The Met is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world. Located in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art consists of many significant art collections totaling more than 2 million works of art. These are divided amongst its 17 curatorial departments. Located on Manhattan’s Museum Mile, on the eastern edge of Central Park, the main building is home to one of the largest art galleries in the world. “The Cloisters” is a much smaller second location in Upper Manhattan that features many great works of medieval art.
The Met maintains an extensive holdings’ of Asian, African, Islamic, Byzantine, and Oceanic art to go along with its permanent collection of American and Modern Art, works from Ancient Egypt and classical antiquity, and many sculptures and paintings from nearly all the European masters. The Met is also home to massive collections of costumes, accessories, musical instruments, armors, and antique weapons from all around the world.
The met was founded in 1870 by a group of American businessmen and financiers, including many of the days leading artists and thinkers, who wanted to bring art and art education to the people of America. Located originally at 681 Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was opened on Feb 20, 1872.
Today’s Museum houses more than 2 million objects in its two-million-square-foot building. Tens of thousands of which are put on display at any one time.
A comprehensive architectural plan for the museum was devised in 1971 and finally completed in 1991. Notable additions to the museum after the redesign included: the Sackler Wing, which is home to the Temple of Dendur; the Robert Lehman Wing, which houses many great works from Old Masters; the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which displays many works from the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. The American Wing showcases a diverse collection that includes 25 renovated period rooms. As well, the Henry R. Kravis Wing features many great works of European Sculpture and the Renaissance period arts.
After finishing the expansion of the building and the renovations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has continued to reorganize, refine, and build its collection of works. The Arts of Korea was opened to the public in 1998, which was the last phase of galleries devoted to the arts of Asia. Following a renovation in 1999, the Ancient Near Eastern Art Gallery was reopened to the public. In 2007, many major projects were completed, including a 15 year renovation of the Roman and Greek period Art Galleries.