Art: Primitive Splendor at the Met

Totems and idols reign in an elegant new space

The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opens with suitable fanfare to the New York public this week, is certainly the most spectacular permanent exhibition of "primitive" art (though not the best collection of it) that can be seen in any museum anywhere in the world. Never before has white Western culture paid such lavish homage to the black, brown and red cultures that, since 1500, it colonized, cheated, evangelized, enslaved and, not infrequently, destroyed. There are too many bones...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!