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The Metropolitan Museum of Art: More Than Paintings

Updated on June 24, 2018
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The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Great Hall.  If you find it this empty you are lucky.A Benin Ivory Mask, 16th Century, Nigeria.This Ancient Egyptian artifact, nick named William the Hippopotamus is the Museum's mascot,A reproduction purchased at the Met, circa 1980.The Temple of Dendur, July 1980The Temple of Dendur, December 1983.The Temple of Dendur, September 2001.A 19th century tourist's name and the year of visit to the Temple of Dendur.  Notice in the right hand side of the picture there is another tourist's carving.Outside the Temple of Dendur, September 2001.The Equestrian Court, September 2001.Inside the Equestrian Court, September 2001.A Bronze Statue of NatarajaScene at the bottom of the Museum's Christmas tree, December 1983.  The tree and candles are artificial.  The ornaments and Nativity sculptures are real.A statue at  the Met, July 1981.A modern sculpture of Cleopatra at the Met, July 1980.No Ancient Egyptian collection is complete without a mummy.  This is one of many mummies in the Museum's Egyptian section.Some European PaintingsInside the Egyptian Section, September 2001.European Sculpture Court.The gallery made to look like a Ming Dynasty Court Yard, September 2001.The Greek and Roman Gallery.Washington Crossing the Delaware by Manuel Leutze.  Today the Delaware rarely freezes over by December 24.  In 1776 the Earth was going through a mini-ice age so the depiction of ice flows is historically accurate.Section of the Blue Qu'ran, Chapter 30: 28-32.The Amathus Sarcophagus, from Amathus, Cyprus.A dress from the 1740s.A grand piano, circa 1840.  The Museum has a large collection of musical instruments.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Source
The Great Hall.  If you find it this empty you are lucky.
The Great Hall. If you find it this empty you are lucky. | Source
A Benin Ivory Mask, 16th Century, Nigeria.
A Benin Ivory Mask, 16th Century, Nigeria. | Source
This Ancient Egyptian artifact, nick named William the Hippopotamus is the Museum's mascot,
This Ancient Egyptian artifact, nick named William the Hippopotamus is the Museum's mascot, | Source
A reproduction purchased at the Met, circa 1980.
A reproduction purchased at the Met, circa 1980. | Source
The Temple of Dendur, July 1980
The Temple of Dendur, July 1980 | Source
The Temple of Dendur, December 1983.
The Temple of Dendur, December 1983. | Source
The Temple of Dendur, September 2001.
The Temple of Dendur, September 2001. | Source
A 19th century tourist's name and the year of visit to the Temple of Dendur.  Notice in the right hand side of the picture there is another tourist's carving.
A 19th century tourist's name and the year of visit to the Temple of Dendur. Notice in the right hand side of the picture there is another tourist's carving. | Source
Outside the Temple of Dendur, September 2001.
Outside the Temple of Dendur, September 2001. | Source
The Equestrian Court, September 2001.
The Equestrian Court, September 2001. | Source
Inside the Equestrian Court, September 2001.
Inside the Equestrian Court, September 2001. | Source
A Bronze Statue of Nataraja
A Bronze Statue of Nataraja | Source
Scene at the bottom of the Museum's Christmas tree, December 1983.  The tree and candles are artificial.  The ornaments and Nativity sculptures are real.
Scene at the bottom of the Museum's Christmas tree, December 1983. The tree and candles are artificial. The ornaments and Nativity sculptures are real. | Source
A statue at  the Met, July 1981.
A statue at the Met, July 1981. | Source
A modern sculpture of Cleopatra at the Met, July 1980.
A modern sculpture of Cleopatra at the Met, July 1980. | Source
No Ancient Egyptian collection is complete without a mummy.  This is one of many mummies in the Museum's Egyptian section.
No Ancient Egyptian collection is complete without a mummy. This is one of many mummies in the Museum's Egyptian section. | Source
Some European Paintings
Some European Paintings | Source
Inside the Egyptian Section, September 2001.
Inside the Egyptian Section, September 2001. | Source
European Sculpture Court.
European Sculpture Court. | Source
The gallery made to look like a Ming Dynasty Court Yard, September 2001.
The gallery made to look like a Ming Dynasty Court Yard, September 2001. | Source
The Greek and Roman Gallery.
The Greek and Roman Gallery. | Source
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Manuel Leutze.  Today the Delaware rarely freezes over by December 24.  In 1776 the Earth was going through a mini-ice age so the depiction of ice flows is historically accurate.
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Manuel Leutze. Today the Delaware rarely freezes over by December 24. In 1776 the Earth was going through a mini-ice age so the depiction of ice flows is historically accurate. | Source
Section of the Blue Qu'ran, Chapter 30: 28-32.
Section of the Blue Qu'ran, Chapter 30: 28-32. | Source
The Amathus Sarcophagus, from Amathus, Cyprus.
The Amathus Sarcophagus, from Amathus, Cyprus. | Source
A dress from the 1740s.
A dress from the 1740s. | Source
A grand piano, circa 1840.  The Museum has a large collection of musical instruments.
A grand piano, circa 1840. The Museum has a large collection of musical instruments. | Source

