Best of the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been an icon of New York City since its founding in 1870. In celebration of this institution, its new expansion into The Met Breuer location, and its new logo and identity, Dream The End has created an entire edition consisting solely of works found within the museum’s vast collections, spanning across the globe and throughout time. In this edition, mysterious pieces like Medieval reliquaries can be viewed alongside modern photography, 19th century painting and classical sculptures, truly showcasing The Best of the Met.

Featuring cover artwork by Met Mysteries

20th Century Decorative Art

Stylistic changes in Decorative Art can be observed throughout the decades of the 20th century, frequently mirroring trends in the Fine Arts. In the early decades, artists and craftsmen were creating pieces in the style of Art Nouveau’s curving, organic lines. In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, these forms became more geometric and clean, influenced by Cubism, Constructivism, and Futurism, moving towards the Art Deco style. Around this time, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in Weimar, which focused on modern arts, crafts, and design. Similarly in the US, a revival in the American craftsman was also observed. Mid-century Modernism progressed into a more organic style and a rejection of materialism in the 1960s and 70s and an increased interest in handicrafts. Glassblowing in particular saw a rise in popularity, and in 1971, Dave Chihuly founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, which became central to the growth of the movement.

20th Century Decorative Art is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

20th Century Jewelry

The twentieth century was a time of great creativity in jewelry design. Early 1900s jewelry reflected trends from Art Deco with an emphasis on bold, geometric designs. Lines were straight and linear, and the shape of gemstones often reflected this as well. In the late 1930s, Hollywood became the influence of Retro Jewelry, which is easily identifiable by the use of bright, highly polished yellow, rose and green gold. Common design themes from this era include wide gold bracelets, oversized dress clips and the use of flowers. The time after World War II was a decade of prosperity and a growing middle class, and jewelry designs reflected this new found wealth. As American women returned to their desires for femininity and classic glamour, jewelry of this era featured an abundance of gemstones set in flashy, dramatic designs, with a large focus on diamonds. As platinum became more accessible after its scarcity throughout WWII, it became the most common metal for jewelry settings, which is a style that still remains popular today. Along with classic designs, this modern era in jewelry also showcased a greater variation in textures and introduced the style of long necklaces, medallion pendants and oversized earrings. The most influential makers of 20th century jewelry include Van Cleef and Arpel, Bulgari, David Webb, Harry Winston and Kutchinsky.

20th Century Jewelry is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

20th Century Modern Furniture

A few common terms used to describe 20th Century Modern Furniture are often ‘organically-shaped’, ‘clean-lined’, and 'elegantly simple'. The styles, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, are characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living. American architects who were designing in the post-war period were often inspired by new ideas and new technologies. Charles and Ray Eames, for example, eagerly embraced fibre glass for pieces such as the “Womb Chair” and “La Chaise”. George Nelson and his design team also created “Bubble Lamp” shades using a new translucent polymer skin. In addition to rising technologies, the lead ‘functionalist’ style architecture that defined most modern homes during this era also played a part in influencing the design of modern furniture. The American culture began to demand casual, uncluttered furnishings to go inside their open-concept homes that featured long walls of glass. In culmination with the rise of new technologies and the functionalist style architecture, 20th century furniture saw one of the most dramatic instances of creativity in design history.

20th Century Modern Furniture is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

20th Century Sculpture

During the early decades of the 20th century, Cubism removed many of the hallowed principles that defined traditional plastic art, and this lead to an increase in experimentation in sculptures. New abstract expressions of space and movement became the norm, often using materials never used before. World War I and the 1917 Russian Revolution were also influential in this shift, catalyzing movements like Dada and Constructivism. Modern artists began producing works of art that were made with ‘found objects’ such as Duchamp’s “readymades”. In the mid-20th century, Surrealism replaced Dada, and this movement encompassed geometric abstraction as well as classical realism. Another monumental moment for 20th century sculpture was the rise of Pop-Art in the late 1950s-1970s. Pop-Art acted as the bridge between Modernist and Postmodernist art. Finally, in the 1970s, the rise of contemporary art was becoming increasingly popular and artists began to experiment more with it. Art historians refer to this period as postmodernism, which alludes to a different form of art that is challenging and has its own set of values and aesthetics.

