The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated a birthday this week. Sunday, April 13, marked the 144th anniversary of the Met's incorporation by the New York state legislature, which makes this week as good a time as any to revisit the museum's mission as outlined in the legislation that created it.
WestportWiki via Wikimedia Commons The Great Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met, according to its founding charter, would be responsible for "encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of the arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, furnishing popular instruction and recreation." The New York state legislature envisioned it as a museum for the people -- not just for members of the middle and upper classes with, say, $25 to burn on a rainy day.More »