Tag Archives: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum: “Mechanical Marvels – Automation” From 17th & 18th Century (Videos)

The mahout (elephant keeper), the turbaned Ottoman warriors, and the crowning crescent all allude to the Eastern origins of the elephant. Within the Kunstkammer the elephant represented rulership. This automaton clock, which strikes at both the quarter hour and the hour, is driven by a movement connected to a wheel mounted on the walkway of the howdah (saddle). On the hour, the four Muslim warriors revolve around the brickwork tower. The mahout thumps his arm up and down, as though he were leading the animal, and his counterweighted eyes move back and forth as the machine travels.

Presented to Empress Maria Theresa in Vienna in 1760, this automaton was made at the height of the “century of writing.” Written communication connected scientists, dignitaries, scholars, and artists across long distances, and the act of writing was celebrated in every form. This piece is the last in a series of increasingly complicated ones that Friedrich von Knaus produced during his tenure as Austrian court machinist; he presented other examples to dignitaries such as the French king Louis XV and Duke Charles Alexander of Lorraine.

The machine writes through the hand of the small statuette seated at its top, one of the first mechanical writing figures in human form. This video shows the mechanisms inside the sphere that produce its precise movements. Up to 107 words can be preprogrammed by the arrangement of pegs on a barrel. The figure can also be set via a hand-worked control to appear to write from dictation; this technology that presaged the first typewriter.

Duke Charles Alexander of Lorraine, who bought this automaton clock in 1777, collected luxury objects made in his realm that demonstrated local technical advances. The self-moving components of this timepiece represent the height of Flemish invention in a fashionable Neoclassical style. Mechanically complex and visually impressive, this sparkling clock was a worthy addition to the duke’s collection of timepieces and scientific instruments.

This video shows the movement of the dials for hours, minutes, and seconds; days of the month; and phases of the moon, as well as that of the seven dynamic design elements. The cross-of-Lorraine pendulum swings steadily over the main dial, underneath a dancing letter M. Above the calendar dial turns a Catherine wheel, while the four dragons supporting the obelisk flap their wings and spit pearls. Another Catherine wheel spins above the moon-phase dial, and the entire obelisk is topped by a rotating planetarium. The fourth dial shows the maker’s signature.

Website: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/making-marvels-science-splendor

 

Artist Profiles: Watercolor Painter Thomas W. Schaller Interviewed By The Met

From a MyModernMet.com online article:

Thomas W Schaller Fine Art in WatercolorSince I work as a fine artist now, there are fewer commercial entities to please, so I’ve discovered something that should have been very obvious. If you want to engage the viewer, don’t tell them everything, encourage them to ask their own questions. An artist should not describe—he or she should interpret. If you design into your work a bit of mystery—areas where the viewer must “fill in the blanks”—you set up an unspoken dialog with your viewers and an emotional weight will begin to develop organically. This is just one example of course, but an important one.

Artist Thomas W. Schaller combines a passion for architecture and storytelling into emotional landscape watercolor paintings. Originally trained as an architect, he found himself drawn to images of the built environment and eventually left designing behind to pursue fine art on a full-time basis. His education places him in an ideal position for architecture painting. Schaller understands how to design structures and knows what attributes to include and what he should leave out. At the same time, he’s able to tap into the feelings we get from visiting a city—such as a sentimentality—to produce pieces that are both beautiful and alluring.

To read more: https://mymodernmet.com/thomas-schaller-watercolor-paintings/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_term=2019-10-29

Museum Exhibitions: “The Renaissance Of Etching” At The Metropolitan Museum Thru Jan. 20, 2020

From a MetMuseum.org online release:

The Renaissance of Etching Metropolitan Museum NYThis exhibition traces the first sixty years of the etched print (circa 1490 to circa 1560), from its emergence in the workshop of the German printmaker and armor decorator Daniel Hopfer to the years when a range of artists from Germany, Flanders, Italy, and France began experimenting with etching. Approximately 125 etchings, produced by both renowned and lesser-known artists, are displayed alongside a number of drawings, printing plates, illustrated books, and armor.

