A Google Doodle celebrating the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 151st anniversary (courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Tomorrow, April 13, marks the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 151st anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Google created a special “Doodle” for its US homepage, highlighting artworks from the New York institution’s vast collection.

The doodle was originally planned for the Met’s 150th-anniversary celebrations last year, which were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The animated digital artwork was created by artist Erich Nagler, lead art director of Google Doodles. 

The GIF features rotating samples from the Met’s permanent collection, including a sculpture from 2nd-century BCE China; a 13th-century terracotta sculpture from the Inland Niger Delta region of present-day Mali; “The Unicorn Rests in a Garden” (1495–1505) from the Unicorn Tapestries; an ornate Italian guitar from around 1800; and Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr.’s “Self-Portrait” (ca. 1941). A rendering of the Met’s Fifth Avenue building is shown underneath the works of art, with lines indicating where each object is located within its galleries.

A 1745 Japanese mask by Myōchin Muneakira from the Met’s collection is featured in the museum’s 151st anniversary Google Doodle (courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

“I actually began working on this Doodle last year, to celebrate the Met’s 150th anniversary, but had to postpone due to the pandemic,” Nagler said in a Q&A on Google’s website. “I haven’t yet been able to visit the museum since then, so my goal for the Doodle was to try and recreate the feeling of visiting the museum from numerous past visits.”

The Met is home to a collection of over 1.5 million objects from around the globe, spanning over 5,000 years of art history. Last year, the museum opened the exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020, to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Originally slated for the spring of 2020, the exhibition’s opening was delayed until August 29, after the state of New York allowed museums to reopen.

Launching at midnight on Tuesday, the doodle will be viewable for 24 hours. More information about the artworks featured in the doodle is available on a dedicated page on the Met’s website.

Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a Senior Editor at Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...