Click on most images to enlarge
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10128
http://www.metmuseum.org


Organ Specifications:
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
II/16 Thomas Appleton (1830) – Equestrian Court
II/30 Holtkamp Organ Company (1965) – Auditorium
II/23 Rieger Orgelbau (1952) – Auditorium
Inventory of Organs in Dept. of Musical Instruments
681 Fifth Avenue near 54th Street (1871-1872)
• none


The Metropolitan Museum of Art — more familiarly "The Met" — is one of the world's largest art galleries. It has a permanent collection containing more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The Met also includes "The Cloisters," a much smaller second location in Upper Manhattan that features medieval art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870, by a group of American citizens who wanted to open a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue (between 53rd and 54th Streets), it opened on February 20, 1872. Its charter stated that the museum was "to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction."

Equestrian Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Kristina Almquist)  
   
The Equestrian Court, located in the 1910 Pierpont Morgan wing, was opened as part of "The Armor Hall" on January 18, 1939, to exhibit the Museum's rich and varied collection of medieval and renaissance arms and armor. Clerestory windows provide natural illuminate for the large central hall, which was designed as a high apse with two side aisles, running east and west, and a large cross gallery at its west end.

In 1988, the Museum began a $10 million renovation of the Equestrian Court and five adjoining galleries. When the project was completed in late 1991, the Equestrian Court had been cleaned, painted and adorned with new flags bearing the coats of arms of the knights of the Round Table. Three additional galleries were created to exhibit the Museum's collection of Japanese arms and armor, the best outside Japan, which previously had been relegated to storage. There are also galleries for Islamic and American material as well as for the European armor, firearms and swords. This area of the Museum is a very popular destination for children, rivaled perhaps only by the room of dinosaurs across Central Park at the American Museum of Natural History.

The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in The Metropolitan Museum of Art was created as part of an ambitious rebuilding program costing $9.6 million in the 1950s. It was named for the philanthropist and patron of the arts whose estate provided a generous grant toward the the construction of the $1.2 million auditorium. The 708-seat auditorium, which replaced the smaller lecture hall in the North (Egyptian) Wing of the museum, was designed by Voorhees, Walker, Foley & Smith. A ground floor entrance at Fifth Avenue and 83rd Street was provided to allow the auditorium to be used without opening the entire museum. Its 1,450-square-foot stage can accommodate a symphony orchestra and chorus, and originally had a movable plaster partition that cut off a third of the area for a single speaker; curved sound reflectors above the stage help to project the sound. The acoustics were designed by Bolt, Beranek & Newman of Cambridge, Mass.

The auditorium opened to an invited audience of Museum members on Tuesday, May 11, 1954. Margaret Hillis conducted a concert performance of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie that was presented by 15 solo singers and accompanied by period instruments from the Met's extensive collection. On the following day, a series of free organ recitals was begun by Claire Coci, who was then the official organist of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Society. Since its opening, the auditorium has been a popular venue for musical concerts and lectures.

The Department of Musical Instruments originated in 1889 with gifts of several hundred European, American, and non-Western instruments from private collectors Joseph W. Drexel and Mrs. John Crosby Brown. Mrs. Brown continued to give musical instruments to the Museum until her death in 1918, by which time some 4,000 items had been catalogued and placed on display, making the assemblage the largest and most comprehensive of its kind outside Europe. More than 800 instruments from the collection are displayed in The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments, which opened in 1971. The Mertens Galleries comprise two halls, one devoted to Western instruments, arranged by type or family, the other to non-Western instruments, grouped geographically. Among the treasures on display are the oldest extant piano, by Bartolomeo Cristofori (Florence, 1720); an important American pipe organ by Thomas Appleton (Boston, 1830); famous Stradivari violins; Andrés Segovia's guitars; rare Asian and African instruments made of precious materials; and exquisite instruments from Renaissance- and Baroque-era courts.
           
  Thomas Appleton Organ (1830) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Shane Murphy)
Organ in the Equestrian Court:

Thomas Appleton
Boston, Mass. (1830)
Mechanical key and stop action
2 manuals, 14 stops, 16 ranks




The organ on the north gallery of the Equestrian Court in the Metropolitan Museum of Art was built by Thomas Appleton of Boston in 1830. It is believed that Appleton originally built the organ for South Church in Hartford, Conn. In 1833, the organ was relocated by Emmons Howard to Sacred Heart Church in Plains, Penn., where it was discovered, unused and neglected, in 1980. Appleton built 40 organs between 1821 and 1833.

A façade of gold-leafed diapason pipes is displayed in a mahogany Greek Revival case, which stands nearly 15 feet tall. The blowing apparatus, bellows, and key and stop mechanisms occupy the lower part of the case, while the pipes of the Great and enclosed Swell divisions are above, with the Pedal Subbass located behind the case. Tuning is in mean tone temperament pitched at A=435.7 Hz.

The Met Museum restored the instrument which "stands unsurpassed as a working monument to the vitality of music and technology in 19th-century New England," according to Philippe de Montebello, director of the Met.

Daniel Chorzempa performed the first concert on the restored instrument on November 16, 1982. His program was William Selby's "Voluntary in A" and "A Lesson," John Stanley's "Voluntary" (Op. 5, No. 8), Mozart's "Andante in F" (K. 616) and "Fantasie in F minor" (K. 608), August Wilhelm Bach's "Concert-Piece in A" and "Prelude and Fugue in D" and Mendelssohn's "Andante in D" and "Sonata in C minor."

On November 16, 1982, the Organ Historical Society awarded its distinguished Historical Citation No. 40 in recognition that the Appelton Organ is an outstanding example of organbuilding and worthy of preservation.

In 2001, the pipes were removed for cleaning and upon reinstallation were retuned from the ill-advised 'meantone' temperament to the happier (on the road to equal) 'Young 1800' temperament. The Young tuning is actually documented in the Appleton notebooks and the pipes were physically happier being cone-tuned to this temperament.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Stopd Diapason treble [TG]
39
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Stopd Diapason bass
19
  Sesquialtera, 3 ranks
174
8
  Dulciana
58
8
  Trumpet treble [TG]
39
4
  Principal
58
8
  Trumpet bass
19
4
  Flute
58
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Stopt Diapason treble [TG]
39
8
  Hautboy
58
8
  Stopt Diapason bass *
19
 
* unenclosed

     

     
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Subbass
27
       

     

     
Mechanicals
    Swell to Great   Swell Pedal
    Swell to Pedal    
    Great to Pedal    

 

     

 

     
Thomas Appleton Organ (1830) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Evan J. Griffith)
 
Thomas Appleton Organ (1830) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Shane Murphy)
     
Thomas Appleton Organ (1830) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Shane Murphy)
  Thomas Appleton Organ (1830) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Evan J. Griffith)
           
  Holtkamp Organ (1965) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
Organ in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium:

Holtkamp Organ Company
Cleveland, Ohio (1965)
Electric key, stop and combination action
2 manuals, 21 stops, 30 ranks, 1,540 pipes





The two-manual Holtkamp organ in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is installed in a chamber behind the left stage wall. When not in use, the organ pipes are concealed by movable African korina wood panelling, and the console is stored in an area below the chests.

E. Power Biggs opened the organ on Saturday, December 18, 1965, in a concert with the Musica Aeterna Orchestra, Frederic Waldman conducting. Mr. Biggs' program included Handel's "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale," Mozart's "Epistle Sonata" in C major, K.317a, and Poulenc's "Concerto in G minor" for organ, strings and timpani. It is believed that the organ was last used ca. 1996. In the Fall of 2006, the organ was found to be in very good working condition.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Copula
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Quintadena
61
1
  Mixture (IV ranks)
244
4
  Octave
61
8
  Schalmey
61
4
  Flute
61
     

     

     
Positiv Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Copula
61
2 2/3
  Sesquialtera (II ranks)
122
4
  Rohrflöte
61
1/2
  Scharf (III ranks)
183
2
  Octave
61
8
  Krummhorn
61
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Coppel
32
2
  Rauschpfeife (IV ranks)
128
8
  Gedackt
32
16
  Fagott
32
4
  Choral Bass
32
4
  Schalmey
32
2
  Octavin
32
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal   Positiv to Great
    Positiv to Pedal    
               
Combinations (adjustable by setterboard)
   
Great Organ 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Positiv Organ 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Pedal Organ 1-2-3-4 (toe)
Entire Organ 1-2-3-4 (thumb & toe)
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (toe and thumb)
    Full Organ (toe)
               
Pedal Movements
    Crescendo Pedal      

     

     
Holtkamp Organ (1965) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)   Setterboard of the Holtkamp Organ (1965) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
   
Setterboard
Holtkamp Organ (1965) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
Holtkamp Organ (1965) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
Holtkamp Organ (1965) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
           
  Rieger Organ, Model DRP 1 (1952) in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City
Organ in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium:

