About the Collection
New York City museums are the city's go-to activity for rainy days and inclement weather. Unfortunately, the same autumn rains or winter sleet that brought you to the Met will keep you from enjoying one of the museum's iconic experiences. The Cantor Roof Garden is worth the sacrifice of a perfect sunny day. Each year the Met commissions a different artist to create a site-specific installation piece on the roof. The opening of the roof garden in April heralds the approach of summer in the city and a visit to evaluate each year's commission is an annual ritual for museum-going New Yorkers.
What You Will See
The exhibit varies year to year, but you can generally expect a bold new work by an established contemporary artist (the Modern and Contemporary Art department is responsible for curation). Take a look at past roof exhibits to get a sense of what you may see. Or simply check #CantorRoof on any social media platform to see hundreds of commentaries--it is consistently one of the most populate exhibits every summer. There is no consistent theme from year to year, but all the artists fulfill the unspoken expectation: spark a conversation.
Why You Should Go
Three things bring you to the roof: this year's installation piece, unparalleled views of Central Park and cocktails to lubricate the lively evaluation of both the view and the art. The work itself is generally taste-dependent with only a few years having resulted in a broad public consensus for or against, there is no debate on the quality of the vista. Above the tree line of Central Park you can see the entire oasis as well as views of some of New York's most iconic buildings. See the park blooming in spring and as an ocean of green in summer. But early fall, before the roof closes in late October, gives the best view of autumn in New York.