20th Century Sculpture is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Aaron Siskind

Aaron Siskind was born on December 4, 1903, in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Social Science degree from College of the City of New York in 1926 and went on to teach high school English in the New York public school system for 21 years. He took interest in photography after receiving a camera as a wedding present. His career in photography began as a documentarian in the New York Photo League in 1932. He oversaw the League’s projects that were designed to document neighborhood life during the Great Depression, 1936-40. After the late 1930s, he stopped photographing people entirely and focused on architectural photography. At this point, his photography began to reflect ideas and styles of Abstract Expressionism, emphasizing a modernist concern with the flatness of picture plane. In 1950, he met Harry Callahan who convinced him to become a professor of photography at the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1951. He taught there until 1971, then moving on to teach at the Rhode Island School of Design until his retirement in 1976. Siskind died in Providence, Rhode Island in 1991.

Aaron Siskind is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was the preeminent civilization of the Mediterranean world for over 30 centuries. From the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom through the military conquest of the New Kingdom, Egypt has been a main source of information for archeologists and historians interested in the evolution of our society. The success of ancient Egypt’s civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the the Nile River valley for agriculture. Many of Egypt’s achievements are still recognized and reflected in today’s culture especially in relation to art and agriculture. In addition, several antiquities from Egypt have been brought to far corners of the world for learning, and its monumental ruins have inspired the imagination of travelers and writers for centuries.

Ancient Egypt is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

André Kertész

Born Kertész Andor in Budapest, Austria-Hungary on July 2, 1894, André Kertész purchased his first camera while working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange in 1912. He spent years taking amateur snapshots in Hungary and then moved to Paris in 1925. He began his career as a freelance photographer and soon established a successful career as a photojournalist. Kertész relocated to New York in 1936 to further his career, working as a freelance photographer for American magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, and others. Yet the steady work left him frustrated and unhappy, taking time away from his personal projects. From 1947 to 1962, he worked under an exclusive contract with Condé Nast as a staff photographer for House and Garden. It was only after he quit Condé Nast that he began receiving public attention for his work. He held a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York from 1964-65, a Guggenheim fellowship in 1974, and a retrospective at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, 1977-78; among others. Kertész died in 1985 in New York City.

André Kertész is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Antonio Ratti Textile Center

The Antonio Ratti Textile Center is one of the largest and most advanced facilities for the study and storage of textiles of any major art museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired its first textile in 1879, and its collection has expanded to include textiles dating back to 3000 B.C. and spanning all the world’s civilizations. The Antonio Ratti Textile Center oversees the storage and care and preservation of these textiles.

The Antonio Ratti Textile Center is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Berlin Painter

The Berlin Painter was an Athenian vase painter who was active between 500-460s B.C.. He is considered one of the best vase painters of the Late Archaic period. The Berlin Painter is named for an amphora that now resides at the Berlin Staatliche Museem.

The Berlin Painter is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Byzantine Empire

In the year 330 A.D., the first Christian ruler of the Roman Empire, Constantine the Great, transferred the capital from Rome to Constantinople. Starting from that date, the history of Byzantium is normally viewed in three periods, Early Middle, and Late. Early Byzantine culture is typically dated from the founding of Constantinople until the early 700s, and it is characterized by the replacement of pagan Roman gods with Christianity. The end of this period is marked by an Iconoclastic controversy where factions fought over the proper use of religious icons, and many early Byzantine icons were destroyed as a result. The Middle Period begins around 843, and icons are now accepted as tools of worship again. The empire became very wealthy and powerful, and this was a time with flourishing arts, architecture, and literature. In 1204, armies from the Fourth Crusade invaded and conquered Constantinople, signaling the beginning of the Late and final period of the Byzantine Empire. This occupation would last until 1261, when control of Constantinople was returned to Byzantine rule. The breadth of the empire was much smaller than the Early and Middle Periods, and in 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, bringing the Byzantine Empire to a close.

The Byzantine Empire is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Camille Corot

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was born on July 17, 1796, in Paris. He was educated at the Collège de Rouen and attempted two apprenticeships with drapers; however, at the age of 26, he was finally given the financial freedom to devote himself fully to painting. A trip to Italy was considered essential to artists in training at the time, and he made his first trip from 1825-28, visiting Rome and Naples. He returned to Italy in 1834 and 1843, and throughout the next decades, he also travelled extensively through the French countryside as well as visiting Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and London. During these trips, Corot painted and sketched outdoors during warm months and spent the winters working in the studio on academic paintings to be exhibited in the Paris Salon. By the 1850s, his reputation was established as a landscape painter, and his style began to soften. Some of his most popular works were his ‘souvenirs’, paintings that were based on memories of real landscapes. Corot passed away in 1875.

Camille Corot is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Carlo Crivelli

Carlo Crivelli was born in Venice around 1430, and he likely trained with Francesco Squarcione in Padua. Crivelli spent most of his life in Le Marche, Italy, a region located in the central west part of the country. He died around 1494.

