TheMet150: “Photography’s Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Opening March 10, 2020 (and running through to June 28, 2020) the exhibition, “Photography’s Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection” (The Met Fifth Avenue, Galleries 691–693, The Charles Z. Offin Gallery, Karen B. Cohen Gallery, and Harriette and Noel Levine Gallery) will celebrate the remarkable ascendancy of photography in the last hundred years and the magnificent promised gift to The Met of over 60 extraordinary photographs from Museum Trustee Ann Tenenbaum in honor of the Museum’s 150th anniversary in 2020. The exhibition will include masterpieces by the medium’s greatest practitioners, including Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Ilse Bing, Joseph Cornell, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Andreas Gursky, Helen Levitt, Dora Maar, László Moholy-Nagy, Jack Pierson, Sigmar Polke, Man Ray, Laurie Simmons, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Edward Weston, and Rachel Whiteread.

Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954). Untitled Film Still #48, 1979. Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Promised gift of Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

The Tenenbaum collection is particularly notable for the breadth and depth of works by women artists, for a sustained interest in the nude, and for its focus on artists’ beginnings: Strand’s 1916 view from the viaduct confirms his break with the Pictorialist past and establishes the artist’s way forward as a cutting-edge modernist; Walker Evans’s shadow self-portraits from 1927 mark the first inkling of a young writer’s commitment to visual culture; and Cindy Sherman’s intimate nine-part portrait series from 1976 predates her renowned series of “film stills” and confirms her striking ambition and stunning mastery of the medium at the age of 22.

The exhibition will feature a wide range of styles and pictorial practice, combining small-scale and large-format works in both black and white and color. The presentation will integrate works starting from the 1910s to the 1930s, with examples by avant-garde American and European artists, through the postwar period, the 1960s, the medium’s boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and up to the present moment.

The Met Fifth Avenue

Photography’s Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection is curated by Jeff L. Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs at The Met and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. The catalogue is made possible in part by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc. The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

TheMet150: “Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe”

Between 1550 and 1750, nearly every royal family in Europe assembled vast collections of exquisite and entertaining objects. Lavish public spending and the display of precious metals were important expressions of power, and possessing artistic and technological innovations conveyed status. In fact, advancements in art, science, and technology were often prominently showcased in elaborate court entertainments that were characteristic of the period. Opening November 25, Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe (November 25, 2019–March 1, 2020, The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 999, Iris and Gerald B. Cantor Exhibition Hall, Floor 2) will explore the complex ways in which the wondrous objects collected and displayed by early modern European monarchs expressed these rulers’ ability to govern. Making Marvels is organized by Wolfram Koeppe, the Marina Kellen French Curator in The Met’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

Gerhard Emmoser (German, active 1556–84). Celestial globe with clockwork, 1579. Partially gilded silver, gilded brass (case); brass, steel (movement). Overall: 10 3/4 × 8 × 7 1/2 in. (27.3 × 20.3 × 19.1 cm); Diameter of globe: 5 1/2 in. (14 cm). Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (17.190.636)

The exhibition will feature approximately 170 objects—including clocks, automata, furniture, scientific instruments, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, print media, and more—from The Met collection and more than 50 lenders. A number of these works have never been displayed in the United States. Among the many exceptional loans will be silver furniture from the Esterházy Treasury; the largest flawless natural green diamond in the world, weighing 41 carats and in its original 18th-century setting; the alchemistic table bell of Emperor Rudolf II; a large wire-drawing bench made for Elector Augustus of Saxony; a rare example of an early equation clock by Jost Bürgi; and a reconstruction of a late 18th-century semi-automaton chess player, known as “The Turk,” that once famously caught Napoleon Bonaparte cheating.

Max Hollein, Director of The Met, commented: “On a regular basis, news about the latest technological devices and their astonishing capabilities both fascinates and delights us. These familiar feelings echo those of princely patrons in centuries past who desired to possess and display the most marvelous artistic creations and inventions, made of the most precious and unusual materials and incorporating the newest scientific information.

Making Marvels is the first exhibition in North America to highlight the important conjunction of art, science, and technology with entertainment and display that was essential to court culture. The exhibition will be divided into four sections dedicated to the main object types featured in these displays: precious metalwork, Kunstkammer objects, princely tools, and self-moving clockworks or automata. (Kunstkammer is the term used in German-speaking provinces to describe these collections.)

