It’s Monday and the Met is open. Not only that, it’s debuting the renovated galleries of American painting and sculpture. I wasn’t able to make the press preview, so am crediting Holland Cotter’s excellent New York Times review with the following….
“How do the updated galleries look? Sensational, which is news, because the old ones didn’t. They had a warehouse atmosphere, with pictures stacked up on the walls, sculpture plunked down wherever and narrative logic disrupted because the collection was split between two floors. Now all the galleries are on one floor, the second. And, thanks to an addition of 3,300 feet of repurposed space, there are more of them, 26 in all.
“More space wouldn’t mean much if it weren’t well used, but it is. The architects, Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, have devised a wrap-around format with a few long-vista galleries cutting through a maze of smaller ones. The art placement is roughly chronological, but also coalesces into themes, and leaves choice of direction mostly up to the visitor. If you see something beckoning from another gallery, go for it. There are no wrong turns here.”
And what’s in the galleries? Nothing less than stunning paintings and works of art, including eight works by John Singleton Copley. Works by Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart and John Trumbull. And so much more that I’m going to re-direct you to Mr. Cotter’s fine coverage. (Just click through the link.)
This is American culture as recorded by artists and craftsmen. It’s at the Met, and just in time for visitors to Americana Week.