Department Of The Arts Of Africa Oceania And The Americas
The breadth and depth of works from Africa, Oceania, South and Central America, and Caribbean works are on full display in the Nelson A. Rockefeller wing of the museum. The expansion of this collection makes it feel relatively new compared to other portions of the museum despite the ancient nature of the ceramics, textiles, jewelry, garments, and other archeological finds on display.
That said, this wing will be undergoing renovation through 2024 to better give these gorgeous works their due. One goal, for example, is to let more natural light in to the galleries, showcasing how colorful and bold many of these artworks can be in contrast to, as one docent put it in Inside the Met, the current, more muted vibe that might evoke painful colonial tropes of “darkest Africa.”
As Long as the Sun Lasts
Mrs Walter Rathbone Bacon
Receiving early acclaim for his watercolors, during the 1880s Anders Zorn traveled extensively before settling in Paris and taking up oil painting. Over the next few years he produced the work that was to make him one of the most sought-after society portraitists of the age. It was on his second visit to America that Zorn painted this portrait of Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon . Virginias cousin, George Washington Vanderbilt II, had recently had John Singer SargentZorns great rivalpaint her portrait to hang in the halls of Biltmore House, the largest home in the country. It was probably in response to this that Zorn was commissioned by her husband in early 1897. Here, although elegantly dressed and bejeweled, Virginia sits informally at home accompanied by her dog.
Study Of A Young Woman
Johannes Vermeer | 1665-1667 | Oil on Canvas | Gallery 964
Compared to Dutch powerhouse painters like Rembrandt and Franz Hals, who were already famous in their lifetime, Johannes Vermeer was not nearly as well known. His artwork became recognized only at the end of the 19th century. Outside of art circles, he remained an obscure figure until the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring starring Scarlett Johansson came out in 2003.
During his lifetime Vermeer only painted 43 known paintings, and the majority of them were sold in the town of Delft where he lived. Unfortunately, he died at the young age of 43, leaving behind a wife and a whopping 11 children! Due to the financial crisis in Holland in the early 1670s, his last few years were quite miserable.
Study of a Young Woman was not intended to be a portrait, even if a live model was used. These types of paintings were called tronies, a term no longer used which meant heads, faces or expressions. They were executed as a form of collectors items which displayed intriguing character types or exotic costumes. For example, the blue silk around the models shoulders was placed intentionally for the eyes of the buyer. This displayed the artists powers of invention and execution.
I find that the eyes of the girl in the picture pierce right into your soul. However, the innocentalmost sheepishlook on her face explains that she has no ill will towards you and is not doing it intentionally.
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The Cantor Roof Garden
Above the museum is this large rooftop garden with unrivaled views of Central Park and the surrounding buildings.
There are two bars on either end of the rooftop. Sometimes the roof garden will feature a contemporary art installation.
Hours are Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday 11 am to 4:15 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 4 pm and again from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. Closed Wednesday.
Islamic Art And Artifacts
A special collection of Islamic art showcases the profoundly influential motifs found in a variety of artistic works from carpets, cast metal objects, illustrated folios, tiled prayer niches, and even caskets. The collection is comprised of unique pieces from throughout the Muslim world, from Iranian mosaics to an intricate gold container made in Goa to contain a bezoars that blend Islamic arabesques with Portuguese colonial influences. Travel buffs shouldn’t miss the Astrolabe of Umar ibn Yusuf ibn Umar ibn Ali ibn Rasul al-Muzaffari, a Yemeni prince.
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The Champion Single Sculls
Thomas Eakinswas one of the greatest American artists of the 19th century, instilling a powerful and sometimes shocking sense of realism into his paintings. He spent most of his life in his native city of Philadelphia, though this picture dates from the start of his career, when he had just returned from four years studying in Europe , mostly in France and Spain. It was hardly surprising after such time away that he was anxious to turn his attention to the places and the activities that he had missed while abroad, specifically rowing scenes, of which he produced several paintings between 1870 and 1874. This is probably the most famous of them. It shows a boyhood friend, Max Schmitt, turning around to face the viewer. In his usual, fastidious way, Eakins arranged the entire composition so that it included a number of references to Schmitts recent win of a prestigious single scull race. The autumnal setting was chosen to tally with the date of the race the late-afternoon sky indicated the time that it took place and Schmitts scull was even located on the precise spot where the finishing line had been situated. As he was equally fond of rowing, Eakins decided to add his own portrait to the picture, in the guise of the rower in the middle distance. To make things doubly clear, he painted his signature and the pictures date on the side of the boat.