In order to emphasize the scientific and technological content of these objects, the exhibition will begin by establishing the high level of material value and artisanal quality that princes had to meet in these displays of wealth and power. Visitors will encounter a set of superbly fashioned silver furniture that was considered the ultimate symbol of power, status, and wealth during the early modern period. The second section will be dedicated to the unusual objects of the Kunstkammer. These items were typically composed of newly discovered natural materials set in finely crafted mounts of silver or gold, whose highly inventive designs often embodied the most up-to-date knowledge of the natural world. Reflective of the multi-layered objects they housed, the Kunstkammer functioned simultaneously as places of amusement, research retreats for the investigation of nature, and political showcases for magnificence.

Knowledge of subjects such as natural philosophy, artisanal craftsmanship, and technology was considered tantamount to the practical wisdom, self-mastery, and moral virtue integral to successful governance. Pursuits such as metalsmithing, surveying, horology, astronomy, and turning at the lathe were part of the education and entertainment of princes in courts across Europe. The exhibition’s third section will present the scientific instruments, artisanal tools, and experimental apparatus used by rulers as they developed the technical skills so important to their princely identity.

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TheMet150: “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle” at The Met

Opening June 2, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle (June 2–September 7, 2020, The Met Fifth Avenue, Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, Gallery 913) will present a striking and little-known series of paintings by the esteemed American modernist Jacob Lawrence titled Struggle . . . From the History of the American People (1954–56). The exhibition marks the first time in more than half a century that the powerful multi-paneled series is being reunited. The series reveals the artist’s prescient visual reckoning with the nation’s complex history through iconic and folkloric narratives.

Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917–2000). Struggle Series – No. 10: Washington Crossing the Delaware (detail), 1954. Egg tempera on hardboard, 12 x 16 in. (30.5 x 40.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2003 (2003.414). © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle presents the artist’s reinterpretation and re-imagining of key moments in the American Revolution and the early decades of the republic.

Lawrence conceived Struggle as 60 tempera-on-board paintings, 12 by 16 inches, spanning subjects from the American Revolution to World War I. As he expressed it in a grant application, he intended to depict “the struggles of a people to create a nation and their attempt to build a democracy.” In the end, Lawrence completed 30 panels—26 of which are still exisiting today, including No. 10: Washington Crossing the Delaware, now in The Met collection—representing historical moments from 1775 through 1817. In their dynamic compositional design and vivid color scheme, the works rank among the artist’s most sophisticated, reflecting the assuredness of a mature painter and intellect.

This compelling and rarely seen body of work incorporates quotations that emphasize America’s early fight for independence and expansionism as well as the oft-overlooked contributions of women and people of color. Lawrence painted Struggle at the height of the Cold War and Joseph McCarthy’s “Red Scare,” when the Civil Rights movement was also nascent, and the events of this transformative period deeply informed the artist’s approach to the historical subjects. Lawrence’s more inclusive representation of the nation’s past is no less relevant today; amid ongoing issues and debates regarding race and national identity, it resonates profoundly.

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle is co-curated by Elizabeth Hutton Turner, Professor of Modern Art at the University of Virginia, and Austen Barron Bailly, former Curator of American Art at Peabody Essex Museum now Chief Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, with support from Lydia Gordon, Assistant Curator at Peabody Essex Museum. The presentation at The Met is co-curated by Randall Griffey, Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Sylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing.

The exhibition is made possible by the Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore Foundation and is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MetJacobLawrence.

The Met Announces Celebrations for Its 150th-Anniversary Year in 2020

The exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020 will present more than 250 works of art from the collection while taking visitors on a journey through the Museum’s history.

The reopening of the galleries for British decorative arts and design will reveal a compelling new curatorial narrative.

Transformative New Gifts, Cross-Cultural Installations, And Major International Loan Exhibitions Will Be On View Throughout The Year.

