Exploring the MET – The MET Museum Map, Galleries and More

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a vast treasure trove of art and history, spanning over 2 million square feet and showcasing art over the past 5,000 years. 

With such an extensive collection spread across various floors and galleries, navigating the MET can be daunting. 

The MET is divided into two main locations: the MET Fifth Avenue, also known as the Main Building, and the MET Cloisters. 

This article is your most comprehensive guide to exploring the MET as we break down the MET Museum map and the galleries for you. 

The MET Museum Map

(insert MET Fifth Avenue Map) 

Floor G

Upon entering the museum through either the 81st or 82nd Street entrances, visitors find themselves on the ground floor.

This floor houses the parking garage entrance and exit.

On this floor, you can also find the Eatery restaurant, the Antonio Ratti Textile Center and Reference Library and the MET store. 

To the left of the MET Store, you can find the Carson Family Hall, art study sections, the Carroll Classroom and the 81st Street Studio.

Floor 1

The first floor, accessible through the Great Hall at the 82nd Street entrance, presents a rich array of art sections.

The Greek and Roman Art section awaits to the left, while the Egyptian Art section lies to the right. 

Venturing straight ahead leads to the Michael C. 

Rockefeller Wing and the Modern and Contemporary Art section. 

Nearby, the Petrie Court Cafe guides visitors towards the Medieval Art section, with the American Wing and its 24 rooms depicting American life at different historical periods just further to the right. 

The Robert Lehman Wing, Thomas J. Watson Library, an exhibition gallery, and another MET Store are also located on this floor.

Floor 1M

Floor 1M continues the exploration of Modern and Contemporary Art, the American Wing, and Greek and Roman Art.

It offers a more in-depth look into the collections introduced on Floor 1.

Floor 2

Dedicated primarily to European paintings from 1250 to 1800, the second floor showcases approximately 2,500 works.

Here, you can see masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and artists from the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements. 

Additionally, this floor features art from Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and later South Asia, as well as 19th- and 20th-century European paintings and sculptures.

On the second floor, you can also visit a modern and contemporary art section, two exhibition galleries, the American Wing and the Musical Instruments section.

After a tour of those galleries, relax at Balcony Lounge or Balcony Cafe before you proceed to the Asian Art section.

Floor 3

The third floor focuses exclusively on the American Wing and the Asian Art section, providing a concentrated view of these areas.

Floors 4 and 5

The fourth floor houses a dining room and a patron’s lounge.

The fifth floor is home to the Iris B. Gerald Cantor Roof Bar and Garden, offering a splendid view and a place to relax.

Exploring the MET Cloisters

(insert MET Cloisters Map) 

Floors G and 1

At the MET Cloisters, the ground floor leads visitors from the Poister entrance straight to the lower lobby.

The Lower Lobby houses the treasury, glass gallery, and Gothic Chapel.

You can also find the Bonnefont and Trie Cloisters on the ground floor, with the Trie Cafe nestled inside the Trie Cloister. 

The first floor showcases the: 

  • Romanesque Hall
  • Langon Chapel
  • Early Gothic House
  • Late Gothic Hall
  • Boppard Room
  • Nine Heroes Tapestries Room
  • Cuxa Cloister
  • Unicorn Tapestries Room
  • MET Store.

MET Entrances

Visitors can enter the MET Fifth Avenue via the Fifth Avenue and 81st Street entrances or through the parking garage at Fifth Avenue and 80th Street. 

The MET Cloisters welcomes members through the Margaret Corbin Drive main entrance. 

Purchasing tickets in advance is advisable to avoid long queues and keep them handy throughout the visit.

The MET Gallery NYC

The MET Museum is divided into 18 galleries. 

Here is a brief about all the galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The Met Gallery of Asian Art

The Met Gallery of Asian Art plays a vital role at The Met as it represents the artistic achievements of six major cultural traditions that include at least 5,000 years of history.

This inclusion also encompasses half of the world’s population, over twenty modern nations, and regions from Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent.

The collection also encompasses Southeast Asian countries across the Himalayas, such as Korea, China, and Japan.

With over 35,000 objects, dating from the third millennium B.C. to the twenty-first century, the Met’s Collection is amongst the largest and most comprehensive worldwide.

With Asia emerging as an important entity on the world stage, it is crucial to understand its diverse cultures and rich history.

The Met Gallery of Egyptian Art 

The Met Art Gallery’s collection of Egyptian Art houses some 30,000 artistic, historical, and cultural objects dating from about 300,000 BCE to the 4th century CE.

Much of the collection is derived from the Museum’s three decades of archaeological work in Egypt. 

It was initiated in 1906 in response to the growing interest in ancient Egyptian culture.

The Met Gallery of Islamic Art

The Islamic Art gallery room at the Met’s collection dates from the seventh to the twenty-first century.

