The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States. With 6,479,548 visitors to its three locations in 2019, it was the fourth most visited art museum in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building at 1000 Fifth Avenue, along the Museum Mile on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan's Upper East Side, is by area one of the world's largest art galleries. A much smaller second location, The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, contains an extensive collection of art, architecture, and artifacts from medieval Europe. On March 18, 2016, the museum opened the Met Breuer museum along Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side; it extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program.
The permanent collection consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings, and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes, and accessories, as well as antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st-century Rome through modern American design, are installed in its galleries.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. The Fifth Avenue building opened on February 20, 1872, at 681 Fifth Avenue.