The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Galleries for Musical Instruments Reopen at Metropolitan Museum
Grand Pianoforte, Erard et Cie, Ca. 1840, London. Wood, various materials Case L. (perpendicular to keyboard) 247 cm (97 1/4 in.), w. (parallel to keyboard) 149.5 cm (58 7/8 in.), case depth (without lid) 32 cm (12 5/8 in.), total H. 95.3 cm (37 1/2 in.), 3-octave span 49.7 cm (19 5/8 in.), string L. of longest string 178.7 cm (70 3/8 in.), string L. of shortest string 4.9 cm (2 in.), L. of c2 28.7 cm (11 3/8 in.) Gift of Mrs. Henry McSweeney, 1959.
NEW YORK, NY.- After an eight-month hiatus, The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens its André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments on March 2, featuring a refreshed and reinstalled presentation of its renowned collection of Western musical instruments.

Showcasing more than 230 works of art drawn primarily from the Museum's extensive holdings, which are among the most important in the world, the new installation of Western musical instruments will focus attention on individual masterworks by exploring each within its musical and cultural context, by offering exciting comparisons of how individual makers realized the same concept, and by introducing examples of the various instruments' developments. Among the wide range of objects on view—keyboard, string, percussion, woodwind, and brass instruments—a highlight will be the famed "Batta-Piatigorsky" 'cello made in Cremona, Italy, by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), on loan from a private collection. Built in 1714, the cello—which was owned by the distinguished cellists Alexandre Batta (Dutch, 1816-1902) and Gregor Piatigorsky (Russian, 1903-1976)—is regarded as one of the best examples of the maker's work.

More than a quarter of the reinstallation includes new acquisitions as well as instruments from the collection that have rarely been seen by the public. Remarkable among them are: a festooned viola d'amore built by the great Milanese violin maker Giovanni Grancino in 1701; a swan-neck lute made by Pietro Railich of Padua in 1669; an extraordinarily early Dutch oboe made ca. 1700; a beautifully decorated mandolin made in northern Italy around 1710; a Double Virginal (harpsichord) with a lid painting featuring the story of David and Goliath, made in 1600 in The Netherlands; a walking-stick flute/oboe combination commissioned by Frederick the Great; and a recently acquired presentation violin bow made entirely of tortoiseshell with ivory fittings, which was purchased for the Museum by Edward and Susan Greenberg.

Iconic pieces from the museum's collections will be back on display, including the oldest extant piano in the world, built by the inventor of the instrument, Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence in 1720; violins by the Amati family and Antonio Stradivari; and two guitars that once belonged to the guitarist Andrés Segovia.

The installation also includes such masterpieces as an exquisitely carved, small plucked stringed instrument called a Chittarino (ca. 1400), one of the few surviving Renaissance instruments; a Venetian spinet (1540) that was skillfully carved for Eleonora della Rovere, daughter of Isabella d'Este; and a clarinet that was one of the last to be used by Benny Goodman. Another highlight is the extraordinary harpsichord by Michele Todini of Rome (bapt. 1616-1689), with a case and accompanying statues depicting the story of Polyphemus and Galatea. The ensemble—representing one of the largest pieces of baroque sculpture in the Museum—has been undergoing conservation in the Museum's laboratories for nearly a year.

An interesting feature in the reinstalled gallery is the comparison of two violins by Antonio Stradivari. One of the instruments, which was built in 1693 and has been restored back to the original setup at the time of its creation, will be displayed next to an example from 1694 that is in modern playing condition. The technical differences between the two instruments—changes in fingerboard length, neck angle, and strings, for example—are explained. A nearby display presents five masterpieces of violin construction, including an extremely rare, 16th-century decorated violin by Andrea Amati, widely considered the inventor of the instrument; an example by his grandson Nicolò Amati, the presumed teacher of Stradivari; a 1711 "golden period" violin by Stradivari; a decoratively carved violin by the Hamburg maker Joachim Tielke of about 1685; and a beautifully inlaid English instrument dating to around 1630.

Besides the instruments, the installation features several European paintings, including a portrait of Charles Rousseau Burney, composer and nephew of the musicologist Charles Burney, painted by Thomas Gainsborough, and a recently acquired portrait of an 18th-century French nobleman playing guitar (purchased for the Museum by The Bradford and Dorothea Endicott Foundation), as well as a Renaissance-style table and a Meissen porcelain figure.

