Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York USA

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, colloquially "the Met," is located in New York City and is the largest art museum in the United States, and is among the most visited art museums in the world.

 The wings that completed the Fifth Avenue facade in the 1910s were designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White. The modernistic glass sides and rear of the museum are the work of Roche-Dinkeloo. Kevin Roche has been the architect for the master plan and expansion of the museum for the past 42 years. He is responsible for designing all of its new wings and renovations including but not limited to the American Wing, Greek and Roman Court, and recently opened Islamic Wing.

As of 2010, the Met measures almost 14-mile (400 m) long and with more than 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of floor space, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building.

The museum building is an accretion of over 20 structures, most of which are not visible from the exterior.

The City of New York owns the museum building and contributes utilities, heat, and some of the cost of guardianship.

The Charles Engelhard Court of the American Wing features the facade of the Branch Bank of the United States, a Wall Street bank that was facing demolition in 1913.

Although the City of New York owns the museum building and contributes utilities, heat, and some of the cost of guardianship, the collections are owned by a private corporation of fellows and benefactors which totals about 950 persons. 

The museum is governed by a board of trustees of 41 elected members, several officials of the City of New York, and persons honored as trustees by the museum. The current chairman of the board, Daniel Brodsky was elected in 2011

 Its permanent collection contains over two million works.

The permanent collection consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, Indian, and Islamic art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. It opened on February 20, 1872, and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue.

The Met's permanent collection is curated by seventeen separate departments, each with a specialized staff of curators and scholars, as well as six dedicated conservation departments and a Department of Scientific Research.

Beginning in the late 19th century, the Met started to acquire ancient art and artifacts from the Near East. From a few cuneiform tablets and seals, the Met's collection of Near Eastern art has grown to more than 7,000 pieces. Representing a history of the region beginning in the Neolithic Period and encompassing the fall of the Sasanian Empire and the end of Late Antiquity, the collection includes works from the Sumerian, Hittite, Sasanian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Elamite cultures (among others), as well as an extensive collection of unique Bronze Age objects. The highlights of the collection include a set of monumental stone lamassu, or guardian figures, from the Northwest Palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II.

The Met's collection of Greek and Roman art contains more than 17,000 objects.

The museum first opened on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue.

John Taylor Johnston, a railroad executive whose personal art collection seeded the museum, served as its first president, and the publisher George Palmer Putnam came on board as its founding superintendent. The artist Eastman Johnson acted as co-founder of the museum.Various other industrialists of the age served as co-founders, including Howard Potter. The former Civil War officer, Luigi Palma di Cesnola, was named as its first director. He served from 1879 to 1904.

Under their guidance, the Met's holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space.

In 1873, occasioned by the Met's purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities, the museum decamped from Fifth Avenue and took up residence at the Mrs. Nicholas Cruger Mansion also known as the Douglas Mansion (James Renwick, 1853–54, demolished) at 128 West 14th Street. However, these new accommodations proved temporary, as the growing collection required more space than the mansion could provide.

As of 2017, the museum's endowment ( endowment  is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization for the ongoing support of that organization.) is $2.5 billion which provides much of the income for operations while admissions account for only 13 percent of revenue as of fiscal 2016, down from 16 percent the year before.

The 2009–10 operating budget was $221 million. Although the museum recommends an admission price of $25, visitors can pay what they wish to enter.

According to the Met's annual tax filing for fiscal year 2016, several top executives had received disproportionately high compensation, often exceeding 1M USD per annum with over 100K USD bonuses per annum.

In April 2017, the New York Times reported that the Met's annual debt was approaching $40 million, in addition to an outstanding museum bond for $250 million. This resulted in the indefinite postponement of a planned $600 million expansion of the museum's modern art collection as well as started a general discussion over the Met's human resources management.

In 2016, the museum set a record for attendance, attracting 6.7 million visitors — the highest number since the museum began tracking admissions.

Forty percent of the Met's visitors in fiscal year 2016 came from New York City and the tristate area; 41 percent from 190 countries besides the United States.

Some of the less-visited wings hold some amazing surprises—from a replica of a Ming Dynasty courtyard to the façade of a bank rescued from destruction.

The Temple of Dendur

Dating back to the time of Augustus Caesar, circa 15 BC, the Temple of Dendur was a gift from Egypt to the United States in 1965. The most stunning work in the Met’s Egyptian collection, the temple occupies the bright and airy Sackler Wing, which has large skylights that illuminate the space and a pool of water meant to evoke the Nile. Up close, you can see ancient carvings and hieroglyphics on the temple's surface.

The Petrie Sculpture Court

Majestic full-body sculptures greet visitors to this European sculpture area. When you enter you can still see a wall of the original brick building by Vaux and Mould. The sculpture court features European masterpieces in marble and bronze, including works by Bernini, Canova and Rodin. Several of the statues were originally displayed in palace gardens around the world.

Beaux-arts bronze lampposts

Richard Morris Hunt designed the first major addition to the Metropolitan Museum, which includes the Great Hall, the Grand Staircase, and the Beaux-Arts façade on Fifth Avenue (though Hunt didn’t live to see construction on the façade completed). He also designed the bronze Beaux-Arts lampposts, which you might mistake for French lampposts. They highlight the European influences on 19th and early 20th century American art.

Staircase from the Chicago Stock Exchange

Another unique decorative element that has made its way into the architecture of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a pair of Louis Sullivan staircases that connect the first and second floors of the Engelhard Court. Sullivan was the leader of the Chicago school of architects and these copper-plated staircases decorated with natural and geometric motifs show his mature style. They were rescued from the Chicago Stock Exchange when it was razed in 1972.

Impossible statues

Check the images to see some impossible sculptures in marble that are extremely hard to reproduce. 

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