Magazine March 19, 2012, Issue

Rediscovering America

Madame X,1883–84 (John Singer Sargent/Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1916)

How do you spell “triumph”? Try “The new American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts,” which opened at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in January. From every point of view, the new ensemble of 26 galleries, which completes the Met’s ambitious decade-long renovation of its American Wing, is a winner.

Take the architecture: Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, which has overseen the Met’s overall expansion and redesign for decades, turned in a splendid suite of new and repristinated galleries, featuring abundant natural lighting (light matters!) and cunning cross-gallery sight lines that help the viewer knit together different

Roger Kimball — Mr. Kimball is publisher of Encounter Books, and co-editor and publisher of The New Criterion.

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