Met Museum New York

Updated On: September 21, 2022

The Met Museum is a must see when you visit New York. From Ancient Egypt to Medieval Art there is something for everyone at the museum.

met museum new york
There are over 2 million artefacts to explore in the Met Museum

History of the Met Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York or otherwise known as “The Met Museum” is one of the largest art museums in America. The Museum holds over 5,000 years of incredible art. John Jay proposed the idea to bring art and art education to the American people through a “national institution and gallery of art”. On the 13th of April,1870, The Met Museum was incorporated and opened to the public in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue. In November of that year, the Met Museum received its first artefact, a Roman sarcophagus.

Ten years later, the Met Museum relocated to its current location on Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, New York.Throughout the 19th Century, the Met Museum began to acquire quite a collection ranging from the Bronze Age to Ancient Rome. Having such collections established the Met’s standing as a significant collector of classical antiquities. In 1902, the Beaux-Art Fifth Avenue facade and Great Hall designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the foundling Museum Trustee, was opened to the public.

It wasn’t long before the Met Museum became known as one of the world’s greatest art centres. The Met was the first public museum in the world to attain a work of art by Henri Matisse. The Met Museum is home to the largest collection of Egyptian Art on display, outside of Cairo and holds 2,500 European paintings. The Met Museum is a two-million-square-foot building which displays tens of thousands of artefacts at any one time. 

From 1971 to 1991, architects Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates worked on an expansion of the Met Museum. The new expansion adds the Robert Lehman Wing in 1975, The Sackler Wing in 1978, The American Wing in 1980, The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing in 1982, The Lila Acheson Wallace Wing in 1087 and the Henry R. Kravis Wing in 1991. The expansion of the Met added great value to the reorganisation of the museum’s collection. Since the expansion, the Arts of Korea gallery, the Ancient Near Eastern Art gallery, Gallery for Oceanic and Native North America Art and Galleries for Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Paintings and Sculpture have been added to the Met Museum.

In the last decade the Met Museum has also added New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands and New American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculptures, and Decorative Arts for the public to view. The newest addition to the Museum has been a plaque dedicated to Lenapehoking, homeland of the Indigenous Lenape peoples.

Met Museum Tickets

$30 for adults

$22 for seniors

$17 for students.

General Admission is free for Members, Patrons, children under 12 and for caregivers accompanying a visitor with a disability.
Tickets can be purchased online prior to your visitor.

Met Museum Address

1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028. The Met Museum is only a short walk from Central Park.

Met Museum Opening Hours

Monday 10a.m.–5p.m.

Tuesday 10a.m.–5p.m.

Wednesday Closed

Thursday 10a.m.–5p.m.

Friday     10a.m.–9p.m.

Saturday 10a.m.–9p.m.

Sunday 10a.m.–5p.m.

Not only is the Met Museum on Fifth Avenue closed every Wednesday but it also closes its doors to the public on four time a year; Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May.

Cloisters Met Museum New York

The Met’s 360 video of the Cloisters allows you to see the rooms of the Cloister virtually by moving the mouse.

The Met Cloisters opened to the public in 1938.The new Cloisters museum was designed by Charles Collens and overseen by James J. Rorimer and Joseph Breck. The Met Cloisters are part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040. Elements of medieval cloisters have been incorporated into the Met Cloisters. The Met cloisters feature gardens and medieval works of art such as tapestries and stained glass windows. There are over 2,000 works of art from Europe during the middle ages are on show in the cloisters.

American sculptor and medieval art collector and dealer, George Grey Barnard was responsible for acquiring most of the sculptures at The Met Cloisters. His impressive collection was given to the Met Museum by John D. Rockefeller in 1925. Rockefeller contributed hugely to The Met Cloisters, providing the grounds and building to hold Barnards collection and he also contributed works of art from his own collection. It is John D. Rockefeller that can be thanked for the Unicorn Tapestries being on display in the Cloisters today.

Some of the highlights of the Met Cloisters are; the Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece), a Madonna statue, the only complete set of medieval trading cards that are available in the world and the 15th Century of Book of Hours. The Met Cloister gardens are definitely worth a visit as they consist of authentic herbs and flowers that would’ve been common in medieval gardens.

