This week is the 151st Anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Google marked the occasion with a special Google Doodle showing a GIF with some of the artworks in the museum and where they are located.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens—businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day—who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. On this day in 1870, the museum was officially incorporated and soon after acquired its first work of art: a Roman sarcophagus.
The Met has come quite a long way from that first showing to become New York’s largest art museum, with a permanent collection of over 1.5 million objects, spanning over 5,000 years from nearly every corner of the globe. A sampling of the many works of art found at The Met today are depicted in today’s Doodle artwork—including a Byzantine floor mosaic from 500-550 A.D., the armor of German Emperor Ferdinand I from the 16th century, an intricate traditional Lakota/Teton Sioux beaded dress, and the painting "Self-Portrait" by Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr. from the 1940s.
Whether you're a Met regular or planning your first trip to the Museum, be sure to visit a certain blue ceramic hippopotamus from Egypt’s Middle Kingdom nicknamed “William.” An unofficial mascot of The Met, he might soon become your favorite part of the collection.
Happy anniversary to The Met–and here’s to many more!