The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Trip 1

Man Sketching
Man sketching a statue in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, New York City, New York.
Over-the-shoulder of man sketching.
An over-the-shoulder picture of a man, his sketch, and his inspiration.

Last Saturday, my wife and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had been putting it off because we’d been busy with going out to different places every day and we were wearing ourselves out and sleeping in.  It’s Winter holiday from school, and she’s not working yet, so we’re trying to do a lot and take it easy at the same time.  I’m not sure how well that’s going to work out for us.

Anyway, Saturday seemed like a great opportunity to both catch up on sleep and still spend a good chunk of time at the museum, since it is open until 9 PM on both Friday and Saturday.  We got there around 2 PM, after having a good brunch with my mom over at IHOP.  The place was packed, as usual, but not as busy as the last time I was there.  From what I’m seeing over the last few days of touring my wife around, the city’s tourist spots are a lot emptier during the winter.  For people who don’t like competing with crowds, that might be something to keep in mind.  It generally doesn’t snow here until after Christmas.  It’s just cold.  If I didn’t live here, I could deal with the cold to avoid the crowds that are usually packing every place of interest in the city.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Map Floor 1
The areas we were able to visit (highlighted by red boxes) in 5 hours. The Met is massive! Click here for an interactive map on the Met’s home page.

Anyhow, the Met is just as awesome as I remember it!  We didn’t get the chance to see everything in the museum, because it’s just too huge a building and their collection is just too massive.  Not that that’s a bad thing!  I’m looking forward to going back again.  Where that can become problematic, though, is with the entry fee.  The entry fee last Spring, when I went to the museum for some class projects was 20 dollars for an adult and 10 dollars for a student.  Now it’s 25 dollars for an adult.  Shocking, right?  The good thing about the pricing is that they’re “recommended,” meaning the prices can’t be enforced.  If you can swallow your pride you can give them 10 bucks per person and walk in.  You could give them a quarter per person and still get the clip-on Met pin that guarantees your safe passage past the guards.  I gave 20 for myself and my wife, total.  I think it was fair, seeing as how we got there halfway through the day and would be making repeat trips throughout the year.

I have a feeling that high pricing is targeted at tourists who usually only go to the museum once on one day and then never see it again.  I certainly don’t think it’s meant for people like the gentleman in the photos above, who come into the museum to practice sketching.  I saw a lot of people doing that, young and old, and I think it’s awesome, because they’re in there, developing their talent in a productive way, instead of running the streets getting into trouble, or causing it.

Lucius Verus
Marble portrait bust of the co-emperor Lucius Verus, Roman, Antonine Period,
A.D. 161 – 169, on loan from the Louvre.

Like I said, we didn’t get to see everything.  The Met is really a two or three day affair and even then you could go back again and notice plenty that you missed.  We saw some of the Roman stuff, the Greek gallery, Oceanic gallery, Native American (South/Central/North) gallery, African gallery, and Egyptian gallery.  I’d spent quite a bit of time in the Greek gallery already and Egyptian art is covered in so many movies, documentaries and TV specials that I just couldn’t get into it, except for the Temple of Dendur.  That was really neat.  The part I liked best about it was the 19th century graffiti on its walls though:

Temple of Dendur 1

Temple of Dendur 2

Temple of Dendur 3

Temple of Dendur 4

Temple of Dendur 5

Temple of Dendur 6

The galleries I enjoyed most were the ones that seemed to be the least populated by visitors, the African and Native American galleries. I imagine its because I’ve been exposed those types of art the least, but there’s something powerful about the imagery as well.

African Art

African Art

African Art

African Art

African Art

African Art

Native American Art

Native American Art

Native American Art

Native American Art

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go back and see the rest of the Met, probably later this week, if we can squeeze it in.  I’m particularly interested in seeing the Medieval Art gallery and the Islamic Art gallery, which just opened recently.  Before leaving we quickly passed through the Met gift store and they’ve added Islamic art items to their selection.  It seems nice.

Click here for more photos (Google+ public photo gallery).

5 thoughts on “The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Trip 1

  1. Hi,Really great Posts! I've enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style, energy and photographs. I have a blog on travel theme. It contains hundreds of great stories from travelers who love to share their journey with the world. If you're interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.ThanksRachna


  2. It's been chaotic trying to get to the train! I love that people are in the spirit and enjoying themselves but I'm amazed by the lack of courtesy and common sense sometimes.Awww, I know. Christmas went by really quickly and already the year is just about done. No worries, the fun and games will be back before you know it, right? Spring break! Woo! Ha. Look at me…wishing 2012 to hurry it up. I have problems.


  3. We took some time to go up around there too, Rockefeller Center and all that. We're having a pretty good time, but the fun and games are about to end because my next class starts on the 3rd. =)


  4. It's less crowded because they're all crowding around in Midtown around the tree and making my life miserable.Hi both! I see your wife is here now and you guys are getting to go around town and do all the fun things together. That's awesome and I hope you guys continue to have a wonderful time exploring!


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