Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 'Met' is truly amazing - that's one of many words that springs to my mind when I try to describe this extraordinary museum ...

 Fronting onto 5th Avenue and surrounded on three sides by Central Park

Two visits - lasting 5 and 6 hours - and I am sure there are galleries that I have missed. The place is endless - as a viewer you are transported through doorways to every corner of the globe and you become part of every civilisation known - through hundreds of galleries full of the most remarkable treasures - and all laid out on 3 floors.  

The Great Hall
 The Met was founded in 1870 - and it's mission statement then was "... to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction ..."

The Museum's Beaux-Arts Fifth Avenue facade and Great Hall - designed by the architect and founding Museum Trustee Richard Morris Hunt - was opened to the public in 1902, and the current building completed in 1991.

 Today, the Met houses over two million objects catalogued into 17 departments -

The American Wing + Ancient Near Eastern Art + Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas + Asian Art + The Costume Institute + Drawings and Prints + Egyptian Art + European Paintings + European Sculpture and Decorative Arts + Greek and Roman Art + Islamic Art + Medieval Art and The Cloisters + Modern and Contemporary Art + Musical Instruments + Photographs

and displayed in countless galleries within the Museum's two-million-square-foot building.

In 2012, the Metropolitan Museum welcomed over 6 million visitors from around the world to the main building on Fifth Avenue ... I reckon there was pretty close to that number cruising the galleries on the days I visited !!!

Tomorrow I'll start showing you some of those wonderful treasures I discovered ...