When the Metropolitan Museum set up its first sculpture department in 1886, it threw in anything and every thing that wasn’t framed, stitched or printed: “all the sculptures, pottery, porcelain, glassware, jewelry, engraved gems, bronzes, inscriptions, and other such objects of art, commonly termed Bric-a-Brac.” The Metropolitan Museum’s newly reopened American galleries consist of twenty generously appointed period rooms along with the glass-enclosed Charles Engelhard Court, a complete-fledged sculpture garden.
“The Vine” (1921), by Harriet Whitney Frismuth. There are practically 3 dozen other sculptures, most from the 19th century, far much more than were in the space ahead of, Holland Cotter writes.
In the court’s new mezzanine balcony, some 250 examples of art pottery created amongst the United States Centennial of 1876 and 1956 are displayed.
There are also portions of the museum’s collection of American silver, ceramics and jewelry.
This material utilised to be arranged by medium now every little thing’s mix-and-match, with contemporaneous examples of silver and glass in adjoining cases, Holland Cotter writes.
This is a nice idea. It creates visual texture. It presents the objects far more realistically, side-by-side as they would have been in a household. And it underscores the global scope of American art from its earliest days, Holland Cotter writes.
There are twenty generously appointed period rooms, each a miniature stage set with true antiques for props.
A high chest of drawers from Philadelphia, circa 1762-1765.
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