Hidden behind the Picassos and Vermeers, the Temple of Dendur and the American Wing, exists another world: the hallways and offices, conservation studios, storerooms, and cafeteria that are home to the museum's devoted and peculiar staff of 2,200 people—along with a few ghosts. A surreal love letter to this private side of the Met, Metropolitan Stories unfolds in a series of amusing and poignant vignettes in which we discover larger-than-life characters, the downside of survival, and the powerful voices of the art itself. The result is a novel not only bursting with magic, humor, and energetic detail, but also a beautiful book about introspection, an ode to lives lived for art, and ultimately building a powerful collage of human experience and the world of the imagination.
Christine Coulson began her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1991 as a summer intern in the European Paintings Department. She returned in 1994, and over the next twenty-five years, rose through the ranks of the museum, working in the Development Office, the Director’s Office, and the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. She recently left the Met to write full-time.
Dr. Melanie Holcomb has been a curator of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 20 years. Her most recent exhibitions include “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” (2018) and “Jerusalem, 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven” (2016). A native of Atlanta, she remains grateful for all those formative school outings to the High Museum.
Tickets for all lectures are $10 for not-yet members, $5 for members, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted.