The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced the schedule of its upcoming spring and summer seasons. Highlights of the upcoming 2018 exhibition season are:
Before/On/After: William Wegman and California Conceptualism
Exhibition Dates: January 17–July 15, 2018
Exhibition Location: Gallery 851
Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on January 17, the exhibition Before/On/After: William Wegman and California Conceptualism will survey Conceptual Art as it developed in Southern California in the 1970s. The show is occasioned by the artist William Wegman’s extraordinary recent gift to the Museum of 174 short videos that he made between 1970 and 1999—his entire career in the medium. A 90-minute selection of videos from this gift will be shown along with photographs and drawings by Wegman as well as drawings, prints, and photographs by his contemporaries in Southern California—John Baldessari, Vija Celmins, Douglas Huebler, Ed Ruscha, and others.
Wegman took up video while teaching painting at the University of Illinois in the mid-1960s. Like many artists using the then-new medium, Wegman appreciated video—like photography—for its lo-fi reproducibility and anti-artistic qualities. Also, unlike film, where the negative must be developed and processed before viewing, video was like a sketchbook that allowed revision in real time.
It wasn’t until Wegman moved to Southern California in 1970 that his video production took off. Although he lived in Los Angeles for only three years, the artist found his method: short, staged vignettes using everyday items in which expectations are reversed and puns and homonyms pursued to absurd conclusions.
The artist’s key early collaborator for most of these short videos was his dog, a Weimaraner called Man Ray, who enthusiastically participates in the goings-on. In contrast to other early adopters of video, Wegman eschewed an aesthetic of boredom to focus on humorous, improvised scenarios in which he deflated the pretensions of painting and sculpture while also lampooning the pieties and self-seriousness of Conceptual Art—at a time when it was being codified and institutionalized. Beneath the slacker humor, however, are poignant points about failure and the reversal of expectations that resonate with work by other West Coast Conceptualists—the friends and fellow travelers also featured in the exhibition.
Before/On/After: William Wegman and California Conceptualism is organized by Doug Eklund, Curator in the Department of Photographs at The Met.
Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris
Exhibition Dates: January 23–April 15, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 918, Lila Acheson Wallace Wing
On October 22, 1953, Joseph Cornell wrote in his diary: “Juan Gris/Janis Yesterday.” He was referring to the previous day’s outing, when, on one of his frequent trips to the gallery district in midtown Manhattan, Cornell visited the Sidney Janis Gallery on East 57th Street. Among a presentation of approximately 30 works by modern artists, one alone captivated Cornell—Juan Gris’s celebrated collage The Man at the Café (1914), which is now a promised gift to the Museum as part of the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection.
This shadowy profile of a fedora-topped man immediately inspired Cornell to begin a new series: some 18 boxes, two collages and one sandtray created in homage to Juan Gris, whom he called a “warm fraternal spirit.”
When he began the Gris series in 1953, Cornell was an established artist, two decades into his career. His shadow box assemblages —a genre he is credited with pioneering—were exhibited regularly in major galleries and museums, and acquired by collectors and museums for their permanent collections. Cornell gathered his banal yet evocative materials during his forays in New York City or Long Island. His sources were many and varied; he made his assemblages from old journals and French history textbooks, postage stamps, fishing tackle, cordial glasses, clay pipes, and “flotsam and jetsam” to use his words. From these disparate fragments, Cornell wove together concepts, subjects, and lives that fascinated him. The complex network of references contained in each box often obscures, if not conceals, the artist’s intended theme or subject. For instance, in his Gris series, Cornell incorporated reproductions of Gris’s works into only one box, as well as in two collages and the one sandtray. Without these reproductions and the inscriptions Cornell made on some of the constructions, most of the works in his Gris series would be indistinguishable from those in his Aviary and Hotel series from around the same time – although for his homages to Gris he used the great white-crested cockatoo exclusively. Few viewers would have known about Cornell’s extensive notes found in his diaries and his Gris dossier, a working source file in which he stored materials for inspiration or later use. Cornell’s research on Gris included the acquisition of biographical publications and reviews on the Spanish-born artist, and he bolstered his knowledge of Gris and his art through conversations with artist friends such as Marcel Duchamp and Robert Motherwell.
