Does it live up to the hype?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met for short) was built in New York City in 1870 with the goal of bringing different cultures and art to the city. The museum website claims that the Met represents “over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy.” According to Fodor’s Travel, the museum is the city’s top attraction, and one of the world’s best art museums. Frommer’s, a travel guide book company, claims that the museum is comparable to the world-famous Louvre in Paris, France and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Over the break, one of our Ontarion staff members — who has been to both the Louvre and the Uffizi — visited the Met with a friend to see what all the hype was about.
How did you feel going into the museum?
Leslie Thompson: I wasn’t overly expectant. After being to the Louvre, it felt like nothing could really compare. Plus, it felt a bit over-hyped — when I think of the Met, I think of Jessica Chastain in a fancy dress on a red carpet at the Met Ball, and maybe some paintings.
Anastasia Fridman: I’d heard about the museum and about the Met Ball, but I didn’t really know what was inside. Also, I felt overwhelmed because there are so many things to do in NYC, and this was just one stop of many for that day. Because of this, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it fully — which I didn’t. The Met needs more than just an hour and a half.
What were you expecting?
LT: Lots of paintings and pictures — which are always some of my least favourite museum pieces, especially when there are thousands of them in one place. It’s overwhelming!
AF: I expected paintings, artifacts, and statues. It didn’t disappoint.
What were your first thoughts upon entering the museum?
LT: The building itself was beautiful. What a great location near Central Park! When I walked in, the museum was really modern, sleek, and downright fancy.
AF: The building really was beautiful. I felt like I was going into a palace.
What surprised you?
LT: There were actual things! Ancient tools, water basins, sarcophagi, sculptures, costumes, huge displays — not just paintings.
AF: So much history in one place. I wish I could have read every description.
What was your favourite part?
LT: The Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, for sure. Oh, and the section they had on 18th-19th century European interiors. There were literal recreated rooms!
AF: The replicas of hotel rooms and such.
Was there anything you didn’t like?
LT: Honestly, no. Just the fact that we didn’t have more time.
AF: Just the fact that we had to rush through it, and maybe the fact that I was told not to take videos.
What are your final thoughts on the museum? Did your opinions change?
LT: I loved it, and will begrudgingly admit that yes, my opinion did change. Don’t tell anyone — I think I liked it more than the Louvre.
AF: I really liked it. Going into it I didn’t really have an opinion about it, but it was pretty awesome, as far as museums go!
Photo by Leslie Thompson/The Ontarion