Posted on April 13, 2017
Have you ever read The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler?
That was a book I read, and loved, when I was still just a kid myself. The main character, Claudia Kincaid, wanted to run away - but she wanted to run TO a place that is beautiful and interesting. So she and her younger brother went to the Met, in New York City.
"The Met" is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it was founded on this date in 1870.
It's one of the most visited art museums in the world.
And it's THE largest art museum in the United States, with more than two million works!
Yep - more than 2,000,000 pieces of art - some of them...ahem!...rather large!
The building itself is quite the piece of art!
I've only been to the Met once, and I especially loved the most ancient and the most modern art.
I wasn't lucky enough to see Big Bambu - a temporary large-scale sculpture in the Met's Roof Garden - but my daughters were able to go and explore it!
Did you know...?
The Met includes works from ancient to modern times and from all over the world. In addition to exhibits on all the usual - paintings and drawings and prints and sculptures - the Met also has entire "interiors" and entire temples among its architecture exhibits, and it has extensive collections of armor, weapons, costumes, and musical instruments.
The Met has a suggested admission price - currently $25 for adults - but if a visitor cannot afford that, a smaller donation will still get her or him in. One must pay something, I gather, but even just a penny is acceptable! But visitors are asked to be as generous as they can.
We're lucky to have such a marvelous place to visit, so being as generous as we can sounds like a good plan to me!
A definite drain on the Met's holdings, reputation, and budget has been a series of accusations that it purchased ancient items from looters - or, in many cases, from someone at the end of a long line of shady transactions that originated with someone looting an ancient site, somewhere in the world, in order to sell items for big bucks. The Met lost several lawsuits and has "repatriated" antiquities - sending them back to the governments of Turkey, Italy, and Cambodia. I think most of the misdeeds were in the museum's past; it's both tough and necessary to give back what your predecessors had purchased from black market sources.
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