An unveiling with a decidedly British accent

WAG got a sneak peek of The New British Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, set to open to the public March 2.

WAG was among those invited to a preview of The New British Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan earlier this week.

And what a sneak peek it was, with a formal program of comments capped by a ceremonial ribbon cutting and then the invitation to explore some 11,000 square feet devoted to four centuries of British decorative arts, design and sculpture. Yes, please.

The re-imagined space, at times sweeping in scope and at others intimate, showcases work created from 1500 to 1900 and officially opens to the public March 2. A highlight of The Met’s 150th anniversary, the re-opening of the galleries – a suite of 10 featuring almost 700 works of art – was completed to “provide a fresh perspective on the period, focusing on its bold, entrepreneurial spirit and complex history,” museum materials share.

The highlights are numerous, from the elaborately carved 17th-century staircase that came to The Met in 1932 from the now-lost Cassiobury House to a trio of historic interiors including the period-perfect Tapestry room from Croome Court, an immersive step right back into the 18th century.

Tea lovers that we at WAG are, we were charmed by the pair of soaring, semi-circular cases displaying some 100 18th-century English teapots.

Throughout the galleries, further delights include textiles and silver, paintings and sculpture, porcelain, furniture and lighting, plus cameos, clocks and candlesticks.

If the preview was any indication, these galleries, a collaboration with the New York-based design firm Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, will no doubt find many a fan.

And for those wanting to know more, stay tuned, as we’ll offer a full feature on The New British Galleries in our April issue.

For more, visit

– Mary Shustack


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