In The Man at the Café, Gris worked in oil paint and pasted newsprint to present a mysterious male figure reading a newspaper, which obscures his face. The shapes of the man’s stylized fedora and its prominent black shadow cast against the café wall held a particular fascination for Cornell. For the central figure of his Gris series, Cornell selected a white cockatoo to contrast with the dramatic blacks, but he also embedded a reference to Gris’s shadow play and the fedora’s silhouette. Indeed, the bird, or its distinctive silhouette, appears in all but two of the boxes, with Cornell mimicking the relationship between positive and negative space by pasting the bird print to a wood cutout, outlining it, or echoing its contours with black paper.
Although Gris remained the initial catalyst for the series, Cornell also incorporated allusions to his own passions and pastimes as revealed in the foreign language texts, hotel advertisements, and maps. An aficionado of ballet and opera, Cornell attended performances in New York City and contributed illustrations to the Dance Index, a periodical edited by New York City Ballet co-founder Lincoln Kirstein in the 1940s. The white, feathered and tulle costumes of the principals dancing Swan Lake and La Sylphide reminded him of birds. Cornell was also enamored with the nineteenth century, the era of the romantic ballet and bel canto singing, and wove these birds of song and stage into the Gris series as well.
Completed over a period of 13 years, Cornell’s series of Gris shadow boxes is more extensive in number than any other that the artist openly dedicated to one of his admired luminaries of stage, screen, literature, or the visual arts. The main protagonist of Cornell’s Juan Gris series is a bird—the great white-crested cockatoo—specifically, an image taken from a 19th-century print of the species that Cornell repeatedly used along with Photostats or silhouettes of the bird’s form to explore the fascinating shadows that Gris produced in his own practice. At The Met, the exhibition Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris will reunite for the first time nearly a dozen boxes from Cornell’s Gris series together with the Cubist masterpiece, The Man at the Café.
The exhibition is made possible by the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust.
Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris inaugurates a series of dossier exhibitions under the auspices of the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As part of its mission to ensure the ongoing study of modern art with a particular focus on Cubism, the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center offers fellowships, lectures, and other programs to support new scholarship on the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection and other 20th-century art. Each dossier exhibition will be related to a work or group of works from the Collection. Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris and future projects in the series are intended to provide a deeper context for understanding Cubism, its protagonists, and greater influences, to contribute exceptional scholarship, and to offer a fresh approach to the subject of looking and thinking about modern art.
The exhibition is curated by Mary Clare McKinley, an independent art historian based in London and former Assistant Curator in the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A catalog, made possible by the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, accompanies the exhibition and contains a major essay, written by McKinley, and the first-ever documentary catalog of Cornell’s Gris series.
Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings
Exhibition Dates: January 30–May 13, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 1, Gallery 746, The Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery
Met Museum to Explore Transatlantic Career of Renowned Painter Thomas Cole
Exhibition Marks 200th Anniversary of the Artist’s Arrival in America
Celebrated as one of America’s preeminent landscape painters, Thomas Cole (1801–1848) was born in northern England at the start of the Industrial Revolution, emigrated to the United States in his youth, and traveled extensively throughout England and Italy as a young artist. He returned to America to create some of his most ambitious works and inspire a new generation of American artists, launching a national school of landscape art. Opening January 30, the exhibition Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings will examine, for the first time, the artist’s transatlantic career and engagement with European art. With Cole’s masterwork The Oxbow (1836) as its centerpiece, the exhibition will feature more than three dozen examples of his large-scale landscape paintings, oil studies, and works on paper. Consummate paintings by Cole will be juxtaposed with works by European masters including J. M. W. Turner and John Constable, among others, highlighting the dialogue between American and European artists and establishing Cole as a major figure in 19th-century landscape art within a global context. The exhibition marks the 200th anniversary of Cole’s arrival in America.
The exhibition was organized by Elizabeth Kornhauser, the Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Painting and Sculpture at The Met, and Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, with Chris Riopelle, Curator of Post-1800 Paintings at the National Gallery, London.
The exhibition follows the chronology of Cole’s life, beginning with his origins in recently industrialized northern England, his arrival in the United States in 1818, and his embrace of the American wilderness as a novel subject for landscape art of the New World. Early works by Cole will reveal his prodigious talent. After establishing himself as the premier landscape painter of the young United States, he traveled back to Europe.
The next section will explore in depth Cole’s return to England in 1829–31 and his travels in Italy in 1831–32, revealing the development of his artistic processes. He embraced the on-site landscape oil study and adopted elements of the European landscape tradition reaching back to Claude Lorrain. He learned from contemporary painters in England, including Turner, Constable, and John Martin, and furthered his studies in landscape and figure painting in Italy. By exploring this formative period in Cole’s life, the exhibition will offer a significant revision of existing accounts of his work, which have, until now, emphasized the American aspects of his formation and identity. The exhibition will also provide new interpretations of Cole’s work within the expanded contexts of the history of the British Empire, the rise of the United States, the Industrial Revolution, and the American wilderness, and Romantic theories of history.
