The Metropolitan Museum of Art Unfolds a Fabulous Fall 2021 Season




The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced its lineup of exhibitions for fall 2021, along with highlights of the in-person programs resuming over the summer and fall.

“As New York City enjoys this time of reopening after such a challenging year and a half, we are thrilled to resume offering in-person activities and to share the news of our upcoming exhibitions and programs,” commented Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of the Museum. “During the months of closure and since our reopening last August, we have ensured that The Met is able to provide the most ambitious, interesting and diverse programming possible–no matter how many visitors come to our galleries. And throughout this time, we have also continuously worked to prepare an upcoming array of art, performances, and activities that reflects the Museum’s tireless dedication to presenting innovative and thought-provoking ways to connect with art. Our programming also demonstrates The Met’s ongoing engagement with groundbreaking visual and performing artists as well as our commitment to our local and global communities. We look forward to sharing this powerful lineup with all of our audiences over the coming months.”

The Met’s fall exhibition program launches in September with In America: A Lexicon of Fashion(opening September 18), which will celebrate The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion. Surrealism Beyond Borders (opening October 11) will reconsider the true “movement” of Surrealism across boundaries of geography and chronology, offering a fresh appraisal that will recast appreciation of this most revolutionary and globe-spanning movement.

On November 5, the Museum will unveil Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room, a long-term installation unsettling the very idea of a period room by embracing the African and African diasporic belief that the past, present, and future are interconnected. This speculative home will be furnished with works from The Met collection—from Bamileke beadwork to contemporary art and design—that foreground generations of Black creativity. Opening December 10,

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts will draw new parallels between the creations of the Disney Studios and their artistic models, examining Walt Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks.

The Met’s summer exhibition offerings are equally robust. The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570 (which opened on June 26) features more than 90 works of art by some of the most celebrated artists of the Italian Renaissance, including Bronzino, Pontormo, and Cellini. Starting July 2, The New Woman Behind the Camera will feature 185 photographs, photo books, and illustrated magazines by 120 photographers from more than 20 countries that highlight the work of the diverse “new” women who made significant advances in modern photography from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Women Behind the Camera

In Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art (opening July 31), the twin themes of solitude and togetherness in Chinese art will be explored through 120 works of painting, calligraphy, and decorative arts with depictions of why and how people have either sought space from the world or attempted to bridge the divide between themselves and others.

Summer retreat in the eastern grove, calligraphy datable to 1512 at The Met

Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo(opening August 16) explores the intercultural exchange between French-born and trained American artist Jules Tavernier (1844–1889) and the Indigenous Pomo community of Elem at Clear Lake in northern California through approximately 50 works, including paintings, prints, watercolors, and photographs. At The Met Cloisters,

Spain, Art at the Frontier of Faith. Textile Fragment from the Dalmatic of San Valerius, 13th century at The Met

Spain, 1000–1200: Art at the Frontiers of Faith (opening August 30) will bring together a group of works that testify to the diversity of Spanish medieval art and display them within the Fuentidueña Chapel gallery, which typically focuses solely on the Christian tradition. Placed in dialogue with each other, the silk textiles, ivory carvings, illuminated manuscripts, frescoes, and monumental sculptures featured in the show will reveal a dynamic, interconnected past.

Programs and Performances
In-person programs will resume in July, with gallery talks and family activities offered throughout the summer and fall. The 2021–22 MetLiveArts season will feature an evening-length commission by Broadway actor and singer Gavin Creel and a concert celebrating composer Arvo Pärt, among other notable performances. On October 2, MetFest will offer a daylong celebration of art, creativity, and community on The Met’s plaza and throughout the Museum. Virtual performances and digital premieres will also continue through the summer with Sonic Cloisters, a virtual series of commissioned electronic music concerts filmed in the galleries and courtyards of The Met Cloisters launching each month through August.

Lost Souls of Saturn. Photo by Stephanie Berger. Sonic Cloisters.
The Met will continue its ongoing outreach to local communities in New York City with programs like Your Met Art Box, a collaboration with Citymeals that offers homebound older adults across the five boroughs art supplies and activities that promote connection and well-being, and The Met’s Civic Practice Partnership, a collaborative residency program for artists who are socially minded in their practice and create projects in their own neighborhoods across New York City.

Plaza Café and Bike Valet
Summertime visitors to The Met will be greeted by two new offerings: A complimentary bicycle valet service and the first-ever outdoor café on the Museum’s Fifth Avenue plaza. The bike valet will be available every Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. The new outdoor Plaza Café will serve grab-and-go snacks and beverages through September 5. At The Met Fifth Avenue, The Eatery and The American Wing Café continue to serve beverages and a variety of meal and snack options, and at The Met Cloisters the Trie Café is now open through October.

Installation view, The Roof Garden Commission, Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts, 2021. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Anna-Marie Kellen
About The Met’s Reopening
The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopened its Fifth Avenue location on August 29, 2020, after more than five months of closure due to the pandemic, with The Met Cloisters following on September 12, 2020. Since then, The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters have been open five days a week, Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Met has developed comprehensive safety procedures for its staff and visitors, following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State, and New York City. More information on what visitors can expect is available here, or visit

While you’re there, take the elevator to the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden to view Alex Da Corte: As Long as the Sun Lasts, on view through October 31, 2021. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 With Avenue at 82nd Street, NYC