What to see in the Met

Wondering what to see in the Met? Read on…

From ancient classics to modern creations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses more than two million incredible works of art, making it one of the world’s top cultural institutions. With so many masterpieces to cast your eyes upon, it can be a little tricky knowing where to begin in your short visit. We’d recommend sussing out pieces that are iconic of the different artistic movements and eras represented at the museum and going from there. There are countless famous works of art but here are our top choices of what to see in the Met.

What to see in the Met

What to see in the Met – The Temple of Dendur (ca 15 BC)

Delve into the Egyptian Galleries and discover the captivating sphinxes, sarcophagi and tombs on display. The impressive Temple of Dendur is the real attraction, dating from the time of Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. Majestic from afar, beautifully intricate and ornate up close, this is one work of art that needs to be seen to be believed.

Medieval Sculpture Hall (ca 1300 – 1500)

It’s difficult to decide what to see in the Met, but the this is one of our top tips. Relive history in the Medieval Sculpture Hall, where you can view highly decorative stained glass windows, sculptures, furniture and altarpieces. The influence of the Church is apparent throughout these works. One of our favorites is the red-hued The Lamentation tapestry, which depicts a scene with Jesus on his deathbed.

Tours of the Met

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher (ca 1662)

The man who brought you the world-famous Girl with a Pearl Earring was also behind this oil on canvas masterpiece. Depicting a woman in her home, this blue-hued painting beautifully demonstrates a balance between realistic observation and arbitrary design.

Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851)

In terms of what to see in the Met – this is not to be missed, for a couple of reasons! One of the most famous American paintings of all time, Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware is sure to capture your attention. The scale of Leutze’s work is massive – it’s over 20 feet long and 14 feet high! There are numerous imitations floating about, but it’s definitely worthwhile seeing the real deal in the flesh.

Gertrude Stein (1905)

Pablo Picasso’s portrait of famous writer Gertrude Stein was created just before his invention of Cubism, characterised by angular distortions and formal experimentation. The odd rendering of Stein’s features alludes to the influence of “primitive” African and Iberian art on the artist. Stein herself was very impressed with the portrait, as will you be!

The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer (1922)

If Impressionist art is your thing, then you need to check out Edgar Degas’ works in Galleries 814-817 –The Dance Class and Dancers Practicing at the Barre to name but two. As well as his colourful, delicate paintings, Degas’ bronze sculpture The Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer is a standout. The sculpture was made using a mixture of materials, including cotton for the ballet skirt and satin for the hair ribbon.

Deciding what to see in the Met is no easy task! You could spend weeks wandering around the wonderful Met Museum, taking in the breath-taking works and learning more about the talented men and women behind them. The above masterpieces will give you a small idea of the scope of works on display in the awe-inspiring galleries.

Fancy getting up close and personal with these fantastic works of art and more? Book your place on the Walks of New York Met Museum tour to enjoy the museum’s highlights and find out everything you need to know about their artists and creators.

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About the author

Originally from Rhode Island, Grace has spent the last 25 years living in the Big Apple. With her knowledge of the best local eateries, attractions and shopping destinations across the city's five boroughs, Grace is the go-to gal for all things NYC. Whether you're a local in need of a fresh perspective or you’re new to the city, Grace loves sharing her extensive knowledge of the city.

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