Once a group of wealthy enthusiasts from New York City decided to open up a creative space where people could come many times and always notice something new that would inspire with its beauty and uniqueness. The implementation of this idea has been very successful because the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the fourth most visited after the Hermitage, the Louvre and the National Museum of China. It is also called the main museum of the city. Read more at new-york-future.
The beginning of the museum’s history, its building and the first exhibit
The museum was officially founded on April 13, 1870. Then a group of American businessmen and art lovers decided to make important historical exhibits from their collections available to the general public. The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors to visitors two years later and was located at 1000 Fifth Avenue. The museum was designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Mould in the Beaux-Arts style. The famous architect Richard Hunt was also invited to improve the facility. He created a Great Hall with a Grand Staircase. Hunt had many ambitious and valuable ideas for the projecting museum, but unfortunately, he died before their realization. Between 1902 and 1926, six separate rooms were added to the museum.
The museum was legally registered by the name The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1872, an ancient sarcophagus appeared in it, which was the first exhibit dated to the first century BC. It was found in the southern part of Turkey and donated to the museum by the American vice consul Abdo Debbas.
Further, the museum’s collection continued to be actively replenished, in particular through the efforts of one of the first vice-presidents of the museum, William Blodgett, who donated 174 paintings from English, French and Flemish Paintings to the institution. Among them were works by prominent artists such as Hals, Van Dyck, Tiepolo and Poussin.
Thomas Hoving, who was the museum’s director from 1967 to 1977, added two more wings to the institution, North and South. In the North Wing, the Egyptian temple of Dendur was located separately, which the Egyptian authorities presented to the institution as a sign of gratitude for the help provided for salvation during the construction of the Aswan Dam. The South Wing was named after Michael Rockefeller, a freight forwarder who went missing while working. A collection of Primitive Art was located there.
World art in the museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has many halls with exhibits telling us about different nations’ history, traditions and art.
The collection of the Department of Asian Art includes more than 35,000 exhibits. Items from Asia were donated primarily by philanthropists. It was a truly colossal work because the collection spans 4,000 years of Asian art and represents all the civilizations of Asia.
In the institution, you can also learn about the art history of the countries of Africa, Oceania and America thanks to the philanthropist Nelson Rockefeller. In 1969, he handed over his exclusive collection to the museum, which numbered 3,000 exhibits.
The exposition of the hall is devoted to Ancient Near Eastern art. It includes creative works and household items of Sumerian, Hittite, Assyrian, Babylonian and other cultures. However, one of the largest halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated to the exhibition of weapons and armor of different eras and nations. Many prominent New York City local historians, expeditors and researchers worked on this exhibition.
Previously, museum employees used multicolored metal badges as tickets, with different colors on different days of the week, but in 2014 they switched to stickers. For New Yorkers, admission to the museum is free. They can only pay a charitable contribution at will, while tourists have to pay $30 for a ticket.