Tag: Metropolitan Museum of Art

ART: Now You Can Take a Virtual Tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Nas & Rakim

Nas and Rakim are part of the NY Met's Hip Hop Project (photo via ambrosiaforheads.com)
Nas and Rakim are part of the NY Met’s Hip Hop Project (photo via ambrosiaforheads.com)

Hip-Hop and art have once again merged in an exciting way, thanks to the inventive mind of a graduate student. Regina Flores Mir is the brains behind the Hip-Hop Project, a program being implemented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that allows visitors to navigate the various collections with guiding narration from MCs. Lyrics from songs by artist including Missy Elliott, Notorious B.I.G., Eric B. & Rakim, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Queen Latifah, and more are used as keywords and then cross-referenced with the Met’s massive archive of art, providing listeners with a Hip-Hop-centric blueprint by which to examine and understand the museum’s collections.

hip hop project

According to the Hip-Hop Project’s website, “although the rap lyric may not be directly correlated to the art work in meaning, it allows visitors to see work that they may not have otherwise known existed,” allowing for the kind of accidental discovery that could inspire Heads to establish bridges between music and art in uniquely individualized ways.

As Kari Paul wrote for Vice’s Motherboard channel, the relationship between the lyrics and pieces of art in question aren’t necessarily straightforward, but are nevertheless engaging. “For example, in ‘Juicy’ when the Notorious B.I.G. says ‘fuck all y’all hoes,’ the Hip-Hop Project pulls up an ancient hoe artifact. Users can click on it and explore this work and others,” she explains. The Hip-Hop Project’s site allows users to experience the museum tour without a trip to the Met, simply by picking a rapper and delving into the lyrical matches to items available for viewing. Heads will also appreciate the website’s domain (www.rappersdelight.nyc).

article by Bonita via ambrosiaforheads.com

Little Known Black History Fact: Ann Lowe Designed Jacqueline Kennedy’s Wedding Dress

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Designer Ann Lowe (photo via prologue.blogs.archives)

For Black History Month it is usually the norm to celebrate those with the biggest names like Rosa Parks and Malcolm X. But there are others who created milestones in Black history that deserve to be celebrated. One such trailblazer is fashion designer Ann Lowe.

In 1953, Lowe designed Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ wedding dress for her marriage to John F. Kennedy. The iconic dress was constructed out of 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta. As the story goes, just ten days before the wedding ceremony a water line broke in Lowe’s New York City studio and ruined the former First Lady’s gown along with all of her bridesmaids dresses. But that didn’t stop Lowe, she worked tirelessly to recreate all eleven designs in time for the Rhode Island nuptials! Yet the only mention Lowe received by name was a blurb in the Washington Post where fashion editor Nine Hyde simply wrote “… the dress was designed by a Negro, Ann Lowe.”

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‘African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde’ at the Met

Masks in Malvin Gray Johnson’s painting “Negro Masks” (1932). (Librado Romero/The New York Times)

It’s easy to take for granted just how quickly art travels today, whether by JPEG or shipping crate. For a sense of how slow things were just a century ago, and how much could get lost en route from one continent to another, visit “African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde,” a small but highly compelling show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s one of several exhibitions timed to the centennial of the Armory Show of 1913, where many New Yorkers caught their first glimpse of Modern art from Europe (much of it influenced by African sculpture).

Meticulously researched and thoughtfully presented by Yaëlle Biro, the Met’s assistant curator in the department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, it tells the story of African art’s early reception in the United States with exceptional candor. And it makes clear that Americans received Modern art and African art as a single import, derived from French and Belgian colonies, distilled in Paris and presented on these shores by a few tastemaking dealers and collectors.