Upon his return to America, Cole applied the lessons he had learned abroad to create the five-part series The Course of Empire (1834–36). These works reveal a definition of the new American Sublime that comes to its fullest expression in The Oxbow (1836). Finally, the exhibition concludes with an examination of Cole’s legacy in the works of the next generation of American landscape painters whom Cole personally mentored, notably Asher B. Durand and Frederic E. Church.
Exhibition design is by Brian Butterfield, Senior Exhibition Designer; graphics are by Ria Roberts, Graphic Designer; and lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers, all of The Met Design Department. After the presentation at The Met, the exhibition will be shown at The National Gallery, London (June 11–October 7, 2018).
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog suitable for both scholars and the general public. With new information on Cole’s life and revisionist interpretations of his major work, the publication will also feature research by The Met’s conservation team into Cole’s methods as a painter, illuminating this previously neglected area. The catalog will be available for purchase in The Met Store (hardcover, $65). The catalog is made possible by the William Cullen Bryant Fellows of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A series of Education programs will complement the exhibition. MetLiveArts will feature a 40-minute acoustic performance by Sting in the Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on April 24, 25, and 26 (7:30 p.m.). Prior to each concert, ticket holders will enjoy a special viewing of the exhibition with curators Elizabeth Kornhauser and Tim Barringer. The April 24 performance of “Sting: Atlantic Crossings” is for Members only. Tickets will be available for purchase in early 2018.
On April 8 (2 p.m.), as part of MetSpeaks, American artist Ed Ruscha will discuss his seminal five-part Course of Empire series (1992 and 2003–5) with his friend, the author, and artist Tom McCarthy, who resides in London. Tickets for this event will be available for purchase.
Met curator Elizabeth Kornhauser and paintings conservator Dorothy Mahon will explore Cole’s work methods and techniques with artist Stephen Hannock on February 7 (6:00 p.m.), revealing the layers of meaning in Cole’s iconic painting, The Oxbow. This program is part of the Conversations With… series.
Elizabeth Kornhauser will moderate a Sunday at The Met discussion on April 15 (2 p.m.) on Cole’s role as a proto-environmental artist with scholars Alan Braddock and Rebecca Bedell and artist Michel Auder. (Auder’s 2017 work The Course of Empire was shown at the Documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany.) These programs are free with Museum admission.
In a Gallery Performance on April 27 (6:00 p.m.), exhibition co-curator Tim Barringer will explore the musical and literary references that inspired Cole. This program is free with Museum admission, advance registration is required.
Education programs are made possible in part by the Clara Lloyd-Smith Weber Fund and The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts.
The exhibition, organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and The National Gallery, London, is made possible by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, White & Case LLP, the Enterprise Holdings Endowment, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. It is also supported by an Indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Leon Golub: Raw Nerve
Exhibition Dates: February 6–May 27, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Breuer, Floor 2
Opening February 6, 2018 at The Met Breuer, Leon Golub: Raw Nerve will present a selective survey of this groundbreaking artist’s work. Timed to celebrate the 2016 gift to The Met of the monumental painting Gigantomachy II (1966) from The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts and Stephen, Philip, and Paul Golub, the exhibition will present highlights from Golub’s long, eminent career, drawn from distinguished private collections as well as the artist’s estate. Golub’s unflinching portrayals of power and brutality have profound relevance today, as does his belief in the ethical responsibility of the artist.
