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Metropolitan Museum of Art: An attraction to behold – II

Posted on May 18, 2011 | Art MuseumsNo Comment



In the previous article, we had a look on some of the most famous departments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Continuing with the tour of historical marvels, in this article, we shall look on some more wonderful departments of this museum in Manhattan.

The museum is an architectural wonder, and has a huge number of collections that are worthy of interest for aficionados of sculpture and art from various parts of the world.

European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Regarded as among the largest departments, this collection is the venue of over 50,000 objects right since the 15th century. Focusing more on the Renaissance sculpture, the department also is the home of a plethora of glass and ceramic pieces, jewelry, tapestries, furniture, textiles, and mathematical tools. You will get a chance to explore many period rooms wherein the highlights are 16th century patio of Vélez Blanco castle, Bernini’s Bacchanal, Houdon’s Bust of Voltaire and daughter Sabine portrait, and a cast of Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais.

Greek and Roman Art

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this encompasses at least 35,000 pieces of works of 312 A.D. The main highlights here are the Roman sarcophagus that was the first item to dwell here and ancient Greece as well as Roman Empire items. You will surely adore a wide range of artistic as well as cultural items ranging from the classic red-figure vases to the Greek black-figure ones. Check out for the Euphronios krater showing the Sarpedon’s demise, Amathus sarcophagus, an Etruscan chariot called the ‘Monteleone chariot’, and the notable Cycladic sculptures of the 3rd millennium BCE. There are also Roman and Greek galleries holding big wall paintings as well as reliefs of which the most outstanding is the rejuvenated bedroom of Boscoreale’s villa.

Islamic Art

Here, you will come across not only religious art, but also can spot decorative elements of mosques of which many are secular. Such a combination is not seen anywhere else in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Check out for the ceramics and textiles belonging to Spain, Central Asia, and North Africa. However, the main highlight is the set of miniature paintings that belong to the Iran as well as Mughal India. You can also marvel at the various styles of religious and secular calligraphies and Nur Al-Din Room of a Damascus house of 18th century.

Robert Lehman Collection

Nestled in the Robert Lehman Wing, this collection is regarded as among the most unusual private art exhibitions in US. Exhibiting the hero’s rich townhouse, the interior of the Robert Lehman collection reveals the personal interests of Lehman who focused more on the Italian Renaissance paintings. Look for the paintings made by Domenico Veneziano as well as Botticelli, Spanish paintings of El Greco and Goya, and works of Rembrandt and Dürer.

Medieval Art

This is where you will find a broad variety of Western art since the 4th century along with the pre-medieval European and Byzantine artifacts that are no seen among the Roman and Ancient Greek displays. The main highlight here is the two- and three-dimensional art collection wherein the religious items are worth a look.

Main Building

This is the home of the medieval collection on the first-floor gallery, which boasts 6000 items. The focus is on the European medieval art of which a majority is at Cloisters. The main gallery houses many different tapestries along with the funerary as well as church statuary, whereas the other galleries show small items of valuable metals and ivory. The former gallery is also the venue of the adorned Christmas tree in December.

The Cloisters

Nestled in the Fort Tryon Park, this unique edifice only houses medieval European art. It is named so due to the five French cloisters incorporated here. The highlights here are the Belles Heures of Jean de France, the Romanesque altar cross (Cloisters Cross), and the seven brave tapestries showing the Unicorn Hunt.

Modern Art

This is the home of over 10,000 art pieces created by the American as well as European artists. Attractions in this section of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts include Jasper Johns’s White Flag, Picasso’s Gertrude Stein, Max Beckmann’s triptych beginning, and Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm.

Libraries

Look for the Thomas J. Watson Library wherein there books of art history including auction sale publications and exhibition catalogues. There are specialized libraries corresponding to the museum departments too. Some of the famous ones are The Library and Teacher Resource Center; Robert Goldwater Library in Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; and Ruth and Harold Uris Center for Education.

Musical Instruments

This collection is just unique as it houses around 5000 instances of the instruments from across the globe. Check out for the Stradivari violins, oldest piano, Asian instruments of valuable metals, and a model of 1720 made by Bartolomeo Cristofori. The best as well as exciting fact is that you can play these instruments. If you are lucky, you might be able to see a concert or demonstration as a show for encouraging their use.

Photographs

These are 20,000 of which the initial ones were first donated by the famous photographer, Alfred Stieglitz. There are even collections from Edward Steichen, Stieglitz, and Walker Evans.

Once you have visited completely all the departments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, just go to its Roof Garden towards the southwest corner from where you can enjoy the vista of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Central Park. It is also the venue of an annual summertime  sculpture display of a single artist.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: An attraction to behold – I

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