The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Established in 1870, the museum was originally located at 681 5th Avenue, which is now a dull ass office building. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, more commonly referred to as The Met, was instantly the darling of the cultural elite. It rapidly outgrew its space and was moved to a benefactor's mansion on 14th street. It again exceeded the space in 1880, when the current location was completed and the collections moved.
The museum grounds expanded through various building additions and land grants from Central Park, via an arrangement that they couldn't charge New York Citizens a fixed amount to visit. (That still holds to this day. Sorry tourists, you get to pay the full amount.) It's become the largest art museum in the USA. Being on 5th Avenue and the pet of most of the richest people in the country, its collections are truly unmatched anywhere in the world.
I took the subway to 77th Street and Lexington, and walked over towards the park. There is always a line to get in, but they have a huge coat and bag check process, so feel free to wear whatever the weather dictates. Wait, wait, wait, pay, then, finally (ok, go to the bathroom first) you can head into the museum proper.
What I love about classic art museums is they consider anything well made with care and detail potentially a work of art. The Met personifies this with its antiquities collections. Egypt, Rome, Greece, Abyssinia, Babylon, and it continues.
The Met has many spacious areas, filled with statues and other interesting and unique items.
And of course, paintings, but not just any paints, the holotypes of the masters from all periods, all genres.
A true class act, world leader. I have been to many art museums, and I find this one the best. Four stories and thousands of square feet of art from before history until now. This museum holds significant works from basically... everyone and everywhere. This is the best art museum in the world.
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