Expanded, Renovated Galleries For Nineteenth-Century European Paintings And Sculpture To Reopen

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has re-opened its Nineteenth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture Galleries. The newly refurbished galleries – including an additional 8,000 square feet of exhibition space – showcase European paintings from the Museum’s world-renowned collection, dating from 1800 through the early 20th century. This new and broadened presentation on the development of modern art features a more thorough display of the Museum’s beloved 19th-century collection, augmented with seminal works from the early modern era.

Notable new additions include the full-room assembly of The Wisteria Dining Room, an Art Nouveau dining room designed by Lucien LÈvy Dhurmer shortly before World War I; Henry Lerolle’s enormous canvas At the Organ (a church interior of 1885); a group of recently acquired 19th-century landscape oil sketches; and a selection of rarely exhibited paintings by an international group of artists. Because the Museum’s early modern art now be incorporated into the display, the galleries also feature work by Bonnard and Vuillard, Modigliani and Soutine, Matisse and Picasso.

The Metropolitan holds one of the world’s great collections of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including works by Ingres, Courbet, Manet, Monet, CÈzanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, MirÛ, and Balthus, as well as Americans Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning, among many others. In recent years these holdings have been substantially augmented by major acquisitions of collections – ranging from the celebrated Annenberg Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings to the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th-century masterworks – as well as single, renowned works such as Jasper Johns’ White Flag.

The reopening of the galleries also marks the return of 135 works comprising the successful traveling exhibition The Masterpieces of French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800-1920, which was visited by nearly 600,000 people during its recent showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and is now on view at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

The renovation and reinstallation of the galleries has been overseen by Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Curator in Charge, Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For the first time in 20 years, the Metropolitan Museum will publish a compendium of its finest European paintings, about one-quarter of its celebrated European 19th- and early-20th-century works. Masterpieces of European Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1800-1920, with an introduction by Gary Tinterow and texts by Kathryn Calley Galitz, Asher E. Miller, Rebecca A. Rabinow, Sabine Rewald, Susan Alyson Stein, and Gary Tinterow, will focus on French painting – of which the Museum possesses the most comprehensive collection outside of France – as well as extraordinary works by artists of other nationalities. Thanks to a succession of generous and discerning donors – such as the H.O. Havemeyers at the beginning of the 20th century and much more recently the Walter H. Annenbergs – this volume presents a stimulating and satisfying history of painting in Paris from Prud’hon to Picasso, by way of Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Degas, CÈzanne, Seurat, and many others. Special emphasis is given to Romantic French, German, and British paintings that the Museum has recently acquired.

For more information, visit the Museum’s Web site at www.metmuseum.org.

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