Review Round-Up of de Montebello’s Met Restrospective

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We’ve spent a good deal of time talking to you about Philippe de Montebello‘s leaving the Met, where he’s headed, and even what they’re eating to help celebrate his career. Now we thought we’d hand it over to the experts for the reviews of his final exhibit, “The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions,” which, as the title implies, shows off the things the famous curator snatched up for the museum. So far there are only two out there, but surely more to come. And between the NY TimesHolland Cotter‘s and Bloomberg‘s Linda Yablonsky‘s thoughts, we get the feeling that most reviews will boil down to “it’s weird seeing all these different pieces together in one place.” The general idea in most museums is that there are different areas for different exhibitions, but here, because it is about the collector and his collection, we’re left with a big jumble spanning all across the world and back and forth through time, seemingly creating something of a disconnect as you wander around, trying to figure out what it all means, surely not something you’ll see again soon at any major museum. Here’s a bit from Cotter’s review:

Under the circumstances, everything registers as both high and low. Uplift means whatever turns you on. Beauty, as a concept, is relative, and not necessarily elevated. Art assumes different meaning and value depending on how you view it: as a social historian, a finely attuned connoisseur or as a recreational window-shopper.