New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
In its palatial building on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street The Metropolitan Museum of Art displays famous collections of architecture, sculpture, paintings, prints, arms and armor, and decorative arts in 325,811 square feet of exhibition floor space. The paintings fill thirty-two galleries and represent the chief national schools of art; special attention is given to paintings by American artists. Well known among the many works shown are a diptych with "The Crucifixion" and "The Last Judgment," "The Horse Fair," and "Washington Crossing the Delaware." The decorative arts include woodwork, metalwork, ceramics, enamels, glass and textiles. The Pierpont Morgan collection of European decorative arts occupies a wing by itself; another entire wing, the gift of Robert W. de Forest, is devoted to early American art. In the latter, The American Wing, is a popular collection, which emphasizes the domestic architecture and decorative arts of the United States from the 17th century to the first quarter of the 19th century. Other collections represent ancient art, comprising Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Assyrian, and other antiquities, and the art of the Middle Ages and the Near and the Far East. The Bishop collection of jade is the finest outside the Orient.
The Cloisters is a branch of the museum devoted to mediaeval art. The building, a recent gift of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to the museum, is in beautiful Fort Tryon Park, his gift to the City. Situated on the heights overlooking the Hudson River, The Cloisters, with its four acres of landscaped terraces in the midst of a 56-acre park, provides an appropriate setting for the works of art which it contains--among them the remains of five French cloisters of the 12th to the 15th century and the outstanding set of Gothic tapestries in this country, "The Hunt of the Unicorn." The collection includes not only the mediaeval material assembled by George Grey Barnard and presented to the museum by Mr. Rockefeller in 1925, but many other notable objects.
The educational work of the museum in making its collections of service to the public cannot be overpraised. Free lectures are given in the galleries, classrooms, and Lecture Hall; the services of expert guides are available, free to members of the museum and to teachers and pupils of the New York City public schools, and to others at a small fee; special exhibitions of museum objects are prepared and circulated widely throughout the city; industrialists, designers, and stylists are assisted in the practical use of the collections to put art into everyday life; and many publications are issued. Every year since 1918 art has been allied with music through symphony concerts, usually offered weekly in January and March through the repeated generosity of several donors.
Points of Interest