Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) a New York

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references


  • Where it is
  • To see
  • How to reach us
  • Timetable and ticket prices
  • Historical notes
  • Curiosity
  • What to see nearby

A dream museum in a dream city!

Il Metropolitan Museum of Art - affectionately called The Met - will take you on a long journey within your trip to New York.

It could not be otherwise: let's talk about the largest museum in the Big Apple (and sorry for the repetition).

You can then retrace the period of classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, you will find yourself "face to face" with the works of the major European masters of painting and sculpture, you will fill your eyes with many modern works of art.

That's not all: you will admire collections of clothes, musical instruments, armor, weapons, meticulous reconstructions of interiors, Byzantine, Islamic works of art and from all continents.

You may also be lucky enough to visit the Met just when the temporary exhibition you have been waiting for is there.

And if it's true that, usually, the more space we have, the more space we occupy and want, then it must be the same for the Met. In addition to the immense headquarters on Fifth Avenue, in fact, the museum includes two further two locations.

The Cloisters (the Cloisters), dedicated to the Middle Ages, was opened in 1938: its exhibition site is built with original structures from European churches and cloisters.

The youngest office is instead that of Met Breuer, open since 2016, which hosts exhibitions and temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, paying special attention to the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Where it is

  • The Met Fifth Avenue: 1000 Fifth Avenue. It is the most important venue and is part of the Museum Mile, the famous Fifth Avenue area between 82nd Street and 105th Street, where numerous museums are concentrated
  • The Cloisters: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive – Fort Tryon Park
  • The met breuer: 945 Madison Avenue

To see

What to see at the Metropolitan Museum of New York

At the head office: the Met Fifth Avenue

The Fifth Avenue location may seem huge to you, and indeed it is!

Therefore, it is essential to orient yourself with the map of the museum to be able to identify the collections of greatest interest based on your personal tastes, and also to avoid the risk of consuming precious time in front of exhibitions that you are less passionate about.

The sections of the museum:

  • Egyptian art

This area is always very busy; here there are finds ranging from the Paleolithic era to the times of the Roman Empire.
The most striking attraction is certainly the original sandstone Temple of Dendur. Dismantled, it was rebuilt in 1978 in the Sackler wing of the museum, which overlooks Central Park.

A reflecting pool has been placed in front of the temple, while behind is a leaning wall, to represent the Nile and the cliffs in their original position.

Don't forget to look for William, the museum's mascot. It is he, an Egyptian hippopotamus of earth and enamel, very nice and now elderly having been born between 1981-1885 BC.

  • Ancient Middle Eastern art

Here there are tablets and seals with cuneiform inscriptions, for a total that exceeds 7.000 finds (from the period from the Neolithic era to ancient antiquity) and come from the Near East.

  • Greek and Roman art

The works are more than 35.000, and here is also exhibited the Roman sarcophagus which was the first piece exhibited in the museum!

Among the most famous finds, the Etruscan chariot known as the Monteleone chariot (found by chance in 1902 in Monteleone di Spoleto by a farmer).

In addition, frescoes, bas-reliefs, and even the reconstruction of a bedroom of a Roman villa found in Spain after being buried for a long time after the eruption of Vesuvius.

  • asian art

An infinite section!
More than 60.000 works including paintings, prints, sculptures, objects.
Of particular value, the collection of Chinese, Tibetan and Nepalese paintings and the fine calligraphic works. Not to be missed, the Chinese painting “Shining White Night”.

  • African, Oceanic, and American art

This section was started in 1969 thanks to the donation of Nelson A. Rockefeller, who donated his private collection to the museum. The works include rocks painted by the aborigines, carved commemorative poles from New Guinea, precious metals, ceremonial objects from Nigeria.

  • Islamic art

The collection includes over 12.000 pieces. They range from everyday objects to religious ones: ceramics, tapestries, miniatures, calligraphic models, copies of the Koran manuscripts, pieces of furniture.

  • Medieval art

The objects exhibited in this section date back to the period between the fourth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century: a collection of about 11.000 pieces divided between the museum building on Fifth Avenue and the other location "The Cloisters".

  • European painting

The Met has one of the best collections in the world of European school paintings (in particular, French, Spanish and Dutch).

