Make the Time: The American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On Monday, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City opened its American Wing after four years of renovations.  The collection in the American Wing, which first opened to the public in 1924, is one of the museum’s most popular wings, attracting about one million visitors each year.

The large and impressive collection has essential works of art that tell the story of America from the Colonial era through the early Twentieth Century.  Highlights from the collection include:

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau), 1883-84, oil on canvas, 82” x 43”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Sargent sought attention when he convinced this controversial American expatriate, known in Paris for her beauty and alleged infidelities, to pose for this portrait.  He was successful for the public considered the painting scandalous when it first appeared in the Paris Salon of 1884.

Frederick Remington, Bronco Buster, 1895 (cast in 1910), bronze, 23¼” x 20¼” x 11½”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo by pohick2 -Flickr

Remington’s rugged frontier cowboy attempting to saddle a wild bronco captured the imagination of Americans including President Theodore Roosevelt to whom the artist presented this first and most popular of all of his bronze sculptures.

Thomas Cole, The Oxbow, 1836, oil on canvas, 51½” x 76”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Thomas Cole, leader of the Hudson River School, includes himself in the lower right of this painting of the Connecticut river seen from Mount Holyoke to remind a viewer that this is an actual place; nevertheless, the golden sunlight contrasting with the dark storm coming in on the left surely is a romantic conception of this setting.

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