Born in Chicago, Golub (1922-2004) occupies a singular position in the history of mid to late 20th-century art. His devotion to the figure, his embrace of expressionism, his amalgamation of modern and classical sources, and his commitment to social justice distinguish his practice as an artist. The centerpiece of Leon Golub: Raw Nerve is Gigantomachy II, a commanding, epic work measuring nearly 10 by 25 feet. Created in 1966, two years after Golub joined the Artists and Writers Protest Group and began to lobby actively against the Vietnam War, this political allegory recounts the story of a mythic battle between the Olympian gods and a race of giants. In Golub’s contemporary retelling, there are no heroes, only anonymous men in various states of distress, their bodies riven by scars and wounds. Alongside this powerful and terrifying work, Leon Golub: Raw Nerve will feature paintings from all of the artist’s most important series, including Pylon, White Squad, Riot, and Horsing Around. These will be accompanied by a 1970 painting of a victim of the Vietnam War, as well as a suite of early paintings that reflect Golub’s study of antiquity, and a group of unsettling portraits of the Brazilian dictator Ernesto Geisel. Also on view will be works on paper that represent subjects of longstanding interest to the artist, from mercenaries, interrogators, and the victims of violence to political figures, nudes, and animals, all of them rendered in the raw, visceral style for which he is justly celebrated. Taken together, the works in Leon Golub: Raw Nerve, which spans the entire arc of Golub’s career, attest to his incisive perspective on the catastrophes that afflict human civilization as well as his critique of violence and belligerent masculinity.
Leon Golub: Raw Nerve is organized by Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art in The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art
Exhibition Dates: February 7–May 20, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Arts of Korea Gallery, Gallery 233
The Diamond Mountains—perhaps the most iconic and emotionally resonant site on the Korean peninsula—is the theme of an international loan exhibition that will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 6, 2018. Though the region has inspired cultural pride since ancient times, its present location in North Korea has kept it largely inaccessible in modern times. Featuring nearly 30 landscape paintings from the 18th century to the present—from delicately painted scrolls and screens to monumental modern and contemporary artworks—Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art will present the visual imagery of this emblematic site. The highlight of the exhibition will be an exquisite early 18th-century album—a designated Treasure from the National Museum of Korea—by the master painter Jeong Seon (1676–1759), who revolutionized Korean painting by breaking with conventional generic imagery and depicting native scenery. The exhibition is the first in the West on this important subject, and most of the works have never before been displayed in the United States.
The exhibition is made possible by The Met’s collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST) and the National Museum of Korea (NMK).
Diamond Mountains is part of a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of The Met’s Arts of Korea Gallery, and the opening coincides with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The exhibition will also include works by renowned painters such as Kim Hajong (1793-?) and Sin Hakgwon (1785-1866).
Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. Support for the catalog is provided by MCST and The Kun-Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art.
The exhibition is organized by Soyoung Lee, Curator in the Department of Asian Art at The Met.
Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas
Exhibition Dates: February 28–May 28, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 199
A major international loan exhibition featuring luxury arts created in the ancient Americas will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning February 28. Showcasing more than 300 objects drawn from more than 50 museums in 12 countries, Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas will trace the development of gold working and other luxury arts from Peru in the south to Mexico in the north from around 1200 B.C. to the arrival of Europeans in the early 16th century. Emphasizing specific places and moments of extraordinary artistic achievement, as well as the exchange of materials and aesthetic ideas across time and place, the exhibition will present a new understanding of ancient American art and culture—one based on indigenous ideas of value—and cast new light on the brilliance of ancient American artists and their legacy. The exhibition will feature spectacular works of art from recent archaeological excavations—crowns, pectorals, pendants, necklaces, ear and nose ornaments, rings, labrets, masks, mantles, goblets, vases, stelas, bells, mirrors, painted books, and more—that have rarely, if ever, left their country of origin.
Exhibition highlights include the exquisite gold ornaments of the Lord of Sipán, the richest unlooted tomb in the ancient Americas; the malachite funerary mask of a woman known as the Red Queen, from the Maya site of Palenque; newly discovered ritual offerings from the sacred precinct of the Aztec Empire; and the “Fisherman’s Treasure,” a set of Mixtec gold ornaments plundered by Spanish conquistadors and destined for Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Spanish king, but lost en route to Spain. Recovered from a shipwreck in the 1970s, these final works are poignant reminders of the brilliant traditions of ancient America’s lost golden kingdoms.
In the ancient Americas, gold, silver, and copper were used primarily to create regalia and ritual objects—metals were only secondarily used to create weapons and tools. First exploited in the Andes around 2000 B.C., gold was closely associated with the supernatural realm, and over the course of several thousand years, the practice of making prestige objects in gold for rulers and deities gradually moved northward, into Central America and Mexico. But in many areas other materials were more highly valued. Jade, rather than gold, was most esteemed by the Olmecs and the Maya, while the Incas and the Aztecs prized feathers and tapestry. In all places, artists and their patrons selected materials that could provoke a strong response—perceptually, sensually, and conceptually—and transport the wearer and beholder beyond the realm of the mundane.