Special Programs And Outreach Will Include A Birthday Commemoration On April 13, A Range Of Public Events June 4–6, And A Story-Collecting Initiative.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the key components of its 150th-Anniversary Celebration in 2020, including major gifts of art from around the world; exhibitions and displays that will examine art, history, and culture through spectacular objects; and dynamic programs that will engage The Met’s local and global communities. Highlights of the year include the exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020, the opening of the newly renovated British Galleries, the display of new works of art given to the Museum in honor of its 150th anniversary, the launch of cross-cultural installations, a robust schedule of programs and events, and more.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens—businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day—who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City— The Met Fifth Avenue (located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028), The Met Breuer (located at 945 Madison Ave at 75th Street, New York, NY 10021), and The Met Cloisters (located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040). Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures. metmuseum.org

The Met Fifth Avenue (located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028) (via www.metmuseum.org)

The Museum’s anniversary is an occasion to celebrate this extraordinary institution, and appreciate the vibrancy and astounding depth and scope of its collection, scholarship, and programs.” — Daniel H. Weiss, the Museum’s President and CEO

Daniel H. Weiss, the Museum’s President and CEO, said, “As we celebrate this milestone occasion, 150 years since our founding on April 13, 1870, we are grateful for the bold vision of our founders, who included a handful of New York City leaders and artists of the day. Over the course of the next 150 years, that vision grew into one of the most important cultural institutions in the world. This anniversary is an exciting moment to celebrate what The Met means to its audience, from the New Yorkers who enjoy the Museum regularly, to the millions of tourists who walk through our doors every year, to those who experience our offerings remotely. It is also an opportunity to reflect on our history, to plan thoughtfully for our future, and to say thank you.”

The Met Breuer (located at 945 Madison Ave at 75th Street, New York, NY 10021) (Via www.metmuseum.org)

He further adds, “The Museum’s anniversary is an occasion to celebrate this extraordinary institution, and appreciate the vibrancy and astounding depth and scope of its collection, scholarship, and programs. This moment is also a time to think deeply about our responsibilities as stewards of this exceptional resource, our commitment to cultivating the understanding and appreciation of art, and the ways in which we can illuminate the connections within cultural histories. The Met strives to be a seminal encyclopedic museum—of the world, for the world, and in the world—and we are grateful to everyone who supports us in achieving that goal.

The Met Cloisters (located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040) (via www.metmuseum.org)

Making The Met, 1870–2020

The centerpiece of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary celebration will be the exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020. On view March 30–August 2, 2020, the presentation is a museum-wide collaboration that will lead visitors on an immersive, thought-provoking journey through The Met’s history. Organized around transformational moments in the evolution of the Museum’s collection, buildings, and ambitions, the exhibition will reveal the visionary figures and cultural forces that propelled The Met in new directions, from its founding in 1870 to the present day. It will feature more than 250 works of art of nearly every type from The Met collection, including visitor favorites and fragile treasures that can only be displayed from time to time. A range of intriguing topics will be explored, such as the educational and aspirational ideals of The Met’s founders; the discoveries and dilemmas of excavation; the competing forces of progressivism and nationalism that led to the founding of the American Wing; the role of the Museum during wartime; and the evolution at The Met’s centennial toward a truly global approach to collecting. Rarely seen archival photographs, innovative digital features, and stories of both behind-the-scenes work and the Museum’s community outreach will enhance this unique experience. The exhibition will have an audio guide and be accompanied by a catalogue. More information is available at metmuseum.org/Making-The-Met.

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‘Painted In Mexico’ And Celebrated Around The World

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 (and running through July 22, 2018) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 2, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Gallery 999).

dona-72

Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz (Mexico, 1713–1772), Portrait of Doña María Tomasa Durán López de Cárdenas, c. 1762, Oil on canvas. 40 3/16 × 33 1/16 in. (102 × 84 cm). Galería Coloniart. Collection of Felipe Siegel, Anna and Andrés Siegel, Mexico City

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.

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 it is currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (November 19, 2017–March 18, 2018).

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.

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Attributed to José de Ibarra (Mexico, 1685–1756), From Spaniard and Mulatta, Morisca, c. 1730. Oil on canvas. 64 9/16 × 35 13/16 in. (164 × 91 cm). Private Collection, Madrid

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.

Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790 unfolds in seven major chronological and thematic sections:

Great Masters introduces the works of leading painters around whom others congregated, emphasizing intergenerational ties and the steady coalescence of a local tradition. It highlights the role of Juan Rodríguez Juárez in stimulating a stylistic change and spurring the establishment of an independent painting academy around 1722. Through an academic approach based on copying and drawing—aided by the arrival of prints and paintings from Europe—these artists and their contemporaries perfected their compositional skills, refined their depiction of space and architecture, and paid increasing attention to the anatomical correctness of figures.

