Fifth Ave. @ 82nd St.
Description: The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world. This could not have been achieved without the generosity of dedicated individuals who supported the Museum with gifts and bequests. This exhibition will be a chronological study of some of the Museum's major donor-collectors, whose gifts form the core of the collection of the Department of Islamic Art, illuminating the factors and motivations that inspired their collecting habits.
Particular attention will be paid to the early collectors during the first decades of Islamic art collecting in America, a period when as much as fifty percent of the Department's collection was established. From the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the early 1930s, objects from the Islamic world were introduced to the American market as exotic treasures and gradually gained public recognition. The interest in travel to the Middle East that had earlier spawned a vast travel literature in Europe caught on in America as well. It was the time of the Orientalist movement. At international expositions, governments of the Near East erected pavilions in which imported objects and parts of buildings where shown and, afterward, sold to Americans. Oriental art dealers played a critical role: as tastemakers for Islamic art, they acted as intermediaries between governments, American collectors, and museums.
Since then, the Metropolitan's collection has continued to grow and, as in the past, generous donors continue to support its acquisitions. Today, the collection comprises approximately twelve thousand objects, of which -- in conjunction with the reopening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia on November 1 -- twelve hundred will be on view.
Venue Description: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 Fifth Ave. on the Upper East Side, accommodates some of the greatest cultural treasures in the world, representing art from around the world and every time period from the Stone Age to the present. The museum houses the finest American art in the world, as well as an impressive collection of European, Greco-Roman, and Ancient Egyptian art. The Egyptian Art gallery includes a whole temple that was shipped to America as a gift.
The Cloisters A branch of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters are devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The building itself is built with actual chapels, cloisters and other pieces of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Inside, one can see sculpture, tapestries, magnificent stained-glass windows, and more. The most renowned treasures include the Book of Hours by Jeanne d'Evreux, the Bury St. Edmonds cross, the Chalice of Antioch, and the Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloisters are situated on the beautiful rolling grounds of Fort Tryon Park, which has magnificent views of the Palisades.
Hours: Friday-Saturdays 9:30am-9pm. Sunday, Tuesday?Thursday 9:30am-5:30pm.
Recommended Admission (includes main building and The Cloisters on the same day): $25; $17 seniors 65 and older; $12 students; free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. No extra charge for any exhibition. Tickets available at ticketweb.com or 1-800-965-4827.
For more information: 212-535-7710; metmuseum.org
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