Google Doodle: Metropolitan Museum of Art Celebrates 151 Years




Today, April 13, 1870 — 151 years ago — the New York State Legislature approved the incorporation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, formed by a collective of businessmen, thinkers, and artists who sought to make art and art education available to the American public.

I have really missed visiting museums during the pandemic, so working on this Doodle was for me like a virtual visit to the Met – Erich Nagler, Google Doodler

Shortly thereafter, the museum obtained its first piece, a Roman sarcophagus, but it wasn’t until two years later — February 20, 1872 — that the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the doors to its first Fifth Avenue location. The next year, the museum outgrew that location and moved to a mansion elsewhere in the city. Ultimately, in 1880, the Metropolitan Museum of Art moved to its current location, part of Fifth Avenue’s “Museum Mile.”

Today’s Google Doodle features an isometric illustration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, above which are six frames. In each appropriately colored frame, you’ll see one of a few works of art from the museum that resembles a letter of the word “Google,” changing to a different piece every few seconds. Below each frame, you’ll also find a line showing where in the museum that particular work can be found.

To learn more about each of the artworks featured in today’s Google Doodle, you can head over to the official website for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Meanwhile, the Google Doodle Blog has some interesting info about the artistic process behind the Doodle, including the fact that this Doodle was supposed to be shown a year ago, for the museum’s 150th anniversary, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

I have really missed visiting museums during the pandemic, so working on this Doodle was for me like a virtual visit to the Met. I hope that this animated Doodle gives people a little experience of touring the museum, and coming face-to-face with beautiful and captivating art objects from so many different cultures and eras.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.

Since its founding in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

The Met was founded on April 13, 1870, “to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction.” [1]

On January 13, 2015, the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art reaffirmed this statement of purpose and supplemented it with the following statement of mission:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.

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