Celebrate the Holidays at Metropolitan Museum with Exhibitions, Decorations, and Special Programming


Exhibitions on View include Masterworks from Ancient Egypt and Kongo, Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas, and a Focus on Style Icon Jacqueline de Ribes

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the winter holidays with festive offerings, including seasonal displays and a wide range of critically acclaimed exhibitions.

"A day at the Metropolitan Museum is always memorable, but a visit over the holidays is particularly special," said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Met. "From pharaohs to a modern-day fashion icon, and from the ancient Americas to pre-colonial Africa, visitors can traverse great exhibitions to discover the world. They can also take in the ever-popular Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Crèche or the splendid 19th-century silver menorah, and explore masterpieces from the collection that span the millennia. There is truly something for everyone at the Met, and we encourage all to enjoy a visit to the Met as part of the holiday season."

A complete list of exhibitions on view this holiday season is available on the Museum's website. Highlights include:

Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style

November 19, 2015–February 21, 2016

The Costume Institute's fall 2015 exhibition focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the 20th century. The thematic show features about 60 ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes's personal archive, dating from 1959 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy dress balls, which she often made by cutting up and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood "dress-up" to the epitome of international style.

Kongo: Power and Majesty

September 18, 2015–January 3, 2016

Presenting some 150 works from the Kingdom of Kong—an area that includes present day Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola—this landmark exhibition is a captivating account of the effects of turbulent history on one of Africa's most storied kingdoms. Drawn from more than 50 institutional and private collections across Europe and the United States, the show reflects 500 years of Kongolese culture, from the end of the 15th century when a Portuguese explorer first set foot in the kingdom, to the early 20th century when the monarchy was forcibly abolished. From a dynamic assembly of 15 monumental power figures to elegantly carved ivories and finely woven textiles, the exhibition explores how the talents of Central Africa's most gifted artists were directed toward articulating a culturally distinct vernacular of power.





Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom

October 12, 2015–January 24, 2016

A great cultural flowering that lasted 400 years took place during ancient Egypt's Middle Kingdom (mid-Dynasty 11–Dynasty 13, around 2030–1650 B.C.). It was a transformational era, in which the artistic, cultural, religious, and political traditions first conceived and instituted during the Old Kingdom were revived and reimagined. This major international exhibition—the first comprehensive presentation of Middle Kingdom art and culture—features 230 powerful and compelling masterworks (individual objects and groups of objects), many of which have never been shown in the United States. Fashioned with great subtlety and sensitivity, and ranging in size from monumental stone sculptures to delicate examples of jewelry, the works of art are drawn from the preeminent collection of the Metropolitan—which is particularly rich in Middle Kingdom material—and 37 museums and collections in North America and Europe.


The annual presentation of the Christmas tree and Neapolitan Baroque crèche, the display of a spectacular late 19th-century silver menorah and 18th-century Torah crown, and a variety of holiday-themed events highlight the season at the Met's Fifth Avenue building, located at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue. At The Cloisters, the Met's branch museum for medieval art and architecture in northern Manhattan, decorations with a medieval theme and early music concerts ring in the season. For more details on the Met's holiday programming, including a special MetFridays: Revel in the Season on December 18, visit the Museum's website.




Image 1: Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior, 1959. Photograph by Roloff Beny, Roloff Beny Estate

Image 2: Power Figure (Nkisi N'Kondi: Mangaaka). Kongo peoples; Yombe group, Chiloango River region, Cabinda, Angola, 19th century, inventoried 1898. Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

Image 3: Relief with Senwosret I Running toward Min (detail), Twelfth Dynasty, reign of Senwosret I (ca. 1961-1917 B.C.). Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Image 4: Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche display. 20 ft. blue spruce with a collection of 18th-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs among its boughs and groups of realistic crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene at its base, displayed in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Gift of Loretta Hines Howard, 1964. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York



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