Carlo Crivelli is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Charles Biederman

Charles Biederman was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Czech parents in 1906. He worked in a commercial art studio in Cleveland from 1922-6 and then studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1926-9. He remained in Chicago until he moved to New York in 1934. While in New York, he became influenced by late Cubism; however in contrast to the works of the Cubists, Biederman’s work eliminated subject matter. He briefly lived in Paris from 1936-7, where he met Piet Mondrian and Fernand Léger, among others. His first solo exhibition was held at Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York in 1936. Biederman abandoned painting the following year and began to concentrate on painted reliefs. He returned to Chicago in 1940, where he would live for 2 years before moving to Red Wing, Minnesota, to work in isolation. By 1949-50, he had developed his signature style of work, a type of relief with small planes attached to each other or a background, painted in limited but bright colors. He published two books on his art and color theories. He lived in Red Wing until his death in 2004.

Charles Biederman is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Donald Judd

Donald Judd was born on June 3, 1928 in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. He studied at the Art Students League, New York, 1948, and at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, 1948-9. He later took courses in philosophy, 1949-53, and then art history, 1957-62, at Columbia University. His first solo exhibition was at the Panoras Gallery in New York, 1957. Soon, he became a contributing editor for Art Magazine and then reviewer for Art News and Art International, 1959-65. Judd challenged conventions of originality by using industrial processes and materials and creating large, hollow Minimalist sculptures, which he arranged in simple, repetitive geometric forms. His held his second solo exhibition at the Green Gallery in New York, 1963, which established his reputation. In 1968, the Whitney Museum of American Art organized the first retrospective of Judd’s work. He moved to Marfa, Texas in 1972, where he would live and work until his death. In 1980, he participated in his first Venice Biennale; then in 1992, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Throughout his lifetime, Judd published a large body of theoretical writings as well, in which he consistently promoted the Minimalist Art movement. Donald Judd died on February 12, 1994, in New York.

Donald Judd is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met


Born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg Russia on November 23, 1892, Erté is one of the most well-known designers and illustrators of the Art Deco period. In 1912, he moved to Paris and began working for fashion designer Paul Poiret. Erté soon began designing costumes and selling gouache and pen-and-ink fashion illustrations. From 1916-37, he was under contract with Harper’s Bazaar. He also designed many costumes and sets for French theater, working for the Folies-Bergère from 1919-30. Erté’s characteristic style is elongated and linear, depicting figures in lavish clothing and in front of Art Deco backgrounds. He passed away in Paris on April 21, 1990.

Erté is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Franz Kline

Franz Kline was born in Pennsylvania in 1910. In high school he became interested in illustration, and he continued his education as a draftsman at Boston University from 1931-35. He then moved to London to continue his studies, returning the US and moving to New York in 1939. Influenced by Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, in 1946 Kline began generalizing his subjects, creating compositions that emphasized calligraphic line. De Kooning enlarged some of Kline’s sketches using a projector in 1948, showing the artist the dramatic effects and power of his abstracted lines. His first solo show was held in 1950 at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York, allowing him to present his signature style of thick expressive black brushstrokes over a white canvas ground. Kline’s works played a major part in defining abstract expressionism. He taught at Black Mountain College and Pratt Institute during the 1950s, and he was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1958 exhibition, “The New American Painting”. He sadly passed away in 1962 due to a rheumatic heart condition.

Franz Kline is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Franz Xaver Winterhalter was born in the Grand-Duchy of Baden in 1805. He received early training in Freiburg as a graphic artist, and in 1824, he enrolled at the Munich Academy to continue his studies. He received a travel stipend in 1833-34 to Italy, where he joined a circle of French artists. He then moved to Paris and was commissioned by King Louis-Philippe to paint portraits of the entire royal family and leading members of the court. This commission launched his career as an international court portraitist. Winterhalter’s patrons appreciated his ability to adapt his style to suit their needs and to capture the political and moral climate of each court. He painted the royal families of England, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, and Russia. Winterhalter died in Frankfurt in 1873.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

George Platt Lynes

George Platt Lynes was born on April 15, 1907 in East Orange, New Jersey. He went to Paris in 1925 where he then met artists such as Réne Crevel, Man Ray, Gertrude Stein, and others. When he returned to the U.S. he contemplated a literary career and opened a bookstore in Englewood, New Jersey in 1927. He first became interested in photography with only the desire to photograph his friends and display them in his bookstore. He then returned to France with friends and over the next several years establish himself as a photographer. He began receiving commissions from Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Vogue, and other publications. In 1946, he became head of Vogue magazine’s west coast studio in Los Angeles and photographed celebrities such as Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russel, Gloria Swanson, Orson Welles. In 1948, Lynes returned to New York to focus on his own private interests, male nudes and documenting the New York City Ballet. He became acquainted with Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who was an influential researcher on human sexuality. Lynes died in 1955, leaving a substantial body of nudes and homoerotic photographic works to the Kinsey Institute.

