Fresh at the Met

As summer draws to a close, museums around the city are cleaning out the old and bringing in the new. Here’s a look at the most recent exhibitions on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thomas Struth: Photographs

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Photo by Ally Hutzler.

This exhibit portrays why Thomas Struth is perhaps the most influential photographer of the last half century and one of the key figures in bringing photography into the world of contemporary art. His work hit close to home for us at MC as a dozen images showcased in the exhibit are from his “Streets of New York” series including crisp, black and white photos of cityscapes devoid of people. Larger, five by seven foot color photographs including Times Square and the Berlin Wall are also focal points of the exhibit. Thomas Struth: Photographs is on display until February 2015.

The Art of the Chinese Album

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Photo by Ally Hutzler.

This exhibition showcases the album – the most personal form of Chinese painting. There has never been a Chinese album on display at the Met until now. Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Ph.D. and assistant curator, suggests that this is because the exhibit is very demanding of the viewer. The structure of the album is similar to that of a book, with pages that unfold a journey while surprising the viewer at every turn. The centerpiece of the exhibition is “Returning Home” by Shiato, a story of a man who retires the pursuit of fame and fortune to follow his dream as a painter. The Art of the Chinese Album is on display until March 2015.

Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age

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Photo by Ally Hutzler.

The exhibition opens at the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age. The magnificently immense showroom – with about 260 works of art including stone reliefs, ceramics and jewelry – examines the interconnected world with networks of trade that extended as far as the Atlantic Ocean. It has attracted heavy traffic as it focuses on a part of the world that is prevalent in our media and society today – the Near East, or the Middle East. Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age is on display until January 2015.

Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered

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Photo by Ally Hutzler.

The focal point of the exhibit is the epic ten-panel mural painted by Benton in 1931 to adorn a building on West 12th Street, New York. The mural, depicting a sweeping panorama of American life during the 1920s, is one of Benton’s most renowned works and one of the most significant accomplishments in American art from the time period. The piece is accompanied by a wider range of works from the museum that closely relate, including works from Jackson Pollock. America Today is on display until April 2015.

Kimono: A Modern History

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Photo by Ally Hutzler.

The exhibition explores the complex history of the kimono and its transformation from an everyday garment to a special occasion outfit to an international icon of Japanese culture. With about 50 robes on display and dim lighting, the showroom environment is similar to that of a fashion show. The exhibit offers insight on how this piece of clothing influenced culture, propaganda and even society norms throughout the centuries. Kimono: A Modern History is on display until January 2015.

Visit the museum’s website to check out upcoming exhibits and to plan your next trip.