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Long Profile of The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Met's Christmas tree. Photo © Mario Tama / Getty Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's renowned Renaissance-style Christmas tree on display.

Photo © Mario Tama / Getty Images


The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) was founded in 1870 in New York City.

The museum has more than two million works of art in its vast collection. The artworks come from all over the world and its 5,000-year range of objects begins from prehistorical times to the present.


In 1870, the Met's European painting collection included 174 paintings, mainly Dutch and Flemish works from esteemed artists such as Frans Hals and Anthony van Dyck. In 1907, the Met acquired a Renoir painting and is now a major collector of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting. In 1910, the Met was one of the first museums to acquire a Matisse.

Additionally, the Met is renowned for its diverse curatorial departments which feature collections from all across the globe including: Greek and Roman Art, American Decorative Arts, Islamic Art, Egyptian Art, and Asian Art.

As the collection expanded, the Met had to relocate to a much larger space and moved to its current site in 1880.


"The mission of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and stimulate appreciation for and advance knowledge of works of art that collectively represent the broadest spectrum of human achievement at the highest level of quality, all in the service of the public and in accordance with the highest professional standards."


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located from 80th to 84th Streets on Museum Mile, the area of Fifth Avenue near Central Park in New York City. It is easy to access via bus, subway and taxi. It is one of the most popular sites in NYC for tourists.

Museum's Conservation Department:

The Met's Department of Scientific Research, with its staff of 10 scientists, focuses on conservation research and treatment. The scientists work closely with curators and art conservators in analyzing and conserving the various works of art. Using innovative techniques, the staff examines artworks to identify what they were made from, and how to treat the work from further degradation.

Famed Artworks in Collection:

The Metropolitan Museum, with its vast and diverse collection of over two million cultural objects and artworks, has numerous renowned pieces.

Famous artworks in the collection include paintings by Monet and Rembrandt. It has the largest collection of paintings by Vermeer.

Noteworthy Facts:

Take a step back in time and visit The Cloisters. Located in Fort Tryon Park, New York City, the Cloisters is a branch of the Met exhibiting Medieval European art and architecture.

The Met's Provenance Research Project is examining its painting collection, especially the acquisition period between 1932 and 1946 when numerous artworks were stolen by the Nazis.

Employment Information:

The Museum requires a huge and diverse staff in order to operate. Professional job opportunities periodically become available in the Curatorial, Conservation, Education and Research Departments. Additionally, entry-level jobs in administrative, finance, information, sales, security and technology become available.

Internships and fellowships for college students are available.

Job listings at the Metropolitan Museum change regularly, so be sure to check the Museum listings periodically.

How to Apply for a Job:

The Museum recommends that you send in your resume and specify which department you are applying to:

"Administrative Support, Communications, Conservation, Curatorial, Design, Development, Distribution Center, Education, Facilities, Finance, Human Resources, Information Systems and Technology, Legal, Libraries, Maintenance, Membership, Merchandising, Retail Sales, Security, Special Events, Visitor Services."

Museum's Contact Info:

Visitor information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, New York 10028-0198 USA, tel: Information: 212-535-7710

Museum Hours:

Monday: Closed (Except Holiday Mondays), Tuesday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

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