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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Celebrates 150 Years

The New York City cultural institution reopened in August with a slew of fall exhibits

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been closed since March, when its 150th anniversary plans were put on hold. Happily, the museum reopened in August to much fanfare and with the implementation of new social distancing safety protocols. For a celebratory exhibition, the New York City institution debuted Making The Met, 1870–2020, a survey of the history of the museum’s diverse collections from John Singer Sargent to Andy Warhol.

The Fifth Avenue facade photographed in 1917.

Its first location at the Dodworth Mansion at 681 Fifth Avenue showcased a Roman sarcophagus and, in 1871, the institution
acquired 174 European paintings including works by Anthony van Dyck, Nicolas Poussin and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Nine years later, the Met moved to its current location on 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Architect Richard Morris Hunt designed the Beaux-Arts column-adorned facade as it still stands today, but a modern museum-goer would hardly recognize the interiors.

The opening reception in 1872 in the Dodworth Mansion, the Met’s first home.

The grand Great Hall has always invited visitors in a welcoming and magnificent way, but gallery spaces have been reimagined and expanded upon over the years to accommodate a diverse collection of 1.5 million objects, including antiquities, tapestries, fashion, photography, and contemporary and modern art celebrating 5,000 years of culture.