Basic Information

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan is one of the largest museums in the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) has a large collection of paintings and sculptures. It also has much more. The Met’s artifacts span all of recorded history from all cultures. The Met is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The museum opens at 10 AM and closes on 5:30 PM on Sunday – Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the Met stays opened until 9 PM. Admission is free for children 12 and under. Admission for adults 65 and under is $25. Senior admission is $17. Student admission is $12. New York State residents and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut student pay whatever amount they wish.[i] The Met’s address is; 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. It is in Central Park with the main entrance on 5th avenue and 82nd street. This article covers The Met Fifth Avenue. The Metropolitan Museum of Art also includes, The Met Breuer; a modern art museum, and The Met Cloisters. The Cloisters is dedicated to art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.

The Met first opened to the public on February 20, 1872. The current Met building was built in 1874. The Museum’s collection contains over 2 million works. It is the largest art museum in the United States.


[i] Metropolitan Museum of Art web site, https://www.metmuseum.org/visit/met-fifth-avenue, last accessed, 6/18/18.

Some Museum Highlights

Almost all the museum sections have large collections of artifacts. Arts from Africa, Oceana, and the Precolumbian Americas are in a single section of 10 galleries. A recent acquisition to this section are Royal Crests from Western Cameroon.

The Greek and Roman Art section has over 17,000 artifacts that date from 4,500 BCE to 312 CE. Its Leon Levy and Shelby White Gallery has sculptures from the 3rd to 1st century BCE. This includes fragments from the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, which is in the southwestern part of modern day Turkey.

The Medieval Sculpture Hall has an appearance of the interior of a church. A Spanish choir screen, dated 1763, from the Valladolid Cathedral dominates the hall. The hall has large artifacts, including tapestries, sculptures, furniture, and altarpieces from the 14th to 16th century. During the Christmas Season the museum displays its tree here. They decorate the tree with cherubim’s and candles. Under the tree is an elaborate nativity scene.

The main entrance to the Near Eastern section is through The Assyrian Royal Court. This gallery gives the appearance of a 9th century BCE Assyrian palace. Two chimeras with human heads, large wings, and lion and bull bodies are at the entrance. Reliefs line the walls. These were excavated in mid-19th century during one of the first archeological expeditions to the Near East.

The Asian Art section has the largest collection of Chinese Buddhist sculptures in the West. There are over 35,000 artifacts from the 3rd millennium BCE to today. One gallery is made to look like a Ming Dynasty courtyard. The Japanese Art section occasionally has demonstrations of Japanese flower arranging and tea ceremony.

The Arms and Armor section includes an equestrian court that has suits of armor mounted on horses’ armor. Other suits of armor are in glass cases. The armor includes armor for battle, armor for jousting, and ceremonial armor. There is a gallery for Japanese arms and armor, and an adjacent gallery for Japanese swords and daggers. There is a gallery for Islamic arms and armor. There is a gallery for American weapons of the colonial period. There are galleries for European arms and armor from the 5th through the 18th century.

