Making The Met, 1870–2020

Bayer, Andrea, with Laura D. Corey, eds.
288 pages
280 illustrations
View More Publication Info

Published to celebrate The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary, Making The Met, 1870–2020 examines the institution’s evolution from an idea—that art can inspire anyone who has access to it—to one of the most beloved global collections in the world. Focusing on key transformational moments, this richly illustrated book provides insight into the visionary figures and events that led The Met in new directions. Among the many topics explored are the impact of momentous acquisitions, the central importance of education and accessibility, the collaboration that resulted from international excavations, the Museum’s role in preserving cultural heritage, and its interaction with contemporary art and artists. Complementing this fascinating history are more than two hundred works that changed the very way we look at art, as well as rarely seen archival and behind-the-scenes images. In the final chapter, Met Director Max Hollein offers a meditation on evolving approaches to collecting art from around the world, strategies for reaching new and diverse audiences, and the role of museums today.

Met Art in Publication

Marble grave stele of a little girl, Marble, Parian, Greek
ca. 450–440 BCE
Richard Avedon
May 6, 1957
Head of Bhairava, Gilded copper, rock crystal, paint, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley
16th century
Mangaaka Power Figure (Nkisi N’Kondi), Kongo artist and nganga, Yombe group, Wood, iron, resin, ceramic, plant fiber, textile, pigment, Kongo
Kongo artist and nganga, Yombe group
Second half of the 19th century
The Age of Bronze (L'Age d'airain), Auguste Rodin  French, Bronze, French
Auguste Rodin
modeled 1876, cast ca. 1906
La Berceuse (Woman Rocking a Cradle; Augustine-Alix Pellicot Roulin, 1851–1930), Vincent van Gogh  Dutch, Oil on canvas
Vincent van Gogh
Kouros, Isamu Noguchi  American, Marble
Isamu Noguchi
Sunset on the Sea, John Frederick Kensett  American, Oil on canvas, American
John Frederick Kensett
Christmas-Time, The Blodgett Family, Eastman Johnson  American, Oil on canvas, American
Eastman Johnson
Saint Rosalie Interceding for the Plague-stricken of Palermo, Anthony van Dyck  Flemish, Oil on canvas
Anthony van Dyck
The Grand Canal above the Rialto, Francesco Guardi  Italian, Oil on canvas
Francesco Guardi
late 1760s
Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), Jean Antoine Houdon  French, Marble, French
Jean Antoine Houdon
Limestone head of a bearded man, Limestone, Cypriot
early 6th century BCE
Interior View of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when in Fourteenth Street, Frank Waller  American, Oil on canvas, American
Frank Waller
Ville-d'Avray, Camille Corot  French, Oil on canvas
Camille Corot
Young Lady in 1866, Edouard Manet  French, Oil on canvas
Edouard Manet
Eagle Relief, Andesite or dacite, paint, Toltec
10th–13th century
Vase with Poems Composed by the Qianlong Emperor, Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilding (Jingdezhen ware), China
late 18th century
Pillow in the shape of an infant boy

, Jade (jadeite), China
19th century
Turban Helmet, Steel, iron, silver, gold, Turkish, possibly Istanbul, in the style of Turkman armor
late 15th–16th century
Showing 20 of 227


View Citations

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), Andrea Bayer, Laura D. Corey, Yale University Press, and Brizzolis (Madrid, Spain), eds. 2020. Making the Met, 1870-2020. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.