The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, NY



(The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021, photo by Mark Hazeltine)


Resource Library articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art:

Diane Arbus: In the Beginning (7/5/16)

The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky (3/30/15)

The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925 (1/3/14)

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty (11/15/10)

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915 (11/10/09)

Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (7/10/09)

Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall - An Artist's Country Estate (9/18/06)

Americans in Paris, 1860-1900 (8/9/06)


Robert Rauschenberg: Combines (11/7/05)

Diane Arbus Revelations (4/26/05)

John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker (3/22/05)


Gilbert Stuart (8/17/04)

Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration (1/2/04)

American Impressions, 1865-1935: Prints, Drawings, and Watercolors from the Collection (1/2/04)

Childe Hassam, American Impressionist (1/2/04)


Philip Guston (9/2/03)

Hudson River School Visions: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford (8/8/03)

The Responsive Eye: Ralph T. Coe and the Collecting of American Indian Art (7/26/03)


The Prints of Vija Celmins (9/26/02)

Summer Selections: Scenes and Citizens of the Early Republic in Watercolor (8/6/02)

American Drawings and Watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Highlights from the Collection, 1710-1890 (8/6/02)

Metropolitan Museum Opens Gallery Devoted to the Works of Louis Comfort Tiffany (8/6/02)

Thomas Eakins (6/6/02)

Oldenburg and van Bruggen on the Roof (6/6/02)


Summer Selections: American Landscape Drawings and Watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (6/11/01)

William Trost Richards in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2/11/01)


Metropolitan Museum of Art's John K. Howat to Retire in 2001 (12/19/00)

Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861 (10/11/00)

Thomas Sully in the Metropolitan (6/12/00)

Parks and Promenades: Maurice Prendergast in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (6/12/00)

Subjects and Symbols in American Sculpture: Selections from the Permanent Collection (3/23/00)

John Singer Sargent: Beyond the Portrait Studio, Paintings and Drawings from the Collection (3/23/00)

Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art, 1935 (2/25/00)

Walker Evans (2/25/00)


American Folk Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (3/25/99)


New Endowed Curatorships at Met (10/14/98)

Mary Cassatt: Drawings and Prints in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (9/16/98)

Mary Cassatt: Drawings and Prints (1998)


Ivan Albright: Magic Realist (1997)


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and finest art museums. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, New York 10028-0198. For hours and admission fees please see the museum's website.


(The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021, photo by Mark Hazeltine)



In October 2012 The Metropolitan Museum of Art launched MetPublications, an online resource that offers in-depth access to the Museum's print and online publications, covering art, art history, archaeology, conservation, and collecting. Following are 44 titles relating to American representational art available for free viewing via.pdf download or online reading as of 2013:

