A treasury of more than 2 million individual objects, tens of thousands of which are permanently on display including many of mankind’s greatest masterpieces, New York’s Metropolitan Museum is the Western Hemisphere’s most important art institution. Spanning the entire history of human civilization, the collection features not only paintings, drawings, prints, etchings, sculptures and photographs, but also historic period rooms, furniture, decorative objects, architectural fragments, archaeological finds, musical instruments, religious icons, arms and armor, fashion and costume design and so much more.
Opened in 1870 and in its current landmark location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan since 1880, the museum has grown to include more than 400 galleries dedicated to arts divided into 17 separate curatorial categories. Among the most outstanding of these are the more than 70 galleries devoted to American art, 60 galleries devoted to European painting, 55 galleries devoted to Asian art, 50 galleries devoted to European sculpture and decoration, 40 galleries devoted to Ancient Egyptian treasures, 30 galleries devoted to Modern and Contemporary art and 25 galleries devoted to the art of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
The display of American art, the finest in the world, totaling 17,000 works dating from Colonial times to the early 20th century includes paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects in gold, silver, glass and ceramic plus twenty fully furnished historic interiors as well as salvaged exterior architectural elements reconstructed within the museum’s American Wing where the collection is displayed. Visitors flock to see noted masterpieces like Gilbert Stuart’s iconic “George Washington” portrait from 1795, Emanuel Leutze’s monumental canvas capturing “Washington Crossing the Delaware” from 1851, John Singer Sargent’s controversial painting of “Madame X” from 1883, McKim’s sculpture of “Bacchante and the Infant Faun” from 1896, Saint-Gaudens sculpture of “Diana” cast in 1928 and Louis Comfort Tiffany’s circa 1905 “Laurelton Hall Loggia” complete with stunning examples of his stained glass windows and light fixtures.
Blessed by the largesse of the nation’s most noted philanthropists, the famed display of 2,200 European paintings encompassing works of art from the 13th through the 19th centuries, providing a survey of the art history of England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain, rivals that of any museum on the other side of the Atlantic. In the galleries devoted to Old Masters find renowned works like Duccio’s “Madonna and Child” from 1300, Giotto’s “The Adoration of the Magi” from 1320, Botticelli’s “The Last Communion of Saint Jerome” from 1490, Titian’s “Venus and the Lute Player” from 1495, Raphael’s “Colonna Altarpiece” from 1505, Bruegel the Elder’s “The Harvesters” from 1565, Caravaggio’s “The Musicians” from 1595, El Greco’s “View of Toledo” from 1596, de la Tour’s “The Fortune Teller” from 1630, Poussin’s “The Abduction of the Sabine Women” from 1633, Velázquez’s “Juan de Pareja” from 1650, Rembrandt’s “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” from 1653, Vermeer’s “Lady with a Water Pitcher” from 1662, Tiepolo’s “The Triumph of Marius” from 1729, Goya’s “Condesa de Altamira and her Daughter” from 1787 and David’s “The Death of Socrates” also from 1787.
An entirely separate suite of galleries is devoted to French paintings from the 19th century, the finest grouping outside of Paris, complete with seminal works in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist canon by a roster of artists like Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Look for stunning achievements like Cézanne’s “The Card Players” from 1890, Degas’s “The Dance Class” from 1874, Manet’s “Young Lady in 1866” from 1866, Monet’s “Camille Monet on a Garden Bench” from 1873 and “Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog)” from 1903, Renoir’s “Madame Charpentier and her Children” from 1878 plus two of Van Gogh’s most celebrated canvases, “Self Portrait with a Straw Hat” from 1887 and “Wheat Field with Cypresses” from 1889 which the artist himself considered among his finest works.
Galleries devoted to European sculpture and decorative arts display not only sculptures from monumental to diminutive in media of all kinds from bronze to marble but also tapestries and textiles, ceramics and glass, jewelry and metalworking, clocks and mathematical instruments, furniture and wood carving, all from a collection that totals 50,000 individual pieces. Look for Bernini’s breathtaking marble “Bacchanal” from 1616, perhaps the collection’s most important sculpture along with Carpeaux’s “Ugolino and His Sons” from 1633, Houdon’s busts of the writer “Voltaire” and his own infant daughter “Sabine” both from 1788, as well as a 1985 cast of Rodin’s “Burghers of Calais”. Be sure to also seek out the “Gubbio Studiolo” designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1500, an intricately carved wooden study from an Italian Renaissance palace completely reconstructed within the galleries and among the museum’s most prized period rooms.
