Probably one of my biggest highlights in New York was visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) on Fifth Avenue. This is the largest and third most visited museum in the world. So no trip to New York would be complete without a visit.
The MET has a collection that boasts two million works, which are split between 17 curatorial departments. The permanent collection includes art and sculpture from Greek and Roman antiquity, ancient Egypt, Middle age to Renaissance European masters, American and modern art, as well as African, Asian, Oceania, Byzantine and Islamic art. There are also various temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year. On my visit, I was only able to cover three quarters the permanent collection on level 1 and the temporary exhibition Manus x Machina. This took me about two hours. So if you plan on seeing it all I would allow for 4-5 hours. To see the extensive size of the museum, see the map.
General admission for the MET is quite reasonable and valid for three consecutive days for all three MET locations. However, depending on if you purchased a New York pass, you may have your entry included. Audio guides are also available in a variety of languages for an additional rate. There are also free guided tours available in a variety of languages throughout the day. You can also find several restaurants and cafes in the museum.
Greek and Roman Art
I started my tour from the left of the Great hall, which began in the Greek and Roman Art galleries. These galleries are bright and airy with plenty of natural light and an extensive collection throughout the age of antiquity. This was probably one of my favourite wings and luckily many people passed through it quickly, allowing me to marvel at these ancient treasures.
Prehistoric and Early Greek Art
Greek Art: Sixth–Fourth Century B.C.
Mid 2nd-1st century, 3rd–1st Century B.C.
Roman Sculpture Court
Later Roman Empire: Third Century A.D
The Egyptian art is found in a gallery from the left of the Great hall and continues into The Sackler wing. The main gallery is quite dark, but the various pieces are quite well lite. I was quite impressed by this collection, as it was quite different other travelling Egyptian collections. I particularly liked the paintings and decorative sarcophagus.
The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing
The American Wing covers art from the 18th to early 20th century. Within this wing, there is a bright and spacious courtyard which has various sculptures, stain glass and mosaic art. This was another one of my favourite place in the museum. I also enjoyed the various galleries of furnished room and painting artworks. This was my first time seeing American art, so I was quite blown away by the bright use of colour.
The Charles Engelhard Court
The Medieval collection runs through the centre of the first floor. It includes art from the 4th to the early 16th century from Byzantine and Europe. I love Medieval art religious art, so I really enjoyed this area. My favourites are the oddly shaped busts.
Arms and Armor
The Arms and Armor is a small gallery, off the Medieval wing. Apparently it one of the museums most popular collections, possibly because of the impressive ‘parade’ of armoured figures on horseback. This gallery includes weaponry and armour from a variety of geographical regions.
Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology
The last collection was from the 2016 exhibition Manus x Machina, by the Costume Institute. It was housed in the Robert Lehman Wing galleries. It explored designer handmade and the machine-made haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear fashion. There were about 170 garments, spanning from the early 20th century to the present. Each dress was a stunning work of art, due to their intricacy and uniqueness. I didn’t expect to enjoy this exhibition as much as I did. I also appreciated that the garments were not behind glass, so I was able to get a good look and great photos without glare.
This is my last post for my trip to New York. Next I will be taking you to Washington D.C, where I saw plenty more museums, iconic sites and ate plenty of delicious meals.