NEW YORK -- On March 30, 1880, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors to the public for the first time. It was a Tuesday, perhaps foreshadowing a feature of the modern Met. For the past 42 years, the museum has been closed on most Mondays.
That changed this past Monday, when the Met opened its doors to a steady stream of visitors on a damp, muggy morning. The museum is now open every day.
The expanded schedule was long overdue, according to Harold Holzer, the museum's senior vice president for external affairs. "Every Monday morning, whatever the signage said -- and we tried putting it in red, like a red light -- tourists would congregate at the bottom of the stairs," Mr. Holzer said.
"Clearly, there was a yearning for more access to the Metropolitan Museum," Mr. Holzer said. The Met receives about 6.3 million visitors a year.
In May, the Modern Museum of Art also went to seven days a week -- opening on Tuesdays, the day it was traditionally closed.