Encompassing works from 1900 to the present, the Met’s Modern and Contemporary art collection boasts not only iconic canvases and sculptures by Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse and Braque among its 13,000 pieces, but also masterpieces by early American modernists like Marsden Hartley, John Marin and Georgia O’Keeffe as well as definitive examples of large-scale paintings by Max Beckmann, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko plus seminal interior designs from Josef Hoffmann and stunning Art Nouveau jewelry by René Lalique. Standout achievements gracing these galleries include Picasso’s “Portrait of Gertrude Stein” from 1906, Beckmann’s “Beginning” from 1949, Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” from 1950 and Johns’s “White Flag” from 1955.
In 2013, in one of the most valuable and generous bequests in the Met’s history, Leonard Lauder donated his collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures including 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris catapulting the museum’s holdings of masterpieces from this influential movement to perhaps the world’s finest. Among the most extraordinary pieces are “The Trees at L’Estaque” from 1907, considered the first Cubist painting and “Fruit Dish and Glass” from 1912, the first Cubist paper collage ever created, both by Braque as well as “Head of a Woman” from 1909, thought to be the first Cubist sculpture and “Woman in an Armchair (Eva)” from 1913, the first Cubist nude, both by Picasso.
The Met is also the repository of the Robert Lehman collection of 2,600 paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, textiles, antique frames, majolica and precious jeweled, enameled and glass objects, dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries and hailed as the most distinguished art collection ever privately assembled in the United States. Displayed in 13 special galleries designed to evoke Lehman’s private residence, the collection is especially rich in exceptional examples of Old Master drawings and Italian Renaissance paintings with Botticelli’s “The Annunciation” from 1486 the most renowned.
Comprising 35,000 objects, artistic, decorative, ritual and functional, from paintings, prints and calligraphy to sculptures, ceramics and lacquers to metalwork and textiles, dating from 4000 B.C. to the early 20th century, surveying the cultures of East Asia, South Asia, the Himalayan kingdoms and Southeast Asia, the museum’s Asian art collection is the largest and most comprehensive in the Americas. Highlights include the delicate ceramic statue of a “Female Dancer” from the second century B.C., the magnificent sixth century, 15-foot tall “Bodhisattva” and the “Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru”, a monumental painting from 1319, all three from China, the 12th century statue of the “Dancing Celestial” from India, the 12th century, wood carved “Dainichi Nyorai” or “Supreme Buddha of the Cosmos” and Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” an iconic woodblock print from 1830 both from Japan. Take a moment to admire the peaceful “Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Style of the Ming Dynasty”, a painstakingly recreated traditional Chinese architectural design and one of the museum’s most distinctive attractions.
Second in breadth and depth only to those on display in Cairo, the collection of Ancient Egyptian art and artifacts, totaling 26,000 works of artistic, historical, and cultural importance is among the museum’s most popular attractions particularly “Temple of Dendur”, a first century B.C. religious structure dedicated to the Goddess Isis completely reconstructed within a stunning glass atrium looking out on Central Park. Other rare treasures to admire include the unique “Sphinx of Hatshepsut” from the 14th century B.C. commemorating the only female Pharaoh, the 13 “Meketre Models” that offer intricate representations of daily life in Egypt dating to the 17th century B.C., the ornate “Jewelry of Sithathoryunet” dating to the 18th century B.C. and the sculpture of the “Face of Senwosret III” also from the 18th century B.C. and among the most distinctive representations of a Pharaoh ever discovered.