Accessibility At The Met
Entrances located at the Fifth Ave and 81st St and through the parking garage at Fifth Ave and 80th St are accessible for visitors with disabilities. The Met is accessible for those who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices, with elevators available if you need to avoid stairs or slopes. Wheelchairs for use during your visit are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the coat check at the 81st St entrance.
For those attending with a caregiver or assistive interpreter, admission for your companion is free and arrangements can be made at the front desk. The availability of assistive devices and printed materials for visitors who are deaf, heard of hearing, or visually impaired are limited at this time due to COVID-19 sanitation protocols.
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Venus And The Lute Player
Titian | 1565-70 | Oil on Canvas | Gallery 608
Titian is by far one of the most famous Italian Renaissance painters of all time. Known for his sensual and voluptuous paintings of women, he was the reigning artist king of Venice during his lifetime.
Titian continued the transition in artwork of his time from the Virgin Mary to Venus. Whereas all paintings in the early Renaissance would have pictured the saintly mother of god, later Renaissance works started to idolize Venus as the reigning matriarch of beauty.
Venus and the Lute Player shows Venus, the goddess of love, surrounded by a lute player and her son Cupid. In Renaissance times, the lute was the go-to instrument when writing or singing songs of love. You can imagine the famous traveling troubadours playing their pained songs of love to any damsel who would listen to them!
Titian captures the moment here where Venus takes a break from the lute player who is affectionately staring at the goddess of love. At that moment, Cupid crowns Venus with a wreath of flowers.
In the background, you can see satyrs and nymphs dancing to the song of a shepherd. If you have seen other paintings of Titian, some of his most famous are those of a sensual, naked woman in a slightly reclining pose looking off in the distance.
Having learned that female beauty, adorned or natural, would always find customers, Titian pursued the theme joyously.
Will Durant, historian
The Sphinx Of Hatshepsut Around 1479
Hatshepsut, which means Foremost of Noble Ladies was the first, and one of only two female pharaohs in ancient Egyptian history. She came to the throne in 1478 B.C. at the age of 29. Her sphinx, made from granite, shows the body of a lion with a human head. She is dressed wearing a striped headcloth and a fake beard, two main characteristics of an Egyptian pharaoh. Gallery 131
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Washington Crossing The Delaware Emanuel Leutze 1851
Gallery 760. This painting stands out among the hundreds of paintings in The Met for its sheer size alone.
At 12.4 feet by 21.3 feet , it takes up a large portion of the wall upon which it hangs.
Its not only epic in size but also historic significance.
The scene depicts the night of December 25, 1776, when General George Washington and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River.
Washington launched a surprise attack on a Hessian military base where Hessian soldiers hired by the British were stationed.
Morale was low among the Continental Army, and Washington was determined to score a victory by the end of the year.
The missions success re-ignited the passion for the cause of the patriots. This painting is now an American icon.
Young Woman With A Water Pitcher Johannes Vermeer 1662
Gallery 630. This Dutch master worked in the Baroque style. Its believed that in his life he painted approximately 45 works.
Of the thirty-four paintings that survive, The Met has five of them, more than any other museum in the world. .
Painted early on in his career, and with no formal training, Vermeer came to master the depiction of light across different surfaces.
Daylight streams through the window reflected in the golden window frame.
The womans white bonnet is semi-translucent, catching the light in its folds.
The light bounces off the metal pitcher and bowl which have reflections of the cloth underneath them.
This painting demonstrates why Vermeers works are so revered today.
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What You Absolutely Must See At The Met Museum
Of course, different people have different views on what to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and which art objects you really should view.
The artworks are divided among 17 curatorial departments.
These range from the American Wing and European Paintings to Musical Instruments European Sculpture and Decorative Arts the Costume Institute Modern and Contemporary Art Arms and Armor and Asian Art.
What might be of interest to you may be different to what grabs our attention.
Still, there are some Met Museum must-see exhibits that most people agree are absolute highlights.
Lady At The Tea Table
s deceptively calm and casual paintings, which depict women in everyday situations, contain underlying layers of dramatic tension, emotional depth, and psychological insight. Cassatt, who was born in Pennsylvania but settled in Paris in 1874, was the only North American woman artist invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists. Cassatt painted Mrs. Robert Moore Riddle, her mothers first cousin, for Lady at the Tea Table. The picture is remarkable for the subjects air of authority and the economical yet eloquent use of line and color. Mrs. Riddles daughter was offended at Cassatts realistic representation of her mothers nose, but the painter herself was so attached to the painting that she kept it for herself until gifting it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1923.
