The Times may have recently questioned whether or not the Metropolitan Museum of Art is “a great institution in decline” (referring to its $40 million deficit and decision to put on hold its $600 million expansion), but the paper is much more positive when reporting on the Met’s new Open Access policy. This allows free and unrestricted use of 375,000 high-resolution images of artworks in their collection, ranging from paintings by Van Gogh, El Greco and DeGas to ancient Egyptian relics to classical furniture and clothing.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top event picks for 6sqft readers!
Get nasty this week with not only one, but two powerful group exhibitions featuring female artists who are biting back at The Untitled Space and The Knockdown Center in Queens. Get a curator’s insight on art history at The Met, then step into the future of art with a talk on virtual reality at The New Museum. David Zwirner welcomes the work of famed illustrators R. Crumb and his wife, and Canada Gallery discusses the work of Elizabeth Murray with Linda Yablonsky. Finally, educate yourself on New York history, first with an incredible photography show about New Yorkers in protest at the Bronx Documentary Center, then at UnionDocs for a film on the Lower East Side of yesteryear when squatters ruled the streets—and abandoned buildings.
More on all the best events this way
If you’ve ever visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art and watched an artist working at a canvas or sculpting amongst the museum’s larger than life pieces, then you’ve seen the Copyist Program in action. Founded in 1872, two years after The Met first opened, the program has provided countless artists the opportunity to copy the great works that fill the museum’s numerous galleries.
The Copyist Program is overseen by The Met’s Department of Education, and Maya Valladares, an artist focusing on textiles, serves as the its Assistant Educator for Public Programs and Creative Practice. Her role requires her to create holistic experiences through the museum’s public programming, and through the Copyist Program, she works to enhance the experience of copying for the students and cohorts that come through the museum’s doors.
6sqft recently spoke with Maya, who shared details about the program’s rich history, what copying offers artists, and what it’s like to duplicate the works of a world-class museum.
Now that adult coloring books are sweeping the nation, we don’t have to hide our love for youthful illustrations and activities–like this new hand-drawn map of the Metropolitan Museum of Art called MetKids Map. The fun interactive platform is dotted with yellow and red circles for which children search and click, opening a separate window full of information about a gallery or work of art.
The Met—already well-loved for its generous “pay as you wish” admission—is offering up another public good sure to get art buffs and wannabes clearing space on their hard drives. The Met has added 422 free titles to its MetPublications site, providing global citizens with digitized versions of new and archived books and catalogs that—if you can even get your hands on them in real life—can oftentimes ring up for more than $200 a pop.
- The NBA released an interactive map of NYC basketball history. [NYDN]
- Looking for an unusual gift for your Valentine? Why not name a cockroach after him or her? [DNAinfo]
- But if you want something more traditional, here are the 20 most romantic hotels in the city. [BI]
- Despite what some feel is a “misleading tactic,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art is allowed to keep its pay-what-you-wish policy. [TRD]
- Think your neighborhood’s sidewalks are a mess? Check out this map of snow removal complaints. [Queens Crap]
- This summer, Central Park will get a major art installation project, featuring seven to 10 sculptural, social, and interactive works. [T Mag]
- Is LoLoEaSi (the Lower–Lower East Side) actually a neighborhood now? [Bedford + Bowery]
Images: NBA map (L); Lower East Side (R)
All eyes have been on the construction of Renzo Piano‘s new downtown home for the Whitney Museum, set to open in May. But let’s not forget about what’s happening to the Whitney’s old Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue and 75th Street. The Brutalist building opened in 1966 and has since dominated its Upper East Side surroundings. It’s set to be taken over as a satellite location for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to showcase their contemporary and modern art collections when it reopens in March 2016. And though the Met will not alter the façade of the landmarked museum building, its surroundings will certainly look different than in the Whitney’s days.
The biggest changes are happening right next door, where the row of six 19th-century Italianate and Greek Revival brownstones on Madison Avenue and two townhouses on East 74th Street are being reimagined as condos and retail space by developer and healthcare entrepreneur Daniel Straus, who bought the properties from the Whitney in 2010 for $95 million and subsequently was granted approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission for their new design by Beyer Blinder Belle. According to the Times, who profiled the development, the flurry of construction could be considered “the Met effect.”
Lots of clout is given to the grand scheme design of buildings and parks, and for good reason; but every so often a singular design element or function can unexpectedly emerge from a work to create something even more extraordinary. Destinations in their own right, these “accidental placemakers” turn run-of-the-mill architectural features into dynamic public spaces that create memorable connections to their immediate sites and improve the quality of everyday life. Here we take a look at five examples found in New York City showing how great architecture, in the details, can give way to something more impactful than just a pretty building.
A dramatically redesigned plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue was dedicated today and named in honor of its sole donor, David H. Koch. The four-block long plaza, which flanks the museum’s famous entrance steps, includes two fountains, alleys of trees, new paving and red, angular canopies/parasols over seating benches.
The redesign of the plaza space was two years in the making and cost $65 million, contributed entirely by Mr. Koch, a trustee of the museum. In his remarks inside the museum at the Temple of Dendur, Mr. Koch said that when Daniel Brodsky, the museum’s chairman, asked how the new plaza was going to be paid for he said he “had a good idea – why don’t I do it?!”
Mr. Koch, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Julia, and three children, said that the plaza “became a passion for me.” He had lived nearby when it was under discussion and he said he hoped it will last for 50 years until a future philanthropist funds another renovation.
Crunching numbers all day as one of the leading financial advisors at USB can’t be an easy task, so it makes perfect sense why Louise F. Gunderson chose to make this tranquil, inviting apartment her new home. The crystal-clear views of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Reservoir probably don’t hurt either. Ms. Gunderson purchased a unit at 1035 Fifth Avenue for $4.75 million through a listing held by Lisa K. Lippman and Scott Moore at Brown Harris Stevens. The seller, Sylvan Schefler, head of the Investment Banking Department at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., likely had the same idea when he acquired the co-op in 1999.
The large single-pane tilt and turn windows of this 2BR/3BA home let in tons of natural light and perfectly frame the uniquely Upper East Side views. High ceilings and hardwood flooring throughout are two of the lovely prewar details, while updated touches like custom built-in shelving and charming window seats create a modern, urban feel.