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Anyone interested in culture and history will surely have a fascinating time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or widely known as The Met. It has a wonderful collection of art works and artifacts from different time periods and geographic regions. Don't be intimidated by the scope. Choose several galleries you want to see and make the most out of your visit!
Get Lost in Culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
When we talk about art, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the great European artists. You are probably familiar with Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio. Luckily for you, their works are featured in this world-class collection of European paintings. The works shown in the collection ranges from the 13th to the 19th centuries. This is one of the busiest sections of the museum, however, so be prepared to battle the crowds for a glimpse of the masterpieces.
The Met also has a fantastic collection of Islamic art. These works go as far back as the 7th century and originated from Spain, Morocco, West Asia, Central Asia, and India. The beautiful geometric patterns that are prominent in these regions will surely enchant you, as will the calligraphy and pieces of jewelry. The collection contains almost 12,000 objects, both secular and sacred, that demonstrate the impressive cultural traditions of the Muslims.
Of course, let us not forget that the museum is still located in the United States. The country also boasts a great artistic tradition and this is the best place to learn about it. Unlike the two previously mentioned, the collection is always evolving to showcase the progression of American Art. There are separate galleries for the domestic arts, paintings, and sculptures. Make sure to visit these sections if you want a glimpse of the history of the Land of the Free.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art isn't limited to regional galleries. It also has one of the best collection of fashionable dresses, costumes, and accessories in the world. The oldest pieces are dated from the 15th century. The institute organizes exhibits once or twice a year, so take note of the shows if you are interested in costume history. The sensitive quality of the textiles might prevent it from being on display for the entire year, but it would be a mistake to skip the tours once you're in town.
The more musically-inclined among us will surely have an enjoyable stroll through this section of The Met. The museum has a collection of 5,000 instruments from all over the world, some even going as far back as 300 B.C. A visit to this section will surely make anyone appreciate the development of music as well as the aesthetic appeal of the instruments.
The museum's Department of Photographs features more than 25,000 works. All of these demonstrates the development of photography ever since its invention in the 1830s. Bask in the glory of daguerreotypes, landscape photographs and French photography, among others. Spending some time here will surely make you feel awe at the evolution of the art form.
How to Get Tickets?
For residents of New York and students from New Jersey and Connecticut students, the price of admission is on a pay as you wish basis. For the rest of the visitors, admission costs $12 for students, $17 for seniors, and $25 for adults. Children below 12 years of age are free.
How To Get Around?
The only way to get from one gallery to another would be to walk! You will actually be doing a lot of walking, so be prepared. A warm-up might even be helpful for this endeavor.
Best Time to Visit
If you wish to avoid the crowds, your best option would be to go on Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are generally fewer visitors in the morning so the earlier, the better. February and September have been reported to be the low season for the museum. However, if there are specific events that you wish to see or attend, make sure to check the museum's calendar.
Will I Need a Guide?
There are usually multiple free tours available throughout the day. Check out the website for further information. It is also possible to rent an audio guide, but this will cost additional payment on top of the admission fee.
How To Get There?
If you are coming from the East Side of Manhattan, hop on the 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street and then walk to Fifth Avenue. You can also take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus to 83rd street. If you are coming from the West Side of Manhattan, ride the 1 train to 86th Street, then take the M86 crosstown bus to Fifth Avenue. It would also be possible to take the C train, get off on 81st Street, and take the M79 to Fifth Avenue. The Gray Line NY Sightseeing Tours and CitySights NY Bus Tours also pass by the museum, just make sure to hop on the Uptown Loop and get off at Stop 35. It is also possible to take a cab or drive your rental car to the museum.
All bags have to be checked upon entry and you will have to deposit big bags at the counter. Eating and drinking are prohibited in the galleries, but feel free to do so at the restaurant. Don't forget to follow museum etiquette and refrain from touching the artifacts and artworks.