America’s Museum: Art and History of the Metropolitan

Explore the Metropolitan Museum with a Big Onion art historian!

Originally founded in 1870 with 174 paintings, the Metropolitan Museum has grown to more than 2 million square feet – the same size as the Empire State Building! This tour, led by Big Onion guides, all of whom are PhD candidates in Art History, will take you through the Museum in a new and unique way. While discussing a diverse selection of the magnificent works of art, we will also explore the history of America’s most popular museum. Our guides will explain the intricate world of museum design, collection and presentation, all while placing the institution in a context of New York’s cultural history. This tour could include: Perseus and Medusa, the Pompeii Cubiculum, some of New York’s most iconic civic sculptures, as well as the stories of Richard Morris Hunt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, JP Morgan, first Met President “General” Luigi Palma Di Cesnola, and the only Met Benefactor to be eaten by cannibals. Our tour is limited to 20 participants per guide. Reservations and pre-payment are required for this tour. Fee: $45 per adult; $39 for seniors (65+ years old); and $33 for full time students. Cost INCLUDES full Metropolitan Museum admission fee (Admission fee required for MET Members per museum rules). Please note: the Metropolitan Museum requires all backpacks and large bags to be checked.

Tour Info

This tour is limited to 20 participants per guide. Reservations Required
Cost: $45
$39 Seniors and Active Military, $33 Full-Time Students
Cost INCLUDES full Metropolitan Museum admission fee.

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Public Tour
Private Tour
Tour Schedule
Friday, February 231:00 pm
Sunday, March 1111:00 am
Saturday, April 2111:00 am
Monday, May 2111:00 am
Tour Reservations

Reservations and prepayment are required for the America’s Museum Tour. Tour price includes full Metropolitan Museum admission fee.

NOTE: You will select your date in the next step.

Reserve Your Spot
Refund Policy

Have a group or special event?

Consider a private tour!

We’ve done tours for school example, group example and corporate example. Whether you are looking to integrate a tour into your academic curriculm or entertaining out-of-towners, a Big Onion walking tour is a great way to experience the city.

Private tours can be arranged for a weekday, weekend, day or evening. We can accommodate up to 500 walkers. We work closely with you to create an enjoyable experience for your group.

Please call us at (212) 439-1090 ext 5 or email us for more information or to arrange.

Meeting Location

Location:
The southeast corner of Fifth Avenue & 82nd Street, in front of the Duke Semans Mansion (1009 Fifth Avenue). Please look for our guide holding a sign that reads “Big Onion Walking Tours”.

Finding Your Guides
All guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Big Onion Walking Tours”.

Subway Trains
6 train to 77th Street or 4/5/6 to 86th Street. The C train to 81st Street exits across Central Park from the Museum.

Questions? We have answers

Time & Distance
All tours last approximately two hours. We start on time and walk between one and two miles at a moderate walking pace, stopping at various sites along the tour.

Rain/Inclement Weather
Big Onion generally presents tours rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather please check our home page for notifications or call our hotline [(888) 606-WALK (9255) ext. 1], to confirm our schedule.

Guides
The finest group of tour guides in the city. Most of us are full-time graduate students researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history passionate about the history, architecture and people of New York.
More about our guides.

Tips
Gratuities are always appreciated, but never expected.

Helpful Links
Local weather forecast
NYC Subway Map
Weekly Service Advisories
Subway Fares

Refund Policy
Full refunds are available by request up until 72 hours prior to a walking tour. Between 72 and 24 hours prior to the scheduled tour we offer credit to be used on any future walk. Cancellations with less than 24 hours prior to the tour or no shows will not be refunded.

Walks are held rain or shine, but may be cancelled for severe weather or if museum is closed. No shows are considered last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. In the event of a Big Onion cancellation or museum closure, full refunds or rescheduled tickets will be offered.

More Questions? Check out How it Works for more details.

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