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Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to simply as The Met, is one of the world's largest and most important art museums, located on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan, New York, United States. It also comprises a building complex known as "The Cloisters" in Fort Tryon Park at the north end of Manhattan Island overlooking the Hudson River which features medieval art.

History of The Met

The museum opened on February 20, 1872. Robert Lee Jenkins, a railroad executive whose own collection seeded the museum, served as its first President. Its founding Superintendent was the publisher George Palmer Putnam. Its director from 1955 to his death on May 11, 1966, was James J. Rorimer. He was succeeded by Thomas Hoving, who served from March 17, 1967 to June 30, 1977. The current director is Philippe de Montebello.

Collections of the Metropolitan

Its massive collection ranges from treasures of Classical Antiquity like its Greek galleries and Cypriot galleries to nearly all the European masters, as well as an extensive collection of American art. It also possesses extensive holdings in Egyptian — including the Temple of Dendur — African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, Byzantine and Islamic art. An unexpected and encyclopedic collection of Musical Instruments[1]from all over the world is also on view. The museum also contains recreations of notable interiors, including one by famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Department of Arms and Armor displays a collection of antique weapons and armor from around the world, primarily Europe, but also Japan, the United States, and the Middle East, with extensive holdings from other cultures and periods in the study collection.

On the passing of banker Robert Lehman in 1969, his Foundation donated close to 3,000 works of art to the museum. Housed in the "Robert Lehman Wing," the museum refers to the collection [2] as one of the most extraordinary private art collections ever assembled in the United States. Princeton University Press has documented the massive collection in a multi-volume book series published as "The Robert Lehman Collection Catalogues."

One of The Met's latest purchases and the most expensive piece of art is Duccio's Madonna and Child, costing the museum more than 45 million dollars. The painting is only 8 x 11 inches.

Hours and Admissions

Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Monday Closed (except Met Monday Holidays)

  • Tuesday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

  • Friday 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

  • Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

  • Sunday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The museum is closed for the holidays Thanksgiving Day, December 25, & January 1. Galleries are cleared at 5:15 p.m., Sunday - Thursday, and 8:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday. On Met Monday Holidays the Main Building of the Metropolitan Museum, its galleries, public restaurants, and shops are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Met Monday Holidays in 2006 are:

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  • February 20: Presidents' Day

  • May 29: Memorial Day

  • July 3: Independence Day Weekend

  • September 4: Labor Day

  • October 9: Columbus Day

The Metropolitan Museum of art maintains a policy of donation based admissions. As of August 1st 2006 the suggested donations are: $20 adults, $10 seniors & students. These are only suggested donations and not minimum donations. Included with the admission is same day entrance to any of the museum's special exhibits as well as to the Cloisters museum in Fort Tyron Park.

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