George Platt Lynes is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League in New York, the University of Virginia, and Columbia University's Teachers College. While working as a teacher, some of O'Keeffe's charcoal drawings attracted the attention of photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz. The two became romantically involved, and were married in 1924. O'Keeffe first visited New Mexico in 1929, and she would continue to make almost annual trips there until eventually relocating there in 1949. In New Mexico, O'Keeffe discovered new subjects to paint, such as animal bones and southwestern landscapes. She passed away in 1986, and her ashes were scattered over the New Mexico landscape.

Georgie O'Keeffe is featured in Edition: Love + Sex babyEdition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer and Edition: Best of the Met

Gerard David

Gerard David was born at Oudewater, new Gouda in The Netherlands around the year 1455. By 1484, he had made his way to Bruges and remained there for the rest of his life. He passed away in 1523.

Gerard David is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Giovanni Boldini

Giovanni Boldini was born in Ferrara, Italy in 1842. His father was a painter and restorer, and Boldini received artistic training from a very young age. He inherited a large sum of money from an uncle and then moved to Florence in early 1864, where he became associated with many other young artists. He made his first trip to Paris in May 1867 and officially moved there in October 1871. Over the next twenty years, Boldini established himself as one of the most sought out portraitists in Parisian society. Many of his sitters were wealthy society figures. In addition to portraits, he also portrayed scenes of urban life, landscapes, and genre scenes. Boldini’s style is characterized by sweeping brushstrokes, and he has been referred to as the epitome of the Belle Époque portraitist. He passed away in 1931.

Giovanni Boldini is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia was born in Siena, Italy around 1403. He probably studied under the painter Taddeo di Bartolo and was also influenced by Gentile da Fabriano. Di Paolo’s most important works were produced during the 1440s and early 1450s, and include his altarpiece of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and six scenes from The Life of St. John the Baptist. He passed away in his hometown of Siena in 1482.

Giovanni di Paolo is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was born on August 22, 1908, in Chanteloup, France. Initially interested in painting, Cartier-Bresson was influenced by his painter uncle and studied under some of his uncle’s friends, becoming deeply interested in Surrealism. He studied with André Lhote, a cubist painter and critic, from 1927-28. In 1931 inspired by the photography of Eugène Atget and Man Ray, Cartier-Bresson boarded a ship headed to Africa, where he lived in the bush and photographed his experiences with a miniature camera; however he contracted blackwater fever, and had to return to France. In 1933, he purchased his first 35mm Leica. This small camera lent itself to portability, spontaneity, and anonymity, which allowed him to develop his photojournalistic style and easily travel the world. In 1947, a solo exhibition was held in his honor at MoMA in New York; while in the US, Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and others founded Magnum Photos, a cooperative agency of photojournalists. Cartier-Bresson was honored in 1955, when a retrospective exhibition of 400 of his photographs was held at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris and then travelled internationally before being deposited into the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. He died in France on August 3, 2004, leaving behind a legacy that firmly established photojournalism as an artform.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Japanese Art - Heisei Period

The Heisei period in Japanese history began on January 8, 1989, following Emperor Hirohito’s death and his son Akihito succession to the throne. This period is ongoing.

Japanese Art - Heisei Period is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Japanese Art - Showa Period

The Shōwa period in Japanese history corresponds to the reign of Emperor Hirohito, from December 25, 1926 - January 7, 1989. The Shōwa period was characterized by numerous economic and political changes over the years.

Japanese Art – Showa Period is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet was born on July 31, 1901, in Le Havre, France. After attending art classes as a child, he moved to Paris in 1918 to study at the Académie Julian. He left the school after only six months; however, during this time he became fascinated with Hans Prinzhorn’s book on psychopathic art, and he also met Raoul Dufy, Max Jacobs, Ferdinand Léger, and Suzanne Valadon. Dubuffet gave up painting around 1924 for about 10 years, and began working as an industrial draftsman and then in the family wine business.  In 1942, he dedicated himself to becoming an artist, and his first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie René Drouin, Paris in 1944. Dubuffet associated with Surrealist and Dada circles in Paris, and he became an avid supporter and collector of Art Brut, spontaneous, direct works by untrained artists, such as children or the mentally ill. He went so far as to write a manifesto proclaiming the style’s superiority over official art and to found the organization Compagnie d l’Art Brut that held its first exhibition in 1949. The first museum retrospective of Dubuffet’s work was held in 1957 at the Schlo Morsbroich, in Leverkusen, West Germany; numerous exhibitions of his work followed throughout the next years. He continued to exhibit until his death on May 12, 1985, in Paris. 