American Art from American Collections; Biddle, James (1963)
American Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, Painters Born by 1815; Gardner, Albert TenEyck, and Stuart P. Feld (1965)
American Sculpture: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Gardner, Albert TenEyck (1965)
American Paintings and Historical Prints from the Middendorf Collection; Feld, Stuart P. (1967)
Nineteenth-Century America: Paintings and Sculpture; Howat, John K., and Natalie Spassky, with an introduction by John K. Howat and John Wilmerding (1970)
Nineteenth-Century America: Furniture and Other Decorative Arts; Tracy, Berry B., Marilynn Johnson, Marvin D. Schwartz, and Suzanne Boorsch (1970)
In Quest of Comfort: The Easy Chair in America; Heckscher, Morrison H. (1971)
John Singer Sargent: A Selection of Drawings and Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Spassky, Natalie (1971)
Baltimore Federal Furniture in The American Wing; Bordes, Marilynn Johnson (1972)
Winslow Homer: A Selection of Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Spassky, Natalie (1972)
American Impressionist and Realist Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz; Howat, John K., and Dianne H. Pilgrim (1973)
Intimate Landscapes: Photographs; Porter, Eliot (1979)
The American Wing: A Guide; Davidson, Marshall B. (1980)
The Guennol Collection. Vol. 2; Rubin, Ida Ely, ed. (1982)
Tokens of a Friendship: Miniature Watercolors by William T. Richards; Ferber, Linda S. (1982)
Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor; Greenthal, Kathryn (1985)
The American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Davidson, Marshall B., and Elizabeth Stillinger (1985)
American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Late Colonial Period. Vol. II, The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles; Heckscher, Morrison H. (1985)
American Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Libin, Laurence (1985)
Masterpieces of American Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Salinger, Margaretta, with a foreword by John K. Howat (1986)
In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement; Burke, Doreen Bolger, et al. (1986)
American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School; Avery, Kevin J., Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, John K. Howat, Doreen Bolger Burke, and Catherine Hoover Voorsanger (1987)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 9, The United States of America; introduction by Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque (1987)
American Art Posters of the 1890s in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, including the Leonard A. Lauder Collection; Kiehl, David W., with essays by Phillip Dennis Cate, Nancy Finlay, and David W. Kiehl (1987)
John Vanderlyn's Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles; Avery, Kevin J., and Peter L. Fodera (1988)
American Pastels in The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Bolger, Doreen, ed., with Marjorie Shelley (1989)
American Porcelain, 1770-1920; Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney (1989)
American Portrait Miniatures in the Manney Collection; Johnson, Dale T. (1990)
American Kasten: The Dutch-Style Cupboards of New York and New Jersey, 1650-1800; Kenny, Peter M., Frances Gruber Safford, and Gilbert T. Vincent (1991)
John Singer Sargent's Alpine Sketchbooks: A Young Artist's Perspective; Rubin, Stephen D. (1991)
American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament; Heckscher, Morrison H., and Leslie Greene Bowman (1992)
The Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 8, American Drawings and Watercolors; Clark, Carol (1992)
Church's Great Picture: The Heart of the Andes; Avery, Kevin J. (1993)
American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885-1915; Weinberg, H. Barbara, Doreen Bolger, and David Park Curry (1994)
John Singleton Copley in America; Rebora, Carrie, Paul Staiti, Erica E. Hirshler, Theodore E. Stebbins Jr., and Carol Troyen, with contributions by Morrison H. Heckscher, Aileen Ribeiro, and Marjorie Shelley (1995)
Two by Two; Martin, Richard, and Harold Koda (1996)
Louis Comfort Tiffany at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney (1999)
Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861; Voorsanger, Catherine Hoover, and John K. Howat, eds., with essays by Dell Upton, Carrie Rebora Barratt, John K. Howat, Kevin J. Avery, Thayer Tolles, Morrison H. Heckscher, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Jeff L. Rosenheim, Caroline Rennolds Milbank, Amelia Peck, Catherine Hoover Voorsanger, Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, and Deborah Dependahl Waters (2000)
Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art, 1935; Webb, Virginia-Lee (2000)
Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875-1900; Peck, Amelia, and Carol Irish, with Elena Phipps (2001)
A Walk Through The American Wing; The curators of the American Wing, with an introduction by Morrison H. Heckscher and H. Barbara Weinberg (2002)
Hudson River School Visions: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford; Avery, Kevin J., and Franklin Kelly, with Claire A. Conway, and essays by Heidi Applegate and Eleanor James Harvey (2003)
John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker; Heckscher, Morrison H., with the assistance of Lori Zabar (2005)
American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915; Weinberg, H. Barbara, and Carrie Rebora Barratt, eds., with essays by Carrie Rebora Barratt, Margaret C. Conrads, Bruce Robertson, and H. Barbara Weinberg (2009)


The American Wing

The American Wing houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of American art in existence -- more than 15,000 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts objects -- all of which are accessible to the public on four floors of gallery and study areas. It also features one of the Museum's loveliest and most popular spaces, The Charles Engelhard Court, a glassed-in garden featuring large-scale American sculptures, leaded-glass windows, and other architectural elements.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has acquired important examples of American art since its establishment in 1870. Today the collection is supervised by two curatorial departments: American Paintings and Sculpture, established in 1948, and American Decorative Arts, organized in 1934. (Paintings and sculpture created by artists born after 1876, as well as decorative arts created after 1916, are part of the Museum's Department of Modern Art.)

The American Wing's collection of paintings, comprehensive in scope and extraordinary in quality, illustrates almost all phases of the history of American art from the late 18th to the early 20th century. It includes masterworks by such artists as John Singleton Copley, Ralph Earl, Gilbert Stuart, George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and James McNeill Whistler. Among the most celebrated paintings are Stuart's portrait of George Washington, Bingham's Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, Cole's The Oxbow, Church's Heart of the Andes, Eakins's The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull), and Sargent's Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau). The wing also is home to one of the best known works in American art, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's monumental 1851 canvas, Washington Crossing the Delaware.

