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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

TheMetIndianSkies1200

An Elephant and Keeper, India, Mughal, ca. 1650–60, opaque color and gold on paper; Howard Hodgkin Collection, Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Acquisitions, Harris Brisbane Dick, and 2020 Benefit Funds; Howard S. and Nancy Marks, Lila Acheson Wallace, and Friends of Islamic Art Gifts; Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest; and funds from various donors, 2022 (2022.187)

Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting

February 6 – June 9, 2024

Over the course of sixty years, British artist Howard Hodgkin (British, London 1932–2017 London) formed a collection of Indian paintings and drawings that is recognized as one of the finest of its kind. A highly regarded painter and printmaker, Hodgkin collected works from the Mughal, Deccani, Rajput, and Pahari courts dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries that reflect his personal passion for Indian art. This exhibition presents over 120 of these works, many of which The Met recently acquired, alongside loans from The Howard Hodgkin Indian Collection Trust.

The works on view include stunning portraits, beautifully detailed text illustrations, studies of the natural world, and devotional subjects. The exhibition also includes a painting by Hodgkin, Small Indian Sky, which alludes to the subtle relationship between his own work, India, and his collection.

This exhibition is accompanied by an issue of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin.

Upcoming Related Event:

Annual Distinguished Lecture on the Arts of South and Southeast Asia
Howard Hodgkin and India: Reflections on Art Making and Collecting
Friday, March 15, 2024 from 6-7pm
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Antony Peattie, writer
Glenn D. Lowry, The David Rockefeller Director, The Museum of Modern Art
John Guy, Florence and Herbert Irving Curator of the Arts of South and Southeast Asian Art, Department of Asian Art, The Met
Navina Haidar, Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah Curator in Charge, Department of Islamic Art, The Met
Introduced by Mike Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chair, Department of Asian Art, The Met

Join experts close to Howard Hodgkin, including his partner of thirty-three years, Antony Peattie, for a personal look at the artist and collector’s lifetime engagement with India and Indian painting.

Sign up today to join in this fascinating discussion.

TheMetDragonMedallion1200

Dragon medallion, China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644), 16th century, silk and metallic thread tapestry (kesi), overall: 15 x 15 in. (38.1 x 38.1 cm); Fletcher Fund, 1936 (36.65.33)

Celebrating the Year of the Dragon

February 3, 2023 – 2025

February 10, 2024, marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dragon, the most celebrated animal in Chinese culture. This exhibition assembles a remarkable selection of more than twenty works from the Museum’s permanent collection that depict this imaginary animal in various media, including ceramic, jade, lacquer, metalwork, and textile. Together they illustrate the significant role that the dragon plays as a symbol of imperial authority, a dynamic force to dispel evil influences, and a benevolent deity that brings auspicious rain to all life on earth. Most notable are a third-century BCE jade pendant of a spirited dragon with a sinuous body, a recent acquisition of a seventh-century bronze mirror with symbols of the four cardinal directions, and a massive sixteenth-century jar of blue and white porcelain with vigorous dragons writhing through clouds and waves.

Anxiety and Hope in Japanese Art

April 8, 2023 – July 14, 2024

Drawn largely from The Met’s renowned collection of Japanese art, this exhibition explores the twin themes of anxiety and hope, with a focus on the human stories in and around art and art making.

The exhibition begins with sacred images from early Japan that speak to concerns about death, dying, and the afterlife or that were created in response to other uncertainties, such as war and natural disaster. The presentation then proceeds chronologically, highlighting medieval Buddhist images of paradises and hells, Zen responses to life and death, depictions of war and pilgrimage, and the role of protective and hopeful images in everyday life. In the final galleries, the exhibition’s underlying themes are explored through a selection of modern woodblock prints, garments, and photographs.

Rotation 1: April 8–August 13, 2023
Rotation 2: August 26–November 26, 2023
Rotation 3: December 16, 2023–April 14, 2024
Rotation 4: April 27–July 14, 2024

TheMet_kwon-young-woo1200

Kwon Young-woo (1926–2013), Untitled, 1984. Ink and gouache on hanji paper. 88 3/8 x 67 1/16 in. (224 x 170 cm). Lent by Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul. © Kwon Young-woo Estate. Image courtesy of Leeum Museum of Art

Lineages: Korean Art at The Met

November 7, 2023 – October 20, 2024

In celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Met’s Arts of Korea gallery, Lineages: Korean Art at The Met showcases highlights of the Museum’s collection paired with important international loans of Korean modern and contemporary art. This juxtaposition of historic and contemporary artworks—from twelfth- and thirteenth-century celadons to futuristic cyborg sculptures made in the 2000s—displays the history of Korean art in broad strokes through four intertwined themes—lines, people, places, and things. Featuring thirty objects, this exhibition fosters a dialogue of ideas that have resonated across time and bound artists together.

