Musical Explorers Family Concerts on Saturday, January 18 at Carnegie Hall Introduce Children to Music From Around the World

Interactive Performances Showcase Cumbia, Armenian Folk, and Hip-Hop

New York City Public School Students in Grades K–2 Learn About Different Cultures in the Classroom through Musical Explorers

Plus, More than 150,000 Students Across the US Participate in Musical Explorers Through Newly Launched Free Digital Platform

On Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., three vibrant New York City-based musical groups will perform in Zankel Hall as part of the Musical Explorers Family Concert, an interactive experience celebrating music from around the world. The performance features cumbia with Gregorio Uribe, Armenian folk with Zulal, and hip-hop with Soul Science Lab. Free pre-concert activities are offered one hour prior to each performance, preparing parents and children to sing and dance along with the artists.

Colombian singer, songwriter, and accordionist Gregorio Uribe has forged a unique place in the music scene of both the US and Latin America. Founder and leader of the Gregorio Uribe Big Band, a 16-piece orchestra that blends cumbia and other Colombian rhythms with powerful big band arrangements, he released the album Cumbia Universal featuring eight-time Grammy winner Rubén Blades. Uribe’s next project is an album with a smaller ensemble that highlights his songwriting and his signature instrument, the accordion. His music has also been showcased in documentaries and TV series, including FX’s Mayans M.C. and CBS’s MacGyver.

Zulal, which means “clear water,” is an Armenian a cappella trio that features Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian, and Anaïs Tekerian. The trio rearranges and re-imagines traditional Armenian folk melodies for stage and recordings. Performing since 2002, Zulal has performed at venues such as The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to performing and arranging, Zulal also creates soundtracks for film and theater, and offers educational workshops for young audiences.

Soul Science Lab is the multimedia duo of artist, educator, and creative director Chen Lo and multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Asanté Amin. The group’s work draws on the full lineage of black American music, from West African roots to contemporary hip-hop. Between them, they have shared the stage with The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Raheem DeVaughn, Wynton Marsalis, and dead prez, and have performed on major stages, including Lincoln Center, BAM, and the Apollo Theater. Together, they created the groundbreaking production Soundtrack ’63, combining music and visuals to explore the black experience in the US from slavery to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

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Met Receives Major Gift of Late 19th-Century American Decorative Arts and Paintings from Barrie and Deedee Wigmore for Museum’s 150th Anniversary

Nearly 50 Highlights on View Beginning December 2

Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore have promised 88 superlative examples of American Aesthetic Movement and Gilded Age decorative arts and contemporaneous paintings from their collection—one of the preeminent holdings of late 19th-century American art in private hands—to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The gift is part of The Met’s 2020 Collections Initiative celebrating the Museum’s 150th anniversary.

In the Aesthetic Movement, art infused every aspect of one’s home, and the incredible range of objects in this exceptional gift will enable The Met to evoke such an interior,” said Max Hollein, Director of the Museum. “This gift also has particular resonance in The Met’s 150th anniversary year, as the objects represent prime examples of American decorative arts and paintings that were created around the time The Met was formed. We are deeply grateful to Trustee Barrie Wigmore and his wife, Deedee, for their remarkable generosity.”

These works represent a truly transformative gift that will considerably enhance our strong collection by adding to areas of preexisting strength and building upon new areas of interest. The Wigmores have been collecting for the past four decades with extraordinary discernment and intelligence, and the items that will be coming to The Met are true masterworks in all media,” added Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, the Museum’s Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts.

Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823–1880). An Indian Summer Day on Claverack Creek, 1877–79. Oil on canvas. Promised Gift of Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary
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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: “Gerhard Richter: Painting After All” at The Met Breuer

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present a major loan exhibition devoted to the work of one of the greatest artists of our time: Gerhard Richter (German, born Dresden 1932), during the celebratory 150th year of its founding. On view at The Met Breuer from March 4 through July 5, 2020, Gerhard Richter: Painting After All (Floors 3 & 4) will span the artist’s six decade-long preoccupation with the twin modes of painterly naturalism and chromatic abstraction, in relation to photographic and other representational iconographies.

