Students participating in the fall 2012 New York City Program were fortunate to receive a private tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sept. 5 as their first outing of the semester. The excursion was guided by Richard Turnbell, chair of the Department of Art History at FIT. The current program, led by Professor of Economics Christophre Georges, has 15 participants.
The Metropolitan, fondly known as the Met, is located on the Upper East Side on 5th Avenue, essentially nestled into Central Park. The current building opened its doors to the public in 1880 but the history of the Met’s roots date back until 1866. Today, the museum boasts an incredible two million square feet and within that, houses more than two million objects, tens of thousands of which are on view at any given moment.
The tour focused on the 19th and early 20th Century European Painting and Sculpture galleries up on the second floor, only a tiny portion of what the museum actually holds. It concentrated on the works of artists such as Monet, Picasso, Gauguin, Cézanne, Pissarro, and Van Gogh; all titans of the painting world. Notable highlights of the tour included Monet’s The Path through the Irises, Cézanne’s Rocks in the Forest, and Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein. This portrait was actually given to the Met by Stein in 1946 and was the first painting by Picasso to enter the Museum’s collection.
At the conclusion of the tour, students were then set free to further explore the expanses of the museum. Other exhibits they viewed included the Arms and Armor, Asian Art, and Egyptian Art galleries just to name a few. Students look forward to their next museum visit, to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), scheduled for Nov. 14.