Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET
The Metropolitan Museum of Art often called “the MET”, is in New York City and is one of the largest art museums in the United States. It is in the top five most visited art museum in the world. Its collection has over two million works of art from antiquity to modern times, consisting of paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, costumes, and accessories, and antique weapons and armour from around the world. Highlights include large gallery installations, ranging from first-century Rome through modern American design.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art main building is on the edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile. A smaller second location, The Cloisters is at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan; it has an extensive collection of art and architecture from Medieval Europe. A third site is the Met Breuer Museum at Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side. It focuses on the museum’s modern and contemporary art program. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection is divided among the seventeen curatorial departments. It is a museum where every visit brings something new.
MET European Paintings Collection
- “Pygmalion and Galatea” by Jean-Léon
- “Saint Jerome as Scholar” by El Greco
- “Portrait of Juan de Pareja” by Diego Velázquez
- “Camille Monet on a Garden Bench” by Claude Monet
- “View of Toledo” by El Greco
- “The Musicians” by Caravaggio
- “The Death of Socrates” by Jacques-Louis David
- “The Harvesters” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
- “Young Woman Drawing” by Marie-Denise Villers
- “The Grand Canal, Venice” by J. M. W. Turner
- “The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog)” by Claude Monet
- “Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress” by Paul Cézanne
- “The Fortune Teller” by Georges de La Tour
- “The Allegory of Faith” by Johannes Vermeer
MET Modern and Contemporary Art Collection
- “Reclining Nude” by Amedeo Modigliani
- “Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II)” by Wassily Kandinsky
- “Jeanne Hébuterne” by Amedeo Modigliani
- “The Card Players” by Paul Cézanne
- “Bathers” by Paul Cézanne
MET Greek and Roman Art Collection
MET Egyptian Art Collection
MET Asian Art Collection
- Luohan – Yixian Glazed Ceramic Sculpture
- Pillow with Landscape Scenes – Zhang Family Workshop
- Jar with Dragon
MET Ancient Near Eastern Art Collection
- Sumerian Standing Male Worshiper
- Head of a Beardless Royal Attendant – Eunuch
- Human-Headed Winged Bull (Lamassu)
MET American Wing Collection
- “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze
- “Portrait of Madame X” by John Singer Sargent
- “Mother and Child” by Mary Cassatt
- “Fur Traders Descending the Missouri” by George Caleb Bingham
- “The Gulf Stream” by Winslow Homer
- “The Parthenon” by Frederic Edwin Church
- “The Aegean Sea” by Frederic Edwin Church
- “Alexander Hamilton” by John Trumbull
MET Islamic Art Collection
MET Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas Collection
- Benin Ivory Mask
- African Face Mask – Kpeliye’e
- Sican Funerary Mask – Peru
- Ceremonial Axe – Papua New Guinea
MET European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Collection
- “Hercules the Archer” by Antoine Bourdelle
- “Orpheus and Eurydice” by Auguste Rodin
- “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” by Antonio Canova
MET Medieval Art Collection
- “The Last Supper” by Ugolino di Nerio
- Plaque with the Journey to Emmaus and Noli Me Tangere
- Doorway from the Church of San Nicolò, San Gemini
MET Drawings and Prints Collection
- Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg
- “Canvassing for Votes” by William Hogarth
- “Christ and the Woman of Samaria” by Rembrandt
MET Costume Institute Collection
MET Arms and Armor Collection
MET Photograph Collection
MET Musical Instrument Collection
- Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET
- The MET Cloisters
- Met Breuer
- Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City or The MET
- City: New York City
- Country: United States of America
- Established: 1780; Over 148 years ago
- The Met Fifth Avenue: 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York City
- The Met Breuer: 945 Madison Avenue, New York City
- The Met Cloisters: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan, New York City
- Collection: 2 million works
- Visitors: 7 million annually
The History of The MET
The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City commonly referred to as “the Met”, is the largest art museum in the United States. Its official history began when the New York State passed the Metropolitan Museum of Art an Act of Incorporation in 1870 for:”
“establishing and maintaining … a Museum and Library of Art, of encouraging and developing the Study of the Fine Arts, and the application of Art … and to that end of furnishing popular instruction and recreations”.
