The Metropolitan Museum of Art's galleries for its world-renowned collection of European Old Master paintings from the thirteenth through the early nineteenth century have reopened after an extensive renovation and reinstallation. This is the first major renovation of the galleries since 1951 and the first major reinstallation of the collection since 1972.
The Museum's collection of American art, one of the finest and most comprehensive in the world, returned to view in expanded, reconceived, and dramatic new galleries on January 16, 2012. The new installation provides visitors with a rich and captivating experience of the history of American art from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century. The suite of elegant new galleries encompasses 30,000 square feet for the display of the Museum's superb collection.
On November 1, 2011, more than one thousand works from the preeminent collection of the Museum's Department of Islamic Art—one of the most comprehensive gatherings of this material in the world—returned to view in a completely renovated, expanded, and reinstalled suite of fifteen galleries. The organization of the galleries by geographical area emphasizes the rich diversity of the Islamic world, over a span of thirteen hundred years, by underscoring the many distinct cultures within its fold.
In 2007, the Museum opened new permanent galleries for Oceanic art, completely redesigned and reinstalled, which display a substantially larger portion of the Museum's Oceanic holdings than was previously on view.
After three years of renovation, the gallery dedicated to the display of Native American art reopened in 2007, featuring ninety objects that illustrate the distinct cultural, stylistic, and functional aspects of the art created by North American peoples of various regions and time periods.
The 2007 opening of the Hellenistic, Etruscan, and Roman galleries—an entire wing housing over 5,300 objects in more than 30,000 square feet—completed the reconstruction and reinstallation of the permanent galleries of Greek and Roman art.
In 2008, portions of the medieval art galleries were renovated, thanks to the generous support of Mary and Michael Jaharis.
In 2009, the Late Gothic Hall at The Cloisters reopened following an extensive renovation.
In 2007, the thirteen Wrightsman Galleries for French decorative arts underwent extensive renovations to improve the presentation of the Museum's renowned collection of French furniture and related decorative arts pieces—many of which have a royal provenance.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing—including The Charles Engelhard Court and the American period rooms—reopened on May 19, 2009. After more than two years of construction and renovation, the unparalleled collections of American furniture, sculpture, stained glass, architectural elements, ceramics, glass, silver, pewter, and jewelry returned to public view, as did twelve of the Met's historic period rooms.
After an eight-month hiatus, the gallery devoted to Western musical instruments reopened in March 2010. It now showcases more than two hundred works of art drawn primarily from the Metropolitan's extensive holdings, among the most important in the world.