Friday, April 17, 2020

Metropolitan Cats 1983 - at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is a video "From the Vaults" of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It's all about the cats in its collection
From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art comes views of 4,000 years of art dealing with cats.

Metropolitan Cats - The Video (1983)

From ancient Chinese sculpture to the modern Broadway stage, cats have long been a source of inspiration for artists. This unusual film juxtaposes famous depictions of cats from the Museum's collection with their contemporary counterparts. Curators and staff muse on our feline friends' legendary stubbornness and implacable curiosity, their endless capacity for mischief, and ultimately how they have held our attention for millennia. 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates its 150th anniversary this year - and of course right now it's closed. However its online activities are very much alive.

One of their activities is that they are releasing films made in the past about items in the collection - from its archive of over 1,500 films, both made and collected by the Museum, from the 1920s onward.
  • each month  three to four films are released for the public to view 
  • they include 
    • rarely seen artist profiles and documentaries,
    • process films about art-making techniques and 
    • behind-the-scenes footage of the Museum.

Cats in the Collection

If you want to take a look at the 38,716 results for the search query "cats" take a look at this page (in the link) - and refine your search.

(NOTE: Some artists would have you think that painting cats or including a cat in a painting means you're not really a serious painter. There again these are usually people who don't have their artwork in a major international museum of art!)

Metropolitan Cats - the book

There's also a book called Metropolitan Cats - with text by John P O'Neill. I've not seen it but it gets good reviews. 

Cover of the book "Metropolitan Cats" text by John O'Neill 
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc / Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 1, 1982)
Available on Amazon. com and Amazon UK
John O'Neill was the Publisher and Editor in Chief for the Metropolitan Museum of Art for some 31 years. Prior to his retirement in December 2009, he had overseen the publication of more than one thousand exhibition and collection catalogues, as well as the Museum's quarterly Bulletin and annual Journal. In his obituary, the Museum noted his "extraordinary commitment to quality raised the standards for museum publishing worldwide, and his passions for art, literature, and above all opera were inspirations to those around him"

The image on the cover is is Cat Watching a Spider (ca. 1888–92) by Oide Tōkō Japanese

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