The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a gigantic museum situated in New York City's Central Park. Its more than two million-square-foot floor space has on display virtually every category of art in every known medium from all points on a compass, from ancient through modern times. Here, visitors get a chance to view from close quarters, over two million works of art from Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and America, spanning 5,000 years of world culture a magnitude unmatched anywhere across the globe.
The museum was first opened at 681 Fifth Avenue, in 1870. Later it was shifted to 14th Street, and then finally to its current location in Central Park, all the while expanding its collection.
In the Met, the art and artifacts from various places of the earth are systematically arranged in galleries. But the collection is so huge that to walk around the entire Met is a nearly two day affair. Hence one suggested approach is to focus on just a few of the 24 major collections at one time, returning often to absorb them all.
The Egyptian Gallery has examples of hieroglyphics, jewelry, reliefs, stelae, funerary objects, daily implements, and pre-historic architecture. The most interesting exhibit is the temple of Dendur an entire temple that was moved to America. The Greek and Roman collection features Greece, Rome, Etruria, Cyprus, and Greek and Roman settlements until A.D. 300.
European painting rooms showcase canvases, triptychs, panels, and frescoes by Italian, Flemish, Spanish, French, Dutch, and British masters, from the 12th through the 19th centuries.
The Modern Art section features American and European paintings, works on paper, sculpture, design, and architecture that represent the artistic movements since 1900.
The American wing houses portraits, landscapes, history paintings, folk art, and sculpture from colonial times through the early 20th century. Also on display are Asian art, Islamic art, the Lehman collection, the costume institute featuring costumes of seven centuries and from five continents and the Antonio Retti textile center. The Mets open spaces, which feature the American Wing Court, the European Sculpture Court, and the Roof Garden, are worth a visit.
Given the amount of artifacts and the size of the museum, to be lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a bit of an inevitability. Floor plans do help, but only to a degree. But one would be never far from Museum personnel, who assist the visitor. For anybody coming to New York, it is a must-see destination in the city.