Over 15,000 objects in the Gallery reflect Islam’s cultural traditions’ great diversity and range.

With works from the westward Spain and Morocco to the eastward Central Asia and Indonesia, the collection Comprises both sacred and secular objects. 

The collection highlights the mutual influence of artistic practices like calligraphy.

The Gallery’s Collection also highlights the exchange of motifs such as vegetal ornaments, that is, the arabesque and geometric patterning of both realms.

The Met Gallery of Photographs

One of the best galleries at The Met, the Department of Photographs, was set up as an independent curatorial department in 1992. 

It houses a collection of over 75,000 works dating from photography’s history from its invention in the 1830s. 

Among the treasures from the medium’s early years is a rare photo album by William Henry Fox Talbot.

He made these just months after he presented his invention to the public- an extensive collection of portrait daguerreotypes by the Boston firm of Southworth and Hawes. 

The Met Gallery of Musical Instruments

The Met Art Gallery for Musical Instruments Gallery includes around 5000 examples from six continents and the Pacific Islands,  from about 300 B.C. to the present day.

The collection records and depicts the development of musical instruments from every culture and era. 

The instruments are selected based on their technical and social importance and tonal and visual appeal. 

The instruments can be conceived in several ways, like art objects, ethnographic records, and music history documents.

The American Wing at the Met

The Met is in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape diaspora community, and historically, it is a gathering and trading place for several diverse Native Peoples.

These people continue to live and work on this island.

Ever since the Museum’s establishment in 1870, this Met Art Gallery has acquired crucial examples of American art. 

A separate “American Wing,” displaying the domestic arts of the 17th to early 19th centuries, opened in 1924.

The painting and sculpture galleries and the skylit courtyard were added in 1980.

Today, the Gallery’s ever-evolving collection comprises close to 20,000 works of art by African American, Latin American, Euro-American, and Native American peoples. 

The holdings include painting, sculpture, art on paper, and decorative arts, including furniture, textiles, glass, silver, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, and basketry.

The holdings also include historical interiors and architectural fragments, ranging from colonial to early modern times. 

This Met Art Gallery has monumental sculptures, stained glass, and architectural elements in the Charles Engelhard Court.

Visitors can also find silver, gold, glass, and ceramics on the courtyard’s balconies.

Narratives of American domestic architecture and furnishings (1680-1915) are explored in 20 historical interiors or period rooms. 

Changing rotations of sculpture, paintings, works and art on paper and textiles are present throughout the Gallery.

The Met Gallery of Arms and Armor

Arms and armor have been integral to virtually every culture for thousands of years, pivotal in conquest and defense, court pageantry and ceremonial events. 

The primary goals of this Met Art Gallery are to collect, preserve, research, publish, and exhibit great examples showcasing the art of the field of arms and armor. 

The Costume Institute

One of the best galleries in the Met, it has over 33,000 objects representing seven centuries of fashionable dresses and accessories for people of all genders and ages.

These date from the 15th century to the present.

The Costume Institute was redesigned with the new space reopening in May 2014, after being under renovation for two years.

It later reopened as the Anna Wintour Costume Center with the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit. 

The complex also has the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery, the leading showcase space with a flexible design.

The leading showcase undergoes a frequent transformation with sound, videos and wireless technology, making it one of the most visited galleries in the Met.

The space also includes the Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery, which orients visitors to The Costume Institute’s exhibits. 

There is a state-of-the-art costume conservation laboratory behind the scenes.

The Met Gallery of Drawings and Prints

The Department of Drawing and Print’s vast collection of works on paper comprises around 21,000 drawings, 1.2 million prints, and 12,000 illustrated books. 

These were created in Europe and the Americas from approximately 1400 to the present times. 

The department was founded in 1916 and, since then, has been committed to collecting a wide range of works on paper. 

It is one of the must-visit galleries in the Met.

These include rare pieces lauded for aesthetic appeal and more popular, functional, and ephemeral materials. 

The vast scope of the department’s collection encourages questions relating to connoisseurship, function, and context. 

The collection also highlights the crucial role that prints, drawings, and illustrated books have played throughout history. 

European Paintings at The Met

The Met’s European Paintings collection has more than 2,500 works of art from the 13th through the early 20th century.

Apart from the department’s galleries, pictures hang in the Robert Lehman Collection and the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection.

Pictures also hang in other departmental galleries at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters.

The Gallery houses masterpieces by Jan van Eyck, Caravaggio, and Gustav Klimt, early Italian and Northern art, with 17th-century Dutch paintings by Frans Hals, etc.

The Museum’s El Greco and Goya holdings are the finest outside of Spain. 

Its galleries of 19th-century French paintings need more than the museums of Paris.

They present the art of Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, and Vincent van Gogh.

The collection originates from the Museum’s purchase of 174 paintings from European dealers in 1871. 

