Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

If it has been a long time since you visited a museum in New York City, spring is the perfect time to take that day trip journey.  One of our favorite places, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has an outstanding line up of exhibits. Invite a friend, gather the family or make an excursion with your social group and enjoy these exhibits in one of the most breathtaking museums New York has to offer! Here are a few highlights of some of their current exhibits.

American Literary Posters – The Museum’s collection of some 500 literary posters from nineteenth century American will run through June 11, 2024. “During the 1890s, a new type of poster emerged in the United States, one that more closely resembled a work of art than an advertisement. These were sleek, sophisticated posters publicized magazines, newspapers, books, and other forms of literature. Over the course of the 19th century, innovations in printing techniques enabled the production of multicolored posters that seamlessly integrated text with image. Before 1890, posters tended to be produced by large printing firms with little regard for aesthetic value. By contrast, literary posters were frequently printed by the issuing publishing houses, where art department staff could ensure a higher-quality product. They were also designed by the top illustrators of the day who drew on the latest stylistic trends such as Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement to create elegant, modern designs that had a lasting impact on illustration, graphic design, and marketing in the United States.”

Collection of Indian Court Painting is widely regarded as one of the finest of its kind, British artist Howard Hodgkin’s collection of Indian paintings includes works created at the Mughal, Deccan, Rajput, and Pahari courts dating from the 16th to the 19th century. Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting will present a unique and personal vision of India’s great painting tradition through newly acquired works from the artist’s collection. Running through June 9th, it will present over 120 examples of Indian court paintings assembled by Hodgkin over a lifetime of collecting. Underlying Hodgkin’s eclectic collection, which includes portraits, palace scenes, royal hunts, illustrations to religious epics, devotional subjects, and nature studies, are several unifying themes that reflect Hodgkin’s preferences for compositions that convey narrative drama, poetic allusion, and emotional intensity. He also had a predilection for elephants rendered as portraits and in action.

Hidden Faces Covered Portraits of the Renaissance is the first exhibition to examine an intriguing but largely unknown tradition of Renaissance painting: portraits designed as multisided objects in which the sitters’ images were concealed behind a hinged or sliding cover, within a box, or by a dual-faced format. Private portraits were often hidden beneath other paintings that served as witty prologues and protective covers. The reverses and covers of these portraits were adorned with puzzle-like emblems, inscriptions, allegories, and mythologies that reflected the sitters’ characters as well as broader cultural values. The viewer decoded the meaning of the symbolic portrait before lifting, sliding, or turning the image over to unmask the face below.

The Temple of Dendur – One of our family’s favorites, is the Temple from the Roman period during the reign of Augustus Caesar, ca 15BC. This is a permanent exhibit  where visitors can see up close and personal and walk through this awe inspiring structure from Egypt, Nubia, Dendur from the West bank of the Nile River, 50 miles south of Aswan.  Made from Aeolian sandstone, from the gate to the rear of the temple is 82 feet.  The structure was given to the United States by Egypt in 1965 and awarded to the Museum 1967.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10028-0198          Phone: 212-535-7710