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Art Diary

Making the Met, 1870–2020

21 August 2020

While some museums remain shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are now reopening as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens to the public on 29 August with a delayed birthday celebration. This display celebrates 150 years since the Met was founded on 13 April 1870, and chronicles the key moments in the development of its encyclopaedic collection over the years. Galleries explore the early focus on antiquities and Old Master paintings; landmark donations of works such as Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Lute during America’s Gilded Age; the role of the museum during wartime; the successes and failures of the institution in facing up to the advent of modernism; and the broadening of its perspective to encompass non-Western and contemporary art over the last five decades. The exhibition runs until 3 January 2021. Find out more from the Met’s website. 

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Seated Statue of Hatshepsut (c. 1479–1458 B.C), Egypt.

Seated Statue of Hatshepsut (c. 1479–1458 B.C), Egypt. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Young Woman with a Lute (c. 1662–63), Johannes Vermeer

Young Woman with a Lute (c. 1662–63), Johannes Vermeer. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Seated female from a reliquary ensemble (19th–early 20th century), Fang.

Seated female figure from a reliquary ensemble (19th–early 20th century), Fang, Gabon. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Street Story Quilt (1985), Faith Ringgold. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; © Faith Ringgold

Interior View of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when in Fourteenth Street (1881), Frank Waller

Interior View of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when in Fourteenth Street (1881), Frank Waller. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York