Comprising over 100 works from a prolific career—encompassing paintings, glass sculptures, prints, and photographs—the exhibition will present an incisive cut through Richter’s entire body of works. Significant early works will be brought into visual dialogue with recent ones that share a singular engagement with postwar avant-garde art practices, particularly his investigations into the ongoing formal and conceptual possibilities of painting. This is evident through his often-simultaneous production of both abstract and figurative compositions, the chromatic and conceptual nuances of gray across different media, and his interpretations of landscape and portraiture. Interwoven throughout the show will be works that testify to Richter’s long reckoning with history, as well as his exploration of photography’s relationship to realism and its mediation of memory.

Gerhard Richter (German, b. 1932). Ice (detail), 1981. Oil on canvas, 27 9/16 x 39 3/8 in. (70 x 100 cm). Collection of Ruth McLoughlin, Monaco. © Gerhard Richter 2019 (08102019)

The exhibition will be the first major exhibition in the United States on the work of Gerhard Richter in nearly twenty years. Gerhard Richter: Painting After All will feature several iconic works such as Uncle Rudi (1965), Betty (1977), and September (2005), and will also highlight many lesser-known works such as his series of monoprints from 1957 titled Elbe. Galleries devoted to single series including the twelve paintings entitled Forest (1995), will provide an immersive experience. Finally, two new glass works Gray Mirrors (4 Parts) (2018) and House of Cards (5Panes) (2020) will be exhibited for the first time.

Of equal importance, Gerhard Richter: Painting After All will highlight two important recent series by the artist that will serve as significant points of departure for the exhibition: Birkenau (2014) andCage (2006), both of which will be exhibited in the United States for the first time. Richter’s encounter with the only known photographs taken by prisoners inside the Nazi concentration camp led to the creation of the Birkenau series. The four paintings speak to Richter’s belief in painting as a powerful means to address the complex and often-difficult legacies of both personal and civic history. The six Cage paintings are key to understanding his lifelong preoccupation with abstraction through a different lens. In homage to the American composer and philosopher John Cage, whose innovative compositional techniques used chance as a way to ”imitate nature,” Richter’s meticulous multi-layered paintings are based on similar principles of calculated incidents.

Following its presentation in New York, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art (August 14, 2020–January 19, 2021).

The Met Breuer
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TheMet150: Met Receives Major Gift of Late 19th-Century American Decorative Arts and Paintings from Barrie and Deedee Wigmore for Museum’s 150th Anniversary

Nearly 50 Highlights on View Beginning December 2

Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore have promised 88 superlative examples of American Aesthetic Movement and Gilded Age decorative arts and contemporaneous paintings from their collection—one of the preeminent holdings of late 19th-century American art in private hands—to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gift is part of The Met’s 2020 Collections Initiative celebrating the Museum’s 150th anniversary.

Comprised of prime examples of American decorative arts and paintings, all created around the time The Met was formed, this gift has particular resonance in the Museum’s anniversary year,” stated Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “We are deeply grateful to Met Trustee Barrie Wigmore and his wife, Deedee, for their exceptional generosity.”

Aesthetic Splendors: Highlights from the Gift of Barrie and Deedee Wigmore will be on view in the Museum’s American Wing beginning December 2, 2019, in a gallery named for Mrs. Wigmore and devoted to decorative arts of the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s and 1880s. The Met’s temporary installation will evoke the scrupulously restored interiors of the Wigmores’ home (which was constructed in the same period), with reproduction wallpapers of the same era as their collection. While a few of the works have been included in major exhibitions, most of those on display have never been seen by the public.

