Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1872 by a group of American citizens who set out to bring art and art education to the American people. Since the founding day “The Met” has had three locations. The first location, located at 681 Fifth Avenue was opened on February 20, 1872, and housed a Roan stone sarcophagus and 174 paintings (mostly European). Quickly outgrowing this location the museum was relocated to in 1873 to a Mansion at 128 West 14th St., This location was only temporary due to the increasing collection. The final move was to the current location on the eastern edge of Central Park known as museum mile. The new building is a red brick Gothic Revival stone “mausoleum.” Remaining at this location over the years many additions have been added on to accommodate for the growing collections, including the Beaus-Arts façade.
The Met houses many permanent collections such as, Classical Antiquity, Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from many European masters, American and Modern art, African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine and Islamic art, Encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. Also housed in the Met are a number of notable interiors ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, including the Richard and Gloria Manney John Henry Belter Rococo Revival Parlor. Within this parlor is the Tête-à-Tête chair by Henry Belter. In addition to the many permanent collections the Met also hosts special exhibitions. Each exhibition focuses on the works of one individual artist and is usually loaned out from other museums and sources.
Also included in the museum is the Met Store that sells a variety of goods such as books, jewelry, clothing, sculptures, home décor and seasonal decorations. Each purchase supports the educations mission of the museum.

Very different from The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., particularly the east building due to the contemporary style. The building itself was meant to be a sculpture that stood apart from Washington D.C. One similarity between “The Met” and the National Gallery of Art is that they are both museums. Both places hold many different varieties of collections.

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