Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Artby Danny Danziger
Using more than fifty interviews, award-winning writer Danny Danziger creates a fascinating mosaic of the people behind New York?s magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the aristocratic, acerbic director of the museum, Philippe de Montebello,/b>/i>
An ?intriguing? oral portrait of the people behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Entertainment Weekly)
Using more than fifty interviews, award-winning writer Danny Danziger creates a fascinating mosaic of the people behind New York?s magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the aristocratic, acerbic director of the museum, Philippe de Montebello, to the curators who have a deep knowledge and passionate appreciation of their collections, from the security guards to the philanthropists who keep the museum?s financial life blood flowing, Danziger brings to life this extraordinary world through the words of those who are devoted to making the Met the American institution it surely is.
With full cooperation from one of the world's greatest art museums, London-based journalist Danziger (The Year 1000) interviewed over 50 individuals who attend to everything from the museum's artwork to its cleanliness, security, flowers and food. The result is a riveting, insightful and often touching group portrait of those who run New York's premier tourist attraction. Because the chapters are organized alphabetically, the story of how an aspiring opera singer became a waitress in the Trustees Dining Room is followed by the curator of European paintings describing how the museum acquired Duccio's Madonna and Child in 2005. Such juxtapositions reflect the varied mosaic of personalities that make up the Met, yet also serve an implicit purpose: to demystify and personalize the institution. Danziger's own curiosity is broad-ranging and infectious, and while the picture that emerges of the Met is overwhelmingly positive, issues such as curatorial bias, racial and ethnic diversity among the museum's visitors and the commercialization of museums are raised. This book is unique, highly enjoyable and will appeal to anyone-from the generalist to the specialist-interested in an intimate and rare view of the Metropolitan. (June 25)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From its proposal in 1866 as a national institution and gallery of art, the Metropolitan Museum has been the pride of eminent Americans devoted to sharing their love of art with the public. In this work of oral history, Danziger (coauthor of The Year 1000and 1215: The Year of the Magna Carta) attempts to humanize one of New York City's premiere elitist institutions and by and large succeeds. He interviewed dozens connected with the Met-not just the museum's director, Philippe de Montebello, but its trustees, curators, benefactors, and employees in various departments (e.g., plumbing, cleaning, security, merchandising, and fire safety). After a brief preface, Danziger presents the respondents talking in first person without prompting or pause. This gives the text powerful impact, although in some cases one can almost hear Danziger's questions. What all 52 interviewees seem to have in common is a love of art, of the Metropolitan Museum, and of the privilege of being associated with the museum as well as the pleasure of sharing their love with the world. Recommended for libraries with a strong interest in art or New York.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
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- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Danny Danziger currently lives in London, and Museum is his twelfth book, including the acclaimed 1215: The Year of Magna Carta and the bestselling The Year 1000.
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This book is a behind the scenes look at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It is a collection of interviews with curators and the support staff that makes the Museum work and thrive, even including a security guard and gift shop manager. There are a lot of very personal and insightful stories of happenings within the Museum walls that will really enrich your next visit there and make the place come to life. The conversations with the various curators in the different specialized galleries are especially interesting, revealing the philosophy behind the items chosen for acquisition and the vision for the department. Even if you never get to NYC and never visit The Met, it is probably representative of what goes on in any prestigious Art museum, so anyone who loves a day spent lost amongst treasures would undoubtedly love getting lost in this book.
I just this minute finished THIS WONDERFUL book. It is an extraordinary masterpiece!!!!!!!!!!!! The people involved with the Met must be thrilled. This brilliant author has shared an unknown element of this amazing museum with 'us common folk'. What a treat it is. Thank you Danny Danzinger for once again enlightening us.