Golden Kingdoms will explore not only artistic practices but also the historical, cultural, social, and political conditions in which luxury arts were produced and circulated. The materials of ancient American luxury arts were closely associated with divine power: they were made of materials thought to have been emitted, inhabited, or consumed by gods. Luxury arts were also relatively small in scale, which meant they could be transported over vast distances as royal gifts or sacred offerings, thus serving as a primary vehicle for the exchange of ideas across regions and through time. The exhibition will present a new portrait of the ancient Americas—one unconstrained by today’s national boundaries—revealing networks of artistic exchange in historical context.
Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas is co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The exhibition is curated by The Met’s Joanne Pillsbury, Andrall E. Pearson Curator of the Ancient Americas; Timothy Potts, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum; and Kim Richter, Senior Research Specialist at the Getty Research Institute.
The exhibition is made possible in part by David Yurman. Additional support is provided by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Alice Cary Brown and W.L. Lyons Brown, and the Lacovara Family Endowment Fund. This exhibition is co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. Published by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.
In conjunction with the exhibition, The Met will offer a variety of education programs.
The exhibition is currently on view as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center (September 16, 2017-January 28, 2018).
Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence
Exhibition Dates: March 12–July 29, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Lower Level, Robert Lehman Wing, Galleries 964-965
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will herald the coming of spring with the exhibition Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence, opening March 12. Anchored by the encyclopedic holdings of The Met, it will illustrate the horticultural boom that reshaped much of the French landscape during the 19th century. As shiploads of exotic botanical specimens arrived from abroad and local nurserymen pursued hybridization, the availability and variety of plants and flowers grew exponentially, as did the interest in them. The opening up of formerly royal properties and the transformation of Paris during the Second Empire into a city of tree-lined boulevards and parks introduced public green spaces to be enjoyed as open-air salons, while suburbanites and country-house dwellers were inspired to cultivate their own flower gardens. By 1860, the French journalist Eugène Chapus could write: “One of the pronounced characteristics of our Parisian society is that . . . everyone in the middle class wants to have his little house with trees, roses, and dahlias, his big or little garden, his rural piece of the good life.”
The important role played by parks and gardens in contemporary French life is richly documented in works in The Met collection by artists extending from Corot to Matisse, many of whom were gardeners themselves. The popularity of botanical and floral motifs at this time is evidenced throughout the pictorial and decorative arts. With some 150 works that range from paintings by the Impressionists to photographs of the era and vases made to display lush bouquets, this presentation will provide a fresh, multisided perspective on best-known and hidden treasures housed in a Museum that took root in a park: namely, New York’s Central Park, which was designed in the spirit of Parisian public parks of the same period.
The exhibition is made possible by the Sam and Janet Salz Trust, the Janice H. Levin Fund, and The Florence Gould Foundation.
Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence is organized by Susan Alyson Stein, Engelhard Curator of Nineteenth-Century European Painting, Department of European Paintings, with Colta Ives, Curator Emerita, Department of Drawings and Prints, and the assistance of Laura D. Corey, Research Associate, Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press. The catalog will be available in The Met Store (hardcover, $50). The catalog is made possible by the Janice H. Levin Fund and the Doris Duke Fund for Publications.
Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now)
Exhibition Dates: March 21–July 22, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Breuer, Floor 3 and 4
Seven hundred years of sculptural practice—from 14th-century Europe to the global present—will be examined anew in the groundbreaking exhibition Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now). On view at The Met Breuer from March 21 through July 22, 2018, the exhibition will explore expanded narratives of sculpture through works in which artists have sought to replicate the literal, living presence of the human body. A major international loan exhibition of approximately 120 works, Like Life will draw on The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rich collection of European sculpture and modern and contemporary art, while also featuring a selection of important works from national and international museums and private collections.
Just how perfectly should figurative sculpture resemble the human body? Histories and theories of Western sculpture have typically favored idealized representations, as exemplified by the austere, white marble statuary of the classical tradition. Such works create the fiction of bodies existing outside time, space, and personal or cultural experience. This exhibition, by contrast, will place key sculptures from different eras in conversation with each other in order to examine the age-old problem of realism and the different strategies deployed by artists to blur the distinctions between original and copy, and life and art. Foremost among these is the application of color to imitate skin and flesh. Other tactics include the use of casts taken from real bodies, dressing sculpted figures in clothing, constructing movable limbs and automated bodies, even incorporating human blood, hair, teeth, and bones. Uncanny in their approximation of life, such works have the potential to unsettle and disarm observers, forcing us to consider how we see ourselves and others, and to think deeply about our shared humanity.
