The Metropolitan Museum of Art, better known as the MET, is one of the most famous museums in the world. Ranking alongside the Louvre, people come from all across the globe to witness the stunning visuals on display.
Aside from being vastly populated with tourists, the MET is the largest museum in the United States for art, with over 2 million works on display. With stunning views of Central Park nearby, the MET is the heart of New York City in my opinion.
My first time at the MET was magical. It felt like “A Night at the Museum” - I was just waiting for the paintings to come alive. I probably was around 12 or 13, and my dad had convinced me to take a trip to the city with him, to gaze at the gorgeous artwork.
He had been an art history buff for as long as I could remember, studying the Italian Renaissance in his free time. Luckily, I didn’t need much convincing when it came to hopping on a train to Manhattan. After an hour on the express train and a ride across the city on the C train - we were finally on the Upper East Side.
From art-deco to masks, to architecture - the MET truly has it all. I’ve always loved appreciating art. From greats like Van Gogh to Van Eyck, this museum has everyone who’s ever made a name for themselves, on its walls. There are so many wonderful artists on display, with more than just a few paintings to highlight their respective work.
The MET has an impressive collection that cannot be replicated. It’s no secret that Manhattan is the cultural center of the East Coast, but the MET is the mecca of art in the United States.
The MET is a museum that cannot be conquered in one day. I’ve now had several trips to this grand museum and I think I’ve only scratched the surface - not to mention there are new exhibits every month to fuel art-lovers. Many people don’t know that the MET has two locations, one on Fifth Avenue and the other in Inwood, New York.
The Inwood location is called the MET Cloisters and it’s mainly known for its architecture. It’s a place I would love to visit one day, as it’s famous for its stunning chapels. For now, though, the Fifth Ave location is where I choose to spend my time because every visit feels like the first time.
My favorite exhibit at the MET usually intertwines with the Costume Institute. Every year, celebrities gather at the museum for the annual MET Ball. It’s a gala that is thrown in honor of the New York City Costume Institute, which is a close sponsor of the museum.
The MET Ball has a theme every year, and designers are selected to create garments centered around said theme. Those dresses, suits, and accessories are then donated to the museum and put on display for viewing capabilities.
The gallery usually runs from May - September, and it is the “can’t miss” exhibition of the year. The first time I saw the designs from the MET Ball in person, I was blown away. With going to fashion school and having a passion for the construction of garments, I was in heaven. I was viewing the same dresses that celebrities wore just a few weeks prior, with designer labels that I’ve only dreamed about.
The best way to describe the MET is to tell someone to go visit. I know not everyone can catch a plane to New York City, but if you can make it to the MET, I recommend doing so. I know art museums aren’t for everyone - so put yourself in the shoes of the artist.
Think about the intense work and creativity it took for each painting to get into that museum. It is also a cultural journey to learn about where each work came from. Museums are a wonderful way to bring people together.
All of the artworks have incredible meaning and passion, which makes them seem a lot more than just a painting on a wall. Each installation, no matter the medium, is truly a work of art (no pun intended). The MET is my favorite museum of all time and it’s free! If you’re looking for a way to spice up your weekend, take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You won’t regret it.
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