NEW YORK.-The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be open to the public on Monday, December 26 (the Monday between Christmas and New Year's Day), as part of the Museum's popular "Holiday Mondays" program. The Museum, which has been closed to the public on Mondays for some 30 years, will open the doors of its main building this winter and spring on three additional major Monday holidays: January 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), February 20 (Presidents' Day), and May 29 (Memorial Day).
By opening its main building on the Monday after Christmas, the Museum will offer visitors an additional opportunity to view the blockbuster international loan exhibition Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings before it closes to the public December 31. To date, the exhibition – which opened to the public on October 18 – has been seen by more than 150,000 visitors.
Also on view will be Fra Angelico, a rare presentation of some 120 paintings and drawings by the renowned master of the Italian Renaissance and his closest followers and successors. The Metropolitan is the only venue for this landmark exhibition.
"An extra day at the Met is our holiday gift to the public," commented Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. "We are delighted to be able to offer this rare opportunity to tourists visiting New York for the holidays, parents wanting to spend the long weekend with their children, and everyone whose busy schedule usually leaves little time to enjoy the restorative power of art."
Among the special exhibitions that will be on view on December 26 in the Museum's main building are: Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings; Prague, The Crown of Bohemia, 1347-1437; Fra Angelico; Clouet to Seurat: French Drawings from The British Museum; Robert Rauschenberg: Combines; The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult; Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture into Architecture; The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt; and Rara Avis: The Iris Barrel Apfel Collection.
Of special interest to families will be the Museum's Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche – a brightly lit, 20-foot blue spruce decorated with 18th-century angels, cherubs, and a Nativity scene – in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Family greeters will be present in the Museum's Great Hall to direct visitors to areas of particular interest.