In 1969, the extraordinary vision and generosity of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller helped transform The Metropolitan Museum of Art with his announcement that his collection of non-Western art, previously housed at The Museum of Primitive Art (MPA), would be given a permanent home at the Metropolitan. Governor Rockefeller permanently and immeasurably broadened the Met's collecting horizon and helped make its holdings truly encyclopedic and global.
Douglas Newton, MPA curator and the first head of the Met's new Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, described the collection as "the best of everything." It was a moment that brought the Met significantly closer to being a truly encyclopedic museum, as an immense spectrum of human creativity was added to the Museum's holdings.
This exhibition celebrates the foresight underlying the establishment of the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing through some fifty works of art augmented by archival documents.