American Stories Exhibition to Open on Columbus Day

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • October 07, 2009

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William Tylee Ranney (American, 1813–1857) Advice on the Prairie, ca. 1853 Oil on canvas; 38 3/4 x 55 1/4 in. (98.4 x 140.3 cm) Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming, Gift of Mrs. J. Maxwell Moran (10.91)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

The public's first opportunity to visit the landmark exhibition American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life 1765-1915 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be October 12 (Columbus Day), the next "Met Holiday Monday." Met Holiday Mondays are extra public viewing days that take place on the Mondays of major holiday weekends, when historically the Museum has been closed. 

Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum, commented: "Columbus Day Met Holiday Monday provides us with a perfect occasion to open the American Stories exhibition to the public. The 100 iconic paintings that are brought together in this magnificent overview exhibition tell stories of everyday life, from the pre-Revolutionary era to the beginning of World War I.  We invite our visitors to view these works and then to tell their own stories on the exhibition's blog."More than 100 iconic paintings by many of America's most acclaimed artists, who tell stories about their own times by depicting ordinary people engaged in the tasks and pleasures of everyday life.  The paintings range in date from the Revolutionary era to the eve of World War I. Artists include John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Mary Cassatt.

The Audio Guide program for American Stories features curators H. Barbara Weinberg and Carrie Rebora Barratt, who introduce a variety of specialists—from disciplines as varied as art, history, literature, psychology, food, and film—who will provide their insights into each painting's story.  The exhibition blog can be found in the special American Stories exhibition feature online ( that also includes images and information on the works on view and a series of audio podcast episodes. 

Also on view on the October 12 Met Holiday Monday will be: Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid and Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans.

For children ages 5 through 12 and accompanying adults, hour-long adventures in art—which include discussion and sketching of the Met's masterpieces—will take place on October 12 at 11 a.m., noon, 1:15 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

The Metropolitan Museum's cafés and several of the gift shops in the main building will be open.

A different selection of exhibitions will be open on each Met Holiday Monday.

Credits: American Stories: Made possible by Alamo Rent A Car, The Marguerite and Frank A. Cosgrove Jr. Fund, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Oceanic Heritage Foundation. Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Audio Guide: Sponsored by Bloomberg. Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid: Made possible by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Daphne Recanati Kaplan and Thomas S. Kaplan, and Bernard and Louise Palitz. Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Made possible by Access Industries and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Additional support provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Family Programs: Made possible by the Uris Brothers Foundation Endowment; The Aronson Family Foundation; the Pat and John Rosenwald Fund; Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Schein; Joan B. Weberman and Roy W. Lennox; and The Enoch Foundation.

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About Metropolitan Museum of Art

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. Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum is located in New York City's Central Park along Fifth Avenue (from 80th to 84th Streets). Last year it was visited by 5.2 million people.

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