Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Met in New York City, is the United States’ largest art museum in upstate New York. The Metropolitan Museum’s art history collection comprises more than two million works divided into seventeen departments.

Works of art from antiquity, ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from almost every European area and an extensive collection of American and modern art are represented here. There are also exhibits from African, Asian, Byzantine and Islamic art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870 and opened on February 20, 1872.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection includes more than three million works. The exhibits are exchanged from time to time in temporary exhibitions and presented on over 130,000 m² of exhibition space.

The Metropolitan Museum building in New York stretches along the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan and is part of New York’s Museum Mile. It is located at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street on the Upper East Side in the Manhattan borough of New York City.

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History of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A group of American citizens decided in 1966 to create an art gallery to bring art closer to the American people. After five years of lobbying businessmen, bankers, and artists and intellectuals, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York City on April 13, 1870. On November 20, 1870, the Metropolitan Museum acquired its first exhibit, a Roman sarcophagus.
The first location was at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City and opened on February 20, 1872. The New York Museum has its current location since March 30, 1880 in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City.

The building was designed by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt in a neoclassical style. Architectural firm McKim, Mead and White designed the north and south wings, which were completed in 1911 and 1913. In 1975, the exhibition area was enlarged again in the direction of the park around the entire building. British art historian Thomas Campbell
has been the director of the museum since January 2009.

Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met’s permanent collections are regularly maintained and consists of seventeen departments. The permanent exhibitions include works of art from antiquity, ancient Egypt, American and modern art, European masters, African, Asian, Byzantine and Islamic art. There are musical instruments, costumes, antique weapons and armor from around the world. There are also regular traveling exhibitions. Here are the individual departments you can visit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Ancient Near Eastern art
This Met department displays the ancient art and artifacts from the Near East. Over 7,000 artifacts consisting of cuneiform tablets and seals from the Sumerian, Hittite, Sassanid, Assyrian, Babylonian and Elamite cultures, as well as an extensive collection of Bronze Age objects.

Arms and armor
The Met department for “ Arms and armor ” includes armour, edged weapons and firearms from 400 B.C. to the 19th century. The collectibles come from Europe, Asia and North America. The focus is on the craftsmanship and the decoration of the objects. There are also weapons and armor from dynastic Egypt, ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Ancient Near East, Africa, Oceania and America, as well as American firearms.

Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas – Art from Africa
, Oceania, and the Americas The Metropolitan Museum of Art only really began collecting works for the exhibition “Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas” in 1969. After being donated a 3,000 piece collection by businessman Nelson A. Rockefeller. Today, the Met collection includes more than 11,000 pieces from sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands and the Americas. It also contains 40,000-year-old Australian Aboriginal rock art, masks and gold objects.

Asian art
The Met’s Asian Department contains more than 35,000 items of Asian art. This makes it the largest Asian collection in the USA, it shows works of art from all cultural regions of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas) and covers a period of more than 4,000 years of Asian art. The Met’s Asian Art department consists of decorative arts, such as paintings, Chinese calligraphy, prints, Japanese folding screens, and sculptures. The Metropolitan Museum has been collecting art objects for this purpose since 1879, but the collection has only been greatly expanded since 1970.

The Costume Institute The Costume Institute
was founded by Aline Bernstein and Irene Lewisohn in 1937. Today the collection contains more than 35,000 costumes and accessories from Europe, Asia, Africa and America. It shows the historical development of fashion, because the objects are very sensitive to light, the exhibits are changed three times a year. The latest fashion has also been exhibited here since 1972, and there are regular events with the latest designers. In 2009 the collection of the Brooklyn Museum was taken over.

Drawings and prints
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a special section for important drawings and prints from North America and Europe made after the Middle Ages. The collection includes art prints by Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Dürer, Degas and many more.
In total there are 17,000 drawings, 1.5 million prints and around 12,000 illustrated books.

Egyptian art
Most of the Met’s Egyptian art comes from private collections, but nearly half now comes from the museum’s own archaeological digs, conducted between 1906 and 1941. With more than 26,000 pieces of Egyptian art, it is one of the best Egyptian art collections. It contains objects from the Stone Age to the Roman era.
Among the most valuable pieces in the Egyptian collection are 13 wooden models discovered in a tomb in southern Asasif in 1920. These models show a cross-section of Egyptian life in the early Middle Kingdom. The centerpiece of the Egyptian exhibit, however, is the Temple of Dendur, a permanent Met attraction. The Temple of Dendur had to be dismantled in Egypt due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam and was rebuilt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1965.