Met Museum Breuer New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened The Met Breuer in 2016 as a space dedicated to modern and contemporary art.  The museum was designed by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, he originally intended the design for The Whitney Museum of American Art. After four years of exhibiting global art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, The Met Breuer closed its doors. The building has been taken over by The Frick Collection while they renovate their Upper East Side building.

Met Museum on Fifth Avenue

Met Museum New York

There are 19 different art collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These are;

1. African Art in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing

This art collection comprises nearly 3,000 works from over 2,000 years and covers hundreds of cultures from across sub-Saharan Africa, including 39 nation states.

2. The American Wing

This collection includes over 20,000 art works by African American, Euro American, Native American, and Latin American artists which are exhibited throughout an open indoor court. The American Wing collection ranges from the colonial to early-modern period.

3. Ancient Near Eastern Art

The Ancient Near Eastern Art collection comprises over 7,000 works from the eight millennium B.C. all the way through to post Arab conquest of the seventh century A.D. Some highlights from the collection include dress ornaments, large stone relief panels, a human-headed winged lion and sword and scabbard.

4. Arms and Armour

The Arms and Armour collection includes roughly 14,000 objects, which comprises over 5,000 European objects, 2,000 are Near Eastern objects and 4,000 from the Far East. In the Arms and Armour collection you will see Vikings swords, Japanese 5th century helmets, Italian armour, King Henry II of France’s armour and shield and  Bamen Tomotsugu armour.

5. Ancient American Art in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing

The Ancient American Art collection comprises nearly 5 millennia of history from North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Some highlights you can enjoy in this collection are masks, tunics, vessels, pendants and house models.

6. Asian Art

The Asian art collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds over 35,000 objects from the third millennium B.C. to the 21st Century making it one of the largest collections of asian art in the world. The collection includes Art of China, Art of Japan, Art of Korea, Art of Indian Subcontinent, Art of Southeast Asia and Arts of the Himalayas. Some highlights from the Asian art collection include the Buddha Maitreya Altarpiece,hanging Korean scrolls, a pair of royal earrings and the Head of Bhairava. 

7. The Costume Institute

The Costume Institute collection holds more than 33,000 costumes and accessories representing five continents and seven centuries. Clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, from the fifteenth century to the present are on display in the collection. Some highlights of the collection include corsets, evening dresses, walking ensembles from the 1800’s, riding coats, court dresses and doublets from the 1600’s to 1700’s and dresses from designers houses such as House of Dior, House of Balenciaga and House of Givenchy.

8. Drawings and Prints

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of drawings and prints is out of this world with over 177,000 works. Some of the collections highlights comprise of Vincent Van Gogh’s Corridor in Asylum, Rembrandt’s Cottage Among Trees and Andy Warhol’s Marylin to name but a few.

9. Egyptian Art

The Met’s collection of ancient Egyptian art comprises 26,000 objects dating from the Palaeolithic period to the Roman period. Some highlights from the Egyptian art collection are the Head of the god Amun,the  Magical Stela (Cippus of Horus), an arched harp, the Sphinx of Hatshepsut and the Coffin of Khnum Nakht.

10. European Paintings

The European Paintings collection at the Met Museum holds over 2,500 works of art from the 13th Century all the way through to the 20th Century. The European paintings collection is outstanding with works by many famous artists to view. Some highlights from the collection are Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Madonna and Child, Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion; The Last Judgement,The Musicians by Caravaggio and Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait with a Straw Hat to name but only a few.

11. European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

The European Sculpture and Decorative Arts collection holds 50,000 objects from Western Europe during the early fifteenth century to the early twentieth century.

Some of the amazing sculptures on display are Clodion’s The Intoxication of Wine, Bernini’s Bacchanal: A Faun Teased by Children sculpture and Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Antonio Canova. Objects that you will also see in this collection include a processional cross, writing table, coin cabinet and a 17th Century stove.

