The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest in New York. It covers an area of 2 million square feet.
This makes the Met capable of holding millions of art pieces significant to various cultures, ages and continents.
The museum has strategically distributed its collection in galleries based on the area of origin.
If you are visiting the museum, it is best to visit one gallery at a time. Here is a list of the Met’s galleries to help you make your visit convenient.
You could use a map if you need help finding these galleries.
Wings of the Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has multiple galleries or wings. Here are the Met’s galleries :
African Art in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing
The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing is a part of the Met in New York City that holds African art from various regions of the continent.
The collection includes over 2,500 works of art spanning from the ancient period to the present day.
The wing is organized into three main categories: traditional art, contemporary art, and Islamic art.
Traditional art on display includes sculptures, masks, textiles, and beadwork that different African groups created for religious rituals and social events.
One of the highlights is the Benin Kingdom Gallery, house to the famous bronze and ivory sculptures created by the Kingdom of Benin in modern-day Nigeria.
The African art in the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing is a critical collection with a comprehensive look at the diverse artistic traditions of the continent.
The American Wing
The American Wing is a section of the Met in New York City with a vast collection of American art from the 18th century to the 20th century.
The collection holds paintings, sculptures, furniture, decorative arts, and architecture, providing visitors with a comprehensive view of American culture and history.
The American Wing is organized into several galleries, each showcasing a different period and style of American art.
Examples include the reconstruction of a colonial-era New England parlor, a Federalist-era New York City townhouse, and a Victorian-era California parlor.
The American Wing has a collection of paintings and works by the most celebrated American artists, including John Singleton Copley, John Singer Sargent, and Winslow Homer.
This particular collection also holds the famous painting “Washington Crossing Delaware by Emanuel Leutze.” Read more.
The wing is also home to the Charles Engelhard Court, a stunning courtyard featuring American sculpture and architecture.
Ancient Near Eastern Art
The Near Eastern art collection covers the art and material culture of the Middle East, from the Neolithic period to the end of the Achaemenid Empire.
The galleries include the Sumerian Art Gallery, the Assyrian Art Gallery, the Babylonian Art Gallery, and the Achaemenid Art Gallery.
One of the collection’s highlights includes the Standard of Ur, a Sumerian artifact depicting scenes of war and peace.
Another famous highlight is the Lamassu, a human-headed winged bull that guarded the gates of Assyrian palaces.
The collection also includes cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia that contain some of the world’s earliest known forms of writing.
Arms and Armor
The Arms and Armor gallery at the Met is a worldwide collection of weaponry and armor. The artifacts date back from the medieval period to the 19th century.
The collection includes over 14,000 objects, ranging from swords, firearms, and helmets to full suits of armor worn by knights, soldiers, and kings.
The gallery is organized by geographic region and period, showcasing the development of armor and weapons throughout history.
The Arms and Armor gallery also includes collections from other parts of the world, such as Japan, the Middle East, and India.
In addition to the weaponry and armor, the gallery features interactive exhibits demonstrating how armor was made and how weapons were used in battle.
Ancient American Art in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing
The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing at the Met houses an impressive collection of Ancient American Art from 1200 BCE to the Spanish Conquest in the early 16th century.
The gallery is organized by geographic regions, showcasing ancient American societies’ cultural and artistic diversity.
The Mesoamerican collection includes objects from ancient Mexico and Central America, such as the Maya and the Aztecs.
The collection includes art and artifacts from the ancient societies of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, such as the Moche, the Nasca, and the Inca.
The gallery also features a 35-foot-long replica of a temple built by the ancient civilization of the Teotihuacan, located in Mexico.
One of the highlights of the Ancient American Art collection is the Aztec stone calendar, known as the Aztec Calendar Stone or Sun Stone.
Overall, the Ancient American Art collection in the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing provides a fascinating look into pre-Columbian art and archaeology.
The Asian Art department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Asian art in the world.
The collection includes art and artifacts from the major regions of Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world.
Some of the collection’s highlights include the Astor Court, a reconstructed Ming Dynasty-style garden court.
The Chinese Buddhist Temple Gallery features America’s oldest surviving Chinese wooden building.