There are about 2.200 paintings - so not many, to be honest - by artists such as Monet, Cézanne, Rembrandt, Van Gogh (his Self-portrait with a straw hat is not to be missed), Caravaggio, Ghirlandaio, Mantegna (you will appreciate his Adoration of the Shepherds), Giotto (magnificent, his Adoration of the Magi).

Keep your eyes peeled: among the works of great value there is also a Madonna with child by Duccio di Buoninsegna, which due to its small size has been nicknamed the "Mona Lisa of the Met".

  • European sculpture and decorative arts

A vast section that includes more than 50.000 pieces, from the XNUMXth century to the early XNUMXth century. Great space is given to Renaissance sculpture, and you will also see pieces of furniture, jewels, glass, ceramics, fabrics, tapestries, fascinating mathematical and timekeeping tools on display.
Among the most important works, the sculpture Il Baccanale by Gian Lorenzo and Pietro Bernini, in which we note the fusion of classicism and naturalism typical of art in Rome on the threshold of the Baroque.

  • American painting and sculpture

The collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures that allow you to retrace the entire history of the art of the United States of America, from the colonial period to the early twentieth century.

The museum's commitment to acquiring American art pieces, since its origins, allows us to admire today works by artists such as Gilbert Stuart (his very famous Portrait of George Washington), Emanuel Leutze, Winslow Homer, George Caleb Bingham, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Thomas Eakins.

  • American decorative arts

About 12.000 pieces are exhibited here, dated between the end of the XNUMXth and the beginning of the XNUMXth century. The most famous are the stained glass windows, some of which were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The gallery includes 25 rooms, each of which recreates a furnished and decorated environment dating back to a specific historical period or to a stylist.

  • Drawings and prints

This section includes drawings, prints, illustrated books and focuses on North American and European works from the post-medieval period.

The collection was initiated by six hundred drawings donated to the museum by the American entrepreneur Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1880.
You will see, among others, works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Degas.

  • The Robert Lehman collection

The collection of the banker Robert Lehman (donated to the Met in 1969, after his death) houses about 3.000 works of art in a special wing (a sort of “museum within a museum”) and particular.

In fact, the rooms have been set up to recreate the interiors of the banker's home.

Mr. Lehman was a true connoisseur: you will see works by Botticelli and the Venetian, by Matisse, Chagall, El Greco and Goya, Rembrandt and Dürer.

  • Modern Art

About 10.000 works of art by European and American artists, spread over an area of ​​over 6.000 square meters.

The most precious works are Picasso's portrait of the American writer Gertrude Stein and Jasper Johns' White Flag, where for the first time the American flag is represented in monochrome. At MoMA, however, you will see a famous colored version.

The great painting Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) by Pollock, made with the technique of dripping the paint on the floor, and the triptych by Max Beckmann Beginning, which deals with the theme of childhood, are also of very high value.

If you love Paul Klee, you will be happy here: in this section, forty of his works are exhibited, covering his entire career.

Other magnificent works of modern art are exhibited in one of the other venues, the Met Breuer.

  • Weapons and armor

This is another section of the Met that is always full of curious visitors.

Its flagship are the European weapons of the late Middle Ages, the Japanese ones from the period between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, and the “parade” of knights in armor, a reconstruction on the first floor.

There are also weapons from different historical periods and places such as Ancient Egypt, Greece, Africa, Oceania, America, Europe, Japan and the Middle East. In addition, pieces that belonged to rulers and weapons of more recent periods, such as the American Colt.

  • The Costume and Clothing Institute

An interesting section, born thanks to the union of the Museum of Costume Art with the Met in 1937.

The collection includes over 80.000 pieces, and the exposure varies over time, given the delicate nature of the collection, which could wear out.

  • Photography

The photos kept by the museum are about 20.000 and make up 5 collections. Authors of the shots, prominent photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Walker Evans.

  • Musical instruments

Over 5.000 copies!

The tools are exposed based on their appearance, technical characteristics and also considering the social aspects related to their cultures of origin. Not to be missed, the ancient piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori and the violins by Stradivari.

The best end to a visit to the Met in the summer (mid-April to mid-October)? Climb up to the magnificent Terrace of the museum and admire the panorama of Central Park and the skyline of Manhattan, sipping one of the drinks from the Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar (among the best in the city!).

In the other locations of the Met

The garden at The Cloisters

In the headquarters The Cloisters you will breathe a completely different atmosphere.

