New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art is also called “the Met” by the local residents. It is the top museum in the New York City. It offers comprehensive exhibitions of the art throughout the history. The museum has a neo classical design. It is situated on the eastern border of Central Park. The art exhibition covers a wide range of genres. Most of the art displayed in the museum depict Egyptian, American and European culture.


On the 13th April 1870, the New York State Legislature give permission for the Metropolitan Museum of Art permission to be built in the city. The permission was granted through the Act of Incorporation. The New York state grants the Metropolitan Museum of Art to establish its exhibition in the city to inspire people to learn and appreciate fine arts. They wanted the people to broaden their knowledge about the fine arts that have existed throughout the centuries.

Metropolitan Museum of Art1 New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

The official opening day of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is 20th February 1862. The first building was located in 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The first president of the museum is John Taylor Johnston. John Taylor Johnston’s art are also exhibited in the museum. Later, George Palmer Putnam becomes the Superintendent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The initial art collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art is 174 European paintings and a Roman stone sarcophagus. The museum collection quickly outgrew the numbers under the leadership of the staffs at the museum. In 1873, Metropolitan Museum of Art bought over the Cesnola Collection. A few years later, the museum was moved to Douglas Mansion at 128 West 14th Street. The accommodation at Douglas Mansion is insufficient for the growing collection of the museum.

In 1871, the president held discussion with the City of New York to acquire a land located on the eastern region of the Central Park. The site at the Central Park is where the permanent museum was built. The architect of the new museum is Calvert Vaux. Calvert Voux has an assistant called Jacob Wrey Mould. Calvert gives the building a High Victorian Gothic style. The president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art does not like the Victorian Gothic style because he considered it outdated. In 20 years, a new architectural plan for the museum was being executed. The large foyer in Metropolitan Museum of Art was designed by Hunt. Hunt did not see the completion of the museum. After he died, his son, Richard Howland Hunt directed the construction of the foyer according to the requirements set down by his father.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a length of 400 m long. It covers an area of 2 million square feet. It is twenty times larger than the building in 1880. The museum consists of twenty six structures. Most of the structures cannot be viewed from the outside. The New York City manages and operates the museum. It frequently contributes facilities to the museum. In addition, it bears the cost of maintaining the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art was provided from 1630 people. The Board of Trustees in New York governs the museum. The yearly budget for maintaining the museum is $221 million. The government supplies a subsidy of $3 billion per year to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection

Egyptian Art

Most of the Egyptian art presented in Metropolitan Museum of Art are from private collections. From 1906 – 1941, the museum organize an excavation on a site. During the excavation, they discover a lot of Egyptian art. The Egyptian art discovered from the archaeological site constitute half of the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Egyptian art exhibition canbe found on the 40 Egyptian galleries. Some of the most valuable Egyptian art at the museum include 24 wooden models. The 24 wooden models depict the Egyptian life during the Middle Kingdom. The models feature everyday scenes such as boats, gardens and etc. The models are obtained from the tomb in Deir el-Bahri during the excavation in 1920. There are more than 36,000 Egyptian arts in the museum. Most of the Egyptian art reflect the life during the Middle and Early Kingdom. Some arts feature the design of the Third Intermediate Period.

Metropolitan Museum of Art3 New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

American Paintings and Sculpture

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a large range of American art. Some of the popular American art at the museum include George Washington portrait by artist Gilbert Stuarts. The painting titled “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze is also available at the museum. The museum is well known for its supportive effort to American artists including Winstow Homer and John Singer Sargent. James Whistler’s artworks are featured in the museum as well.

Costume Institute

Costume Institute was established in 1938. The Costume Institute houses more than eighty thousand costumes and accessories. There are a number of society ladies. Some costumes exhibited in the Costume Institution are contributed by the most prominent costume designers in the world. The featured costumes in the Costume Institutions include branded costumes from Dior, Versace, Givenchy, and Chanel.

European Paintings

The European paintings at Metropolitan Museum of Art have distinguished qualities. The European paintings collection in the museum is among the most excellent paintings in the world. The European paintings place a lot of emphasis on the 19th century theme. The European paintings feature cultures from different European countries such as France, Italy, and Denmark. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the largest collection of Vermeer paintings in the world. In the European galleries, you will see many famous paintings such as “Self Portrait in a Straw Hat” by Van Gogh, “Madonna and Child” by Duccio and “Death of Socrates” by David.

European Decorative Art

The European Decorative Art exhibition has the largest collection of art in the museum. Here, you will find more than fifty thousand European decorative art. The European decorative art are in the form of furniture and jewelry. Tableware and ceramics that feature European designs are also available at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The oldest art in the European Decorative Art exhibition is from 1400. Contemporary European decorative arts are available at the exhibition. The Delft tile made during the 15th century is a prominent exhibition in this section. The French parlor is one of the oldest room that is equipped with a carved panel. The French parlor was built during the 18th century. In this exhibition, you will explore the Spanish wooden courtyard. The Spanish wooden courtyard can be dated back to the 16th century. There is a balcony in the Spanish wooden courtyard.

Metropolitan Museum of Art2 New York Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Metropolitan Museum of Art has medieval cloisters. The cloister is situated near the Hudson River. The cloister covers an area of 4 acres. There are more than five thousand medieval art on the cloisters. It will be a worthwhile trip to visit the cloister walkway. The cloister was actually taken from an archeological excavation site and built into the museum building. Some of the prominent architectural details on the cloister include stained glass, carved moldings and etc. If you purchase the museum entrance ticket, you will be able to go to visit the cloister building during the same day. There is shuttle bus that operates the routes between the cloister and the main museum building every day.

Besides, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a large collection of Greek and Roman art. There is a section in the museum that displays ancient armors. The Japanese Tea Garden is a beautiful garden that features Japanese bridge. In addition, the museum offers a variety of musical instruments that dated back to 18th and 19th century.

Special Exhibits

The Metropolitan Museum of Art regularly displays changing exhibitions. The changing exhibitions feature works from talented artists. The most recent exhibition includes Fra Angelico and Gilbert Stuart. Art Déco Paris is also one of the art featured in the temporary exhibition. Paul Klee: His Years at the Bauhaus are also featured in the changing exhibitions. The admission to the changing exhibitions is free of charge. The museum does not charge an entry fee for the changing exhibitions because the fee is included in the museum’s ticket.

Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is available from Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Monday, and during the holiday season. The admission fee for the adult is $15. Students are charged $10 per admission. The senior people who are aged 65 years old are charged $10 for the admission fee. The children don’t have to pay for an admission fee. Visitors should visit the museum on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The museum is open from 9:30 – 5:3- p.m during weekdays. During Fridays and Saturdays, it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The museum has several restaurants. The self service cafeteria is a great place to dine at the museum. The Petit Court Café provides a beautiful overview of the Central Park. During the summer, the Roof Top Garden Café is open. The Roof Top Garden Café offers all kinds snacks for visitors.

During the Christmas season, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be decorated in all kinds of Christmas ornaments including angels, ribbons and etc. The Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art features a Renaissance style. The Christmas tree is placed on the museum along with a Baroque Creche. If you want to purchase souvenir, you can visit the museum souvenir store. The museum souvenir store offers a large range of collection such as jewelry, cards, and replica art deco. In the gift store, you will find a number of reprints from the original painting.

Contact Details:

Address: 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028, United States

Phone Number: (212) 535-7710


[google-map-sc external_links="true" zoom="16" address="1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028, United States" width="500" height="300"]

Related NY Attractions:

  1. New York Whitney Museum of American Art

Filed Under: Museums


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.