Later Legislation added the requirement that the Museums collections:
“shall be kept open and accessible to the public free of all charge throughout the year.”
The reason for this additional legislation was because founders wanted to make art and art education accessible to all the people. The guiding founders included businesspeople as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day.
The museum first opened in 1872, after negotiations with the City of New York in which the Met was granted the land on Fifth Avenue, and between 79th and 85th Street Transverse Roads in Central Park. A red-brick and stone building was designed in the High Victorian Gothic style. Within 20 years, a new architectural plan engulfing the first building was constructed. Since that time, many additions have been made including the distinctive Beaux-Arts Fifth Avenue facade, Great Hall, and Grand Stairway.
The wings that completed the Fifth Avenue facade were completed in the 1910s followed in time by new wings and renovations including the American Wing, Greek and Roman Court, and recently opened Islamic Wing.
The Met now covers a length of almost 1⁄4-mile (400 m) long and with more than 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of floor space. These dimensions are more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building. The museum building is a gradual accumulation of over 20 re-structures, most of which are not visible from the exterior. The museum’s main building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The City of New York owns the museum building and contributes to some of the costs.
In 2018, the museum announced that the century-old policy of free admission to the museum would be replaced by a new admission policy which would need a charge of $25 to out-of-state and foreign visitors to the museum.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 to bring art and art education to the American people. It first opened in 1872 and was originally at 681 Fifth Avenue.
Departments of the MET
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is organised into departments as follows:
- European Paintings
- Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
- Asian Art
- Egyptian Art
- European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
- American Wing
- Greek and Roman Art
- Islamic Art
- Drawings and Prints
- Costume Institute
- Arms and Armor
- Medieval Art
- The Cloisters Museum
- Modern and Contemporary Art
- Met Breuer
- Musical Instruments
(Note: The Metropolitan Opera in New York is also nicknamed “The Met” so take care to avoid confusion when discussing the Met.)
Tips for visiting the MET
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET is visited by over seven million people every year. The main building is on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan. A second smaller location, The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, has an extensive collection of art and architecture from Medieval Europe. The third location is called the Met Breuer museum on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side; its focus is the MET’s modern and contemporary art program.
Before your visit, please check the museum’s website to confirm hours of operations.
The MET Fifth Avenue
- 1,000 5th Avenue, New York City
The MET Breuer
- 945 Madison Avenue, New York City
The MET Cloisters
- 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan, New York City
Tips for visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET
Avoid Peak Times
The Met is open seven days a week, and weekday mornings usually is the least crowded time. Avoid holiday travel season. Late night options should also be considered for the nights that the museum has extended hours. Before your visit, please check the museum’s website to confirm hours of operations.
‘Pay What You Wish Admission’, is ONLY For NY/NJ/CT Residents. This policy changed recently; previously it was by donation for everybody. Now everyone else has an admission fee. Explore the options for the many NY visitor passes.
Photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or other areas designated “No Photography.” The use of flash photography is not allowed inside the Museum.
Where to Start
The entrance to Met leads to the Great Hall, which then provides a choice of three directions: left to Greek and Roman Art, right to Egyptian Art, or forward to Medieval art. Alternatively, collect a map from information and head to one of the galleries in the periphery of the museum that is of specific interest to avoid the crowds and photograph without other people in your masterpiece picture.
Take advantage of the Met’s multiple daily guided tours. The guided tours focus on the highlights of specific collections and can provide useful insights.
Best places to take Photos
- Temple of Dendur
- Velez Blanco Patio
- Astor Chinese Garden Court
- The Glass-enclosed American Wing Court
- The European Sculpture Court
- The Great Hall
- The Rooftop Garden
- The Water Fountains outside in front of the Museum
Use the Free wi-fi to download the “Joy of Museums” book on the MET.
You will not be able to see the whole museum in one day and also spend quality time exploring key highlights. Plan for breaks and multiple visits. Don’t forget to see the MET Cloisters.
What You Should Bring
- A Camera
- Bottle of Water
- A Tablet or Mobile with the “Joy of Museums” Guide
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art is unsurpassed at presenting more than 50 centuries of work.
I go there constantly, seeing things over and over, better than I’ve ever seen them before.
– Jerry Saltz
Photo Credit: By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Outside the Metropolitan Museum Of Art) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons