The Metropolitan Museum of Art British Galleries

The reopening of the British Galleries is a highlight of The Met’s 150th-anniversary year.

Through nearly 700 works created between 1500 and 1900, the suite of 10 galleries offers a fresh perspective on Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit and complex history.

A highlight of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary in 2020 is the opening, on March 2, of the Museum’s newly installed Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries and Josephine Mercy Heathcote Gallery—11,000 square feet devoted to British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900. The reimagined suite of 10 galleries (including three superb 18th-century interiors) provides a fresh perspective on the period, focusing on its bold, entrepreneurial spirit and complex history. The new narrative offers a chronological exploration of the intense commercial drive among artists, manufacturers, and retailers that shaped British design over the course of 400 years. During this period, global trade and the growth of the British Empire fueled innovation, industry, and exploitation. Works on view illuminate the emergence of a new middle class—ready consumers for luxury goods—which inspired an age of exceptional creativity and invention during a time of harsh colonialism.


L'Observatoire International designed the lighting for the 16th to 19th century galleries and historic period rooms: Kirtlington, Croome Court and Lansdowne.

Location New York, NY, USA
Date Completed 2020
Interior Designer Roman and Williams
Client The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Type Museums + Cultural Institutions
Status Built

L'Observatoire Intl Team
Principal Hervé Descottes
Project Leaders Artemis Papadatou Jenny Ivansson
Project Team Ece Ozerdem Jessica Tchah Mint (Kamolnadda) Thumrongluck
Photo Credits “Installation view of The Met’s New British Galleries. Photo by Coscia Joseph, February 2020. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art”