Metropolitan Museum of Art
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Metropolitan Museum of Art is an enormous museum in the heart of Manhattan in New York City. Covering about 2,000,000 square feet, it is in fact the largest art museum in the United States and among the ten largest in the entire world. The Met, as it is often called, is located on Manhattan’s so-called Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue and on the eastern edge of Central Park.
The museum boasts nearly two million works of art, spanning more than 5,000 years. It is truly one of the finest museums on the planet and it takes days to see everything. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has vast collections that include not only modern and American art, but also works from Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt; paintings and sculpture from almost every single European Master; African, Oceanic, Asian,and Islamic art. An example of a highlight in the museum is the Egyptian Art Gallery which houses an entire temple that was shipped there. In addition to all that, there are also costumes, jewelry, weapons, armor, and musical instruments from all over the world.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art includes the Main Building on Fifth Avenue and the museum and gardens of The Cloisters in northern Manhattan.
HistoryThe history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art starts in 1866 in Paris, France. It was then and there that a group of Americans decided to create a national institution and gallery of art. Their aim was to bring culture and art closer to the American people. In 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was incorporated and opened to the public in the Dodworth Building on Fifth Avenue. A year later, the museum’s collection already included 174 European paintings, among them works by painters such as Anthony van Dyck , Poussin, and Giovanni Battista.
In 1880, it moved to its current location on Fifth Avenue and in Central Park. The museum building has expanded greatly since those days and now, the additions completely encapsulate the initial building. Now, The Met is 1,312 feet long and covers about twenty times the size of the original building.
The impressive façade and Great Hall opened in 1902, and newspapers reported that New York City finally had its palace of art and the only building in the New World that could rival the grandeur and value of the museums in the Old World. The already vast collection was expanded paintings by Renoir and Matisse, and ancient Egyptian hippopotamus statue, which now is the unofficial mascot of the museum.
CollectionsThe Met's vast, permanent collections are curated by no less than seventeen different departments. Each department has its own specialized staff. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to the biggest collection of Egyptian art outside of Cairo, and almost all of its 26,000 artifacts are on display in the museum. Its collection of 2,500 European paintings, including works by virtually all of the European Masters, is probably one of the finest in the world. The world’s greatest collection of American art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, can be admired in the American Wing. Additionally, the museum also houses huge collections of Islamic, Byzantine, Oceanic, African, and Asian art and a mind-boggling amount of musical instruments, costumes, weaponry, and armor from every single corner of the world.
The sixteen departments that are located in the main building are Ancient Near Eastern art, Arts of Africa; Oceania and the Americas, Asian Art; Egyptian Art, Greek and Roman Art; Islamic Art, Modern and Contemporary Art; European Paintings, European Sculptures and Decorative Arts; Drawings and Prints, Arms and Armor; The American Wing, Musical Instruments; Photographs, and the Robert Lehman Collection.
The seventeenth department is housed in the second, much smaller, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Cloisters Museum and gardens. This museum opened to the public in 1938 and focuses on Medieval art and architecture.
Visiting The MetThe Met is conveniently located in Central Park in the middle of Manhattan and on Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. It can be reached by walking or by subway. Incidentally, the New York City subway system is excellent. There is a suggested admission of $ 25 USD , but in reality you can just pay what you want.
It is an enormous museum with several wings, floors, collections, and exhibitions. It is strongly recommended to pick up a map, as it is nearly impossible to navigate through without one. Because it is so large, it is suggested to focus on particular types of art, periods of time or wings, rather than trying to see it all. Seeing everything in one day isn’t possible in the first place.
There are also several cafés, bars, lounges, and restaurant all across the museum and the Met store is a great place to buy gifts or souvenirs. Books, art supplies, and information on art and exhibitions can be purchased there.
Similar LandmarksOther fantastic (art) museums around the world are The Louvre in Paris, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., the Prado in Madrid, and the Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Dec 04, 2014