You can visit the Met virtually any time of year and be guaranteed that there will be a brand new and exciting exhibition.
All objects in the permanent collections are owned and maintained by the museum. These collections are studied and exhibited by nineteen unique curatorial departments, which are responsible for organizing special exhibitions and expanding their holdings annually. Although curators are always nearby to help you with any questions, a little lesson on reading the captions might be helpful for first-time visitors.
The introduction gives you the basic information about the work of art. The title of the work will appear in boldface or italics, with the creator's name preceding or succeeding the title. Next comes the date or date range. Frequently, an exact date is unknown, so the curators provide an approximate date range. Some age designations to be aware of are B.C. (before Christ), B.C.E. (before the common era), A.D. (anno Domini or in the year of the Lord), and C.E. (of the common era). Abbreviations associated with the artist or creator include act. (active), b. (born), ca. (circa), d. (died) and r. (ruled). Many captions will include the country or culture of origin as well. Dimensional abbreviations include D. (depth), Diam. (Diameter), fol. (folio), H. (Height), L. (Length), r. (recto), v. (verso) and W. (Width).
Any works of art that are on loan will have the name and location of the lending institution. The credit line indicates how the Metropolitan Museum received the work and the accession number is the year of acquisition, followed by cataloging numbers and letters. Works of art are often designated as a bequest, gift, purchase or loan.
The Met Store is one of the finest museum shops in New York City, and it features a great number of reproductions, books and other merchandise related to the permanent collection and selected special exhibitions.
You'll also find an array of dining options at the Met, from casual to elegant, including the cafeteria with a la carte options, Petrie Court Café, Balcony Bar, Roof Garden Café, American Wing Café and Trie Café at The Cloisters.
If you are interested in an audio guide, pick one up at the distribution booths in the Great Hall, or download the Met Podcast to your iPod.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a wonderful place to experience art history with the whole family. Make it a point to visit the Met whenever you are in Manhattan.
Venue Visit on 2/03/2013 by Lainey