This is the only American museum dedicated exclusively to medieval art and architecture: you will find yourself in front of large portions of five ancient Spanish and French cloisters of the time, with magnificent gardens to make the context even more harmonious.

The structures have been transported to the United States since 1927, then recovered, restored and finally incorporated into the museum building.

Inside are artifacts such as paintings and sculptures, fabrics and the magnificent jewels of the permanent exhibition.

How did all this material come from Europe to Manhattan? With the hand of John Davison Rockefeller Junior!

What you will see instead at Met Breuer, dedicated to modern and contemporary art?

First of all, you will have to admire the building that houses it. The young museum, in fact, "lives" where the Whitney Museum of American Art was located before moving to its new location in the Meatpacking District.

The palace, completed in 1966, was designed by the Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer, who probably would have appreciated this new museum named after him.

The exhibitions, monographic and thematic, are of the highest level,

Past ones include Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, dedicated to incomplete works from the period from the Spanish Renaissance to contemporary painting (and which included an unpublished Picasso), and the huge exhibition dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi.

Current and future performances are indicated on this page of the official website.

How to reach us

The Met Fifth Avenue

Coming from the East Side of Manhattan:

Linee 4, 5 or 6 of the subway to 86th Street. From there, walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue (about a 10-minute walk).

Alternatively, take the M1, M2, M3 or M4 bus along Fifth Avenue to 82nd Street, or along Madison Avenue to 83rd Street.

→ Coming from the West Side of Manhattan:

Take subway line 1, train 1 to 86th Street, then the M86 bus through Central Park to Fifth Avenue.
Or take the subway, line C, to 81st Street, then the M79 bus through Central Park to Fifth Avenue.

→ Coming from Penn Station:

Take the M4 bus to 83rd Street & Madison Avenue, or take the subway line C to 81st Street and then the M79 bus through Central Park to Fifth Avenue.

→ Coming from The Met Cloisters:

Take the M4 bus to 82nd Street & Fifth Avenue. Alternatively, take the subway line A to 125th Street, then the local train B or C to 81st Street, and finally take the M79 bus through Central Park to Fifth Avenue.

You can also get to the museum with the'tourist bus: Gray Line NY Sightseeing Tours e CitySights NY Bus Tours: Uptown Loop, fermata 35.

Those who arrive with the Metro North Railroad (the suburban rail service serving New York and its northern suburbs in the southeastern areas of the states of New York and Connecticut) must take the Hudson, Harlem or New Haven Line to Grand Central. From there, continue by metro or bus:

  • subway lines 4, 5 or 6 to 86th Street and then walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue
  • M1, M2, M3 or M4 buses along Madison Avenue to 83rd Street.

The Met Cloisters

Take subway line A to 190th Street and exit the station by elevator.
Walk north along Margaret Corbin Drive for approximately 10 minutes, or take the M4 bus and get off after one stop north.

If you are coming from the Met Fifth Avenue, you can also take the M4 bus directly from Madison Avenue / 83rd Street to the last stop (this option is not fast).

The met breuer

Coming from the East Side of Manhattan:

By subway: Line 6 to 77th Street, then and walk two blocks west to Madison Avenue. Walk south two blocks to 75th Street. The walk will take less than ten minutes.

By bus: Take the M1, M2, M3 or M4 line along Madison Avenue to 75th Street or along Fifth Avenue to 75th Street.

→ Coming from the West Side of Manhattan:

Take the subway line to 79th Street, then the M79 bus through Central Park to Madison Avenue. Alternatively, subway line C to 81st Street, then M79 bus through Central Park to Madison Avenue.

→ Coming from Penn Station:

Take the M4 bus to 75th Street & Madison Avenue, or take the subway line C to 81st Street and take the M79 bus through Central Park to Madison Avenue.

→ Coming from Met Fifth Avenue:

Walk east to Madison Avenue; head south on Madison to 75th Street. The walk takes less than 10 minutes.

→ Coming from The Met Cloisters:

Take the M4 bus directly to 75th Street & Fifth Avenue and then walk one block east to Madison Avenue.
Alternatively, take the subway line A to 125th Street, then the B or C local train to 81st Street, then the M79 bus through Central Park to Madison Avenue.

