Located in New York City, and colloquially known as 'the Met', the museum was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. It is the largest art museum in the United States and, with over 7 million visitors in 2016, was the second most visited art museum in the world, and the fifth most visited museum of any kind.
The permanent collection contains over two million works which is divided among seventeen curatorial departments. This consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, Indian, and Islamic art. It is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, as well as antique weapons and armor from around the world. There are also several notable interiors installed in the galleries, ranging from first-century Rome through to modern American design.