Friday, August 28, 2020

How the Metropolitan Museum of Art Was Made

By Jason Fargo
Manet’s “Dead Christ With Angels” (1864), in which Jesus is seen hovering between life and death. Our critic calls it “one of the most staggering paintings in the whole museum.” Edouard Manet, via The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Talk about a spoiled birthday. For years leading up to its 150th anniversary the Metropolitan Museum of Art had been planning a swell of celebratory programming: an overhaul of its British Galleries, debuts of major gifts of photography and drawing, new cross-cultural displays, an international symposium on collecting, a Great Hall photo op with the mayor and a big cake. The Met in 2020 has the potential to be an exemplar of this relational ethics, and to place the Mangaaka statue, the Michelangelo drawing, the Marilyn Monroe photograph within a web of lived relations — where all of us, at all times, from all places, find our reflections in the art of all peoples. It is the only metropolitanism worth the name. [More