Exhibit Information

Metropolitan Museum of Art

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THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: European Cabinets, Caskets, & Cases from the Permanent Collection [1500-1900]

Opening: 7 December 2010 - Closing: 21 August 2011


European Cabinets, Caskets, & Cases from the Permanent Collection [1500-1900]

Some of these remarkable Containers from the Met’s Collections are so very Wee, Tiny, Small, & generally Confining that it would be difficult to any kind of Thinking at all Inside the Box.


These range in size from an immense Medieval-Iron-Chest—with elaborate Locking-Mechanisms revealed under its lid—to very small & delicate porcelain Jewel-Boxes.


When Wealthy Aristocrats & Nobles traveled—before Hilton-Hotels provided you with free Kleenex & disposable Plastic-Razors—they needed to have all their Beauty-Aides & Toilette-Necessaries with them.


In fact, the often-elaborate Morning-Ritual of the Toilette did not mean Sitting on the Throne at all. It referred, instead, to spreading a Cloth—or Toile—on the Dressing-Table before the diligent application of various Cosmetics, Beauty-Patches, & even Powdering Wigs!


If your Coach broke down in Rustic-Country—where few Inns had clean or any Cutlery, your handsome Cloisonné-Box with Knife, Fork, Spoon, & Tooth-Pick was always at the ready!


Some of the Met’s Boxes & Cabinets are of richly-engraved Ivory. Some are of Gold & Silver. Some are Ceramic, while others may be covered with Embroidery or colorful Beadings.


Unfortunately—despite the show’s Title—there are no Real Caskets or Coffins, as we now understand that term. In former times, one kept Jewels in a Casket


[Lee Harvey Oswald’s rotting Casket was recently offered at Auction. No info was offered, however, about what had happened to its Original-Contents…]


For the Record: The Met, from time to time, has attractive & even fascinating free Activity-Brochures for Young-People.


The latest is Percy Jackson & the Olympians—with Keepsake-Cards inside!—that introduces new Met Visitors to many of the marvelous Greek-Mythological-Antiquities at the Met. This is, of course, a tie-in with the film: The Lightning Thief

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