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The Facade Commision: Wangechi Mutu—The NewOnes, Will Free Us


Metropolitan Museum of Art / New York / Art

The Met Fifth Avenue’s majestic facade, completed in 1902, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and features four arched niches, each one positioned between two looming columns. These niches were meant to hold sculptures, but they’ve always been empty. Until now. This year the Met inaugurated a commission that will annually provide new art for the niches. The first to fill the voids? The Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu. She has created four millennial caryatids of African descent, in bronze. For a year, as reported by the New York Times, “These graceful, commanding figures will change the face of the museum, literally and figuratively.” —E.C.

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