The Metropolitan Museum of Art traces its roots to Paris in 1866. Despite being incorporated on April 13, 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired its first object on November 20 of the same year. The object was a Roman sarcophagus. It was officially open to the public in on March 30, 1880.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection continued to enlarge across the rest of the 19th century. This Museum's Beaux, Arts Fifth Avenue facade as well as its Great Hall were designed by Richard Morris Hunt- Museum Trustee. At the times of its opening, the Museum had already taken pride in being a neoclassical palace of art. Over the years, it has grown to become one of the finest Museums in the world. Today, it stands as the only public building that displays the dignity and grandeur of the old world’s museums.
At the end of the 20th century, it was ranked amongst the world’s greatest arts collection centers. The museum’s unofficial mascot, that is, the ancient Egyptian hippopotamus statuette named, William joined the museum’s collection in 1917. As already mentioned, currently its collection stands at close to two million art works, tens of thousands of which are displayed in the museum’s 2.4-million-square-foot building.
In January, 2009, Thomas Campbell was appointed as the 9th director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was after working at Philippe de Montebello for over 30 years. Today, the museum continues to raise international spotlight through fellowships and professional exchanges as well as its continuous excavation works, traveling exhibitions, and other international initiatives. Thanks to these efforts, the museum serves broad audiences across different cultures.
Although there are multiple other big museums in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is extremely gigantic. From the Fifth Avenue’s sidewalk, the Met, with accompanying tall columns and windows, lots of stairways as well as water fountains, it looks almost like an emperor's palace. The artwork’s diversity being displayed is much more impressive, its collection bring together pieces from all parts of the globe ranging from Stone Age to beyond the 20th century. Outstanding pieces are found in the Egyptian Art gallery which includes an entire temple shipped to America as a gift. It is truly a great place to be.