Located in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to as the "Met," is one of the most renowned art museums in the world. The museum's vast permanent collections include extensive works from nearly every time period and area of the world, including classical antiquity, modern art, African art, Asian art, Islamic art, and arms and armor. One of its most popular permanent exhibits is the Temple of Dendur, a sandstone ancient Egyptian temple from circa 15 B.C. that moved from its original location in Egypt in 1965 and installed in the museum in 1978.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of prominent American businessmen, financiers, artists and thinkers who felt there was a strong need for an art museum so the public could learn about, appreciate and enjoy art.
The museum is presently located at 1000 5th Avenue, on Central Park. It moved to this location in 1880. Its two prior locations were 681 Fifth Avenue (1872 to 1873), and Douglas Mansion, 128 West 14th Street (1873 to 1880).
The current building encompasses approximately 2 million square feet and has more than 90 restrooms.
The Museum also has a branch called The Cloisters in northern Manhattan, which focuses exclusively on Medieval art.
Over the past few years, average attendance at the main museum and The Cloisters has exceeded 4 million visitors per year. More than 60 percent of these visitors are from outside New York City. The most number of visitors to visit on a single day was 52,333, on December 30, 1986.
In a survey asking adult visitors why they come to the museum, the top three answers were for educational purposes, for inspiration and for relaxation.
The museum’s collections include over two million objects and works of art. The oldest objects in all of the collections are Archeulian flints from Egypt, dating to the Lower Paleolithic period (ca. 300,000–75,000 B.C.).
The Met utilizes about 15,000 light bulbs per year. In one 13-month period, the Museum used 2,100 gallons of floor cleaner, 1,125 gallons of carpet cleaner and 40 cases of gum remover.