Aesthetic Splendors: Highlights from the Gift of Barrie and Deedee Wigmore: One of the most exceptional examples of the the Aesthetic Movement is a large Herter cabinet with delicate marquetry decoration of butterflies and spiderwebs, intricate carving, and gilding. (Image provided by The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Speaking about the gift, Mr. and Mrs. Wigmore said: “Having our collection go to the American Wing is like having it stay in the family.

The focus of the Wigmores’ collection is art dating from the 1860s to the early 1890s, a period that coincides with many significant cultural achievements in New York, including the founding of The Met in 1870. The enormous wealth earned by post–Civil War industrialists and financiers gave rise to what is known as the Gilded Age—a period when highly skilled craftspeople, mainly immigrants, produced sumptuous objects for a discerning clientele.

The Wigmores’ holdings are a testament to their commitment to collecting works of the highest quality. Assembled over four decades, the collection features outstanding works by luminaries of American art. Their early focus in American painting was on members of the second generation of the Hudson River School, including multiple works by Albert Bierstadt, Sanford R. Gifford, John Kensett, Alfred Thompson Bricher, and Jervis McEntee. Because the Wigmores began collecting at an early date, they were able to acquire some of the finest examples by these leading artists. Among the highlights of their collection are the many masterful plein air (on the spot) oil sketches of the American wilderness, which they purchased at a time when these vibrant, quickly executed works were overlooked; today, they are much sought after and highly valued. These sketches provide a window into the artists’ thought processes and served as inspiration for their large-scale paintings. Of particular note are the plein air study and the much larger finished canvas for Gifford’s 1877–79 work An Indian Summer Day on Claverack Creek. The collection of paintings are in gilded, 19th-century frames that the artists of the Hudson River School regarded as critical to the aesthetic presentation of their work.

The Wigmores were pioneers in collecting the decorative arts, especially furniture and artistic brass furnishings, of the 1870s and 1880s, the period when the Aesthetic Movement was in full favor in America. They concentrated on premier furniture firms—including Herter Brothers and Kimbel & Cabus of New York and A. and H. Lejambre and Daniel Pabst of Philadelphia—that catered to a wealthy clientele. One of the most exceptional examples is a large Herter cabinet with delicate marquetry decoration of butterflies and spiderwebs, intricate carving, and gilding. The Wigmores were among the first to recognize the significance of “art brass” (decorative objects made of bronze), and their impressive holdings include exuberant work by principal makers, notably the Charles Parker Company in Meriden, Connecticut.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Receives Exceptional Bequest from Jayne Wrightsman, Trustee Emerita and Generous Benefactor

The historic bequest includes over $80 million and more than 375 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, decorative art objects, and rare books

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today (November 13, 2019) an exceptional bequest of over 375 works from the late Jayne Wrightsman (1919–2019), Trustee Emerita and one of the most generous Benefactors in the Museum’s history. The bequest includes significant gifts to the departments of Drawings and Prints, European Paintings, and European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, as well as to the Department of Asian Art, the Department of Islamic Art, and The Watson Library. In total, Jayne and her husband Charles Wrightsman (1895–1986) have given more than 1,275 works to The Met.

Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO, states: “Jayne and Charles Wrightsman served as model patrons and standard-bearers for a generation of donors. Their legendary eye for art was exceeded in magnitude only by their unwavering dedication to The Met collection, galleries, and staff. They truly became part of the Museum’s family, and we are eternally grateful for the infinite ways they profoundly impacted—and will continue to impact—this institution.

Max Hollein, Director, states: “Jayne Wrightsman’s extraordinary bequest is a capstone to more than half a century’s worth of inspired acts of generosity. Nearly every aspect of the Museum has benefitted enormously from the Wrightsmans’ devoted patronage. They have enriched the lives of countless visitors to The Met through their gifts of rare, beautiful, and priceless works of art, and their legacy will long be remembered and celebrated by all. The Met would not be what it is today without Jayne and Charles Wrightsman.”