Jean Dubuffet is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was born in Montauban, France in 1870. As a young child, he was both musically and artistically talented and enrolled at age 12 at the Academy of Toulouse. In 1797, he left for Paris to study with Neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David. Unlike his master’s modern classicism, Ingre’s work was characterized by more of an antique notion with severe linearity. He was admitted into the École des Beaux-Arts and won the Prix de Rome in 1801. At the Salon of 1806, his panting “Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne” scandalized the judges with its harsh geometry, symmetry, Gothic artificiality, and flatness. As his career progressed his works were frequently criticized in the Salons. In 1819, he moved from Rome to Florence, and his work took a more religious and classicizing style, which gained more favor among critics. In 1825, he opened a teaching studio in Paris, which soon became one of the largest and most important of its time. In December 1833, he was named president of the École des Beaux-Arts. Unhappy with the criticism of liberal critics, he returned to Rome, becoming the director of the Académie de France there in 1834; he returned to Paris in 1841, gaining favorability among conservatives and the upper class as a sought after portraitist. His death in January 1867 signaled the end of conservative monumental history painting in France.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Joan Miró

Joan Miró was born in Barcelona in 1893. He is incredibly influential to the art world and best known for his contributions to Surrealist art in many different mediums. He had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1951 and in 1959, as well as won a prize at the Venice Biennale in 1954 and was commissioned for two large ceramic murals at the UNESCO buildings in Paris in 1968. His work is part of public and private collections worldwide. He passed away in 1983 from heart disease.

Excerpted from "Joan Miro: His Graphic Work", published by Harry N. Adams in 1958.

Joan Miró is featured in Edition: Small Wonder and Edition: Best of the Met

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida was born in Valencia, Spain on February 27, 1863. He was orphaned at the age of two, but he displayed early artistic talent and was admitted to the Academy of San Carlos in Valencia at the age of 15. Three years later, he went to Madrid to study Old Master paintings at the Museo del Prado. He went on to win a grant to study painting in Rome. Upon returning to Madrid, his paintings were very popular. His paintings exhibited at the 1901 Exposition Universelle in Paris were well received, and the Hispanic Society of America commissioned him to paint decorative scenes for its New York City library in 1911. He passed away in Cercedilla, Spain in 1923. Sorolla's light, airy, Impressionistic scenes of the Mediterranean coast are some of his best known works.

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent was born in Florence, Italy on January 12, 1856. His parents, Dr. Fitzwiliam Sargent and Mary Newbold Singer were American, but had expatriated to Europe in 1854. Sargent was raised emerged in European culture and spoke French, Italian, German, and English. He briefly attended the Academia delle Belle Arti in Florence but at the age of 18, left for Paris in May 1874. He entered the atelier of portrait painter Carolus-Duran and enrolled in classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He exhibited portraits and subject pictures at the Salon in 1877 and received positive reviews. His early subject pictures were inspired by his travels to Brittany, Capri, Spain, North Africa, and Venice. Sargent exhibited his Portrait of Madame X at the Salon of 1884, and it was the scandal of the season, which influenced his decision to leave Paris for London in 1886. In England, his work was regarded as avant-garde, and he began paining more landscapes due to a decline in portrait commissions. In September 1887, Sargent traveled to New York, and he soon began receiving portrait commissions from wealthy Americans and Brits, becoming an in demand painter for high-society in the 1890s. At the turn of the century, he returned to his interest in landscape painting, unsuccessfully trying to give up formal portraiture. Sargent passed away in London in 1925.

John Singer Sargent is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Jules-Edmond-Charles Lachaise and Eugène-Pierre Gourdet

Jules-Edmond-Charles Lachaise and Eugène-Pierre Gourdet were French interior design partners. Their work is characteristic of the opulent and derivative style of the Second French Empire of the mid-late 1800s. They frequently worked for Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III and other members of French society.

