Opening of The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City opened on February 20, 1872. It is the largest art museum in the United States, with 7.06 million visitors to its three locations in 2016. It is the third most visited art museum in the world and the fifth most visited museum of any kind.

The number of visitors has halved during the last two years due to Covid-related restrictions. There has also been a drastic reduction in international visitors, which hits The Met particularly hard since they pay the full $25 entrance fee while New Yorkers, in accordance with The Met’s Charter, pay what they wish.

Read the Observer article for more information.

In April, 1870, the New York State Legislature granted an Act of Incorporation

“for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said City a Museum and Library of Art, of encouraging and developing the Study of the Fine Arts, and the application of Art to manufacture and natural life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to that end of furnishing popular instruction and recreations”.

This legislation was supplemented later by the 1893 Act, Chapter 476, which required that its collections

“shall be kept open and accessible to the public free of all charge throughout the year.”


Opening reception in the picture gallery at 681 Fifth Avenue, February 20, 1872;
wood-engraving published in Frank Leslie’s Weekly, March 9, 1872

Disclaimer: The information on this website is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. I make no guarantee as to its accuracy. Its purpose is to inform, educate, amuse, and raise awareness about causes and opportunities around the globe. I also encourage civil debate in the comments.

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