European paintings
The Met’s European painting collection features approximately 1,700 objects of European painting. It includes Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, German, British and French painting from the 12th to the late 19th century.

European sculpture and decorative arts – European sculpture and decorative arts
The European sculpture and decorative arts consists of more than 50,000 pieces from the 15th to the early 20th century. This Met exhibit features Renaissance sculpture, furniture, jewelry, glass, ceramics, tapestries, textiles, clocks and mathematical instruments.

The American Wing The American Wing
exhibition offers visitors the history of American art from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. About 12,000 objects such as furniture, metalwork, ceramics, glass, textiles, American paintings and sculptures are exhibited here in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Greek and
Roman art The Met’s collection of Greek and Roman art consists of more than 17,000 objects. The collection has existed since the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and shows objects from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Highlights of the collection are the Amathus sarcophagus and an Etruscan chariot “Monteleone chariot”. You will also find Cypriot sculptures, Greek vase paintings, Roman portrait busts, Roman wall paintings and goldsmith work.

Islamic art
The Met’s Islamic art collection consists of 12,000 partly secular items, not all of which are strictly religious. Ceramics, glasses, metalwork and textiles, from Islamic cultures from Spain to North Africa to Central Asia. Collection of miniature paintings from Iran and Mughal India are found here. The highlight is the Islamic art with its calligraphy, manuscripts of the Koran and the Nur al-Din room, an example of an Ottoman room ensemble.
After renovations, the gallery reopened in 2011 as Art of Arab Countries, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and South Asia.

Robert Lehman Collection
Robert Lehman, a banker, donated a total of 2,600 works of art to the Metropolitan Museum after his death in 1969. Since this is an exceptional private art collection, it was given its own department. The exhibition reflects Robert Lehman’s personal interests and is set up as if you were in his apartment. Paintings from the Italian Renaissance, masterpieces by Botticelli and Domenico Veneziano, works by the Spanish painters El Greco and Goya, old masters by Rembrandt and Dürer are on display in the Lehmann Collection.

Medieval art and the Cloisters
The Met exhibits a collection of medieval art consisting of Western art from the 4th to the early 16th centuries, as well as parts of Byzantine and pre-medieval European antiquities.
The exhibit includes 11,000 separate objects divided into two sections, one found in the main building on Fifth Avenue and the other in The Cloisters in north Manhattan.

Modern and contemporary art
Around 13,000 works of art from 1900 to the present day, mainly by European and American artists, can be found here. These include works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollocks and Max Beckmann. These are paintings, sculptures, works on paper, handicrafts and design.

Musical instruments
Around 5,000 musical instruments from around the world are on display here at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The collection began in 1889 with a donation of several hundred instruments from Lucy W. Drexel. Instruments by Mary Elizabeth Adams, wife of John Crosby Brown, followed.
Highlights of the collection include several Stradivari violins, a collection of Asian instruments made from precious metals, and the oldest surviving piano, a Bartolomeo Cristofori model from 1720.

Photographs – Photographs
More than 25,000 photographs from Europe and North America, but also other areas of the world can be found in this Met exhibition. There are five major collections in total, documenting the development and artistic use of the medium of photography from its invention in the 1830s to the present day.
In 1928, Alfred Stieglitz presented the first photo collection of himself. The Gilman Paper Company Collection, the Rubel Collection and the Ford Motor Company Collection followed.

Libraries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Each department maintains a library, most of which are searchable online through the libraries catalogue. There are two libraries that can be accessed without an appointment: the Thomas J. Watson Library and the Nolen Library.

Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum NY

The Roof Garden on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum looks towards the southwest corner of the museum. The view shows Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. Annual sculptures by individual artists are exhibited here in the summer.

Met Store at the NY Metropolitan Museum

Adjacent to the Great Hall and at several other convenient locations throughout the building, the Met Store offers museum publications and prints, as well as other books and merchandise related to the museum’s permanent collection and select special exhibitions.

Opening hours & tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is open daily. Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is only closed on Thanksgiving, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May.

The entrance fee includes the Metropolitan Museum and The Cloisters Museum and Gardens. Tickets to the Metropolitan Museum are $25 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and older), and students are $12. Children under the age of twelve (accompanied by an adult) are free.

Tip: The Metropolitan Museum and five other major attractions in New York City are included in the New York Pass.

Directions & Getting to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

You can enter the Metropolitan Museum in New York City via Fifth Avenue and 81st Street as well as via Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street. Further information on how to get here can be found here.

Address of attraction Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
New York, NY 10028

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City