Nearly from its inception, Surrealism has had an international scope, but knowledge of the movement has been formed primarily through a Western European focus. Join Stephanie D’Alessandro, the Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art and Senior Research Coordinator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met, and explore this exhibition, which reconsiders the true “movement” of Surrealism beyond boundaries of geography and chronology—and within networks that span Eastern Europe to the Caribbean, Asia to North Africa, and Australia to Latin America. Including examples from almost eight decades and produced across at least 45 countries, Surrealism Beyond Borders offers a fresh appraisal of some of the collective concerns and exchanges—as well as historical, national, and local distinctions—that will recast appreciation of this most revolutionary and globe-spanning movement. Learn more about the exhibition at https://www.metmuseum.org/surrealism
Watch a video preview of the exhibition, “Surrealism Beyond Borders,” on view at The Met from October 11, 2021–January 30, 2022. Nearly from its inception, Surrealism has had an international scope, but knowledge of the movement has been formed primarily through a Western European focus. This exhibition reconsiders the true “movement” of Surrealism across boundaries of geography and chronology—and within networks that span Eastern Europe to the Caribbean, Asia to North Africa, and Australia to Latin America. Including almost eight decades of work produced by artists from over 45 countries, “Surrealism Beyond Borders” offers a fresh appraisal of these collective concerns and exchanges—as well as historical, national, and local distinctions—that recasts appreciation of this most revolutionary and globe-spanning movement. Learn more about the exhibition: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions…
Join curators, conservators, and horticulturists as they discuss some projects they have been working on over the past year and experience the magic of The Met Cloisters.
Featuring: Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge, The Met Cloisters Carly Still, Managing Horticulturist, The Met Cloisters Lucretia Kargere, Conservator, The Met Cloisters Julia Perratore, Assistant Curator, The Met Cloisters Yvette Weaver, Assistant Horticulturist, The Met Cloisters
Featured Artwork: Book of Flower Studies, ca. 1510–1515, Made in Tours, France (acc. no. 2019.197) Altar Predella and Socle of Archbishop Don Dalmau de Mur ca. 1456–1458, Made in Saragossa, Aragon, Spain (acc. no. 09.146) Apse from San Martin at Fuentidueña, ca. 1175–1200, Made in Segovia, Castile-León, Spain (L.58.86a–f) Video by Steadfast Productions in association with The Met
Join curators Keith Christiansen, Stephan Wolohojian, and Adam Eaker on a tour through the newly installed European Paintings galleries and explore new dialogues and themes among the works. A New Look at Old Masters is part of the European Paintings Skylights Project and is a prelude to the final, expansive re-installation of the European Paintings galleries that will take place after the project is completed.
Mark McDonald, Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints, takes us on a virtual tour of Goya’s Graphic Imagination to explore how Goya’s drawings and prints allowed him to share his complex ideas and respond to the turbulent social and political changes occurring in the world around him.
The British Galleries are reopening with almost 700 works of art on view, including a large number of new acquisitions, particularly works from the 19th century that were purchased with this project in mind. This is the first complete renovation of the galleries since they were established (Josephine Mercy Heathcote Gallery in 1986, Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries in 1989). A prominent new entrance provides direct access from the galleries for medieval European art, creating a seamless transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
A highlight of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary in 2020 is the opening, on March 2, of the Museum’s newly installed Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries and Josephine Mercy Heathcote Gallery—11,000 square feet devoted to British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900. The reimagined suite of 10 galleries (including three superb 18th-century interiors) provides a fresh perspective on the period, focusing on its bold, entrepreneurial spirit and complex history. The new narrative offers a chronological exploration of the intense commercial drive among artists, manufacturers, and retailers that shaped British design over the course of 400 years. During this period, global trade and the growth of the British Empire fueled innovation, industry, and exploitation. Works on view illuminate the emergence of a new middle class—ready consumers for luxury goods—which inspired an age of exceptional creativity and invention during a time of harsh colonialism.
Watch a video preview of Gerhard Richter: Painting After All, on view at The Met Breuer from March 4 through July 5, 2020. The exhibition, which considers Richter’s six-decade-long preoccupation with the dual means of representation and abstraction to explore the material, conceptual and historical implications of painting, spans the entirety of Richter’s prolific and innovative career, and presents over one hundred works that focus on his specific commitment to the medium, as well as his related interests in photography, digital reproduction, and sculpture.
“It is critical to reckon with the power imbalance enacted when a white male artist transposes the body of a black woman into an emblem of enslavement.”
Why Born Enslaved! was first conceived in 1868 by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, one of the greatest French sculptors of the nineteenth century. The bust portrays a woman straining against a rope pulled taut around her arms, back, and breast. Her shoulders project forward and the right tendon of her neck protrudes as she twists her body in one direction and turns her head sharply in the other.
The figure’s defiant, uplifted gaze extends her spiraling movement and conveys her perseverance through pain as the work’s rhetorical title, inscribed on the sculpture’s base, proclaims, “Pourquoi Naitre Esclave!”
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.