The Metropolitan Museum unveiled a new work by Yoko Ono on its Fifth Avenue façade.

Daria Simone Harper
Aug 20, 2020 4:18PM, via Metropolitan Museum of Art

Yoko Ono, DREAM TOGETHER, 2020, installed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. © Yoko Ono. Image courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen.

In preparation for its reopening on August 29th, the Metropolitan Museum of Art installed a new work by Yoko Ono on its Fifth Avenue façade today, marking the first time the institution will replace the usual exhibition banners flanking its main entrance with art. The work, DREAM TOGETHER (2020), features two 24-by-26-foot banners, one of which reads “DREAM,” while the other reads “TOGETHER.” Ono’s work, which shows the message in bold black lettering against white banners, was created as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Ono said of her work:

When we dream together, we create a new reality. The world is suffering terribly, but we are together, even if it can be hard to see at times, and our only way through this crisis will be together. Each one of us has the power to change the world. Remember love. DREAM TOGETHER.

The new work by Ono is displayed alongside Wangechi Mutu’s exhibit of four bronze sculptures, “The NewOnes, will free Us,” which were installed in alcoves on the museum’s exterior last year. A Met press release said these works are meant to “create a meaningful presentation of contemporary art on the Museum's Beaux-Arts facade.” Last month, the museum announced it had acquired two of the four sculptures commissioned for Mutu’s installation.

In a statement, Daniel H. Weiss, the Met’s president and CEO, said of Ono’s intervention:

As the Museum now looks to our reopening, this display is a signal of the life returning to New York City and The Met, both of which thrive on community and a sense of shared optimism for the strength of the human spirit and the power of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us understand our turbulent times.

Since it closed to the public in March, the Metropolitan Museum has made multiple rounds of layoffs, reducing its staff from about 2,000 to around 1,600 employees.

Further Reading: Yoko Ono’s 5 Most Iconic Works

Daria Simone Harper
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019