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In addition to their role as security guard, educator or conservator, many of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1,700 employees also work as artists. Since 1935, the Manhattan museum has held a yearly exhibition of their work. While all submissions are accepted, the show itself has always been off-limits to everyone but employees and their guests.
Now, The Met is letting in the public. Art Work: Artists Working at the Met features paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, textiles and digital installations by 450 of the museum's staff members.
This isn't the first time a museum is showing art by its workers — in 2016, the Cincinnati Art Museum presented 70 pieces as part of Employed: A Staff Art Exhibition. The Met's employee art show runs through 19 June 2022.
Whether it's a sculptor working security shifts on the side or a marketing manager who loves to paint in their off-hours, many museum staff members are likely to have hidden creative talents. And putting those on full display celebrates the people whose day jobs keep a museum running.
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