Jules-Edmond-Charles Lachaise and Eugène-Pierre Gourdet are featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons was born October 3, 1949, on Long Island, New York. She began photographing at the age of six and went on to receive her BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, 1971. Two years later, she moved to Soho in New York. Her earliest work consisted of portraits of friends but then shifted to photographing toys after working freelance for a dollhouse miniature company. In the 1980s, Simmons began staging photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects”. One of Simmons most famous works was the film, The Music of Regret, 2006, in which she used vintage puppets and recruited Meryl Streep, along with Alvin Ailey dancers dressed as oversized inanimate objects in a three-part musical. Simmons has received many awards, including the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome, 2005. As well as fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1997, and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1984. She has had major exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, 2006, and has participated in two Whitney Biennial Exhibitions in 1985 and 1991. Simmons currently lives and works in New York.

Laurie Simmons is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany was born on February 18, 1848, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany and Company, and Harriet Olivia Avery Young. Instead of joining the family business, Tiffany pursued an artistic career, beginning as a painter. By the end of his long career, Tiffany worked in a variety of mediums ranging from leaded-glass windows, mosaics, glass, pottery, metalwork, enamels, jewelry, and interiors. In the 1860s, he travelled extensively through Europe, North America, and North Africa. By the late 1970s, he turned his attention towards decorative arts and interiors, designing and decorating the homes of many members of high society. On December 1, 1885, the Tiffany Glass Company was incorporated, later becoming known as Tiffany Studios in 1902. In late 1892 or early 1893, he built a glasshouse in Corona, Queens, NY with Arthur Nash, a skilled English glassworker. The furnaces developed a method where different colors were blended together while molten in order to achieve a subtle effect of shading and texture. He trademarked the word Favrile as the term to refer to glass blown from these unique furnaces. Favrile glass allowed craftsmen to use tonal graduations, lines, textures, and densities inherent in the material for pictorial details, allowing them to “paint” with glass. Following the death of his father in 1902, he became the first Design Director for Tiffany & Company. He died on January 17, 1933.

Louis Comfort Tiffany is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Lucas Cranach the Elder

Born Lucas Müller, Lucas Cranach the Elder was born in Cranach (now Kronach), Germany in 1472. He was one of the most influential painters of German Renaissance art. His father Hans was a painter, and he worked with him from 1495-98. The earliest known works by Müller are dated to 1502, when he was living in Vienna. It was during his time in Vienna that he dropped his surname and begin going by the name of his hometown, Cranach. While in Vienna, he was appointed court painter to the elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony, and he moved to Wittenberg, where he would remain until 1550. Cranach was a friend of Martin Luther, and he painted many portraits and made many woodcuts of Luther and his followers as well as altarpieces and paintings for numerous churches. Both of Cranach’s sons were artists and members of his studio; his younger son, Lucas continued to work in the family style after his father’s death in 1553.

Lucas Cranach The Elder is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Met Mysteries

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870. Since then, the institution has grown and expanded its collections, ranging from ancient to modern history and works of art and design of all mediums. Not all pieces at the Met can be attributed to specific artists, but they are just as important to the history of art and culture.

Met Mysteries are featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Nan Goldin

Photographer, Nan Goldin was born in Washington D.C. in 1953 and spent her formative years in Boston. She graduated from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and moved to New York following graduation where she became mesmerized by the new- wave music scene, transsexual subculture and the drug addled denizens of Bowery Street. Goldin has had retrospectives at at The Tate Modern, The Whitney, MoMA, Louvre and the Centre Pompidou. Goldin currently splits her time between New York and Paris.

Rizzoli published Variety: Photographs by Nan Goldin in 2009. The book is a compilation of photos Goldin collected for Bette Gordon’s infamous 1983 film, Variety. James Crump, director of the films, Devil’s Playground and The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and author of many books, edited the book.

Variety: Photographs by Nan Goldin is featured in Edition: Rizzoli: New York and Edition: Best of the Met

Peter Hujar

Peter Hujar was an American photographer known for his black and white portraits. He was born in 1934 and received his first camera in 1947. Hujar was part of the New York downtown art scene in the 1970s working with influential cultural figures such as Harold Krieger, Andy Warhol, and Susan Sontag. When Hujar passed away in 1987, his work was included in several permanent collections worldwide.

