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Displaying items by tag: American Wing

Bill Traylor (1853-1949), one of the most celebrated self-taught artists, spent most of his life as a sharecropper on the Alabama plantation where he was born. Traylor’s talent as an artist emerged suddenly after he left the plantation for Montgomery, where he took up residence at the Ross Clayton Funeral Parlor. After sleeping on a pallet among the caskets, Traylor would spend his days drawing, attracting spectators and children from the neighborhood. According to the book Bill Traylor, Unfiltered, published by Just Folk, “It is a mystery as to what could have motivated an 83-year-old man, born into slavery, who could not read or write, and had no training or exposure to art, to pick up a pencil and a straight-edged stick and start drawing figures on discarded cardboard in the spring of 1939. What is even more amazing is that, from that point, he almost never stopped drawing for the next three years, creating an incredible output of work, which is estimated at 1,2001,600 pieces.”   

Visit to learn more about the Met's Bill Traylor exhibit.

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In conjunction with the grand opening of the renovated American Wing, the Baltimore Museum of Art presents "Lessons Learned: American Schoolgirl Embroideries" on view through May 2015. The exhibition features more than 20 samplers and silk embroideries made by American girls who attended schools in Maryland and other states along the East Coast during the 18th and 19th centuries. From opulent to understated, the works provide a fascinating glimpse into early American life.

“The samplers and embroideries on view in 'Lessons Learned' were once displayed by families as showpieces to advertise their daughters’ accomplishments,” said Curator of Textiles Anita Jones. “In working with a needle and thread, these young women learned a skill, diligence, patience, and obedience.”

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From Philadelphia soup tureens made by German immigrants to a sweeping American landscape painted in Italy, there’s a surprising twist to the newly renovated American Wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art: many of the objects have an international accent.

The museum is already well known around the world for its 500-piece Henri Matisse collection and other European masterworks. Now curators in its new American Wing have reframed its pieces to underscore how U.S. artists continually exchanged ideas and styles with their counterparts abroad. The museum spent two years and $7.9 million renovating the 15,000-square-foot wing, which opens Sunday.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has put its epic, 1930’s Thomas Hart Benton mural cycle, “America Today,” on display in its American wing for the first time since it received the cycle from AXA Equitable Life Insurance company in 2012.

“America Today,” one of Benton’s most famous works and considered one of the most significant American works of its period, was painted by the artist in 1930 and 1931 for the boardroom of the modernist, Greenwich Village building of the New School for Social Research.

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Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that preeminent American art scholar Morrison H. Heckscher will retire on June 30, following 13 years as Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of The American Wing and a distinguished curatorial career at the Museum that spanned nearly five decades. He will become Curator Emeritus of The American Wing on July 1.

Mr. Campbell announced further that Sylvia L. Yount—currently Chief Curator as well as the Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art and Department Head at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)—will become the Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of The American Wing this fall. She was elected to her new position at the June 10 meeting of the Executive Committee of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014 12:15

Historic Boscobel Kicks Off Renovation

Boscobel House & Gardens in Garrison, New York has started renovating its iconic Federal style mansion. The project, which began with sweeping historical upgrades to the house’s entry hall, signals long-term future changes for the estate.

Boscobel was built around 1808 in Westchester County by States and Elizabeth Dyckman. The house was saved from demolition, dismantled and moved to its present site in Putnam County in the late 1950s. In 1961, Lila Acheson Wallace and her husband, DeWitt, the founders of “Reader's Digest,” restored Boscobel and opened the estate to the public. In 1977, Berry B. Tracy, then a curator with the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, helmed a complete decorative renovation of Boscobel. Boscobel has long been considered one of America’s finest historic homes of the Federal Period.

The renovation to Boscobel’s grand entry hall will include outfitting the walls with new period-appropriate wallpaper, updating the floor with a new historic floorcovering, and re-painting the woodwork trim. Decisions regarding the wallpaper, floorcovering, and paint were based on extensive research performed by Boscobel’s Curator and Collection Manager, Judith Pavelock.

Boscobel’s project for the grand entry hall is slated to be completed this spring.

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Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art In New York City announced that one million people have visited the institution’s New Galleries for American Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts since opening to the public on January 6, 2012. The galleries, which were expanded, reconceived, and reinstalled, average 2,000 visitors per day -- about 11% of the Met’s overall attendance.

The New Galleries present works ranging from the 18th century through the early 20th century arranged in chronological order. Highlights from the New Galleries include Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware and works by American masters such as John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, and Frederic Remington.

The renovation of the Met’s New Galleries was part of a comprehensive, decade-long project to redesign the museum’s entire American Wing. The overhaul added 3,300 square feet of gallery space to the American Wing and allowed for a more in-depth presentation of the Met’s remarkable American art collection. Nearly all of the American Wing’s 17,000 holdings are now on view. 

Published in News
Saturday, 21 January 2012 03:41

The American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The New American Wing galleries for paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts that opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on January 16, 2012, comprise twenty-six galleries, encompassing nearly 30,000 square feet on the Wing’s second floor. The first eight, the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Galleries of Eighteenth-Century American Art, showcase all the decorative and fine arts of the colonial and early Federal periods. The remaining eighteen, the Joan Whitney Payson Galleries, offer the principal display of the museum’s collection of nineteenth and early twentieth-century American paintings, together with important examples of American sculpture. The galleries, with their coved or barrel-vaulted ceilings, skylights, quarter-sawn white oak floors, and Cohare limestone trim, pay contemporary homage to traditional Beaux-Arts museum design.
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