'82 & Fifth' Offers Met Marvels

Museum web sites used to offer users little more than basic information about exhibitions, collections and programs. But increasingly those behind the scenes — directors, curators, conservators and installers, even guards — are contributing their thoughts and opinions.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social network always appreciate how much can be learned by interacting with museum staff.

Two years ago the Metropolitan Museum of Art started “Connections,” in which staff members talked about a theme they had discovered in the museum’s collection. Since it began in 2011, it has been seen by 1.5 million viewers.

Yesterday, the Met began introducing another video project, called “82nd & Fifth,” in which 100 curators talk about 100 works of art at the Met. Each curator was asked to choose something — a painting or sculpture, drawing or object — that changed the way he or she sees the world. The curators have just two minutes to tell viewers why.

82nd & Fifth is the Met's address in New York City. It is also the intersection of art and ideas. The museum invited 100 of its curators to talk about 100 works of art that changed the way they see the world. Eleven Museum photographers interpret their vision: one work, one curator, two minutes at a time.

'82nd & Fifth' is a year-long series of 100 episodes. Throughout 2013, new releases will appear every Wednesday.

“The project fits neatly with my desire to position the museum and its curators as a trusted, authoritative voice that is relevant today and rises above the clutter of crowdsourced thinking,” said Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, in an e-mail from Beijing.

The series started on Friday with six episodes and will be followed by two more every week, beginning on Wednesday at 11 a.m. It will run through Dec. 25.

In one segment Luke Syson, the curator in charge of the department of European sculpture and decorative arts, talks about Antonio Rossellino’s 15th-century marble sculpture relief titled “Madonna and Child With Angels.”

Mr. Syson said that “the very nature of sculptural relief is that bridge between something that is there with you, something that is three dimensionally present and something which is like a window on another world.”

In another segment Jayson Kerr Dobney, associate curator in the department of musical instruments, discusses a guitar created by Hermann Hauser for Andrés Segovia. “When I first encountered this instrument,” he said, “I thought it was pretty plain, but to understand how it changed music history I found to be very profound.”

Each clip also allows viewers various ways to see the featured works of art or objects up close.

You can sign up via email to view all 100 episodes. Here is the link. http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/