12. Greek and Roman Art

The Museum’s collection of Greek and Roman art comprises more than 30,000 works ranging in date from the Neolithic period to A.D. 312. Some highlights of the Greek and Roman Art collection include a Limestone sarcophagus: the Amathus sarcophagus, a Gold armband with Herakles knot, a Bronze chariot inlaid with ivory and a Marble statue of Eirene (the personification of peace).

13. Islamic Art

The Met’s collection of Islamic art ranges from the seventh to the twenty-first century. The collection has more than 15,000 objects on display which reflect the great diversity of the cultural traditions from Spain to Indonesia. Included in the collection is a Mosque Lamp for the Mausoleum, an Astrolabe, rugs, carpets, manuscripts, lanterns, an armlet and a Damascus Room.

14. The Robert Lehman Collection

The Robert Lehman Collection is one of the most recognised privately assembled art collections in the United States. Robert Lehman’s bequest of 2,600 works to The Met is outstanding. The works that Robert Lehman gave to the Met range from the 14th Century to the 20th Century. The collection includes paintings, drawings, manuscript illumination, sculpture, glass, textiles, antique frames, and precious jewelled objects.

15. Medieval Art and The Cloisters

The Museum’s collection of medieval and Byzantine art is quite astonishing. The collection comprises the art of the Mediterranean and Europe from the fall of Rome to the beginning of the Renaissance. Included in this collection is the Chasse with the Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty,Tabernacle of Cherves, the Doorway from the Church of San Nicolò, San Gemini and a miniature Crib of the Infant Jesus.

16. Modern and Contemporary Art

The Met’s Modern and Contemporary art collection displays art from 1890 to today. The collection includes Mark Bradford’s Duck Walk, Seven ponds and a few raindrops by Ranjani Shetta and Pablo Picasso’s Gertrude Stein.

17. Musical Instruments

The Museum’s collection of musical instruments includes approximately 5,000 musical instruments from six different continents and the Pacific Islands. The collection ranges from about 300 B.C. to the present. In this collection you will see instruments you may have never heard of like an Indian Śankh, a Japanese Suzu or O-daiko, a Bermese Mi-gyaung or Saùng-Gauk, Iranian Kamānche or a Chinese Pipa.

18. Oceanic Art in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing

Oceania is home to over 1,800 different cultures and artistic traditions. The Met’s collection of Oceanic art includes 2,800 works that show the rich history of the expansive region. Some highlights from the region include body masks, sago platter, Canoe Prow, a ritual seat for noble and ceremonial textiles.

19. Photographs

The Met’s Department of Photographs houses a collection of more than 75,000 works. The collection ranges from the invention of the photograph in the 1830’s up until present day. You will see many photographs of landscape and portraits included in the collection.

Met Museum Highlights

museum art New York is a great city to visit and has so much to offer. The Met Museum should definitely be high up on your list of things do in when in the Big Apple.
Met Museum New York 5

There are over two million objects to be seen in the Met Museum and it is near impossible to view them all in just one single day. Here is a list of the Met Museums must see artefacts for you to use the next time you visit the extraordinary museum.

  • “Washington Crossing the Delaware” (1851) by Emanuel Leutze
  • “Self Portrait with a Straw Hat”(1887) by Vincent Van Gogh
  • “Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies” (1899) by Claude Monet
  • “Madonna and Child” (ca.1290-1200) by Duccio di Buoninsegna
  • “The Dance Class”(1874) by Edgar Degas
  • “Aristotle with the Head of Homer”(1653) by Rembrandt van Rijn
  • “Autumn Rhythm: Number 30” (1950), Jackson Pollock
  • “Ugolino and His Sons”(1865-67) by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
  • Relief Panel (ca. 883-859 BC)
  • “Attitudes of Animals in Motion” (1881) by Eadweard Muybridge- Discovery of stop-action photography.
  • The Temple of Dendur (10BC)
  • “Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints” (ca.1504) by Raphael
  • “Hatshepsut Seated,” 1473 to 1458 B.C.
  • “The Death of Socrates” (1787) by Jacques Louis David
  • “Self-Portrait” (1660) by Rembrandt van Rijn
  • “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher” (1662) by Johannes Vermeer
  • “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” (1884) by Georges Seurat
  • Marble Statue Group of the Three Graces (2nd century A.D.)
  • Marble column from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis (ca. 300 B.C.)
  • Reconstructed Rooms such as “Bedroom from the Sagredo Palace” (ca. 1720 or later), “The Renaissance Revival Room” (1868–70), “Boiserie from the Hôtel de Varengeville” (ca. 1736–52) and “Boiserie from the Hôtel de Cabris, Grasseca” (1774)

Met Museum Shop New York

The Met Gift Shop has a huge range in store for you to choose from. Whether it is jewellery you are looking for our stationary, the Met gift shop has it for you. The gift shop also stocks clothing and accessories, home decor and books which make great presents for loved ones.

