New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has opened an exhibition of employees’ works of art to the public for the first time.
Every two years since 1935, the Met’s staff have had the chance to display their own artworks on the institution’s walls, Hyperallergic reports.
Until now, the exhibition has only been open to employees and their guests. The show, which opened on 6 June, is running through 19 June.
More than 450 of the museum’s staff have contributed works to the exhibition, including security guards, educators, technicians, librarians, designers, engineers, conservators, volunteers and registrars.
Titled ‘Art Work: Artists Working at The Met’, the show includes drawings, paintings, photography, sculptures and digital media.
Daniel Kershaw, exhibition design manager at the Met, has directed the show’s curatorial process for more than 20 years. Every artwork submitted is included in the exhibition.
“I’m sure that a lot of the artists are thinking, ‘Are you kidding, you put my masterpiece next to that awful thing?’ But that’s okay, everybody seems to behave relatively well together,” Kershaw told Hyperallergic.
Michael Gallagher, the chair of the paintings conservation department, contributed an oil on canvas work to the show. “The reason you keep this private is because it’s so important to you,” he said.
‘Art Work: Artists Working at The Met’
“It’s because you feel very vulnerable, and also, when you work for one of the greatest arts institutions in the world and you deal with some of the greatest paintings, it just seems hugely presumptuous to be like, ‘Oh, I paint, too.'”
“There are some great artists walking the halls of the Met,” Gallagher added.
Last month, the Met announced the return of its free bicycle valet programme from Memorial Day weekend (28 May) through Labor Day (5 September).
The museum has also chosen Mexican architect Frida Escobedo to design its new $500m modern and contemporary art wing.
Images: Metropolitan Museum of Art