlike any that had defined African art until then, this exhibition presents figures carved in wood created between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries by members of the Mbembe Tribe from southeastern Nigeria, among the earliest and most visually dramatic sculptures from sub-Saharan Africa known to exist. Reuniting for the first time in this exhibition since they were dispersed internationally among private and institutional collections, this display presents a rare opportunity to view a collection that ranges from representations of mothers nursing their children to male warriors in battle, the figures which were originally an integral part of monumental carved drums are ultimately striking not only for their mastery of technique but for their ability to synthesize rawness and poetry.
Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River
June 17, 2015 through September 20, 2015
Best known for his compelling depictions of frontier life along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, George Caleb Bingham is one of the foremost American genre painters of the nineteenth century. This exhibition gathers together for the first time, sixteen of the artist’s iconic river paintings including his masterpiece, “The Jolly Flatboatmen,” (1846) on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Presented as an extraordinary artistic series that chronicles the civilizing the United States through the taming of its wilderness, the installation not celebrates Bingham’s creative achievement but documents the commercial and social worlds on America’s rivers during the 1840s and 1850s when they served as the nation’s interstate freeways and superhighways. Incorporated into the exhibition are forty of Bingham’s preparatory drawings including newly discovered underdrawings for the acclaimed painting, “Fur Traders Descending the Missouri” (1845) which is part of the Met’s own permanent collection. Providing visitors the opportunity to understand the artist’s in-depth study and preparation for his paintings, the preparatory drawings are augmented by an innovative technical study comparing findings from state-of-the-art infrared analysis of the paintings in the display with the artist’s in-depth studies and figural preparatory drawings, revealing how his meticulous creative methods resulted in compositions and characters that tell carefully crafted stories using paint on canvas.
Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met
February 14, 2015 through September 27, 2015
Showcasing more than two hundred masterworks in every medium of artistic expression, this exhibition concurrently celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of the Met’s Department of Asian Art while telling the story of how the museum built its comprehensive Japanese collection. Spanning ancient to modern times, the installation highlights trends that shaped art collecting and the reception Japanese works in the U.S., offering recognition to key American collectors and curators whose passion for Japanese culture inspired the Met to amass its world-class collection. Works on view include wood-block prints like Hokusai’s, “Great Wave,” perhaps the most renowned Japanese artwork in the world, brilliantly colored screen paintings such as, “Morning Glories” by Suzuki Kiitsu and, “Irises at Yatsuhashi” by Ogata K?rin and for the first time in over a decade, the magnificent sliding-door paintings that once belonged to the Zen temple Ry?anji in Kyoto are once again on display.
Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection
June 23, 2015 through September 28, 2015
Highlights from this rotation include engravings by the Renaissance printmaker Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio, recently acquired French drawings of the Neoclassical period, renderings for French and Italian ceiling designs, new acquisitions of designs for works in gold and silver, 1930s shoe designs by Erté, prints and a drawing by Lucian Freud and a selection of prints by Brice Marden.
Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends
June 30, 2015 through October 4, 2015
Creator of stunning portraits capturing actors, artists, dancers, musicians and writers who were his contemporaries and compatriots, “Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends” brings together ninety-two of the artist’s renowned paintings and drawings of members of his impressive artistic and social circle exploring those relationships in the context of their significance his life and the evolution of his artistic career. Documenting a veritable who’s-who of leading figures in the arts and society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as the painter Monet, the sculptor Rodin, and the writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry James among many, the exhibition also highlights the differences between how Sargent approached his commissioned work and how he expressed himself freely when working without the pressure of a patron.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.