In addition to this gift, Jayne made provisions for substantial additional funding to the existing Wrightsman Fund, of which over $80 million has already been received by The Met. The fund supports ongoing acquisitions of works of art from Western Europe and Great Britain created during the period from 1500 to 1850. The support comes at a time of financial stability for the Museum, as described in its recently released Annual Report for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018–June 30, 2019). The Wrightsman bequest helped the Museum achieve a total of $211.5 million in new gifts and pledges in FY19. The bequest will also be reflected in the current fiscal year that will end on June 30, 2020, and in years to come as the Wrightsman Fund continues to receive funds that are an ongoing part of the bequest.

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Exhibition To Watch in 2020: Making The Met, 1870–2020

In 2020, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding with a dynamic range of exhibitions, programs, and public events. Highlights of the year will include the exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020, on view March 30–August 2; the opening of the newly renovated and reimagined galleries devoted to British decorative arts and design in March; the display of new gifts throughout the Museum; a three-day-long celebration in June; and a story-collecting initiative. (More information is available at www.metmuseum.org/150.)

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 in the Second Floor Tisch Galleries, 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.

Making The Met, 1870–2020 is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. Lead corporate sponsorship is provided by Bank of America.

The exhibition 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. The selection will span millennia—from an imposing seated statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut (ca. 1479–1458 B.C.) to Jean Pucelle’s Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux (ca. 1324–28) to El Anatsui’s monumental Dusasa II (2007)—and media—from Michelangelo’s sheet of Studies for the Libyan Sibyl to Degas’s bronze Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer to Edward Steichen’s photographs of The Flatiron. Its global reach will extend from Asia, with exceptional works such as Mi Fu’s Night-Shining White, to Africa, with the Fang Seated Female Figure from a Reliquary Ensemble, and the Americas, with the Crown of the Andes.

Making The Met, 1870–2020 will explore a range of intriguing topics, 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.

Young 19th- and 21st-century viewers gaze at Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, by Emanuel Leutze. Left: Archival photo from The Met archives. Right: Photo by Roderick Aichinger. Composite image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exhibition Overview

The exhibition will be organized in ten chronological sections around a central axis, called The Street, that will situate visitors in time and offer glimpses into the inner workings of The Met and, exceptionally, out into Central Park.

The first section, The Founding Decades, will transport visitors back to the Museum’s early years. The Met was founded without art, a building, or professional staff—it had only the vision of a group of businessmen, civic leaders, and artists determined to elevate the cultural landscape of the city of New York. This gallery will reveal the initial priorities for the collection, including antiquities excavated from Cyprus by The Met’s first director, General Luigi Palma di Cesnola, and European old master paintings from the founding purchase of 1871. It will also call attention to the contributions of artist trustees, such as Frederic Edwin Church, and the surprising diversity of early acquisitions, from Toltec reliefs to Japanese armor.

In the early 20th century, The Met sought to reach audiences beyond the traditional elite museumgoers and created study rooms to inspire a new generation of designers, craftspeople, and students. In keeping with an increasingly encyclopedic vision for the collection, ephemeral and utilitarian objects were acquired in addition to masterpieces. The exhibition’s second gallery, Art for All, will spotlight three collections—musical instruments, textiles, and prints and drawings—and the visionary curators, Frances Morris and William Ivins, who oversaw them.

In the same era, under the guiding influence of J. Pierpont Morgan, president of the Board of Trustees, The Met began to aspire to the model of the great collections formed by European royalty and aristocracy. Princely Aspirations will feature objects prized for their rarity and beauty that were given to the Museum by tycoons of the Gilded Age, such as Benjamin Altman and Collis Huntington. Highlights include Johannes Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Lute, Antonio Rossellino’s Madonna and Child with Angels, 18th-century decorative arts that once adorned French palaces, and a Kunstkammer of precious objects. This section will look ahead to more recent benefactors, such as Robert Lehman and Charles and Jayne Wrightsman, who carried forward this spirit of collecting.

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