Those who arrive with the Metro North Railroad you will have to take the Hudson, Harlem or the New Haven Line to Grand Central. From there, you can continue by metro or bus:

  • take subway line 6 to 77th Street, then walk two blocks west to Madison Avenue. Walk south two blocks to 75th Street. It's less than a 10 minute walk.
  • take the M1, M2, M3 or M4 bus along Madison Avenue to 75th Street.

Timetable and ticket prices

- times vary depending on the location:

→ The Met Fifth Avenue

It is open every day.

  • Sunday to Thursday: 10.00 - 17.30
  • Friday and Saturday: 10.00 - 21.00

→ The Cloisters

It is open every day.

  • From March to October: 10.00am - 17pm
  • From November to February: 10.00am - 16.45pm

→ The Met Breuer

  • From Tuesday to Thursday: 10.00 - 17.30
  • Friday and Saturday: 10.00 - 21.00
  • Sunday: from 10.00 - 17.30

It is closed on Mondays.

Tickets, on the other hand, are unique for the three locations and therefore valid for three consecutive days presso The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer e The Met Cloisters.


  • Adults $ 25
  • Ages 65 and over, $ 17
  • Students (with valid ID) $ 12
  • Children up to 12 years, free admission
Buy the ticket

You can!

Between one work of art and another you might feel a certain appetite, which the Met will be able to indulge with its varied offer: especially in the museum's main building, it ranges from the most sophisticated restaurants to cafes for quick meals.

Here is the list of refreshment points.

→ The Met Fifth Avenue

  • The Dining Room at The Met.
  • The Great Hall Balcony Bar
  • The Great Hall Balcony Café
  • The Bookstore Café (inside the museum shop!)
  • Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar (the rooftop bar!)
  • The Balcony Lounge.
  • The Petrie Court Café
  • The American Wing Café
  • The Cafeteria

→ The Cloisters

  • The Trie Café

→ The Met Breuer

  • Flora Bar
  • Flora Coffee

You will find precise information on their location on this page of the museum's website.

For shopping, in all the locations of the museum is located The Met Store, which also has outlets at JFK airport and Newark airport (and even in Australia in Sidney and in Thailand in Bangkok). You can also shop online from all over the world

What to expect from these stores? A land of Toys in front of which it is difficult to resist! On sale, accessories, jewelry, wonderful books, stationery, home and art-inspired items.

Historical notes

Inaugurated in 1872, the Met was first located in a building at no. 681 Fifth Avenue.

The private collection of its first president, John Taylor Johnston, was the museum's initial holdings, which included a Roman sarcophagus and 174 paintings.

The number of works grew rapidly and in a short time the space was no longer sufficient.

Following the purchase of Luigi Palma di Cesnola's collection of Cypriot antiquities in 1873, the museum moved temporarily to Douglas Mansion, west of 14th Street.

Finally, the Met bought a piece of land east of Central Park, where it built its final location: a neo-Gothic building in red brick, designed by architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold (the same who oversaw the construction of the Natural History Museum in New York).

The original building is still part of the building - much larger today - that houses the Met.

In addition to having been enlarged over time, the distinctive Beaux-Arts façade was added to the museum in 1926.


  • For a very long time, admission to the Metropolitan Museum was free offer (the recommended amount was still $ 25), with the intent to allow visitors from all walks of life to visit it. Over time, however, the "pay as you wish" (pay-as-you-wish) has translated into ever lower revenues for the museum, and for this reason, starting from March 2018, the entrance ticket at a price has been reintroduced. prefixed.
  • Since the seventies, the Met has pursued a bold policy (which has met with acclaim and criticism), consisting in the sale of pieces of medium and medium-high value in the collection, in order to be able to buy other pieces of very high value. A very lucrative sale for the Met dates back to 2006, when a 1904 photograph of Edward Steichen, The Pond-Moonlight, was auctioned for a record $ 2,9 million.
  • A work exhibited at the museum since 1972, the Euphronius Crater, a 2008th century BC Greek ceramist returned to Spain in 1971 following an agreement between the museum and our Ministry of Cultural Heritage. The crater had been stolen from Cerveteri in XNUMX, illegally brought to the United States and purchased by the Met. Today the work is kept in the Cerite National Museum in Cerveteri.

What to see nearby

Of course, Central Park!

Also, if you are not too tired and the day is still young, you could go to one of the other museums on the Museum Mile, such as the Guggenheim or the Museum of the City of New York.

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