The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses one of the most significant and comprehensive art collections in the world, spanning more than 5000 years of art history and containing more than 2.5 million objects. As with the Louvre in Paris, this massive museum of art can prove daunting to the first time visitor. With this in mind we’ve designed this “crash course” Met tour that is led by an art historian and provides a thorough overview of the museum’s most important collections.
Introduction to the Met Museum
Beginning in the Museum’s Great Hall, we’ll start with a brief introduction to the museum, which first opened its doors in 1872, and discuss why it strategically borders the east side of Central Park in the very exclusive neighborhood of the Upper East Side. Since our docent is an art historian with extensive experience with the Met, he or she may share some inside stories about curating shows here, or research in the galleries before diving into the collections.
Our first stop will be in the Egyptian galleries where we’ll see the Museum’s world-famous collection of artifacts, including statuary, tomb decoration, and jewelry, which our docent will use to paint a portrait of Egyptian dynasties. We’ll also visit the iconic Temple of Dendur, a Roman structure rescued from Aswan during dam construction, before moving on to the Chinese and Japanese galleries, where we’ll see the Chinese Garden Court, a replica of a Ming dynasty scholar’s courtyard.
As we move through the galleries with our docent we’ll let the conversation glide from history to curating to the role of art in politics, work, and love. The tour is intentionally designed as a seminar-like experience so that participants can ask lots of questions and follow their interests.
Eventually we’ll shift gears and move into Western art of the modern era, periods well represented by the Met. Our art adventure will bring us face to face with masterworks by such artists as El Greco, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Degas, Matisse, Sargent and Picasso among others. It’s an eclectic mix, to be sure. Dizzying, in fact. However, our docent will expertly weave a narrative skein from gallery to gallery, tying works together around themes and ideas, and creating a magical intellectual experience.
Our docent will also curate our time together by selecting a mixture of famous and lesser-known works and crafting a narrative around our interests and questions. Our visit may also include a stop to the Islamic, Ancient Near East or Greek and Roman galleries, or the light- and sculpture-filled atrium of the American Wing, depending on time and interest.
As part of this tour we will provide pre-purchased entry tickets to the Met Museum, which allow you to skip the long entry lines to the museum. These will be added to your cart when you check out. Your docent will have these with him/her on the day of the walk. All ticket sales are final and cannot be refunded.
Interested in specializing your visit? We can also arrange private visits with a precise focus. Let us know what your specific interests are when you book, and we'll work with you to design an experience tailored to your interests.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The walk starts and ends at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and 24 hour phone number for any last minute issues.
Will you pre-purchase tickets?
We pre-purchase tickets to the museum. Your docent will have them on hand.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but this tour takes place almost entirely indoors.
Is this tour good for kids and teens?
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly docents who can appeal to the learning styles of children. We also have a separate Met tour for kids
called Stories in Art designed for families with children 12 and under. When booking, please provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible docent.
Is this walk mobility friendly?
Overall, the museum is mobility friendly. There are wheelchair-accessible entrances, elevators, and wheelchairs that are freely available to use. If you require a wheelchair, please mention this in the notes section when placing your order.