The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced the critical components of its upcoming 150th-anniversary celebration in 2020, which include significant gifts of art from around the world. Exhibitions and dynamic programs examine art, history, and culture, engaging The Met’s local and global communities. Highlights of the year include the exhibition “Making The Met,” 1870–2020, the opening of the newly renovated British Galleries, and a celebration in June.
The centerpiece of the celebration will be the exhibition “Making The Met,” 1870–2020. On view March 30–August 2, 2020, 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. It will feature more than 250 works of art of nearly every type from The Met collection. This exhibition explores a wide range of intriguing topics.
The March 2nd opening of the newly renovated Annie Laurie Aitken and Josephine Mercy Heathcote Galleries is another essential aspect of the anniversary celebration. These ten galleries will feature almost 700 works of British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900, covering 11,000 square feet. These spaces will provide a fresh perspective on the period, focusing on its bold, entrepreneurial spirit and complex history. This is the first complete renovation of the galleries since they were established. The reopening will feature a large number of new acquisitions, mainly works from the 19th century that were purchased with this project in mind.
The Met’s 150th anniversary is a fresh opportunity to further evolve the institution’s comprehensive collection in all curatorial areas, with an eye toward capturing multiple historical narratives. Various exhibits will be on display in the months to come, including a Costume Institute exhibition in November and a photography collection featuring legendary artists Cindy Sherman and Man Ray. Check The Met website for the full list of offerings.
The Met will also launch a new series of installations drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection called “Crossroads,” which will explore specific themes that span different cultures. The initiative will emphasize intersecting narratives in human creativity and will underscore the multiple ways in which a work of art may be understood. The first iteration of Crossroads will consist of three installations: “Power and Piety” in the Medieval Sculpture Hall (Gallery 305); “Empires and Emporia” in the Asian Art Galleries Astor Forecourt (Gallery 209); and “Mythical Beasts” at the intersection of Greek and Roman Art, Ancient Near Eastern Art, and Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia (Galleries 173–176).
View other major exhibitions in 2020.
Mark your calendars for a special weekend from the 4th-6th of June. The events include a black-tie gala, dance party, a scholars’ symposium, and a festival! Until then, there’s plenty to enjoy in the final months of 2019, leading up to a big year for The Met.