The collection features Chinese ceramics, such as Tang dynasty sancai ware and Ming dynasty blue and white porcelain.
The Japanese art collection includes works from the Jomon period to contemporary art.
The South Asian art collection includes works from the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
The collection features Indian sculpture, painting, and decorative arts, including Mughal miniature paintings and Hindu temple sculptures.
The transition from the Paleolithic to the Roman era is represented in the 26,000 works of art that constitute the Met’s ancient Egyptian art gallery.
The Museum’s archeological team has collected the valuable pieces for over thirty-five years.
The Met’s collection of Egyptian art was intended to be displayed when the Lila Acheson Wallace Galleries of Egyptian Art debuted in 1983.
Most of the collection is still on display for visitors to admire in thirty-eight galleries.
The arrangement of these galleries allows a visitor to “journey” through Egyptian history, beginning from the rise of the state in the Predynastic Period.
Oceanic Art in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing
The Met’s oceanic art collection includes more than 2,800 pieces that cover the arts and civilizations of the Pacific Islands and illustrate the area’s history.
The collection includes artwork from Australia and Island Southeast Asia with indigenous populations related to Pacific Islanders.
The gallery’s highlights include a collection of sculptures from the coastal islands home to New Guinea’s ethnic groups.
The collection includes some of the most impressive works of visual art produced by Pacific Islanders, like carved ancestral figures from ceremonial houses.
These are made using ritual objects like skull reliquaries and sparkling turtle shell masks from coastal areas.
The Department of Photos at The Met is a separate curatorial division established in 1992.
Its collection of over 75,000 works spans the development of photography from its creation in the 1830s to the present.
The Met’s collection of Islamic art spans the seventh to twenty-first centuries.
More than 15,000 objects reflect Islamic cultural traditions’ wide range and diversity, with works from as far west as Spain and Morocco.
The collection, including sacred and secular objects, demonstrates the mutual influence of artistic practices like calligraphy.
The exchange of motifs like ornament and geometric patterning in both realms is available.
European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
About fifty thousand objects in the Met’s European sculpture and decorative art collection reflect the evolution of art forms.
The art forms belong to Western European countries from the early fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
Among these works are ceramics made in Asia that were exported to European markets and sculpture and decorative arts created in Latin America.
The Robert Lehman Collection
The Robert Lehman Collection is one of America’s most prestigious privately assembled art collections.
It is the legacy of Robert Lehman, a famous art collector and philanthropist. The collection consists of about 300 paintings.
The collection is also known for its decorative arts, which include Renaissance maiolica, Venetian glass, and antique frames.
The collection was founded around 1905 by Robert Lehman’s parents, Philip and Carrie Lehman.
Medieval Art and The Cloisters
The collection of medieval and Byzantine art at the Met is outstanding. It spans the Mediterranean region and Europe from the fall of Rome to the beginning of the Renaissance.
The collection is displayed at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters in northern Manhattan.
It also contains pre-medieval European works of art from the Bronze and Early Iron Ages.
The Met Cloisters, dedicated to medieval European art and architecture, is on four acres by the Hudson River.
Modern and Contemporary Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Modern and Contemporary Art department is dedicated to studying, collecting, and exhibiting art from 1890.
Its holdings include paintings, sculptures, works on paper, design, decorative arts, and time-based media.
The department presents rotating selections from its dynamic collections in its galleries and special projects throughout the museum.
The Museum has a collection of musical instruments from as early as 300 B.C. and includes over 5,000 examples from six continents and the Pacific Islands.
It portrays the evolution of musical instruments from various cultures and eras.
The European Paintings collection at the Met houses over 2,500 works of art from the thirteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
You will find paintings in the Robert Lehman Collection, the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, and other departmental galleries at The Met and The Met Cloisters.
The Met has a rich display of early Italian and Northern art.
It has one of the world’s biggest collections of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings by Frans Hals, Rembrandt, and Johannes Vermeer.
The collection even has French paintings by Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh. Read more.
The collection dates back to 1871 when the Museum purchased 174 paintings from European dealers.
The Met has a lot to offer. To enjoy the offering of the Met in relative peace, remember to check the best times to visit!
Featured Image: Metmuseum.org