The Museum’s roots date back to 1866 in Paris, France, when a group of Americans agreed to create a national art institution to educate the American people. Led by John Jay, the Union League Club rallied civic leaders, businessmen, artists, collectors, and philanthropists to the cause, culminating in the opening of the Museum on April 13, 1870, at the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue. On November 20th of that year, the Museum acquired its first art object, an ancient Roman sarcophagus. In 1880, the Museum opened to the public at its current site at 1000 Fifth Avenue.
By the turn of the twentieth century, the Museum was already regarded as one of the finest art institutions in the world. In 1938, The Cloisters opened to the public, as our center devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. On March 18, 2016, our Met Breuer location will open to the public as well, focusing on the study and exhibition of modern and contemporary art.
We’ve grown a lot since 1866.
Today, our Fifth Avenue location alone spans over 2.2 million square feet. The Met owns more than 1.5 million works of art from 5,000 years of culture across the globe, now to be housed throughout our three distinct locations. We seek to unify these locations, and the collections we house under one singular identity, so that we may reach a wider, more global community.
You may have been surprised by our new graphic identity, which showcases our colloquial name “The Met,” or “The Met Store,” inspired by those who love, visit, and support the Museum. A hybrid of classical and modern typefaces, the design seeks to bridge the gap between the expansive and historical collections we are celebrated for, while also acknowledging our continued mission to grow and learn as we educate, intrigue, and captivate our visitors, old and new.
The Met is for everyone. We hope that through our updated logo, refreshed website, and product offerings, you’ll be moved to visit and support us (as you may already do), while we also hope to spark conversation among those who may not have gotten to know us yet.
We invite you to be among the first to experience our new look and feel. Shop now here.