The history of printmaking has been punctuated by moments of great invention that have completely changed the course of the medium. The beginning of etching in Europe in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries—when the technique moved out of the workshop of armor decorators and into those of printmakers and painters—represents one of those pivotal moments. Etching, essentially drawing on the surface of a metal plate, had an ease that opened the door for all kinds of artists to make prints. The pioneers of the medium included some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, such as Albrecht Dürer, Parmigianino, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

To read more: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/renaissance-of-etching

Top New Exhibitions: “The Last Knight” At The Metropolitan Museum, NYC Through Jan 5, 2020

From the MetMuseum.org online:

The Last Knight Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition BookThe Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I examines the profound significance of European armor at the dawn of the Renaissance, through the lens of Emperor Maximilian I’s (1459–1519) remarkable life. On view only at The Met, The Last Knight coincides with the five-hundredth anniversary of Maximilian’s death, and is the most ambitious North American loan exhibition of European arms and armor in decades. Including 180 objects selected from some thirty public and private collections in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, The Last Knight will explore how Maximilian’s unparalleled passion for the trappings and ideals of knighthood served his boundless worldly ambitions, imaginative stratagems, and resolute efforts to forge a lasting personal and family legacy.

This exhibition features many works of art on view outside Europe for the first time, including Maximilian’s own sumptuous armors that highlight his patronage of the greatest European armorers of his age, as well as related manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, glass, tapestry, and toys, all of which emphasize the emperor’s dynastic ambitions and the centrality of chivalry at the imperial court and beyond.

To read more: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/last-knight-art-armor-ambition-maximilian?utm_source=Exhibitions&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2019_1019_Met_Exhibitions

Top Exhibitions: “Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet”, Metropolitan Museum NYC October 29

From the MetMuseum.org website:

Nuit tombante sur la Loire - Félix Vallotton, 1923Witness to the radical aesthetics that gripped Paris in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Vallotton developed his own singular voice. Today we recognize him as a distinctive artist of his generation. His lampooning wit, subversive satire, and wry humor is apparent everywhere in his artistic production. Vallotton’s trenchant woodcuts of the 1890s solidified his reputation as a printmaker of the first rank while boldly messaging his left-wing politics.

Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet will present pivotal moments in the artist’s career as a painter and printmaker. Painted portraits, luminous landscapes, and interior narratives that pulse with psychological tension join the exhibition from more than two Metropolitan Museum of Artdozen lenders. Swiss-born and Paris-educated, Vallotton (1865–1925) created lasting imagery of fin-de-siècle Paris.

For the first time ever, this exhibition will display Picasso’s legendary portrait of Gertrude Stein, from The Met collection, alongside Vallotton’s rendering of this formidable collector, which was painted a year later. Vallotton finished his portrait in a matter of weeks and gave it to Gertrude Stein.

To read more: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/felix-vallotton-painter-disquiet

Behind The Scenes Books: “Stealing The Show” By John Barelli Showcases The NY Metropolitan Museum Of Art Security

From a Wall Street Journal book review:

Stealing The Show John BarelliWhen Diana, Princess of Wales, attended the Met’s Costume Institute Gala in 1996, a black-tie-clad Mr. Barelli was at her side. “I wasn’t nervous, but the pressure!” he said. “You don’t want anything to go wrong.” The princess had one request: that he keep an eye on the black lace shoulder straps of her midnight blue Dior dress and adjust them if they slipped. “I almost told her: ‘Yeah, right, I have to touch your dress.’ That’s all I have to do. I think my wife would be a little upset,” he recalled. There was no wardrobe malfunction and the evening went off without a hitch, although Mr. Barelli remembers security concerns putting a damper on the fun-loving princess. “We couldn’t let her dance,” he said.

Mr. Barelli, now 70 years old, devoted much of his tenure to less-glamorous work, such as disposing of artifacts from would-be donors. In 2007, a curator in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas received two shrunken human heads in the mail. The cardboard box had no return address, just a note donating the contents, which the sender said had come from friends in Ecuador. “They did have an odor,” said Mr. Barelli, who ultimately consigned the package to the city morgue.

To read more click on the following link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/royalty-a-naked-visitor-and-shrunken-heads-at-the-met-11565521202

New Museum Exhibitions: Metropolitan Museum Of Art Features “The Moon In The Age Of Photography”

Apollo's Muse The Moon In the Age of Photography CatalogOn July 20, 1969, half a billion viewers around the world watched as the first images of American astronauts on the moon were beamed back to the earth. The result of decades of technical innovation, this thrilling moment in the history of images radically expanded the limits of human vision.

Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography surveys visual representations of the moon from the dawn of photography through the present. In addition to photographs, the show features a selection of related drawings, prints, paintings, films, astronomical instruments, and cameras used by Apollo astronau

JULY 3–SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

Metropolitan Museum of Art

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/apollos-muse-moon-photography