Explore the amazing artistic achievements of Ancient Greece and Rome through the museum’s collection of 17,000 objects magnificently displayed in sweeping marble galleries that reflect the grandeur of the cultures and societies that created them. From small, engraved gemstone jewelry to black-figure and red-figure painted vases to statues in marble, limestone, terracotta, bronze, gold, silver, ivory, bone, amber, wood and glass to ornately decorated period rooms the collection surveys 4000 years of art history with the most singular works being the massive Greek “Kouros” or marble statue of young man from 600 B.C., the sixth century Etruscan “Chariot” and the Roman “Cubiculum Frescoes from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor” from 50 B.C., an entire bedroom lushly painted with scenes depicting gracious living excavated from a home in Pompeii buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Reopened in 2011 after a massive, multimillion dollar, 10-year renovation, the 15 Islamic art galleries stunningly showcase the display of 1,700 objects dating from the seventh to the 19th century. Comprising sacred and secular works that highlight the geometric patterning and intricate vegetal ornamentation known as arabesques and reflect the diversity and range of Islamic cultural traditions throughout the world, most noteworthy are the 11-foot-high, mosaic-tiled, 14th-century “Isfahan Mihrab” or prayer niche from Iran, the elaborate, 30-foot long “Simonetti Carpet” woven around 1500 in Egypt and the period “Damascus Room” from 1707 decorated in poetic verses and inlaid with marble, mother of pearl and semi-precious stones.
Tour nine galleries that survey the art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas selected from a collection of 9,000 objects representing fascinating and diverse aesthetic and cultural traditions from as early as 3000 B.C. to the present. Look for standout holdings like the 16th through 19th century decorative and ceremonial “Objects from the Court of Benin” in Nigeria, “The Jan Mitchell Treasury for Pre-Columbian Works of Art in Gold” complete with exquisite and exceedingly rare examples from Mexico to Peru dating from 300 B.C. to 1600 A.D. and the awe-inspiring wood carvings from the Asmat People of New Guinea particularly the sculpted “Bis Poles” and the almost 50-foot long “Chief Chinasapitch Canoe”, both from the mid-20th century.
Documenting the civilizations that constitute the cradle of civilization, seven galleries present art from 900 B.C. through 700 A.D. created over a sprawling expanse of the Ancient Near East centered between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia, extending north to the Caucasus, south to the Arabian peninsula, west to Turkey and Syria and east to Iran and the Indus River Valley. From a collection totaling 7,000 objects exhibiting a vast variety of forms, styles and materials reflecting the many cultures, cities, kingdoms and empires that flourished in the region, the most illustrious examples are the Assyrian “Lamassu”, dating to 880 B.C., monumental relief slabs and guardian figures of winged lions carved in stone from the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud in what is today Iraq.
Offering a broad range of firearms, swords and scabbards as well as protective military gear for men and horses used not only in conquest and defense but also in court pageantry and ceremonial events, representing the highest artistic and technical capabilities of the societies and periods in which they were made, the 11 galleries dedicated to Arms and Armor contain 800 objects on permanent display out of a collection totaling some fourteen thousand objects. Featuring examples from America, Europe, India, Japan and a variety of Islamic cultures that date from the early fifth to the late 19th century, the “Field Armor of King Henry VIII of England” from 1544, the “Parade Armor of King Henry II of France” from 1555 and the elaborately decorated “Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver” from 1853 are among the display’s star attractions.
Trace the history of Medieval Art through 1,400 objects in eight galleries, ranging from early Celtic and late Roman ritual objects to the sumptuous household belongings of medieval courts to the rich religious iconography of Late Byzantium. Not to be missed are the six silver and gold plates depicting the life of biblical King David that comprise the renowned, sixth century “Second Cyprus Treasure” as well as the highly accomplished, French stained glass window from 1245 representing “Scenes from the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa”.
Popular with families, more than 800 instruments are displayed in the five musical instrument galleries divided into those featuring Western instruments and those featuring non-Western instruments. Among the most distinctive treasures on display are Asian and African instruments constructed out of precious materials, finely crafted and sumptuously decorated instruments from the Renaissance and Baroque eras including several Stradivarius violins like the particularly fine “Antonius” from 1711 plus especially the rare, Italian “Cristofori Piano” from 1720, the oldest piano extant and “Appleton Pipe Organ” from Boston in 1830, the oldest and best existing example by America’s finest maker.
Exhibited intermittently in approximately three month intervals because of their fragile nature and susceptibility to fading, consult a museum calendar for information about which selections from the museum’s collection of more than one million drawings and prints created in Western Europe and America from the 15th century to the present are on display during your visit. Also with installations in the photography galleries changing on four to eight month rotations as well as larger special exhibition of the museum’s rich photographic holdings scheduled throughout the year, check to see which pieces will be on view from the permanent collection that spans the full history of the medium from its invention to the present day and includes the complete archives of Walker Evans and Diane Arbus.