Juxtaposing well-known masterpieces with surprising and little-seen works, the exhibition brings together sculptures by artists from Donatello, El Greco, Anna Morandi Manzolini, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Antonio Canova, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas to Louise Bourgeois, Meret Oppenheim, Isa Genzken, Charles Ray, Fred Wilson, Robert Gober, Bharti Kher, Duane Hansen, Jeff Koons and Yinka Shonibare MBE, as well as wax effigies, reliquaries, mannequins and anatomical models. Together these works will highlight the continuing anxieties and pleasures attendant upon the three-dimensional simulation of the human body.
The exhibition is supported in part by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund.
Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now) is curated by Luke Syson, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, both at The Met, with Brinda Kumar, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Met, and Emerson Bowyer, Searle Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, with the assistance of Elyse Nelson, Research Associate, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Met. It will be accompanied by a catalog featuring essays by leading scholars and perspectives of contemporary artists. The catalog is made possible by the Mary C. and James W. Fosburgh Publications Fund.
Visitors to Versailles (1682–1789)
Exhibition Dates: April 16–July 29, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Tisch Galleries, Gallery 899, 2nd floor
The Palace of Versailles has attracted travelers since it was transformed under the direction of the Sun King, Louis XIV (1638–1715), from a simple hunting lodge into one of the most magnificent public courts of Europe. French and foreign travelers, royalty, dignitaries and ambassadors, artists, musicians, writers and philosophers, scientists, grand tourists and day-trippers alike, all flocked to the majestic royal palace surrounded by its extensive formal gardens. Opening April 16 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Visitors to Versailles (1682–1789) will track these many travelers from 1682, when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, up to 1789, when Louis XVI (1774–1792) and the royal family were forced to leave the palace and return to Paris.
Versailles was always a truly international setting. Countless visitors described their experiences and observations in correspondence and journals. Court diaries, gazettes, and literary journals offer detailed reports on specific events and entertainments as well as on ambassadorial receptions that were also documented in paintings and engravings.
Through paintings and portraits, furniture, tapestries, carpets, costumes and uniforms, porcelain, gold boxes, sculpture, arms and armor, engravings, and guidebooks, the exhibition will illustrate what the visitors encountered at court, what kind of welcome and access to the palace they received, and, most importantly, what they saw and what impressions, gifts, and souvenirs they took home with them. The exhibition will also feature a unique audio experience that will evoke and bring to life what it was like to visit the palace during the ancien régime when Versailles was the seat of the court.
It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Palace of Versailles. Visitors to Versailles (1682–1789) is organized by Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, the Henry R. Kravis Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Met, and Bertrand Rondot, conservateur en chef, Château de Versailles.
The exhibition is made possible by the International Council. Additional support is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Beatrice Stern, the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation/French Heritage Society, and Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani.
It is accompanied by a catalog published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press. The book will be available for purchase in The Met Store (hardcover, $65). The catalog is made possible by the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici
Exhibition Dates: April 24–July 22, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 2, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Gallery 999
The vitality and inventiveness of artists in 18th-century New Spain (Mexico) is the focus of the exhibition Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici, opening April 24. Prior to its presentation at The Met, the exhibition was shown at the Palacio de Cultura Banamex-Palacio de Iturbide (Fomento Cultural Banamex), Mexico City (June 29–October 15, 2017), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (November 19, 2017–March 18, 2018).
Through some 112 works of art (primarily paintings), many of which are unpublished and newly restored, the exhibition will survey the most important artists and stylistic developments of the period and highlight the emergence of new pictorial genres and subjects. Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790 is the first major exhibition devoted to this neglected topic.
During the first century after the conquest of Mexico, artists from Europe—mainly immigrants from Spain—met the growing demand for images of all types, both religious and secular. Some of these artists established family workshops in Mexico that endured for generations. By the middle of the 17th century, artists born and trained in Mexico, responding to the mounting needs of both individual and institutional patrons, had risen to prominence and developed pictorial styles that reflected the changing cultural climate. The 18th century ushered in a period of artistic splendor, as local schools of painting were consolidated, new iconographies were invented, and artists began to organize themselves into academies. Attesting to the artists’ extraordinary versatility, painters whose monumental works cover the walls of chapels, sacristies, choirs, and university halls were often the same ones who produced portraits, casta paintings (depictions of racially mixed families), folding screens, and intimate devotional images. The volume of work produced by the four generations of Mexican painters that spanned the 18th century is nearly unmatched elsewhere in the vast Hispanic world.