Rotation 1: November 6, 2023–December 19, 2023
Rotation 2: December 21, 2023–February 13, 2024
Rotation 3: February 15–May 14, 2024
Rotation 4: May 16–October 20, 2024

Ganesha: Lord of New Beginings

November 19, 2022 – June 15, 2025

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is a Brahmanical (Hindu) diety known to clear a path to the gods and remove obstacles in everyday life. He is loved by his devotees (bhakti) for his many traits, including his insatiable appetite for sweet cakes and his role as a dispenser of magic, surprise, and laughter. However, Ganesha is also the lord of ganas (nature deities) and can take on a fearsome aspect in this guise.

The seventh- to twenty-first-century works in this exhibition trace his depiction across the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. Featuring 24 works across sculptures, paintings, musical instruments, ritual implements, and photography, the exhibition emphasizes the vitality and exuberance of Ganesha as the bringer of new beginnings.

A Passion for Jade: The Bishop Collection

July 2, 2022 – January 4, 2026

More than a hundred remarkable objects from the Heber Bishop collection, including carvings of jade, the most esteemed stone in China, and many other hardstones, are on view in this focused presentation. The refined works represent the sophisticated art of Chinese gemstone carvers during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) as well as the highly accomplished skills of Mogul Indian (1526–1857) craftsmen, which provided an exotic inspiration to their Chinese counterparts. Also on view are a set of Chinese stone-working tools and illustrations of jade workshops, which will introduce the traditional method of working jade.

Embracing Color: Enamel in Chinese Decorative Arts, 1300-1900

July 2, 2022 – January 4, 2026

Enamel decoration is a significant element of Chinese decorative arts that has long been overlooked. This exhibition reveals the aesthetic, technical, and cultural achievement of Chinese enamel wares by demonstrating the transformative role of enamel during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. The first transformational moment occurred in the late 14th to 15th century, when the introduction of cloisonné enamel from the West, along with the development of porcelain with overglaze enamels, led to a shift away from a monochromatic palette to colorful works. The second transformation occurred in the late 17th to 18th century, when European enameling materials and techniques were brought to the Qing court and more subtle and varied color tones were developed on enamels applied over porcelain, metal, glass, and other mediums. In both moments, Chinese artists did not simply adopt or copy foreign techniques; they actively created new colors and styles that reflected their own taste. The more than 100 objects on view are drawn mainly from The Met collection.

Rotation 1: July 2, 2022–April 30, 2023
Rotation 2: May 20, 2023–March 24, 2024
Rotation 3: April 13, 2024–Feb 16, 2025
Rotation 4: March 1, 2025–Jan 4, 2026

 

ONGOING EXHIBITIONS

Samurai Splendor: Sword Fittings from Edo Japan

Gallery 380

After almost a century and a half of near-constant civil war and political upheaval, Japan unified under a new ruling family, the Tokugawa, in the early 1600s. Their reign lasted for more than 250 years, in an era referred to as the Edo period, after the town of Edo (present-day Tokyo) that became the new capital of Japan. The Tokugawa regime brought economic growth, prolonged peace, and widespread enjoyment of the arts and culture. The administration also imposed strict class separation and rigid regulations for all. As a result, the ruling class—with the shogun as governing military official, the daimyo as local feudal lords, and the samurai as their retainers—had only a few ways to display personal taste in public. Fittings and accessories for their swords, which were an indispensable symbol of power and authority, became a critical means of self-expression and a focal point of artistic creation.

This installation in the Arms and Armor galleries explores the luxurious aspects of Edo-period sword fashion, a fascinating form of arms and armor rarely featured in exhibitions outside Japan. It presents a selection of exquisite sword mountings, fittings, and related objects, including maker’s sketchbooks—all drawn from The Met collection and many rarely or never exhibited before.

Michael Lin: Pentachrome

Great Hall Escalator

Michael Lin’s site-specific installation Pentachrome brings contemporary art to the Museum’s Great Hall Escalator for the first time. Inspired by The Met collection and the building’s architecture, Pentachrome invites visitors to reconsider the Museum’s Great Hall, its Balcony, and the surrounding art from a fresh perspective.

For more than a hundred years, Asian art, especially Chinese ceramics, has adorned the Museum’s Great Hall, finding a special prominence around the second-floor Balcony. Within the Hall—which was designed to evoke and even compete with the grand institutions of Europe—Chinese art has served as a kind of ornament to the authoritative, Classical architectural frame. Over time, while the Museum’s collection has grown and its presentation of art from Asia has evolved, this fundamental relationship between European architecture and Chinese adornment has persisted in the Great Hall Balcony. Pentachrome spotlights, explores, and inverts this relationship.

As visitors travel up the escalator, they are surrounded by images of birds and flowers drawn from two Qing-dynasty porcelain vases that have been enlarged to heroic, overwhelming scale. Inspired by street poster (“wild posting”) campaigns seen in the urban landscape, Lin applies the images in a cumulative, irregular way, breaking down the formal Museum environment and inviting the casual engagement of the street. By surrounding and immersing visitors in these images, Lin invites us to look and think more deeply about the paradoxically central and sidelined role of Asian art within the history of the Museum’s Great Hall.

To view all exhibitions, click here.