Master Storytellers and the Art of Expression considers the resurgence of narrative painting in 18th-century Mexico in response to a growing demand for images that could convey complex sacred stories from the Bible and the lives of the saints. Often conceived as series, these works decorated the interiors of churches, convents, colleges, and other public spaces. An emphasis on domestic interiors and everyday details served to establish a connection with the viewer and humanize sacred content. Continue reading

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Announces Schedule of Spring and Summer 2018 Exhibitions

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

William Wegman, Before-After

William Wegman, Before/On/After (detail), 1972. Gelatin silver prints. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2016. © William Wegman, Courtesy the artist

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

Joseph Cornell (American, 1903–1972). Homage to Juan Gris, 1953–54.

Joseph Cornell (American, 1903-1972). Homage to Juan Gris, 1953-54. Box construction. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Purchased: John D. McIlhenny Fund. Art © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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

Thomas Cole (American, 1801–1848). View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts,

Thomas Cole (American, 1801-1848). View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm-The Oxbow (detail), 1836. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 x 76 in. (130.8 x 193 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1908

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

Leon Golub (American, 1922–2004). Gigantomachy II (detail), 1966

Leon Golub (American, 1922-2004). Gigantomachy II (detail), 1966. Acrylic on linen, 9 ft. 11 1/2 in. x 24 ft. 10 1/2 in. (303.5 x 758.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts and Stephen, Philip, and Paul Golub, 2016 (2016.696). © The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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. Continue reading

Rodin at The Met

Exhibition Dates: September 16, 2017–January 15, 2018

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery (Gallery 800) and Gallery 809

On the centenary of the death of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), The Metropolitan Museum of Art will celebrate its historic collection of the artist’s work in Rodin at The Met, opening September 16, 2017. (The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.)

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Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840-1917 Meudon), Orpheus and Eurydice, modeled probably before 1887, carved 1893, marble. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910

Nearly 50 marbles, bronzes, plasters, and terracottas by Rodin, representing more than a century of acquisitions and gifts to the Museum, will be displayed in the newly installed and refurbished B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery (Gallery 800). The exhibition will feature iconic sculptures such as The Thinker and The Hand of God, as well as masterpieces such as The Tempest that have not been on view in decades. Paintings from The Met’s collection by some of Rodin’s most admired contemporaries, including his friends Claude Monet (1840–1926) and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898), will be presented in dialogue with the sculptures on display.

The extraordinary range of The Met’s holdings of Rodin’s work will be highlighted in an adjacent gallery (Gallery 809) with a selection of drawings, prints, letters, and illustrated books, as well as photographs of the master sculptor and his art. This focused presentation will introduce visitors to the evolution of Rodin’s draftsmanship and demonstrate the essential role of drawing in his practice. It will also address Rodin’s engagement with photographers, especially Edward Steichen (1879-1973), who served as a key intermediary in bringing Rodin’s drawings to New York.

Rodin at The Met begins a new chapter in the Museum’s long-standing engagement with Rodin. In 1912, The Met opened a gallery dedicated to Rodin’s sculptures and drawings—the first at the Museum devoted exclusively to the work of a living artist. Displayed in that gallery were almost 30 sculptures and, within a year, 14 drawings. During the late 20th century, the historic core of The Met’s Rodin collection was further enhanced by Iris and B. Gerald Cantor and their Foundation’s gifts of more than 30 sculptures, many of them from editions authorized by the artist and cast posthumously. Today, The Met’s holdings of Rodin’s art are among the largest and most distinguished in the United States. The exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to experience anew Rodin’s enduring artistic achievements.

Rodin at The Met is organized by Denise Allen, Curator in The Met’s Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Ashley Dunn, Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints; and Alison Hokanson and Asher Ethan Miller, both Assistant Curators in the Department of European Paintings.

Education programs will accompany the exhibition including a Sunday at The Met program “Rediscover Rodin” on October 15, a Picture This! Workshop on October 19, and a Met Signs Tour: Rodin at The Met with Emmanuel von Schack on Friday, November 3.

The display in Gallery 809 will close on January 15, 2018. The installation of paintings and sculptures in Gallery 800 will remain on permanent view with periodic rotations of selected works.