The growing professional self-awareness of artists during the period led many educated painters not only to sign their works to emphasize their authorship but also to make explicit reference to Mexico as their place of origin through the Latin phrase pinxit Mexici (painted in Mexico). This expression eloquently encapsulates the painters’ pride in their own tradition and their connection to larger, transatlantic trends.
The exhibition is co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Fomento Cultural Banamex. The exhibition is curated by Ilona Katzew (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), with guest co-curators Jaime Cuadriello (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City), Paula Mues Orts (Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía, Mexico City), and Luisa Elena Alcalá (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). At The Met, the exhibition is organized by Ronda Kasl, Curator, The American Wing.
The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalog. Edited by Ms. Katzew, with contributions by Ms. Alcalá, Mr. Cuadriello, Ms. Mues Orts, and Ms. Kasl, the book will be available for purchase at The Met Store.
Public programs include a commissioned work by the legendary Mexican singer and performance artist Astrid Hadad on April 28.
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
Exhibition Dates: May 10–October 8, 2018
Member Previews: May 8–May 9, 2018
Exhibition Locations: The Met Cloisters and The Met Fifth Avenue’s Medieval Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center.
Costume Institute Benefit on May 7 with Co-Chairs Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour, and Honorary Chairs Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that The Costume Institute‘s spring 2018 exhibition will be Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, on view from May 10 through October 8, 2018 (preceded on May 7 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented at The Met Fifth Avenue in both the medieval galleries and the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the show will also occupy The Met Cloisters, creating a trio of distinct gallery locations. The thematic exhibition will feature a dialogue between fashion and masterworks of religious art in The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism. A group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican will travel to the United States to serve as the cornerstone of the exhibition, highlighting the enduring influence of liturgical vestments on designers.
The exhibition is made possible by Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, and Versace. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.
“The Catholic imagination is rooted in and sustained by artistic practice, and fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects, and customs continues the ever-evolving relationship between art and religion,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. “The Museum’s collection of religious art, in combination with the architecture of the medieval galleries and The Cloisters, provides the perfect context for these remarkable fashions.“
“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion.”
The exhibition will feature approximately 50 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. These will be on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and will include papal vestments and accessories, such as rings and tiaras, from the 18th to the early 21st century, encompassing more than 15 papacies. The last time the Vatican sent a loan of this magnitude to The Met was in 1983, for The Vatican Collections exhibition, which is the Museum’s third most-visited show.
In addition, approximately 150 ensembles, primarily womenswear, from the early 20th century to the present will be shown in the medieval galleries and The Met Cloisters alongside religious art from The Met collection, providing an interpretative context for fashion’s engagement with Catholicism. The presentation situates these designs within the broader context of religious artistic production to analyze their connection to the historiography of material Christianity and their contribution to the perceptual construction of the Catholic imagination.
Designers in the exhibition will include Azzedine Alaïa, Cristobal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, Marc Bohan (for House of Dior), Thom Browne, Roberto Capucci, Callot Soeurs, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Maria Grazia Chiuri (for House of Dior), Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana (for Dolce & Gabbana), John Galliano (for House of Dior), Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Craig Green, Madame Grès (Alix Barton), Rei Kawakubo (for Comme des Garçons), Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld (for House of Chanel), Jeanne Lanvin, Shaun Leane, Claire McCardell, Laura and Kate Mulleavy (for Rodarte), Thierry Mugler, Norman Norell, Guo Pei, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (for Valentino), Pierpaolo Piccioli (for Valentino), Elsa Schiaparelli, Raf Simons (for his own label and House of Dior), Riccardo Tisci (for Givenchy), Jun Takahashi (for Undercover), Isabel Toledo, Philip Treacy, Donatella Versace (for Versace), Gianni Versace, Valentina, A.F. Vandevorst, Madeleine Vionnet, and Vivienne Westwood.
The exhibition—a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters—is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, working together with colleagues in The Met’s Medieval department: C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters; Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the interdisciplinary architecture and design firm, will create the exhibition design with The Met’s Design Department.
A publication by Andrew Bolton will accompany the exhibition and will include texts by authors David Morgan and David Tracy in addition to new photography by Katerina Jebb. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.
In celebration of the opening, the Museum’s Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 7, 2018. The evening’s co-chairs will be Amal Clooney, Rihanna, Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour. Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman will serve as Honorary Chairs. The event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements. Raul Avila will produce the gala décor, which he has done since 2007.
