The Metropolitan Museum of Art — popularly known as simply the Met — is the largest art museum in the US, with more than 2 million artifacts that date back 5,000 years. On Tuesday, it’s marking its 151st anniversary and Google is joining in the party with an animated Doodle featuring 18 pieces of art from the museum’s vast collection.
The museum’s origins stretch back to 1866 and across the Atlantic Ocean, when a group of Americans in Paris decided to create a “national institution and gallery of art” that would make art and art education available to people in America. Four years later, on April 13, 1870, The Met was incorporated.
The museum’s first location was in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Ave. The museum relocated in 1880 to its current site about a mile up the street on the eastern edge of New York’s Central Park.
The museum’s 2 million square feet houses 17 separate departments, including ancient art from around the world; musical instruments; costumes; and antique weapons and armor, among other items.
According to the Met, Google has created a carousel of objects from the museum’s collection, including a sculpture of a dancer from second-century B.C. China; a 13th-century terracotta sculpture of a seated figure from the Inland Niger Delta region of present-day Mali; The Unicorn Rests in a Garden (1495–1505), from the Unicorn Tapestries; a portrait of the comtesse de la Châtre by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, from 1789; a highly decorated Italian guitar from around 1800; an elaborately beaded Lakota/Teton Sioux dress made around 1870; and Samuel Joseph Brown Jr.’s Self-Portrait from around 1941.
Under the carousel is a rendering of The Met’s Fifth Avenue building, with lines show where each object can be found within the galleries.
Learn more about each object in the carousel by visiting the museum’s web site.
Google’s home page also links to an anniversary exhibit on its Google Arts & Culture called Making the Met.