The Met Costume Institute is the repository of 35,000 articles of fashionable dress, regional costume pieces and accessories for men, women and children dating from the 15th century to the present day. The collection is not on permanent public view but the department organizes fabled designer retrospectives each year which are among the museum’s most popular special exhibitions.
Top your visit off with a sojourn on the museum’s roof garden complete with breathtaking view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, cocktail bar and a new installation of large scale works by a contemporary artist every spring and summer. And for those who can’t afford the price of the museum admission, be advised that the entrance fee is regarded as a recommended donation and is voluntary. Visitors are entitled to pay what they can whether that’s full price or only a dollar and cashiers will accept whatever you offer allowing you to proceed unimpeded into the galleries.
Open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1 and the first Monday in May.
$25 recommended for an adult ticket.
$17 recommended for a senior ticket (65 and over).
$12 recommended for a student ticket (25 and under).
Free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
Fee includes access to the permanent collection and all exhibitions as well as admission to The Cloisters Museum and Gardens in northern Manhattan.
Purchasing tickets online requires that you pay the full suggested price plus a per ticket service charge.
If you would like to pay less than the suggested admission price, purchase your ticket at the museum box office.
To help cover the costs of exhibitions and operations, the museum respectfully requests that visitors pay the full recommended amount.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Jerusalem, 1000-1400 – Every People Under Heaven
September 28, 2016 through January 8, 2017
Fragonard – Drawing Triumphant
October 6, 2016 through January 8, 2017
The Arts of Nepal and Tibet – Recent Gifts
January 16, 2016 through January 15, 2017
Valentin de Boulogne – Beyond Caravaggio
October 7, 2016 through January 22, 2017
Drawing and Prints from the Met Collection
October 26, 2016 through January 30, 2017
Faith and Photography – Auguste Salzmann in the Holy Land
September 12, 2016 through February 5, 2017
Masterworks – Unpacking Fashion
November 18, 2016 through February 5, 2017
Power and Piety – Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield
August 29, 2016 through February 13, 2017
Max Beckman in New York
October 19, 2016 through February 20, 2017
The Secret Life of Textiles – Animal Fibers
August 15, 2016 through February 20, 2017
Velázquez Portraits –Truth in Painting
November 4, 2016 through March 12, 2017
Native American Masterpieces from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection
October 28, 2016 through March 19, 2017
Recent Acquisitions – European Painting
December 12, 2016 through March 26, 2017
Workshop and Legacy – Stanley William Hayter, Krishna Reddy, Zarina Hashmi
October 6, 2016 through March 26, 2017
Celebrating the Arts of Japan – The Mary Griggs Burke Collection
October 20, 2015 through May 14, 2017
City of Memory – William Chappel’s Views of Early 19th-Century New York
November 15, 2016 through May 14, 2017
Selections from the Baseball Card Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick
November 15, 2016 through May 14, 2017
The Poetics of Place – Contemporary Photographs from The Met Collection
December 12, 2016 through May 28, 2017
Renaissance Maiolica – Painted Pottery for Shelf and Table
October 20, 2016 through May 29, 2017
Renaissance Portrait Medals from the Robert Lehman Collection
December 19, 2016 through May 29, 2017
An Artist of Her Time – Y. G. Srimati and the Indian Style
December 15, 2016 through June 18, 2017
Simple Gifts – Shaker at the Met
July 13, 2016 through June 25, 2017
The Aesthetic Movement in America
July 13, 2016 through June 25, 2017
Show and Tell – Stories in Chinese Painting
October 29, 2016 through August 6, 2017
Collecting the Arts of Mexico
July 17, 2016 through September 4, 2017
Splendors of Korean Art
October 1, 2016 through September 17, 2017
Late Antique Textiles and Modern Design
November 11, 2016 through October 1, 2017
Cinnabar – The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century
June 25, 2016 through October 9, 2017
Colors of the Universe – Chinese Hardstone Carvings
