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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met's World-Class Collections


What is there to see at The Metropolitan Museum of Art? The truth is you could spend weeks exploring the Met's vast collections. The collecting began in earnest when the first 174 paintings came to the museum from several European collections. The Metropolitan continued to grow quickly for the rest of the 19th century, but rose to world-class status during the 20th century. The museum's two million square foot building displays art representing the best of the best.

The famous American Wing houses the world's most comprehensive collection of American paintings and sculpture offering an unparalleled view of American history and domestic life.

With over 2,500 European paintings (including many Rembrandts and Vermeers), The Metropolitan’s Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections are considered some of the finest in the world. The Met also possesses some of the world’s greatest collections of Egyptian, Islamic and Asian art.

The Met's Permanent Collection

The museum defines its permanent collection as follows:

American Decorative Arts - Furniture, silver, pewter, glass, ceramics, and textiles from the late 17th to early 20th century, as well as domestic architecture in furnished period rooms.

American Paintings & Sculpture - Portraits, landscapes, history paintings, still lifes, folk art, and sculpture from colonial times through the early 20th century.

Ancient Near Eastern Art - Stone reliefs and sculpture, ivory, and objects of precious metal from a vast area and time span: Anatolia to the Indus Valley, Neolithic period (ca. 8000 B.C.E.) to the Arab conquest (7th century C.E.).

Arms & Armor - Armor for men, horses, and children, weapons, and martial accoutrements of sculptural and ornamental beauty from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and America.

Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas - Ritual objects and monuments, articles of personal adornment, and utensils for daily life from three continents and dozens of Pacific islands, 2000 B.C.E. to the present.

Asian Art - Paintings, calligraphy, prints, sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, jades, lacquer, textiles, and screens from ancient to modern China, Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asia.

The Cloisters - Art and architecture of medieval Europe, including sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, paintings, and tapestries.

The Permanent Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Continued)

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