by DODIE KAZANJIAN
The greatest museum in the Western Hemisphere, The Metropolitan Museum of Art—an encyclopedia of more than two million objects from all parts of the world—is finally, after more than 150 years, coming to terms with modern and contemporary art. Until the late 1940s, The Met simply ignored it. A few modernist works made their way into the collection, and over the years there were gifts and legacies, such as Picasso’s great portrait of Gertrude Stein, that could not be refused. But The Met’s anti-modernist stance held firm until 1967, when the museum got its first department of contemporary art, headed by the irrepressible curator Henry Geldzahler, in two smallish, unprepossessing rooms on the second floor.