ABOUT MetCollects

When it was founded in 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art did not own a single work of art. Now, we are one of the greatest art collections in the world, with objects spanning more than 5,000 years of history from every corner of the globe. Over 85 percent of our collection was given by gift. Some of these contributions are well known: from legendary figures like Morgan, Altman, Annenberg, Havemeyer, Wrightsman, and, just recently, Leonard Lauder—extraordinary people who wanted to share the art they love with the public. Many other works of art came to the Museum individually, often filling a critical gap or strengthening already robust holdings. Collectively, this generosity built the magnificent Met that we know today.

In addition, the Met’s curators constantly seek out works of art to propose for acquisition. The process of having these purchases approved is a rigorous and scholarly one, with strong involvement from the Director, a special committee of the Trustees, and from donors whose support is crucial to this activity.

Why does a museum as large as the Met need to expand its collection? The answer is simple: works of art are the very heart of what we do—the stories that we tell, and a collection that grows is one that evolves—intellectually, geographically, culturally. It can take just one object to give us a new perspective on another, or ask questions of us that we never before considered, or change the way a single visitor sees the world. That is our mission, and the reason why the Met remains such a vibrant and relevant institution.

Thomas P. Campbell
Director and CEO
March 2014


Executive Producer Thomas P. Campbell
Series Director Christopher Noey
Series Producer Teresa Lai

Web Producer Austin Fisher
Design Natasha Mileshina
Development Andrew Carpenter
Photo Editor Jackie Neale
Imaging Jackie Neale, Kathryn Hurni
Copy Editor Philomena Mariani
Rights and Permissions Julie Zeftel
Additional Production Amy Liebster

Video Producer Sarah Cowan
Video Editors Sarah Cowan, Kate Farrell, Dia Felix, Stephanie Wuertz
Animator Stephanie Wuertz
Original Music Austin Fisher

Art Photography Joseph Coscia, Jr., Katherine Dahab, Anna-Marie Kellen, Paul Lachenauer, Oi-Cheong Lee, Mark Morosse, Bruce J. Schwarz, Hyla Skopitz, Eugenia Tinsley, Eileen Travell, Juan Trujillo, Karin L. Willis, Peter Zeray

Additional Imaging Scott Geffert, Chris Heins, Heather Johnson, Thomas B. Ling, Wilson Santiago
Transcription Denise Rohlfs
Rights and Permissions Eileen Sullivan, Jeri Wagner, Julie Zeftel

Special Thanks Stijn Alsteens, Ian Alteveer, Dita Amory, Joan Aruz, Carrie Rebora Barratt, Peter Bell, Monika Bincsik, Yaëlle Biro, Barbara Boehm, Andrew Bolton, Einar Brendalen, Barbara Bridgers, John Byck, Sheila Canby, John T. Carpenter, Keith Christiansen, Michael Cirigliano, Alison Clark, Anita Contini, Sharon Cott, Christine Coulson, Annick Desroches, Annie Dolmatch, David Driskell, Robert A. Ellison Jr., Helen Evans, Bill Gagen, Michael Gallagher, George Goldner, Randall Griffey, John Guy, Navina Haidar, Marva Harvey, Maxwell K. Hearn, Morrison Heckscher, Marsha Hill, Melanie Holcomb, Cynthia Iavarone, Ronda Kasl, Colin Kennedy, William Kentridge, Harold Koda, Elizabeth Kornhauser, Alisa LaGamma, Leonard A. Lauder, Christopher Lightfoot, Dorothy Mahon, C. Griffith Mann, J. Kenneth Moore, Rodney Moore, Jeff Munger, Taylor Newby, Matthew Noiseux, Nadine Orenstein, Amy O'Reilly Rizzi, Kevin Park, Diana Craig Patch, Carlos A. Picón, Beatrice Pinto, Rebecca Rabinow, Lucy V. Redoglia, Meredith Reiss, David Rhoads, Jeff L. Rosenheim, Cynthia Round, Jennifer Russell, Malia Simonds, Sree Sreenivasan, Juan Stacey, Neal Stimler, Denny Stone, Jeffrey W. Strickland, Elizabeth Sullivan, Luke Syson, Pierre Terjanian, Elyse Topalian, Jordan S. Tuch, Sheena Wagstaff, Anna Wall, Jill Wickenheisser, Eileen M. Willis, Sam Winks, Stephan Wolohojian, Hwai-Ling Yeh-Lewis, Sylvia Yount
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