A must visit!
the museum of Museums....
art and culture from all over the world
It can easily take a day to explore, so if you somehow get through the permanent collections, or re-visitng, take a look at the temporary ones, there may be nice surprises!
The largest Art Museum in NY and the most extensive collection in the USA. Its collections range from Egyptian antiquities to example of Contemporary Art. Its Arms and Armour Hall is the largest in the USA. There are several special exhibitions each year. Past ones included Matisse, Treasures from the Israeli Museum and of course, Tutankhamen. The museum has a cafeteria serving an assortment of cuisines. Concerts are often held here as well.
Recently reopened are the galleries of Asian Art. Here one can see a wide variety of arts and antiquities from the South East Asia and the Orient, with many wonderful pieces from China, Japan and Indonesia.
The New Greek and Roman Halls are open after being closed off for many years. In addition, pieces stowed away for decades are now displayed for all the world to see. Including many works of the classical period.
Recently reopened are the impressive Islamic Collections. The new wing houses one of the world largest collections of Islamic art, spanning the time frame of the 7th Century to the 19th.
Admission is charged, but the price is listed as suggested and you can actually pay less.
The Met is the largest art museum in the Americas, and one of the three biggest in the world. It's second only in visitors to the Louvre. It's enormous. I got lost in the museum for a good part of a day in the museum and still managed to miss dozens of works I really wanted to see, like Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware, Van Gogh's Self Portrait with Straw Hat, Monet's the Houses of Parliament, and Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
I did get to see many of my Modern American favourites, as this is what I homed in on as soon as I entered the museum: Charles Demuth's Figure 5 in Gold, Lichtenstein's Stepping Out, White Flag by Jasper Johns, Hopper's Office in a Small City. I also managed to fall in love with some new works that I'd never heard of before, especially those of Chuck Close. His pixelated Lucas I is especially mesmerizing. It was enough to make me wish I lived in New York and had a membership card for the museum. And I'm not that big of an fan of art!
To top it all, quite literally, there is a roof garden which offers, some would argue, the best views in New York. It's only open in fine weather, however, and even though I was there on a warm late April spring day, that apparently wasn't fine enough for the Met.
The Met has an extensive collection of Native American art and culture - something which you don't typically come across other museums in other parts of the world.
These works provide a good glimpse into the culture of America's original inhabitants - and a better appreciation of their heritage. Perhaps this is also a good place for xenophobic people to remind them that America is a nation of immigrants - and one that thrived, and continues to do so, on the diversity of its people.
The French masters are well represented at the Met, such as these works by Edouard Manet (picture 1 - The Young Lady) and Auguste Renoir (picture 2 - Bouquet of Chrysanthemums).
I remember studying these paintings in my Humanities class - in black and white textbook. But to see the real paintings in their glorious colors is a totally different experience.
The Charles Engelhard Court, located at the American Wing of the Met, showcases works by American artists and architects. The venue is located in a glassed-in courtyard with soaring ceilings. The sculptures are presented like outdoor works in parks, creating a hefty sense of space where one can spend considerable time not just admiring the sculptures, but also to relax and a good place to recover from occasional bouts of museum fatigue before tackling on the rest of the galleries.
The theme of the gallery revolves around American representation of classic Greek and Roman sculptures. I was specifically smitten by Augustus St Gaudens' bronze version of Diana. With its prominent location at the center of the gallery, this statue is arguably the centerpiece of Charles Engelhard Court.
Fans of the prolific French sculptor Auguste Rodin are well catered for at the Met. Although some of the works are "mere" bronze casts of the original (such as The Three Shades sculpture in picture 2), this does not deprive Rodin's fans with the most stunning representations of the original works.
Acknowledged as the progenitor of modern sculpture, his sculptures are some of the most well-recognized modern sculptures in the world. The fact that he was able to achieve global superstardom despite not having the success of being admitted to Paris' foremost school of art, makes Rodin's story even more inspirational.
Centuries later after Rembrandt, another Dutch painter made waves with his post-Impressionist, masterpieces - the great Vincent Van Gogh. He is as known for his paintings, as for his state of mind. Although it is a well-known fact that he committed suicide at such a young age of 37, I've recently read somewhere that the fatal gunshot was not self-inflicted, but rather came from someone else. Murder!?
