Sun-Thu, 10am-5:30pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-9pm
4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
$25 suggested contribution, $17 senior citizens; $12 students
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
| Thru 7/27 ||Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century|
| Thru 8/03 ||Goya and the Altamira Family|
| Thru 8/17 ||Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy|
| Thru 9/07 ||Wall Drawing #370|
| Thru 9/07 ||The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection|
| Thru 9/21 ||Garry Winogrand|
| Thru 9/21 ||Garry Winogrand: Retrospective|
With over two million objects—from 77, 000-year-old flints to contemporary digital art—housed under its roof, the Met is one of the largest and most eclectic cultural institutions on earth. Each year, five million people walk up the famous granite steps in search of the thrill of aesthetic vertigo. Many make a beeline for the Egyptian Art and European Painting collections, both among the finest in the world. But almost every one of the Museum's 17 curatorial departments is superlative, and must-see works abound in every corner of the building. Also competing for visitors’ attentions are about 30 exhibitions a year. These run the gamut from once-in-a-lifetime blockbusters, like the "The Vatican Collections," and "Splendors of Imperial China," to single-artist retrospectives and smaller shows organized by individual departments. When the Met's first permanent home opened in 1880 it was almost immediately too small to house the ballooning collection, and work began on a never-ending series of additions. Over the past 30 years, the back and sides of the building have been encased in wings that have doubled its size. New space would have to be carved out on the inside, as there is a ban on further intrusion into Central Park (at least for now). Behind the Museum's imposing Beaux Arts façade, there lies a confusing warren of hundreds of galleries punctuated by some of the city's grandest halls and courtyards. If you’re a "completist," know that it will take several hours just to walk through the whole building—and that's without stopping in front of anything for more than a few seconds.
The Museum offers tours on any number of subjects, all lead by trained volunteers. One begins every fifteen minutes, and each lasts roughly an hour. Group Tours are offered in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and sign language. Call 212-570-3711 for information and reservations. Audio guides also provide commentary for thousands of objects on view (just key in the number next to each work).
Classes & Lectures
Free lectures are offered Fridays at 6 p.m. in the Uris Center Auditorium, Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. No reservations required.