This is a huge museum and if you’re to see its collections in any depth you’ll probably need to devote a whole day to it. The alternative is to be very selective, which is the approach we took. In fact, we came here with the aim of seeing just one small exhibition. I’d heard that in the summer months the museum opens its roof terrace and stages modern art exhibitions there, and we were keen to see this and the excellent view it affords of Central Park and mid-town Manhattan.
This summer’s roof-top offering was “Jeff Koons on the Roof”. This American artist creates large-scale art in a factory-like studio in New York, employing a large staff assigned to different aspects of producing his work – in a similar fashion to Andy Warhol’s Factory or to Renaissance workshops. Three of his works were featured in this exhibition, and I’ve taken this description of them from the museum’s website:
”The three sculptures featured on the Roof Garden are from the Celebration series, which Koons began working on in 1993. Balloon Dog (Yellow) is based on balloons twisted into the shape of a toy dog. Standing more than ten feet tall, its highly reflective and brightly colored surface gives the appearance of an actual balloon in a form that would delight a child but would also fascinate any student of Freud. A page from a Winnie the Pooh coloring book featuring Pooh’s companion Piglet was the genesis of Coloring Book. Koons took a magic marker to the page and colored in various zones; in the fabrication of the sculpture, he removed Piglet from the composition, which resulted in this abstraction rendered in cheerful pastel colors. Sacred Heart (Red/Gold), with its sumptuous surfaces of wrapping and ribbon, may suggest childhood – as well as adult – dreams and fantasies about candy and luxury goods, intermixed with the potent Roman Catholic image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a group, the three colorful Pop sculptures are characteristic of the artist’s work over the years, offering a certain jouissance and jubilant spirit and demonstrating extraordinary technical virtuosity in the rendering of large perfected forms on a huge scale.”
As well as being fascinating in their own right, I found these sculptures made a wonderful subject for photography, especially the dog and the heart, whose metallic curved surfaces reflected a bizarre upside-down version of the exhibition-goers on the roof, the skyscrapers of Manhattan and of course of me, the photographer. The views from the roof also are probably worth the visit alone. In summer the trees in Central Park block any view of park activity but provide an unusually rural-looking foreground to the skyscrapers beyond.
One downside though was the lack of shade on the roof – even the small café offered little respite from what was a very hot sun on the day of our visit. A solution would be to visit late afternoon or early evening on a Friday or Saturday, when the café is transformed into a Martini Bar – something we will definitely bear in mind for future visits to the city.
Apart from our visit to the roof terrace we spent little time here, preferring to save it for that future visit when the weather may be less good. But we did have time to take in a part of the Medieval Gallery where there are some beautiful religious treasures and even a doorway from an Italian church.
The museum doesn’t impose a charge but instead asks for a “suggested donation” of $20 for adults (415 for seniors, $10 for students and free for under 12s). Coming from London where all the main museums are free (except for special exhibitions) and planning to spend only half an hour or so here, we thought that was a bit steep, so we ignored the request to pay the full sum and instead put in a lower amount more appropriate to our visit. I leave it to you and your conscience to decide what you’ll do about this, but obviously if you plan to stay for hours and see a lot of the galleries it starts to seem more reasonable.
The opening hours are:
Monday: Closed (except some holidays)
Tuesday –Thursday, and Sunday: 9.30 AM – 5.30 PM
Friday and Saturday: 9.30 AM – 9.00 PM
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day)
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.
Many New Yorkers I meet in other cities will tell me how many hours they spent at the Museum of Art when they were kids. Seems that many New Yorkers love the place and perhaps visited often on hot summer days . There is always something happening there and out in front of the building as well. You can find street performers that will wow you. A soprano sang opera with a portable microphone when we were there and her voice just blew me away. Later we saw street kids doing acrobatic dancing....passing the bucket for bucks. Take a rest on the steps and enjoy the drama of the street....or go inside for some wonderful exhibits. You could spend the day.
The Met, as it is commonly known, is world renowned for its wealth of art collections. I've been visiting the museum since childhood and continue to visit at least once a year. Some of my favorite exhibits are from their permanent collection like the Egyptian collection, the Renassaince painters, and of course their Arms & Armor. I am totally fascinated with ancient armory and will stop by and visit this exhibit every single time I find myself at the Met.
Also pay a visit to their Museum shop where you can purchase a poster of that famous painting by Degas, Picasso and the likes.
The Met is funded by charitable contributions and a entrance fee is suggested. Don't be a mizer, exhibits are costly to upkeep so donate no less than $5-10 per person.
Take a look at their website for new and exciting exhibits.
PLEASE NOTE: Photography (without flash please) and sketching are permitted in the permanent sections of the museum. If you aren't sure, ask one of the guards.