Peter Hujar is featured in Edition: Love + Sex baby and Edition: Best of the Met

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia is an American photographer, born in 1951, in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and went on to receive his MFA in Photography from Yale University in 1979. DiCorcia is well known for creating images that balance between documentary and theatrically-staged photography. Photography becomes a fictive medium that diCorcia infuses with the uncanny, asking viewers to question the reality between fact and fiction. DiCorcia became well known for his "Hustlers" series of male prostitutes in Los Angeles during the early 1990s. He was included in the 1997 Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennale. His 2004 series of pole dancers, "Lucky Thirteen" resulted in four solo exhibitions. DiCorcia is also a highly sought after editorial photographer and has created numerous iconic shoots for W magazine. He currently resides in New York and is the Senior Photography Critic at Yale University.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Wes Gordon and Edition: Best of the Met

Raymond Templier

Raymond Templar was a Parisian jeweler, born in 1891. His grandfather, Charles, founded the Templier firm in Paris in 1849. The family business was passed down to Raymond’s father, Paul, with Raymond joining in 1919. From 1909-12 Raymond studied at the École Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. At the 1927 Paris Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Industry, some of Raymond’s pieces were noticed from their geometric quality, and he became known for utilizing a mixture of enamel and diamonds. He became one of a small group of innovative designers producing Art Deco style pieces, characterized by a minimal, geometric style influenced by Cubism and industrialism. He passed away in 1968. 

Raymond Templier is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra was born on June 2, 1959, in Sittard, Netherlands. She studied at the Gerit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, 1981-86. Until the early 1990s, Dijkstra worked as a portrait photographer and then transitioned to taking her own style of portraits. In 1990 a bicycle struck her car, and she injured her hip. During her rehabilitation, she was inspired by a self-portrait of herself emerging from a pool, which became the catalyst of a new direction in her work. She gained international attention from her series, Beaches, in 1992-6. Dijkstra has had exhibitions including the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 1999; Art Institute of Chicago, 2001; Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, 2005; the Venice Biennale, 1997 and 2001. In 2012, the Guggenheim Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized a major retrospective of her work. She has also received several awards including, the Kodak Awards, Netherlands in 1987, the Werner Mantz Award 1994, and the Macallan Royal Photography Prize, 2012. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam.

Rineke Dijkstra is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Robert Frank

Robert Frank was born on November 9, 1924, in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied French for a year at the Institut Jomini in Payerne before shifting to doing a several apprenticeships and positions as a photographer’s assistant, 1941-44. Frank moved to New York City, 1947, and was hired as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1955 and took a two-year trip across America taking over 28,000 photographs. Eighty-three were then selected for his groundbreaking monograph, The Americans, situating his position of cultural prominence in the United States and abroad. In 1959, Frank began making films. His documentary of the Rolling Stones in 1972 is perhaps his most famous film. Frank has held several exhibitions including his first solo show at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1961; Kunsthaus in Zurich exhibited his first retrospective in 1974, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1980. He currently lives in Zurich.

Robert Frank is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Robert Heinecken

Robert Heinecken was born on October 29, 1931 in Denver, Colorado. Prior to attending the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959, he was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corp from 1953-1957. Heinecken was most known for his appropriation and re-processing of images from magazines, packaging, and television. Heinecken went on to found the graduate program for photography at UCLA in 1964. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976, and he received numerous grants including the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artists Grant in 1977, 1981 and 1986 and Polaroid Corporation grants in 1984, 1985, and 1988. He has had over sixty solo exhibitions internationally, including the Center of Creative Photography, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Heinecken died on May 18, 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Robert Heinecken is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí was a surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain on May 11, 1904. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí’s first Surrealist phase. As war approached in Europe, Dalí clashed with members of the Surrealist movement and was expelled from the group. Over the following 15 years, Dalí continued to paint, painting a series of 19 large canvases that included scientific, historic or religious themes. Much of his work contained images depicting divine geometry, the DNA, the Hyper Cube, religious themes of chastity, and his wife Gala. He passed away on January 23, 1989 due to heart failure at the age of 84.

Salvador Dalí is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer and Edition: Best of the Met

Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore was born on October 8, 1947 in New York City. Shore was interested in photography from an early age after receiving a darkroom kit at the age of six from his uncle. He taught himself how to use a 35mm camera, where he made his first color photographs three years later. Shore’s career began at age fourteen when he contacted the curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Edward Steichen. During their meeting, Steichen bought three of Shore’s photographs for the museum’s permanent collection. At the age of sixteen, Shore met Andy Warhol and began frequenting his studio, photographing scenes at the Factory. In 1971, at twenty-three, he became the first living photographer to have a one-person show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has long been considered the pioneer of color art photography. Since 1982, Shore has been the director of Photography Program at Bard College.

Stephen Shore is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Walker Evans

Walker Evans was born on November 3, 1903, in St. Louis Missouri. After dropping out of the Williams College and working dead-end jobs in New York City, he moved to Paris in 1926, with financial support from his father. While in Paris, Evans audited classes at the Sorbonne and made some casual snapshots. Evans returned to New York a year later and published his first images in 1930. Evans is most recognized for his work during the Great Depression when he began working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), in which he documented workers and architecture in Southeastern U.S. In 1938, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, published American Photographs to accompany a retrospective exhibition of Evans’s work at that time. In 1943, Evans was hired by Time where he spent the next 22 years as a staff photographer, working closely with Fortune magazine. He then took a position at Yale University as professor of photography and graphic design until 1974. He died in New Haven, Connecticut in 1975.