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The Toilers Of The Sea Albert Pinkham Ryder
With his use of tonalism to evoke emotion in his otherworldly land and seascapes, Ryder was an idiosyncratic American artist who foreshadowed modernist ideas. In this piece, the ochre glow of the full moon casts its dramatic light across a stormy sea and the simplistic suggestion of a boat.Heather Corcoran
What To See At The Met In New York City
In summary, heres the best things to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC:
- Self Portrait with a Straw Hat
- The Dance Class
- Aristotle with a Bust of Homer
- Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies
- A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
- Vermeer Paintings
- The Greek and Roman Sculpture Court
- The French rooms
- The Denial of Saint Peter
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Digital Representation Of Collections
Beginning in 2013, the Met organized the Digital Media Department for the purpose of increasing access of the museums collections and resources using digital media and expanded website services. The first Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan from 2013 departed in 2016 and was replaced by Loic Tallon at the time that the department became known by its simplified designation as the Digital Department. At the start of 2017, the department began its Open Access initiative summarized on the Mets website titled Digital Underground stating: Its been six months since The Met launched its Open Access initiative, which made available all 375,000+ images of public-domain works in The Met collection under Creative Commons Zero . During what is just the dawn of this new initiative, the responses so far have been incredible. At that time, more than 375,000 photographic images from the museums archival collection were released for public domain reproduction and use both by the general public and by large public access websites such as those available at Google BigQuery.
In May 2022, the Met and the World Monuments Fund announced a collaboration of digital work for the 2024 reopening of the African, ancient American, and Oceanic art galleries. The digital project aims to bolster the understanding of several historic sites in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular sites that have been minimally explored by Western museums.
Aristotle With A Bust Of Homer
Sticking to the theme of Rembrandt masterpieces, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer is also a must see at The Met. Thankfully its located a few steps from Rembrandt Self Portrait, making it a natural next stop.
This iconic painting is considered one of the most celebrated and famous paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, reason alone to visit.
The portrait depicts a pensive Aristotle resting his hand on a bust of Homer, the legendary poet that achieved literary immortality through his writing of Iliad and Odyssey. Aristotle looks contemplative, which leads historians to assume that perhaps Rembrandt was meditating on his own role in history and the meaning of fame.
This is a large piece of work and it stays true to Rembrandts classic style of thick strokes and dark shades. Its a piece of art that demands careful attention, the details are striking and the facial expression relays palpable emotions. But I guess you cant expect anything less from Rembrandt.
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The 100 Best Paintings In New York: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Discover which of the 100 best paintings in New York can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Madonna And Child Enthroned With Saints Raphael Around 1504
As part of an altarpiece for the Franciscan convent of SantAntonio in Perugia, the Italian Renaissance artist completed this painting in the early 16th century. The conservative clothing choice of the saints and a fully clothed baby Jesus is thought to have been a request from the nuns. It was housed in an area reserved strictly for nuns for over a century. Mary is sitting on a throne, front and center, as saints surround her as she looks down at an infant St. John the Baptist. The semicircle canopy on top shows the Godly world, depicting two angels with God in the center. Gallery 962
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Top 17 Paintings At The Met
Art is about emotion. It is an artist unleashing their innermost thoughts and feelings onto canvas for all to witness, but few to see and understand. If you look at a painting and dont feel anything, that is because you are lacking its story, which is the very reason we recommend guided tours.
You dont have to have an extensive art background to appreciate art. What will benefit you the most is a guide with an extensive art background who is skilled in the art of storytelling. They are the ones who bring the art to life so you remember the experience and how you felt forever.
Juan De Pareja Velzquez
Velzquezs portrait of his slavethats right, he owned the guyis striking today, not only because its a rare Old Master depiction of a person of color, but also because of what it suggests about their relationship. De Pareja was of Moorish descent a trained painter, he was Velzquezs assistant. The steady gaze with which he holds the viewer, and his general comportment-which could almost be called nobleindicates a partnership of equals, though his old, patched clothing says otherwise. He eventually set De Pareja free, though the latter would remain with his former master until the artists death. That choice only underscores the ambiguity surrounding this painting.Howard Halle
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Met Fifth Avenue Location:
One of the best museums in the world, the main Met building is located on 5th Avenue near Central Park.
Its one of six New York City museums along the fabled Museum Mile in the Upper East Side.
The other museums sharing this prime stretch of real estate are the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, The Jewish Museum and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.