Tunde Folawiyo | A History of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

The famed New York City is home to a thriving art scene with many attractions that continue to inspire millions of enthusiasts around the globe. As one of the world’s most vibrant cities, the varied cultures of New York have forged a tremendous impact on its art scene, with dozens of museums to be found within the bustling metropolis. Tunde Folawiyo and countless other art enthusiasts with a passion for creative works of all genres may find New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to be amongst the most magnificent collections of art in the world.

Tunde FolawiyoThe Metropolitan Museum holds a rich history dating back as early as 1866. The idea of the museum originated in Paris, France when John Jay, a lawyer, proposed the idea. Along with a group of visiting Americans, Jay imagined a “national institution of art” to promote the arts and art education amongst the American people. Under Jay’s command, New York’s Union League Club rallied civic leaders, artists, businessmen, collectors and philanthropists alike to garner support for the project. Located at 681 Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was open to the New York public on April 13, 1870. During November of the same year, the museum received its first artifact, an ancient Roman sarcophagus. This would mark the beginning of a long-held history as one of the world’s greatest collections of fine art.

During 1910, the museum became the first institution to acquire a creative work by famed artist Henri Matisse. In 1917, a hippopotamus statuette from Ancient Egypt, later named “William”, was added to the collection, later becoming the museum’s unofficial mascot. Over 26,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts remain on display at the museum today. By the turn of the 1980s, the museum had acquired several paintings by famous artist Johannes Vermeer. Throughout the years, the MET has undergone various renovations and relocations before ultimately settling at its current Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street location. It remains one of New York City’s greatest attractions, heavily referenced in pop culture as housing some of the world’s most precious works of art.

From 2011-2012, the Metropolitan Museum saw over 6.2 visitors walk through its doors, demonstrating the tremendous cultural impact the building has forged upon the city and the art world as a whole. With its rich history and visually stunning collections, the museum will continue to serve the people of New York and citizens throughout the world including Tunde Folawiyo and countless others with an unwavering appreciation for art.

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