Walker Evans is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met


Weegee, was born as Ascher (Usher) Fellig, on June 12, 1899 in Zolochiv, Ukraine. He first worked as a photographer at the age of fourteen after his family immigrated to the U.S. in which he changed his name to Arthur in order to sound more American. Completely self-taught, he held many odd photography-related jobs before receiving a position in a photography studio in 1918. This led him to work as a freelance news photographer until 1935. During the 1940s, Weegee’s photography gained mainstream attention and success. In 1941, the New York Photo League held an exhibition of his work, and the Museum of Modern Art began exhibiting and collecting his work in 1943. He moved to Hollywood in 1947 and worked as a filmmaker, performer, and consultant until 1952. Weegee then returned to New York and lectured and wrote about photography until his death on December 27, 1968.

Weegee is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

William Eggleston

William Eggleston is an American photographer born on July 27, 1939. He attended Vanderbilt University, Delta State College, and the University of Mississippi. Eggleston assumes a neutral gaze and creates his art from commonplace subjects: a farmer’s muddy Ford truck, a red ceiling in a friend’s house, the contents of his own refrigerator. He photographs democratically, literally photographing the world around him. His large-format prints monumentalize everyday subjects; everything is equally important, and every detail deserves attention. His 1967 ‘Color Photographs’ show at the Museum of Modern Art was groundbreaking for its striking, saturated color but also for his observational style. He currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee.

William Eggleston is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer and Edition: Best of the Met

William Hogarth

William Hogarth was born in London in 1697. He apprenticed under a goldsmith, and around 1710, he began to produce his own engraved designs. Hogarth later took up painting; he is most well known for his series paintings and engravings of ‘modern moral subjects’. His engravings were so plagiarized that he lobbied for the Copyright Act of 1735 as protection for writers and artists. During the 1730s, Hogarth developed into a portraitist and history painter. He passed away in 1764.

William Hogarth is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans is a German fine-art photographer born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany. Since the early 1990s, his work has epitomized a new kind of subjectivity in photography, pairing intimacy and playfulness with social critique and questioning of existing values and hierarchies. He studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design at Bournemouth, England from 1990-92. In 2000, he became the first photographer and the first non-British artist to receive the Turner Prize. Since 2012, he has been a member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and he was appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2013. Tillmans views the printed page as an important venue for his work and is deeply involved in the publication of his artist books and regularly contributes to magazines. His work is in collections worldwide, and he has been the subject of many solo exhibitions. He currently lives and works in Berlin and London.

Wolfgang Tillmans is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Stephan Breuer and Edition: Best of the Met

Zhao Mengfu

Zhao Mengfu, born in Huzhou, China in 1254, was a painter and calligrapher, who is regarded as an early master within the tradition of literati painters, who were seeking personal expression rather than nature. He was a descendant of the Song dynasty imperial family and was educated in the imperial university. In 1286, Zhao accepted service into the newly established Mongol court. He is well known for his paintings of horses, as well as other animal groups, landscapes, and bamboo. His works are characterized by a variety of brushwork and employ simplified color and compositions. Both his wife, Guan Daosheng, and his son, Zhao Yong, were painters of note. He passed away in 1322. 

Zhao Mengfu is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Édouard Vuillard

Édouard Vuillard was born on November 11, 1868, in Cuiseaux, France. He studied from 1886-88 at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and in 1889 he joined fellow art students in forming a the Nabis, which is Hebrew for “Prophets”. The Nabis were influenced by Paul Gauguin’s paintings from the time he worked in Pont-Aven in Brittany, and they were in favor of a symbolic rather than naturalistic approach to color. Their works emphasize the flatness of the canvas rather than the artificial three-dimensionality that could be produced with paint. Many of Vuillard’s works reflect his home life; he lived with his widowed mother until her death. These interior domestic scenes are filled with rich patterns of wallpaper and textiles, typical of the Victorian era, and have a delicate intimacy about them. Vuillard also worked in book illustration as well as poster and theater design. The last exhibition of the Nabis occurred in 1899, following this, Vuillard’s work took a more naturalistic turn. He painted numerous intimate portraits of friends and fellow artists and has public paintings at the foyer of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and murals in the League of Nations in Geneva. Vuillard passed away on June 21, 1940 in La Baule.

Édouard Vuillard is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met