In April of 2007, Chris Lightfoot, along with three other curators, unveiled the new and improved exhibition of Greek and Roman art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to the reconstruction of this permanent exhibition, the display collection had dwindled. During World War II, many of the finest pieces in the classics collection had been put away in storage in order to protect them during this turbulent time. Additionally, in 1940 the director of the museum decided to turn the central area of the building that contained the collection (the McKim, Mead, and White Building) into a restaurant.
However, after being confined to storage for nearly 70 years, nearly 5,300 pieces are now on display in the museum. The project took fifteen years and $220 million to complete, topped off by 5-year project of completion of the main atrium. The collection includes many different types of art, including sculptures, high reliefs carvings, frescoes (both buon fresco and fresco secco style), and even ancient coins. Additionally, the collection contains several pieces mentioned specifically in Stokstad and Cothren, such as a marble female figure from 3000 BCE originating in the Cycladic Islands, and a ceramic flask covered in detailed paintings of sea life, dominated by a giant octopus. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, it contains the “most comprehensive [collection] in North America” (The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
“Http://www.metmuseum.org/.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Metmuseum.org. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.metmuseum.org/>.
Sloan, Gene. “Greek, Roman Art Come out of Hiding – USATODAY.com.” News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World – USATODAY.com. USA Today, 19 Apr. 2007. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2007-04-19-new-york-greek-and-roman-galleries_N.htm>.