The installation retains the built-in cases that were set up in 1970, but the gallery has been refurbished with new case lighting and a new color scheme, with freshly painted walls in ivory, blue, and green. The display cases have been newly configured with ultra suede fabrics, and larger fonts and graphics are employed for the labels, offering the visitor better learning experiences.

The Musical Instruments Collection at the Met
The Metropolitan Museum's Department of Musical Instruments holds approximately 5,000 instruments from six continents and the Pacific Islands, dating from about 300 B.C. to the present. Unsurpassed in its comprehensive scope, the collection illustrates the development of musical instruments from all cultures and eras.

The collection of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum originated in 1889 with gifts of several hundred European, American, and non-Western examples from Lucy W. Drexel and from Mrs. John Crosby Brown. In 1948, the autonomous Department of Musical Instruments was formally established, with Emanuel Winternitz (1898-1983) as its first curator. The collection continues to grow along the heterogeneous lines established by Mrs. Brown in the late 19th century. Since 1971, more than 800 objects have been displayed in The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments, which were donated by Clara Mertens in memory of her late husband, the preeminent impresario. These galleries comprise two halls, one devoted to Western instruments, arranged by type or family, and the other to non-Western instruments, grouped geographically.

Many of the instruments are playable and can be heard in concerts and on recordings, as well as in lecture-demonstrations. Special exhibitions featuring objects from the collection, with loans from other institutions and private collectors, are mounted from time to time, such as the current exhibition Sounding the Pacific: Musical Instruments of Oceania (on view through September 6, 2010).


The Metropolitan Museum of Art | André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments | Sounding the Pacific |


Today's News

March 2, 2010

New Museum on Life of Frederic Chopin Opens in Warsaw on the Composer's 200th Birthday

Seminal Image of Mick Jagger's Arrest Helps Bonhams to Go 'Pop'

Galleries for Musical Instruments Reopen at Metropolitan Museum

Important Collection of Work by George Segal at L&M Arts

Massive Head of Famous Pharaoh Amenhotep III Unearthed in Egypt

Sotheby's Announces 2009 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results

Getting Naked for Art with Spencer Tunick at the Sydney Opera House

Daylight Architect, James Carpenter, Honored With EUR100,000 Award

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Expands Reach with Archive, Library

Extraordinarily Rich Survey of Surrealist Photography at Fotomuseum Winterthur

"The Tipu Sultan Collection" Headlines Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World Sale

How Investment Helped the Art Market Weather the World Economic Crisis

Celebrated Artist Nari Ward's Opens First Solo Exhibition at Lehmann Maupin

Decorative Objects & Park & Garden Ornaments to be Auctioned at Sotheby's

Stone Age Sights, Sounds, Smells at Croat Museum

EAST 2010 Brings Over 100 Specially Curated Artist-Led Events

The AIA Elevates 134 Members and 11 International Architects to the College of Fellows

Now Showing on Art in the Loop's ARTwall: Forever People by Ascot J. Smith

David F. Bolger Gifts 1.105 Million for Ringling Estate Waterfront Improvements

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York

Related Stories



AXA Equitable donates Thomas Hart Benton's epic mural "America Today" to Met Museum

Exhibition of Forbidden City Treasures Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum in February

New Installation Features Cabinets and Caskets from Metropolitan Museum's Collection

New Installation Features Cabinets, Caskets, and Cases from Metropolitan Museum's Collection

Gifts Enhance Metropolitan Museum's Scholarly Activities in Cycladic and Early Greek Art

Metropolitan Museum to Undertake Major Redesign and Reconstruction of its Fifth Avenue Outdoor Plaza and Fountains

Alexander McQueen's Iconic Designs to be Celebrated in Spring 2011 at the Metropolitan

Metropolitan and Egypt Announce Initiative to Recognize Egypt's Title to Objects from Tut's Tomb

Sculptural Installations by Contemporary Icelandic Artist Katrin Sigurdardottir on View at Metropolitan

Innovative Furniture by American Designer Charles Rohlfs Displayed at Metropolitan Museum



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site