UPPER EAST SIDE — To mark the 60th anniversary of the Museum of Primitive Art — which was the "direct precursor" to the department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas — the Met is highlighting some 50 masterpieces from that collection in a new exhibition.
The show, titled "The Nelson A. Rockefeller Vision: In Pursuit of the Best in the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the America," also pays homage to the philanthropist, whose 1969 donation of 3,000 artworks from that region helped complete the collection, Met officials said.
Some highlights include a "14th century Inca tunic from Peru" and "one of only two dozen surviving examples of Solomon Island shields," Museum officials said in a statement.
The broad range of items is in keeping with Rockefeller's desire to share non-Western art.
“A generation before ‘globalism’ became a household name, Nelson Rockefeller’s vision
for The Museum of Primitive Art was to make evident the enormous spectrum of artistic
expression absent from the Metropolitan’s fine arts holdings,” said Alisa LaGamma, curator of the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
“When a survey exhibition of The Museum of Primitive Art’s collection was presented at
the Met in 1969, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller announced at a press conference that his
non-Western art collection would be given a permanent home at the Met, thus ‘rounding
out its art archives of the creative accomplishments of [humankind].’"
The donation was eventually followed by the transfer of artworks to the Met's Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which opened to the public in 1982.
The exhibition will run at the Met, 1000 Fifth Ave., from Oct. 8, 2013, to Oct. 5, 2014. More information is available on the Met's website.