The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the country’s largest art museum. With seventeen permanent curatorial departments housing over 2 million works, there is so much to see, discover, and engage with. The Museum doesn’t just contain art - you can also find armory, weapons, costumes, and musical instruments.
The museum also displays its exhibits based on their geographic history. In the Egyptian Art section, you will find the Temple of Dendur, an entire Egyptian temple transplanted right into the museum. With exhibits from around the world, you can explore Greek and Roman art, European paintings and sculptures, Modern art, and Arts of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas.
The MET also has two branches - The MET Breuer and the MET Cloisters. The Breuer holds exhibitions focusing on contemporary art, whereas the Cloisters focus exclusively on medieval art.
Metropolitan Museum of Art in a Nutshell
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also popularly referred to as the MET, was established in 1870. It is the fourth largest museum in the world, and houses some of the most famous artworks of all time, including Vincent Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Cypresses, a bronze cast of Rodin’s Thinker, and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s Ugolino and His Sons. With exhibits spanning 5000 years from across the world, this museum tells the history of civilization through its art. The MET has nearly four floors full of exhibits, so you need to plan ahead to make the most of it.
- Antioch Chalice (The Holy Grail)
- The Harvesters, Pieter Bruegel the Elder
- Bis Pole, Asmat people
- Fragment of a Queen's Face (ca. 1353–1336 B.C.), Egyptian Collection
- Head of a Queen Mother (Iyoba) from Nigeria (1750–1800)
- The Death of Socrates (1787), Jacques Louis David
Sunday-Thursday: 10 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM
The MET is also closed on the first Monday in May, Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, New York
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Quick Jumplinks to Navigate the Guide
- Why You Should Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Branches
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Tickets
- Famous Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibits
- Visiting Metropolitan Museum of Art - Practical Information
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Reviews
Why You Should Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A visit to NYC is incomplete without a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With art from every corner of the world housed in this 2,000,000 sq. ft. building, this museum was visited by 7 million people in 2016 alone. One of the most popular art museums in the world, it also is home to armory and weapons, like the Field Armor of King Henry the VIIIth of England, and has an entire floor dedicated solely to musical instruments from 300 BC to present day. From Ancient Egypt to current times, you will find all the art under one roof.
The Grecian statues, the Neoclassical and Contemporary art, the Bis Poles from Papua, and the objects of gold, ceramic, and stone from the Precolumbian cultures of Mexico and Central and South America are unmissable! Additionally, the breathtaking rooftop also offers a view of the Central Park like no other.
Also be sure to see the MET’s mascot “William”, an ancient Egyptian faience hippopotamus, on display at Gallery 107.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Branches
Apart from the central museum which is the fourth largest museum in the world, the museum also has 2 other branches in New York itself - MET Breuer and MET Cloisters.
The MET Breuer is the newest branch, having opened in 2016. It caters exclusively to modern and contemporary art and artists. With three whole floors dedicated exclusively to exhibitions, the Breuer’s permanent collection is very little. The museum keeps changing the same to bring new works into the spotlight.
Current exhibitions include Modernism on the Ganges, Raghubir Singh (Photography); Between the Clock and the Bed, Edvard Munch; and Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1980.
Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday: 10 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday-Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM
The MET is also closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.
945 Madison Avenue, New York
THE MET Cloisters
Overlooking the Hudson, the MET Cloisters are entirely focused on medieval architecture and art. With numerous chapels and gardens, even the building is a homage to the architecture of the period. The Romanesque Hall and the Gothic Chapel, along with the apothecary garden, are absolutely unmissable! Some of the famous exhibits include a French Reliquary Cross, Enthroned Virgin and Child, and the Cloisters Apocalypse, an illuminated manuscript.
The Unicorn Tapestries Room houses the Unicorn Tapestries, seven hangings made of silk and wool from the late Middle Ages. Absolutely mesmerizing, these works are immensely intricate with silver and gilded threadwork, and are a must-see!
The Cloisters are open throughout the week. Timings vary based on months:
March-October: 10 AM - 5:15 PM
November-February: 10 AM - 4:45 PM
99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art Tickets
Famous Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibits
Antioch Chalice: Found in Syria at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Antioch Chalice is dated between 500-550 AD. It was widely believed that the inner silver cup was the Holy Grail, the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper. The cup is enclosed within an elaborate gilded silver-footed shell, with an intricate design, including the depiction of twelve figures.
Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh: Wheatfield with Cypresses is one of three similar paintings made by Vincent Van Gogh. Made by Van Gogh when he was in a mental asylum in France, these paintings show the view from his window toward the Alpilles Mountains. Van Gogh thought of it as one of his best summer paintings, and made two more in his studio, one of which is on display at the National Gallery in London.
Fragment of a Queen's Face (ca. 1353–1336 B.C.), Egyptian Collection: Made of yellow jasper, this piece is dated at 1353-1336 BC, from the Amarna period. While the statue itself was made of different materials, the back of the piece shows the remains of the mortise that fitted onto a tenon extending from the statue's body.
Head of a Queen Mother (Iyoba) from Nigeria (1750–1800): Dated between 1750-1800, this piece comes from Nigeria, from the Edo people. Made of brass, the sculpture is believed to have come from the Benin kingdom, where the mother of the king held a very important position in the political hierarchy.
The Death of Socrates (1787), Jacques Louis David: Made with oil on canvas, this painting was made in the Neoclassical style based on the execution of Socrates as described by Plato in Phaedo. During this decade, David started painting historical subjects, and displayed this work in the Paris Salon of 1787. Often compared with Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling and Raphael's Rooms, it was once described to be perfect in every sense.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Practical Information
MET Museum of Art
• Level G: The Costume Institute
• Level 1: The Great Hall; Egyptian Art; Greek and Roman Art; Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Modern and Contemporary Art; European Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Medieval Art; Arms and Armor; and The American Wing
• Level 2: 19th and Early 20th century European Paintings and Sculpture; European Paintings, 1250-1800; Musical Instruments; Drawings, Prints, and Photographs; Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia; and Asian Art
• Level 3: Asian Art and The American Wing
• Level G: Trie Cloister,Bonnefont Cloister, Glass Gallery, Gothic Chapel, and Treasury
• Level 1: Romanesque Hall, Fuentidueña Chapel, Saint-Guilhem Cloister, Langon Chapel, Pontaut Chapter House, Early Gothic Hall, Late Gothic Hall, Unicorn Tapestries Room, Nine Heroes Tapestries, Boppard Room, Cuxa Cloister, and Merode Room
The Breuer has three floors of exhibitions, which change regularly. You can check the exhibitions on display here.
The MET is open throughout the week.
Sunday-Thursday: 10 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM
The MET Museum is located on 1000 5th Ave in New York City.
Subway -The nearest subway station to the MET is the 86th St station on the Green Line.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Reviews
If you are in NYC and you skip this museum, you will miss a lot. The museum is very impressive by it size, the amount of the expeditions , the art galleries, the statues has to offer even our 14-12 year old boys were having a great time and did not complained. The entrance is free with suggested donations. The roof top is quite nice and offers the city view with a good glimpse of the Central Park right next to it which is another must to do while in the area.
What a stunning art gallery. It's worth the $25 entry fee. We spent 4 hours enjoying the wonderful diverse paintings sculptures furniture etc. one of the best displays of Rembrandt paintings I have seen and the impressionist collection is simply stunning
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