Central Park’s masterpiece

Like your art big? It doesn’t come much more impressive than The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It’s the largest art museum in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world.

The history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Picture the scene: Paris, 1866. A prominent lawyer and diplomat, John Jay, suggests to some American businessmen that America needs a national museum like those in Europe. Suitably inspired, they started a process that resulted in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After opening in 1870 on Fifth Avenue, it soon moved to 14th Street, and then to the east side of Central Park where it still stands today.

Worth a second visit – or more

With 2 million works of art spanning 5,000 years, you could spend a whole week in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and still not see it all. Fortunately, getting there is rather less time-consuming. Simply hop on our New York Bus Tour and our friendly guides will entertain you on the journey there.

Other interesting facts about the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • The original museum housed just a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 European paintings
  • The oldest object on display is an Iranian storage jar dating back to around 3800 BC
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a residential floral artist – his bouquets can reach up to 20 feet (6 meters) high
  • The museum is home to the world’s oldest surviving piano
  • In 2013, a record 6.3 million people visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art