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Duccio di Buoninsegna
Madonna and Child
ca. 1295–1300
Tempera and gold on wood, with original engaged frame
Purchase, 2004
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by Thomas Hoving

A few weeks ago I received a letter from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s chairman, James Houghton, saying that there’d be a major exhibition in October celebrating Philippe de Montebello’s three decades as director. Three hundred choice works from every Met department out of 84,000 acquisitions had been chosen by his devoted curators.