June 25, 2016 through October 9, 2017
From the Imperial Theater – Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries
June 25, 2016 through October 9, 2017
Asian Art at 100 – A History in Photographs
September 5, 2015 through October 11, 2017
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #370
June 30, 2014 through January 28, 2018
Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection
November 22, 2011 through November 30, 2021
Must See in the Permanent Collection:
“George Washington” (1795) – Gilbert Stuart
“Washington Crossing the Delaware” (1851) – Emanuel Leutze
“Madame X” (1883) – John Singer Sargent
“Bacchante and the Infant Faun” (1896) – Charles McKim
“Diana” (1928) – Augustus Saint-Gaudens
“Laurelton Hall Loggia” (1905) – Architectural Elements by Louis Comfort Tiffany
“Madonna and Child” (1300) – Duccio
“The Adoration of the Magi” (1320) – Giotto
“The Last Communion of Saint Jerome” (1490) – Botticelli
“Venus and the Lute Player” (1495) – Titian
“Colonna Altarpiece” (1505) – Raphael
“The Harvesters” (1565) – Bruegel the Elder
“The Musicians” (1595) – Caravaggio
“View of Toledo” (1596) – El Greco
“The Fortune Teller” (1630) – de la Tour
“The Abduction of the Sabine Women” (1633) – Poussin
“Juan de Pareja” (1650) – Velázquez
“Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” (1653) – Rembrandt
“Lady with a Water Pitcher” (1662) – Vermeer
“The Triumph of Marius” (1729) – Tiepolo
“Condesa de Altamira and her Daughter” (1787) – Goya
“The Death of Socrates” (1787) – David
“Young Lady in 1866” (1866) – Manet
“Camille Monet on a Garden Bench” (1873) – Monet
“The Dance Class” (1874) – Degas
“Self Portrait with a Straw Hat” (1887) – Van Gogh
“Madame Charpentier and her Children” (1878) – Renoir
“Wheat Field with Cypresses” (1889) – Van Gogh
“The Card Players” (1890) – Cézanne
“Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog)” (1903) – Monet
European Sculpture and Decorative Arts:
“Bacchanal” (1616) – Bernini
“Ugolino and His Sons” (1633) – Carpeaux
“Voltaire” (1788) – Houdon
“Sabine” (1788) – Houdon
“Burghers of Calais” (1985) – Rodin
“Gubbio Studiolo” (1500) – Martini
Modern and Contemporary Art:
“Portrait of Gertrude Stein” (1906) – Picasso
“Head of a Woman” (1909) – Picasso
“Woman in an Armchair (Eva)” 1913 – Picasso
“The Trees at L’Estaque” (1907) – Braque
“Fruit Dish and Glass” (1912) – Braque
“Beginning” (1949) – Beckmann
“Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” (1950) – Pollock
“White Flag” (1955) – Johns
Robert Lehman Collection:
“The Annunciation (1486) – Botticelli
“Female Dancer” (second century B.C.) – China
“Bodhisattva” (sixth century) – China
“Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru” (1319) – China
“Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Style of the Ming Dynasty” (20th century) – China
“Dancing Celestial” (12th century) – India
“Dainichi Nyorai” (12th century) – Japan
“The Great Wave off Kanagawa” (1830) – Hokusai/Japan
“Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Style of the Ming Dynasty” (20th century) – China
“Temple of Dendur” (first century B.C.)
“Sphinx of Hatshepsut” (14th century B.C.)
“Meketre Models” (17th century B.C.)
“Jewelry of Sithathoryunet” (18th century B.C.)
“Face of Senwosret III” (18th century B.C.)
Greek and Roman Art:
“Kouros” (600 B.C.) – Greek
“Chariot” (sixth century) – Etruscan
“Cubiculum Frescoes from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor” (50 B.C.) – Roman
“Isfahan Mihrab” (14th century) – Iran
“Simonetti Carpet” (1500) – Egypt
“Damascus Room” (1707) – Syria
Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas:
“Objects from the Court of Benin” (16th through 19th centuries) - Nigeria
“Treasury of Pre-Columbian Works of Art in Gold” (300 B.C. to 1600 A.D.) – Central and South America
“Bis Poles” (20th century) – New Guinea
“Chief Chinasapitch Canoe” (20th century) – New Guinea
Ancient Near Eastern Art:
“Lamassu” (880 B.C.) – Assyrian
Arms and Armor:
“Field Armor of King Henry VIII of England” (1544)
“Parade Armor of King Henry II of France” (1555)
“Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver” (1853)
“Silver Plates from the Second Cyprus Treasure” (sixth century) – Constantinople
“Stained Glass Window Depicting Scenes from the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa” (1245) – France
“Antonius Model Stradivarius Violin” (1711) – Italy
“Cristofori Piano” (1720) – Italy
“Appleton Pipe Organ” (1830) – Boston