The Egyptian section has over 26,000 artifacts dating from 300,000 BCE to the 4th Century CE. The sections entrance has the Tomb of Perneb. The tomb was built sometime between 2381 to 2323 BCE. The Egyptian section also had The Temple of Dendur. It was built as a pagan temple about 15 BCE and later became a Christian temple. In the 19th and early 20th century it was an attraction for Western tourists. Some of them etched their names or initials on the Temple. With the building of the Aswan Dam many significant ancient Egyptian monuments were threatened by rising waters. In 1968 the Egyptian government gave the Temple to the United States in recognition of the U.S. support in saving these monuments. Since the Met had an extensive ancient Egyptian exhibit it was the logical choice to house this gift.

The Met has a large gift shop. The museum sells the usual items sold in museum gift shops. The Met also sells reproductions of their artifacts. People who can afford it can buy items that look like real museum pieces.


© 2018 Robert Sacchi

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    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      6 months ago

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, anyone who visits Manhattan should put the MET high on their list of places to see.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 months ago from North Texas

      I think there is one of these museums in Boston, too. When I lived in Boston for 3 years my family and I took as many opportunities to visit all the amazing historical venues and museums, etc., as we could.

      Excellent article and I hope it inspires everyone who reads it to visit.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      7 months ago

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad you found the article helpful. I hope you go sooner rather than later. Another stand out Museum in Manhattan is the American Museum of Natural History.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm adding this to my bucket list. I've always wanted to go. You've shared marvelous information about this museum. Thank you!

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      11 months ago

      Thank you all for reading and commenting.

      Peggy Woods - The MET with 2,000,000 square feet is the largest art museum in the world.

      Mkota - You have a point. Certainly I close look at the collection will at least bring up some questions.

      Patricia Scott - With New York some things a new and different and other things seem unchanging. It is a wonderful place to visit.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      11 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Perhaps someday we will get a chance to visit MOMA. It would be a thrill to see it. If it is anything like the Prado Museum in Madrid, it would take days to see all of what is inside.

    • profile image

      Mykola 

      13 months ago

      The curious facts from the history of weapons are represented in your article. It may retell more than scientific research of historians, and give possibilities to interprete them by your own manner. Yours.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      14 months ago from sunny Florida

      One day when I visit New York again I will revisit. It has been so many years that I know it will be like my first visit. Thank you for sharing with us. Angels are on the way ps

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      That is the thing the Met and the American Museum of Natural history dwarfs the Smithsonian museums. I haven't been to the Intrepid museum but I think the Smithsonian's Air & Space museum had a big advantage there.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I can well appreciate that New York is a great place for museums. Washington D.C. would be another destination for great museums. For fine arts ours here in Houston does not disappoint. Another building is being built right now to house more of the vast collection.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Writing about it makes me want to go back for another visit. It is amazing how much there is in the MET. Manhattan also has The American Museum of Natural History which is also huge. NYC is a great place museum wise.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      I would absolutely love getting to see the MOMA in person. Our Museum of Fine Arts Houston is one of the five largest in the country and is growing but of course cannot yet compare with the MOMA in scope. Thanks for telling us about it and showcasing some of what is inside.

    • Robert Sacchi profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Sacchi 

      15 months ago

      NatureBoy0 & Mary thank you for reading and commenting.

      NatureBoy0, a definitive writing on what is in the Met would make an encyclopedia set, a large one. Sorry they didn't let you go inside. the last time I was there was 2001. Maybe I'll get there again and add more to the article.

      Mary Norton, I'm glad you got to see it. The first time I was there I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of the collections. Yes, 5th Avenue is heavy on traffic, motorized and human. Actually it's much heavier in mid-town. Then again I'm sure you've seen the mid-town traffic as well.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      The first time I went to New York, this was our first stop, the MOMA. I love the collection here and it takes several visits to really finish it. The building also fascinated me as I could stand on the steps and observe all the people hurrying to and fro.

    • NatureBoy0 profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      15 months ago from Washington, DC USA

      Well Robert, if you look at my attire you will see why I was not allowed in there, I believe in the mid 90s. I was with a group of homeless people and my presence caused us all to miss out on seeing inside of it. All I can say is "what's not for me I can never obtain" and has been my lot since my new birth.

      I want to thank you for revealing what I missed that day although you only touch the surface.

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