This is what you save your pennies for! The Metropolitan is one of the world's greatest art museums and has 2 million works spanning 5,000 years in its vast collections. Paintings, sculpture, costumes, period rooms, musical instruments and more are displayed throughout its endless halls and corridors; you'd need far more than a day to see it all. Their excellent website is your first resource for information as I can't begin to cover all of the different styles, periods and mediums, but here's a top line of general visiting info:
• Closed Mondays except for Labor and Memorial Day. Open at 9:30 - 5:50 Tuesday - Thursdays and Sundays, and closes at 9:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays.
• Absolutely no backpacks or large bags allowed
• Photography is allowed in most of the galleries but no flash or videocameras. Tripods only allowed Wed - Fri with special permit
• Other than plastic water bottles, no food or drink allowed. There are several nice cafeterias, bars and cafes within the facility.
• Sketching allowed with pencil only - no pens or markers
• Cellphone use only allowed in the main entry hall
• Wheelchairs, strollers and baby carriers are fine - may also be rented at the museum
• Tickets: the $20 fee is listed as "suggested" but they encourage paying the full amount. Senior and student fees are less, and children under 12 are free (a good deal for families!). You can order express tickets online, and entrance fee is also covered under the NYC CityPass. Your ticket covers all of the museum's permanent collections and special exhibits.
As the building is so enormous, I'd recommend reviewing the collections on the Met's website before you go and choosing those you're most interested in. They also offer a wonderful selection of rental audioguides, for different interests and ages, that can make your visit just that much more interesting. This is a terrific activity anytime but especially on that cold or rainy day!
Extra tip: photos of your favorite works create a great screensaver slideshow when you get home.
If you're a fan of art and museums, the Met Museum has to be very high on your list. Just off of Central Park, the sprawling building houses works of art of all sorts from all around the world. Like the Louvre, it isn't possible to see the entire place in one day. Take a look at the free guide booklet and decide which works you would like to see. For this visit, we decided to concentrate on Roman statues, African art, and Dutch paintings.
Admission is technically free, but you probably should go up to a ticket counter and make the "suggested donation" ($20 for adults, $15 for children and Seniors, also includes admission to The Cloisters) for your visit. Various types of museum memberships are also available online -- check the website for details.
Opening hours are 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, open until 9:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays, Closed Mondays (but open on holidays).
One of the largest art museums in the world, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors in 1880. The building was originally designed in a Victorian Gothic style, by the architect Calvert Vaux, but by 1926 it had been given the completely new Beaux-Arts style façade that we see today, designed by Richard Morris Hunt. The museum houses an exceptional collection of art spanning several millennia from Ancient Egypt through modern times. The Met Museum, as it is colloquially known, also holds several temporary exhibitions at any given time.
Oh yes! One of the greatest all-around art museums I ever seen. This huge museum covers a long period of time with some items dated back to 3000BC. There are so many things to see that you could easily send a full day here so choose some parts of the museums (check the map that is provided at the info desk) and enjoy them more. You can find artifacts from Greek/Roman era, from ancient Egypt (the temple was a surprise for me, see pic2), from Africa/China/Japan and of course from a great collection of American art.
I really enjoyed the presentation in some parts of the museum, for exable the natural light (pic 3) above the sculptures was as amazing as the sculptures on their own! The paintings of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Cezanne etc took me a lot of time but it’s really worth it.
Don’t forget to go up at the roof garden for a great view over Central Park and Manhattan skyline(video cameras not allowed). When I went up I saw an installation of sculptures by Jeff Koons with some colorful works of him (pic5). The Balloon Dog is based on balloons twisted into the shape of a toy dog! The Sacred Heart was also nice in its red and gold color. The 3 sculptures will be there until late October 2008 but I didn’t see any replicas of them at the souvenir shop. That would be great for gifts!
There is also a small café up there that serves beverages, cappuchino($3.75), sandwiches($8.50) etc The only problem up there was that it was TOO hot in the middle of july… so I started to think about Alaska or just a beach somewhere in Hawai or in a greek island! :)
There was also another temporary exhibition in the museum called Super Heroes:Fashion and Fantasy but I found it boring.
I didn’t have to pay anything with the CityPass but the entrance fee is $20. After Metropolitan Museum you can visit Cloisters museum for free (see next tip)
The museum is closed on Mondays but the other days is opened 9:30-17:30 (Friday&Saturday til 21:00)
New York City's grand museum! Journeying through the art of mankind can be a overwhelming yet joyous experience. From Ancient Egypt through the Renaissance to American masters,
try and take your time going through each section. You won't get to see everything but what you do see will be memorable.
A visit here is a must.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must see for art lovers. I only had a few hours so I zeroed in on the sections of the museum that most appealed to me-American art which was a lot of the decorative arts including a fine collection of Tiffany glass, a full sized Frank Lloyd Wright living room and lots of furniture, then onto modern European paintings with a vast collection of impressionist art. Don't overlook the special exhibitions, I took a peek at the exhibit in the costume collection, Art Deco Paris and the Treasures of Dresden.
Admission is $12, a suggested amount, as long as you pay something you can get in. If you can afford the $12, pay it, this museum is well worth the cost.
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