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Best All-American Galleries New York 2012 - Metropolitan Museum's refurbished American Wing

Metropolitan Museum\'s refurbished American Wing

Metropolitan Museum's refurbished American Wing

1000 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY 10028

212-535-7710

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Don't let Red State demagogues monopolize patriotism: Right here in Gotham we bring on the jingoism with such treasures as a massive gilded eagle and that heroically scaled canvas of Washington crossing the Delaware. Albert Bierstadt's transcendental painting of an untrammeled Yosemite will warm the Bluest of hearts, as will Edward Hicks's harmonious wildlife scenes from the 1830s, which beat Rousseau to the surreal-nature punch by about 70 years. You'll find all this national pride—plus period-furniture displays that will have you longing for a colonial-themed Ikea—in the Metropolitan Museum's refurbished American Wing. The contradictions in these galleries are as American as mom, apple pie, napalm, and slavery—colorful Tiffany windows, glowing crystal goblets, and ornate silver tea services remind us that the 1 percent have always happily flaunted it. But it is a moving triptych by Thomas Waterman Wood (1866) depicting a former slave as "Contraband," then Union "Recruit," then free—but maimed—"Veteran," which confirms that, despite those in the GOP who won't admit defeat, the good guys won the Civil War. 1000 Fifth Avenue, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org (10028)

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