Rieger Orgelbau
Schwarzach, Austria – "Model DRP 1" (1952)
Mechanical key action
2 manuals, 21 stops, 23 ranks




The original organ in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium was built in 1952 by Rieger Orgelbau of Austria. According to the Uwe Pape book, The Tracker Organ Revival in America, the Rieger organ was relocated to the Buffalo, N.Y. residence of Jack Barr in 1975.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
16
  Quintadena
61
2 2/3
  Nazard
61
8
  Rohrflöte
61
2
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Koppelflöte
61
1 3/5
  Terz
61
4
  Prestant
61
    Mixture, 3f
183
 
Positiv Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Gedeckt
61
1
  Sifflöte
61
4
  Holzflöte
61
    Cymbel, 2f
122
2
  Principal
61
8
  Krummhorn
61
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
    Tremolo  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Subbass
12
2
  Loch Gedeckt
32
8
  Gedeckt
12
    Rauschpfeife, 2f
64
4
  Gedecktflöte
32
8
  Regal
32
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal          
    Positiv to Great          
           
Inventory of Pipe Organs
The Department of Musical Instruments

• Portative – Leopoldo Franciolini, Florence (late 19th century?)
• Claviorganum – Laurentium Hauslaib, Nürnberg (1598)
• Positive – Germany (early 17th century)
• Chamber organ – Thomas Chapman, London (1779)
• Regal – late 19th century reproduction
• "Book Organ" – Germany (late 19th century)
• Regal – Germany (late 19th century)
• Claviorganum – Herman Willenbrock, Hannover (1712)
• Claviorganum – Eaton Pether, London (1786)
• Regal – Georg Vell or Voll, Nürnberg (1575)
• Portative – German (late 19th century)
• Regal – Germany (19th century)
• Positive – Germany (ca. 1700)
• Positive – Germany (1700)
• Regal – South Germany or Austria (17th or 18th century)
• Chamber Organ – George Clisbie, Marlboro, Mass. (ca. 1845)
• Chamber Organ – William Crowell, Mont Vernon, N.H. (1852)
• Positive – German (17th century)
• Chamber Organ – Richard Ferris, New York (ca. 1850) – off-site
• Chamber Organ – anonymous (ca. 1840-50)
• Chamber Organ – Samuel Green, Isleworth, Middlesex, England (ca. 1790-96) – on loan to church in Pennsylvania
• Musical Automaton Clock – Augsburg (1625) with Claviorganum viet Langenbucher
• I/3 Organ Case – William Geib?, New York City (ca. 1838) – sold
• I/2 Chamber Organ – Henry Erben, New York City (1838) – sold
             
Sources:
     The American Organist (July 1962). Specifications of Rieger organ (c.1950) similar to that in the museum.
     Brown, John Mason. "The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, Vol. 12, No. 9 (May, 1954).
     Charter of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, State of New York, Laws of 1870, Chapter 197, passed April 13, 1870 and amended L.1898, ch. 34; L. 1908, ch. 219.
     "E. Power Biggs Plays as Museum Unveils Organ," The New York Times (Dec. 20, 1965).
     Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Armor Hall," Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Jan. 1939):1-7.
     Holtkamp Organ Company web site: http://www.holtkamporgan.com/
     Hughes, Allen. "Organ: 1830 Appleton," The New York Times (Nov. 17, 1982).
     Kimmelman, Michael. "Knighthood Is in Flower Once Again at the Met," The New York Times (Nov. 8, 1991).
     "The Metropolitan Museum of Art Department of Musical Instruments Inventory of Pipe Organs (excluding barrel organs). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     The Metropolitan Museum of Art web site: http://www.metmuseum.org
     "Museum Finishing New Auditorium,"The New York Times ( May 2, 1954).
     "Music Finds a Place in Metropolitan Museum as New Auditorium is Opened,"The New York Times (May 16, 1954).
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Organ Historical Society web site: http://www.organsociety.org
     Pape, Uwe. The Tracker Organ Revival in America: Die Orgelbewegung in Amerika. Berlin: Pape Verlag, 1978. Courtesy James Stettner.
     Rieger Orgelbau web site: http://www.rieger-orgelbau.com/

Illustrations:
     The American Organist (Sep. 1952). Rieger Organ "Model DRP 1" (1952).
     Griffin, Evan J. Thomas Appleton organ (1830).
     Lawson, Steven E. Holtkamp organ (1965).
     Murphy, Shane. Thomas Appleton organ (1830).