Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Danny Danziger

A unique oral portrait of the Met, drawing on interviews with everyone from the director to the security guards

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the greatest museums in the world. It is an enormous place that takes up five city blocks and has more than two million square feet of space, filled with treasures everywhere the eye can see. There are exquisite vases, jewelry, tapestry, baseball cards, Egyptian mummies, sculptures, and furniture, and many of the most famous and recognized paintings in the world, from Van Gogh to Rembrandt, Monet, and El Greco.

But this famous institution, which attracts four million visitors a year, is not just about objects. This is a place that is supported and maintained by people, which is what this wonderful book celebrates. In the fifty-two interviews in Museum, we meet some of the people who have given their lives to making the Met the success that it is. We are introduced to curators with endless knowledge who look after the collections; as well as cleaners; florists; police and security staff who maintain and secure the building; plus the philanthropists and millionaires who donate their money for new and wonderful art works, including well-known people like Henry Kravis and Annette de la Renta.

Danziger has a rare touch for getting just the right detail, and these interviews are informative, moving, and compulsively readable. Oral history at its best, Museum will appeal not only to the millions who visit the Met every year, but also to anyone with an interest in museums and art.

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