I am a great Van Gogh fan, and it was such a delight to see many of his famous works at the Met. According to Wikipedia, Van Gogh's style is "notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color...." I couldn't agree more.
Of course, if there are Monets, there should be Rembrandts. This greatest of Dutch painters, during whose time Netherlands experienced its golden age of painting, is known for his self-portraits, as for his other paintings of other people, as well as Biblical scenes.
His paintings are known for the masterful rendering of the subject's emotions, as well as attention to to detail. Many scholars regard his self-portraits not as expressions of vanity, but rather a genuine and sincere survey of himself. Sounds profound to me. Why would a man paint so many self-portraits if he's not vain - or even narcissistic?
We all know who Claude Monet is, and the Met carries an extensive collection of Monets. A Monet here, a Monet, Monets everywhere!
One of the most attractive are Monet's paintings of flowers - sunflowers (picture 1), chrysanthemums (picture 2), and water lillies (picture 3).
The Met is one of the world's largest art museums with over two million objects housed in a two million sq foot building, tens of thousands on display at any one time. The concept for a New York Museum led to incorporationn of the Met in 1870 with the first acquisition a Roman sarcophagus. The museum moved to its current site in 1880 and has continued to grow with additions of rooms and wings. The original gothic structure is now completely surrounded (although one wall remains intact in an exhibit of European masters). The current Fifth Avenue facade and Great Hall opened in 1902. The building occupies the eastern margin of Central Park on Fifth Avenue in Museum Mile and attracts 5.5 million visitors a year.
The extraordinary range of the holdings is divided into multiple sections each in a wing or great hall. Art work exhibits extend from prehistorid to ancient Greek and Roman, Sacred, Old Masters, 19th Century, and contemporary and modern. The newest wing (2011) features the works of Turkey, Arab Lands, Iran, Central and Southern Asia. Another new large wing is the American, including multiple small rooms decorated in period pieces. Collections of costumes, arts and armor, musicial instruments, and sculpture are among the finest in the world. And of course, the temple of Dendur, removed and reconstructed from Egypt stone by stone sets in its own huge hall facing the park.
Standard admission is stated to be recommended and not required, up to $25 standard, with significant discounts for seniors and students. Hours - 0930-1750 daily and till 2130 on Friday and Saturday. As one might guess, there are numerous museum stores and a variety of dining options rangning from sitdown service to prepackaged sandwiches. Expect no bargains.
The Met could occupy a month of visits - for those with serious interests, there are itineraries published on the website. Or just pick one or two areas of interest and don't get waylaid along the way like we do. Not unlike Alice's restaurant, you can get anything you want at the Met.
You can return here dozens of times, as I have, and still not see the whole place!! I never tire of coming here, and I have my favorite spots, like the quiet Chinese courtyard, and the Greek galleries. This is really one of the greatest museums in the world and not to be missed!
The museum has late hours on Fridays and Saturdays--open till 9:00pm.
A favorite first floor section for boys is the Arms and Armor galleries, beginning with the dramatic display of calvary armor in gallery 371. Given the ornate workmanship of the armor, one might think this stuff was for ceremony rather than war, but the informative displays includes explanation of how armor protected against certain sorts of weapons and sword blows.
An early architectural contribution to the NYC Met was the Temple of Pernab (1913) which was removed from near the Tomb of Djoser, one of the step pyramids at Saqqara. The worn labyrinth of partially restored stones is less impressive than the Temple of Dendar, but worthwhile nevertheless. Also in the Egyptian North wing of the First Floor are hallways of reproduced copies of papyrus pages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead and other recovered documents too fragile to display in a museum.
New York City residents shouldn't flatter themselves too greatly, after all their collection of Egyptian antiquities certainly doesn't substitute well for a trip to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. But, the Cairo museum regularly loans NYC artifacts, and the NYC Met has a pretty good collection of its own, some of which were found by NYC Met sponsored digs, some of which are looted works recovered from private collections. The emphasis in this part of the museum is as much on education as on display of art.