Peter Barnet '73
Peter Barnet ’73 has led the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1998. During this time, he has organized numerous exhibitions and overseen the reinstallation and reinterpretation of a large portion of the medieval galleries in the museum’s main building as well as the major galleries at The Cloisters museum and gardens, the museum’s branch for medieval art and architecture in northern Manhattan. At The Cloisters, these projects included the renovation of the galleries housing the world-renowned Unicorn Tapestries and Nine Heroes Tapestries.
Barnet has also been instrumental in bringing many major acquisitions into The Met’s collection, the most recent examples of which are The Falcon’s Bath, the most important medieval tapestry to enter the museum’s collection in decades, and Christ Child with an Apple, a sculpture in wood with original polychrome from the Workshop of Michel Erhart in Ulm, Germany, circa 1470–1480, both now on view at The Cloisters.
Barnet has been an active member of organizations including the International Center of Medieval Art, where he served as both advisor and director, and Association of Art Museum Curators, where he was a founding board member. He has also been a member of the Art Advisory Council of the International Foundation for Art Research and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the College Art Association. He is the author of numerous articles and book reviews on medieval art.
Barnet, who was associate curator at Detroit Institute of Arts prior to joining The Met, studied literature at Bennington College before earning an MA in art history from Boston University and an M.Phil from Yale University.