Metropolitan Museum of Art: History, Facts, Celebrated by Google Doodle
|Photo: Google Doodle
History of Metropolitan Museaum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art, byname the Met, the largest and most-comprehensive art museum in New York City and one of the foremost in the world. The museum was incorporated in 1870 and opened two years later. The complex of buildings at its present location in Central Park opened in 1880. The main building facing Fifth Avenue, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, was completed in 1902 and as of 2016 was called “The Met Fifth Avenue.” McKim, Mead, and White designed certain later additions. The American section, added in 1924, included the 1823 marble facade saved from the demolished U.S. Branch Bank on Wall Street. The remainder of the 20th-century additions were completed by the architectural firm of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. They included the Robert Lehman Wing (1975), with its Old Masters, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist works; the Sackler Wing of the Temple of Dendur (1978), which houses a monument given by Egypt; the American Wing (1980), a four-acre addition that was wrapped around the old section and contains the largest collection of American arts in the world; the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing (1982), which houses the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing (1987), which displays Modern art; and the Henry R. Kravis Wing (1990), which contains sculpture and decorative arts of Europe up to the early 20th century. A renovated and reconceived group of 15 galleries featuring the “art of the Arab lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and later South Asia”—one of the most-comprehensive collections of its type—was opened in 2011. In March 2016 the Met expanded its Modern and contemporary art programs into a Marcel Breuer-designed building at East 75th Street and Madison Avenue (the former location of the Whitney Museum of American Art). “The Met Breuer” was designed to host exhibitions and performances related to 20th- and 21st-century art, artist commissions and residencies, and educational programming.
Facts about Metropolis Museum of Art
The Met has important collections of Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, East Asian and Middle Eastern, Greek and Roman, European, pre-Columbian, New Guinean, Islamic, and American art, including architecture, sculpture, painting, drawings, calligraphy, prints, photographs, glass, bronzes, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, lacquerwork, furniture, period rooms, arms and armour, and musical instruments.
The Thomas J. Watson Library, built in 1964 primarily for the use of the museum staff and visiting scholars, has one of the most complete art and archaeology reference collections in the world. It is the largest of a network of dedicated libraries in the museum, but only the Nolen Library is open to the public.
European art of the Middle Ages is found on display in both the Central Park complex and at “The Met Cloisters,” the Met museum of medieval art in Fort Tryon Park in the northern part of Manhattan.
|Photo: Town and Country Magazine
Google Doodle: Metropolitan Museum of Art Celebrates 151 Years
|Photo: USA Today
Today, April 13, 1870 — 151 years ago — the New York State Legislature approved the incorporation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, formed by a collective of businessmen, thinkers, and artists who sought to make art and art education available to the American public.
Shortly thereafter, the museum obtained its first piece, a Roman sarcophagus, but it wasn’t until two years later — February 20, 1872 — that the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the doors to its first Fifth Avenue location. The next year, the museum outgrew that location and moved to a mansion elsewhere in the city. Ultimately, in 1880, the Metropolitan Museum of Art moved to its current location, part of Fifth Avenue’s “Museum Mile.”
Today’sGoogle Doodle features an isometric illustration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, above which are six frames. In each appropriately colored frame, you’ll see one of a few works of art from the museum that resembles a letter of the word “Google,” changing to a different piece every few seconds. Below each frame, you’ll also find a line showing where in the museum that particular work can be found.
To learn more about each of the artworks featured in today’s Google Doodle, you can head over to the official website for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Meanwhile, the Google Doodle Blog has some interesting info about the artistic process behind the Doodle, including the fact that this Doodle was supposed to be shown a year ago, for the museum’s 150th anniversary, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
I have really missed visiting museums during the pandemic, so working on this Doodle was for me like a virtual visit to the Met. I hope that this animated Doodle gives people a little experience of touring the museum, and coming face-to-face with beautiful and captivating art objects from so many different cultures and eras.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.
Since its founding in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.
The Met was founded on April 13, 1870, “to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction.”
On January 13, 2015, the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art reaffirmed this statement of purpose and supplemented it with the following statement of mission:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.
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