I love Modern Art. It truly is a passion of mine and I always try and make time to stop at a museum on every trip I go on. One of my all time favorites is the Museum of Modern Art. Growing up in the NE, I've been able to visit this one many times...
Founded back in 1870 by a group of businessmen and financial-savvy entrepreneurs, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is the largest art museum in the country and one of the top ten largest in the world. Resting inside this 2 million square foot facility lies paintings, musical instruments, costumes, weapons, armor, accessories, sketches, photographs and more.
#1) It's Free To Enter
When you visit the Met, you will probably be asked to pay $25 for a ticket. While this is the recommended rate of admission, the Met is actually “pay what you want.” As noted by the Associated Press, a late 19th century law states that the public should be admitted for free at least five days and two evenings per week. So if you're short on cash but want to check out the Met, offer to pay what you can.
#2) It Wasn't Always In Central Park
The Met was originally constructed at 681 Fifth Avenue and then later moved to a large residential mansion at 129 W 14th Street. Both of these locations were used as temporary facilities until the current museum in Central Park was constructed. The Met has since gone through dozens of renovations, although it still remains in New York City's iconic Central Park.
#3) It Has Artifacts That are Thousands of Years Old
Ever wonder what the oldest item housed in the Met is? According to the museum's official website, it's an antique storage jar with decorations of mountain goats. This remarkable piece of human history is believed to date back to 3800-3700 BC, depicting wild goats with other nuanced designs on the sides.
#4) 25,000 Plus Photographs
While many people assume the Met's focus is on paintings and similar artwork, it also houses approximately 25,000 photographs. Famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz donated a large chunk of his work to the museum, providing the Met with its first official collection of photographs. Among this work was a survey of Photo-Secessionist, including master prints from Edward Steichen and other well-known photographers.
#5) Van Gogh Artwork
You don't have to be an art aficionado to appreciate the dramatic beauty of Vincent Van Gogh. The Met contains approximately 17,000 drawings and more than 1.5 million prints, many of which were produced by world-renown artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Degas, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. One of the most iconic pieces in the Met's art collection is Van Gogh's self-portrait with a straw hat, which was created in 1887.
What are some of your favorite museums? Tell me on Twitter @colrothschild