The sculpture collection is equally distinguished and is especially strong in Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts works. Artists represented include Erastus Dow Palmer, John Quincy Adams Ward, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French, Frederic Remington, and Frederick William MacMonnies.

Works in the decorative arts extend in date from the late 17th to the early 20th century. Among the 25 furnished period rooms that span this period and offer an unparalleled view of American domestic architecture are the grand rococo pre-Revolutionary Van Rensselaer hall (1769), a McKim, Mead & White stair hall (1884), and a Frank Lloyd Wright living room (1915). Furniture includes masterpieces from the leading 18th-century cabinetmaking centers of Boston, Newport, and Philadelphia, as well as works by Duncan Phyfe, Charles Honoré Lannuier, John Henry Belter, Alexander Roux, and the Herter Brothers created in 19th-century New York City. Highlights in the silver collection include the work of Paul Revere and Tiffany & Company. The extensive glass collection incorporates blown- and pressed-glass vessels, with superb works by the New England Glass Company, the Dorflinger Works, and Tiffany Studios. The collection of American stained glass, from the 17th through the early 20th century, is perhaps the most comprehensive anywhere and features the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The ceramics holdings incorporate a wide variety from Pennsylvania-German redware to Rookwood Pottery. The textiles collection includes over 100 quilts, 18th- and early-19th-century needlework samplers, and fabrics designed by Candace Wheeler.

The American Wing also houses The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, which puts on view the Museum's entire reserve collection of American objects -- about 850 paintings, 100 sculptures, 600 pieces of furniture, and 7,000 works in other decorative media, including silver, glass, and ceramics.


TFAO also suggests these DVD or VHS videos:

New World Visions: American Art and the Metropolitan Museum. A two-part 1984 series, 58 minutes each, interweaves painting, sculpture, decorative arts and architecture in an exploration of uniquely American art forms. Using the collections of the Museum as a starting point, the programs were shot on location in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and New England. Part 1 covers the years 1650-1820 and Part 2 covers the years 1820-1914. Part I begins in the 17th-century Hart Room of The Metropolitan Museum's American Wing, continues through Colonial times, and ends with the emergence of the Hudson River School around 1820. Part II explores 19th-century landscape and portrait painting in depth, and takes viewers to the Frank Lloyd Wright room at The Metropolitan Museum." A co-production of WNET and the BBC.


Why was this sub-index page prepared?

When Resource Library publishes over time more than one article concerning an institution, there is created as an additional resource for readers a sub-index page containing links to each Resource Library article or essay concerning that institution, plus available information on its location and other descriptive information.

See TFAO's Museums Explained to learn about the "inner workings" of art museums and the functions of staff members. In the exhibitions section find out how to get the most out of a museum visit. See definitions for a glossary of museum-related words used in articles.

To help you plan visits to institutions exhibiting American art when traveling see Sources of Articles Indexed by State within the United States.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and image materials relating to the above institutional source were provided by that source. Before reproducing or transmitting text or images please read Resource Library's user agreement.

Traditional Fine Arts Organization's catalogues provide many more useful resources:

American Representational Art links to dozens of topics in American Representational Art

Audio Online a catalogue of online streaming audio recordings

Collections of Historic American Art notable private collections

Distinguished Artists a national registry of historic artists

Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History a catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.

Illustrated Audio Online streaming online narrated slide shows

Articles and Essays Online substantive texts published outside of Resource Library

Videos Online a comprehensive catalogue of online full motion videos streamed free to viewers

Videos an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

Books general reference books published on paper

Interactive media media in CD-ROM format

Magazines paper-published magazines and journals


About Resource Library


Resource Library is a free online publication of nonprofit Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO). Since 1997, Resource Library and its predecessor Resource Library Magazine have cumulatively published online 1,300+ articles and essays written by hundreds of identified authors, thousands of other texts not attributable to named authors, plus 24,000+ images, all providing educational and informational content related to American representational art. Texts and related images are provided almost exclusively by nonprofit art museum, gallery and art center sources.

All published materials provide educational and informational content to students, scholars, teachers and others. Most published materials relate to exhibitions. Materials may include whole exhibition gallery guides, brochures or catalogues or texts from them, perviously published magazine or journal articles, wall panels and object labels, audio tour scripts, play scripts, interviews, blogs, checklists and news releases, plus related images.

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