Ray Glattman picture of the metIt is a well-known fact that New York City is arguably the foremost center of both international commerce and culture. This means that those of us lucky enough to call this place home are in a position to enjoy some of the most striking and globally renowned shops, galleries, events, and museums. There are not too many places that so completely encompass this notion of unmatched excellence as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is very simply one of the absolute greatest collections of cultural artifacts in the entire world. There are an enormous numbers of interesting things both visitors and residents should take the time to know about this incredible place.

The Met was founded in the late 19th century, beginning when the New York State Legislature permitted the Metropolitan Museum of Art an Act of Incorporation in the year 1870. The facility first opened its doors in February of 1872 and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue. The collection was seeded by the personal contributions of railroad industry leader John Taylor Johnston, who also served as its fifth president

By the beginning of the 1900s, the Met had established a wide variety of educational programs, titled the Metropolitan Museum of Art Schools, which offered both vocational training and classical education on the fine arts. It saw continued success throughout the century and even celebrated its “Diamond Jubilee” (75th anniversary) in 1946 with an enormous celebration. This included special exhibitions, speeches, and cross-promotions with the blossoming film industry. The special occasion also saw a boom in membership due to a membership drive and fundraising campaign.

25 years later, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Centennial too celebrations to an entirely different level. In addition to exhibitions, the Met offered symposia, concerts, lectures, special tours, and refurbished galleries for several years – from 1969 until 1971. This event drew support from a large number of prominent New Yorkers across all sorts of industry, including artists, historian, writers, composers, and designers.

For well over a century now, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has served as a beacon of the greatest culture, history, and art this city has to offer. Although there are literally hundred of collections that are unique, and many of which are also widely lauded and respected, there simply is not much that exists at the scale of the Met, here or elsewhere in the world. Every person, both visitor and resident, should make time to fully appreciate the wonderful things it has to offer.