Met Museum Dining

dining at the met New York is a great city to visit and has so much to offer. The Met Museum should definitely be high up on your list of things do in when in the Big Apple.
Met Museum New York 6

Walking around the museum and looking at all the fabulous artwork can be tiring work. For this reason, The Met Museum has six dining options for you to choose from so you can quench your thirst and appetite. Enjoy dining in the various dining options available whenever you visit the Met Museum. All dining areas at the Met Museum are closed Wednesdays.

1. The Eatery

The Eatery is located on the Ground Floor of the Met Museum and it is open Thursday-Tuesday from 11am until 4pm. The Eatery is responsible priced and very family friendly with options ushc as pizza, sandwiches, soups, hot beverages and delicious treats.

2. American Wing Café

The American Wing Café is located on Floor 1 of the Met Museum at the Charles Engelhard Court and it is open Sunday–Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am until 4 pm with later closes on Friday and Saturday from 11am until 8pm. The American Café is also reasonably priced and is the perfect spot if you are in the mood for a small snack with a coffee or alcoholic beverage. 

3. The Cantor Roof Garden Bar

The Cantor Roof Garden Bar located on the Fifth Floor of the Met Museum offers gorgeous views of Central Park as you enjoy cocktails and snacks. The Cantor Roof Garden Bar is open Sunday–Tuesday and Thursday from 11am until 4:15pm. And on Friday and Saturday the bar is open from 11am until 4pm and then again from 5pm until 8:30pm, meaning if you time it well you can watch the fabulous sunset in the evening. 

4. Petrie Court Café

The Petrie Court Café is also located on Floor 1 of the Met Museum at Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court and it is open only Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm. There is live music from 6pm until 8:30 pm. Listening to music in a stunning gallery while drinking and getting snacks, what isn’t there to love.

5. The Met Dining Room

The Met Dining Room is located on Floor 4 of the Met Museum and it is one of the more expensive Met dining areas. The Met Dining Room is only open four times a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 am until 3:15pm. If you want to enjoy lunch with a view at the Met Dining Room it is recommended that you reserve in advance to avoid disappointment.

6. The Balcony Lounge

The Balcony Lounge is located on Floor 2 of the Met Museum at the Great Hall Balcony and it is only open to Met Members. The Balcony Lounge offers Member Morning Hours on a Thursday which include servings of coffee and pastries. The Balcony Lounge is open from Sunday–Tuesday from 11 am until 4:45 pm, Thursday from 9 am until 4:45 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am until 8:45 pm. It is recommended to make a reservation and the last seating is an hour before closing time.

Met Gala

On the First Monday in May the prestigious Met Gala is held at the Met Museum. The Met Gala or Met Ball is an annual fundraising event held for the benefit of the Met’s Costume Institute in New York City. Since the mid 90’s the Met Gala has be chaired by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue. The Met Gala is an invitation only event and these invitations are highly sought after. Many fashion houses buy a table at the even and will chose celebrities to invite dressing them in their designs. 100’s of celebrities and icons walk the carpeted steps of the Met Museum, showcasing their fashionable outfits.

Every year the Met Gala is based on a theme and those invited must base their outfit around this theme. Over the years some of the themes have been Gilded Glamour, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,  China: Through the Looking Glass, Goddess: The Classical Mode and Haute Couture. The Met Gala is certainly one of the most glamourous fashion events of every year. It is certainly one of the most prominent and exclusive social events in the world.

New York is a great city to visit and has so much to offer. The Met Museum should definitely be high up on your list of things do in when in the Big Apple.