Since then, numerous donations, bequests, and curatorial purchases have greatly enriched the department’s holdings. 

The growing collection reflects the constantly evolving ideas about art history and offers the public and scholars fresh opportunities for discovery.

European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gallery at The Met 

There are 50,000 objects in the Museum’s European Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

These reflect the development of several art forms in Western European countries from the early 15th through the early 20th century.

The holdings include sculpture in several media and sizes, woodwork, furniture, ceramics, glass, jewelry, horological and mathematical instruments.

The Met Gallery for Greek and Roman Art

The Met Art Gallery NYC’s collection of Greek and Roman art consists of over 30,000 works dating from the Neolithic period to A.D. 312.

It includes the art of several cultures and is one of the most comprehensive in North America. 

The geographic representations included Greece and Italy.

For Roman art in this section of the Met Art Gallery NYC, the geographical limits coincide with the flourishing of the Roman Empire. 

The Gallery also exhibits the art of prehistoric Greece (Cycladic, Helladic, and Minoan) and pre-Roman art of Italic peoples, especially the Etruscans.

The Robert Lehman Collection at The Met

This Met Art gallery’s extraordinary quality and breadth of collection acquired over 60 years is an example of 20th-century American collecting.

From the 14th to the 20th centuries, the 2,600 works spanning 700 years of Western European art.

The collections include paintings, drawings, manuscript illumination, sculpture, glass, antique frames, maiolica, enamel textiles, and precious jeweled objects.

Philip and Carrie Lehman, Robert Lehman’s parents, founded the collection around 1905. 

This was when they began acquiring works of art for their recently completed townhouse on West 54th Street in NYC.

Upon Robert’s death in 1969, he bequeathed 2,600 works to The Met, stipulating that they be exhibited as a private collection.

A new wing to display the collection opened to the public in 1975. 

The Robert Lehman Gallery includes a central skylit gallery surrounded by many rooms aiming to recreate the Lehman family residence. 

Velvet wall coverings, draperies, furniture, and rugs evoke private interior ambiance and serve as the backdrop for this extraordinary collection.

Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Met

The Met Art Gallery Museum’s medieval and Byzantine art collection is among the most comprehensive in the world.

These are displayed in both The Met Fifth Avenue and the Met Cloisters.

The collection encompasses the art of the Mediterranean and Europe from Rome’s fall in the fourth century to the beginning of the Renaissance in the early 16th century. 

Visitors can also see pre-medieval European works of art created during the Bronze Age and Iron Age.

The Gallery for Modern and Contemporary Art

This Met Art Gallery has been devoted to studying, collecting, and exhibiting art since 1890.

Today, the Gallery’s holdings span various media, such as paintings, sculpture, works on paper, design, decorative arts, and time-based media. 

The Gallery presents rotating selections from its dynamic collections in its galleries and special projects throughout the museum.

The Wing has a robust acquisitions program and several other activities, including special exhibitions and site-specific commissions by contemporary artists.

African Art in The Michael C Rockefeller Wing

The Gallery room at the Met of African Art exhibits in The Michael C Rockefeller are vast and expansive, featuring works across the African subcontinent. 

The sights are aplenty, from fired clay figures shaped in present-day Nigeria as early as 500 B.C. to the fiber creation Bleu, No. 1 by contemporary innovator Abdoulaye Konate.  

Primary visual expression forms are the gorgeous traditions of portraiture and dynastic succession.

An inclination for generational rites of passage, ancestor veneration, healing and divination, and theatrical performance add mysticism.

Various authors have contributed to significant social and cultural developments. 

This includes the flourishing of urban centers such as ancient Jenne, evident in devotional sculpture sponsored by its citizenry.

Ancient American Art in The Michael C Rockefeller Wing

The Met’s art gallery sheds light on how influential people across the continents commissioned, created, and animated the artworks.

The artworks were vital funerary possessions that accompanied them both in life and death and ultimately into the afterlife. 

The Museum’s collection reflects the diversity of indigenous nations in the Americas and celebrates the associated visual cultures, origin stories, and people’s daily lives. 

Explore this Gallery for a journey through the time and space that leave you spellbound.

Oceanic Art in The Michael C Rockefeller Wing

The Met Art Gallery has over 2,800 artworks, encompassing the arts and cultures of the Pacific Islands, reflecting the region’s rich history of creative expression and innovation.

The collection includes art from Australia and Island Southeast Asia, whose indigenous peoples share a common ancestry with Pacific Islanders. 

The earliest examples of Oceanic art include Aboriginal Australians’ richly hued rock paintings, believed to be over 40,000 years old.

The vast majority of extant material culture dates from the eighteenth century to the present.

Highlights include monumental architecture from the diverse cultural groups of New Guinea and a range of ceremonial sculptures from the coastal archipelagoes.

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