A special feature on the Museum’s website, http://www.metmuseum.org/HeavenlyBodies, provides further information about the exhibition. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to join the conversation about the exhibition and gala. Use #MetHeavenlyBodies, #CostumeInstitute, and #MetGala on Instagram and Twitter.
History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift
Exhibition Dates: May 22–September 23, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 918-919, Lila Acheson Wallace Wing
Opening May 22, History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift will present 30 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and quilts by self-taught contemporary African American artists to celebrate the 2014 gift to The Met of works of art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. The artists represented by this generous donation all hail from the American South, primarily Alabama and Florida.
History Refused to Die will feature the mixed-media art of Thornton Dial (1928–2016), whose monumental assemblage from 2004 provides the exhibition’s title, and a selection of renowned quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, by quilters such as Annie Mae Young (1928–2012), Lucy Mingo (born 1931), Loretta Pettway (born 1942), and additional members of the extended Pettway family. Among other accomplished artists featured are Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982), Lonnie Holley (born 1950), and Ronald Lockett (1965–1988).
Remarkably diverse in media and technique, the works on view nonetheless suggest a cultural and aesthetic kinship among the makers through their use of found and repurposed materials. The works’ subjects are likewise varied, rooted in personal history and experience as well as regional identity—such as legacies of slavery and post-Reconstruction histories of oppression under the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws—and national and international events.
Over time, self-taught artists have been labeled “outsider” for their use of everyday or discarded materials to create works for themselves and their communities without the expectation that their creations would be seen in galleries or museums. Presented in the context of The Met collection on Fifth Avenue, this exhibition aspires to challenge this description and to encourage a more expansive understanding of the legacy of these artists within the broader canon of modern and contemporary American art.
History Refused to Die: Selections from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift is organized by Randall Griffey, Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Amelia Peck, Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts and manager of The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Met. The exhibition was originated by Marla Prather, former curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the catalog My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the Rural South. In this fully illustrated publication, Griffey situates Dial, Holley, and others within the historical institutional embrace of self-taught artists, including Henri Rousseau and Jean Dubuffet, and the modernist practice of repurposing found and salvaged materials. In her catalog contribution, Peck discusses the origins of the striking graphic aesthetic of the quilts. Their essays are bookended by a thorough introduction by Cheryl Finley, Associate Professor of Art History at Cornell University, and a critical historical overview of the American South during and after the Civil Rights Era by novelist and critic Darryl Pinckney. The catalog will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.
Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection
Exhibition Dates: July 3–October 7, 2018
Exhibition Location: The Met Breuer, Floor 2
At The Met Breuer in this summer of 2018, the exhibition Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection will present a selection of some 50 works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Scofield Thayer Collection—which is best known for its paintings by artists of the school of Paris—along with a brilliant group of erotic and evocative watercolors, drawings, and prints by Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Pablo Picasso, whose subjects, except for a handful, are nudes. Opening July 3, the exhibition marks the first time these works are being shown together, providing a focused look at this important collection; it also marks the centenary of the death of Klimt and Schiele.
An aesthete and scion of a wealthy family, Scofield Thayer (1889–1982) was co-publisher and editor of the literary magazine the Dial from 1919 to 1926. In this avant-garde journal he introduced Americans to the writings of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, Arthur Schnitzler, Thomas Mann, and Marcel Proust, among others. He frequently accompanied these writers’ contributions with reproductions of modern art. Thayer assembled his large collection of some 600 works—mostly works on paper—with staggering speed in London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna between 1921 and 1923. While he was a patient of Sigmund Freud in Vienna, he acquired a large group of watercolors and drawings by Schiele and Klimt, artists who at that time were unknown in America. When a selection from his collection was shown at the Montross Gallery in New York in 1924—five years before the Museum of Modern Art opened—it won acclaim. It found no favor, however, in Thayer’s native city, Worcester, Massachusetts, that same year when it was shown at the Worcester Art Museum. Incensed, Thayer draw up his will in 1925 leaving his collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He withdrew from public life in the late 1920s and lived as a recluse on Martha’s Vineyard and in Florida until his death in 1982.
Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection is organized by Sabine Rewald, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator for Modern Art in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog published by The Met. An essay by James Dempsey, an instructor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an authority on Scofield Thayer, discusses the collector’s professional and private life. In her essay, Sabine Rewald discusses in depth the works of the three artists and also examines Thayer’s purchases between 1921 and 1923, as documented in invoices.