Mezzanine Gallery manager Laura G. Einstein shares her expertise. (Taylor Hill / Getty Images)
· BY ·

A Tradition of Fine Prints

The Mezzanine Gallery at The Met Store continues the heritage of superb fine-art prints available for sale at The Met

To make an appointment or to learn more about the Mezzanine Gallery’s latest offerings, please call Laura Einstein at 212-650-2908.

Here’s a surprise: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been in the business of selling art almost as long as it has been in the business of collecting, studying, conserving, and presenting it.

To help fulfill a mandate in The Met’s 1870 Charter toward “encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts,” the Museum’s earliest directors commissioned reproductions of the first European paintings in its collection from the master Paris engraver Jules-Fernand Jacquemart. These expert prints were offered to Museum subscribers for $25, a remarkable sum for those times—and at one of the Museum’s first locations, the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street, the reproductions were even offered for sale in the very galleries in which the original paintings hung.

The Met’s early home, at 128 West 14th Street

The Met’s tradition of fine prints took a new turn in 1970, when the Museum celebrated its centennial with commemorative limited-edition prints by Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Joseph Albers. The end of that decade saw the opening of the refurbished, multi-level Met Store that visitors know today—and the launch of the Mezzanine Gallery.

A Single Joy of Song, 2018. Betty Woodman. Color woodcut/lithograph with chine-collé/collage, 27 x 70-1/2 in., edition of 30. $8,500

Starting with its first editions (of Reclining Woman by Giacomo Manzù, and Woodland Plant by Ellsworth Kelly), the Mezzanine Gallery established a tradition of working with renowned artists for its own publishing program, reserved for artists whose work is represented in The Met collection. Alex Katz, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, and many other artists have been invited to print with the Gallery for editioning projects—totaling some 80 prints and over 50 contemporary artists since its founding.

The space approaches its fifth decade under the new leadership of Laura G. Einstein, who follows in the footsteps of founder Daniel Berger and longtime manager Michael Hladky. “What I find most extraordinary about the Mezzanine Gallery,” Einstein says, “is that the provenance is direct. For example, we receive works of art from the artist, the master printer, the gallery that represents the artist, and the estate of the artist.”

Haka, 2012. Julie Mehretu. One-color etching with chine-collé, 12 x 14 in., edition of 150. $6,000

With prints ranging in price from three to six figures; with represented artists including Picasso, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Faith Ringgold, Melissa Meyer, and more; and with revenue from all sales supporting the Museum’s operations, this niche gallery offers wide appeal to connoisseurs and collectors. “The inherent democratic nature of printmaking and its more affordable pricing structure make this retail operation a successful enterprise,” says Einstein. “I am grateful to be here at The Met, supporting the Museum in its belief that offering prints at reasonable prices encourages people to become potential collectors and eventual supporters of the institution.”

No surprise there.

To learn more about the Mezzanine Gallery and its latest offerings, please call Laura Einstein at 212-650-2908.

Remington Return, 1993. Carol Wax. Mezzotint engraving, wdition of 75. $2,500


  1. I love Randi Solin’s emperor bowls and all her contemporary glass sculptures. Thank you for displaying her art.

  2. Author icon Marilyn Archer

    I am interested in seeing the prints you have for sale and have been unable to find the online catalog for the Mezzanine Gallery. We have made several purchases in the past and would like to continue. Can you please help?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thank you for reaching out. Laura Einstein, the manager of The Mezzanine Gallery, would be happy to provide details. She can be reached at 212-650-2908.

      Thanks again for writing!

  3. Author icon Catherine Traykovski


    This is Catherine Freudenberg Traykovski
    Kindly call me at 917340 1758

    1. Hi, Catherine. We’ve shared your message with Laura. She can also be reached directly at 212-650-2908.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Museum reserves the right to delete comments that it deems inappropriate for any reason. Comments are moderated and publication times may vary.

Copyright © 2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved. 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028.
Terms & Conditions · Privacy