Visiting Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion?

You must join the virtual exhibition queue when you arrive. If capacity has been reached for the day, the queue will close early.

Learn more
Exhibitions/ Making The Met, 1870–2020

Making The Met, 1870–2020

At The Met Fifth Avenue
August 29, 2020–January 3, 2021

Exhibition Catalogue

Richly illustrated with more than 200 artworks and archival images, this insightful book details the key people and events that formed The Met.

Buy Now

Exhibition Overview

A timed-entry exhibition ticket is required for entry to Making The Met  and capacity is limited. For more information, please see our FAQ page.

The signature exhibition of The Met's 150th-anniversary year takes visitors on an immersive, thought-provoking journey through the history of one of the world's preeminent cultural institutions. Making The Met, 1870–2020 features more than 250 superlative works of art of nearly every type, from visitor favorites to fragile treasures that can only be displayed from time to time. Organized around transformational moments in the evolution of the Museum's collection, buildings, and ambitions, the exhibition reveals the visionary figures and cultural forces that propelled The Met in new directions since its founding. Rarely seen archival photographs, engaging digital features, and stories of both behind-the-scenes work and the Museum's community outreach enhance this unique experience.

To access the booklet of all in-gallery labels, click here.

Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide


Entry to Making The Met: 1870-2020 is by exhibition ticket only and capacity is limited.

  • If you are buying your General Admission tickets online, you can select a time slot when you buy tickets here.
  • If you are not buying tickets online, same-day time slots are available to reserve in person at the Museum.
  • Members can reserve timed exhibition tickets in person at the Member desk on the ground floor or in the Great Hall.

Please note, due to health and safety guidelines, exhibition tickets are limited to comply with capacity restraints.
There is no additional charge for exhibition tickets.

"Making the Met is all about the ambitions and blind spots of an institution—and the changing schemes of meaning, value and interpretation that form an invisible frame around all the world’s beauty." — The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)

"By arranging some two hundred and fifty art works and artifacts roughly in the order of their acquisition, the show’s organizers, Andrea Bayer and Laura D. Corey (working with a large, cross-departmental team), have achieved an exquisite grab-bag effect, full of unexpected juxtapositions across epochs and continents." — The New Yorker

" cannot but be overwhelmed by the past and continuing achievements of this great institution, which we are so happy to welcome back into our lives." — The Burlington Magazine

"After months of being closed to visitors, the museum will reopen with ‘Making the Met,’ exploring 10 historical moments that changed its DNA." —Wall Street Journal

"'This has made us reflect on who we are': The Met celebrates its anniversary with a sweeping exhibition surveying 150 years of its history.”" —Artnet News

"This important exhibition dramatises both the continuities of great art and the disruptions essential to presenting and understanding it."—Financial Times

The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.

Lead corporate sponsorship is provided by Bank of America.

The catalogue is made possible by the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, and the Doris Duke Fund for Publications.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

Tour the Exhibition

View credits

Read More on the Blogs

A still from a film depicting four women seated in a circle

In this blog series, learn how The Met reckoned with previous moments of crisis, such as World War I, the 1918 flu pandemic, and the Great Depression.


Composite image: at left, graphic text reads: Get introduced to the exhibition and reflect with us on what makes a museum and the power of art in our lives. Explore the Primer.

Audio Guide

Many remarkable people have shaped The Met over 150 years. Hear from a dynamic cast of artists, curators, donors, and other key figures in this tour narrated by Steve Martin.
Click here to enjoy the Audio Guide.

Conservation Stories

Archival image of art conservators working on Egyptian statues Enjoy behind-the-scenes stories about nine iconic artworks in the exhibition and learn about the history of conservation at the Museum.

An Edifice for Art: The Architecture of the Met

Watch a video illustrating the Museum’s evolution from a site in Central Park to a New York City landmark.

Behind the Scenes: The Working Side of the Museum (1928)

Take a glimpse into the hidden workings of the Museum nearly a century ago.


Young 20th- and 21st-century viewers gaze at Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, by Emanuel Leutze. Left: Archival photo from The Met archives. Right: Photo by Roderick Aichinger. Composite image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York