Met Museum Installs Land Acknowledgement Plaque

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has installed a plaque on its facade recognizing that the museum sits on the homeland of the Indigenous Lenape people.

The new land acknowledgement is a part of the Met’s enhanced efforts to build relationships with Indigenous communities and reframe how it presents Indigenous art. Recently, the museum hired its first full-time curator of Native American art Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha). The Met has also unveiled a major reinstallation of pieces in the “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection” curated by Dr. Norby.

In a press release, President and CEO of the Met Daniel H. Weiss said, “This acknowledgement is an important part of the Met’s commitment to build and maintain respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. It is also a meaningful reminder to all who walk through the museum’s front doors of the history and legacy of the land on which the Met now sits and the ties to this area that Indigenous communities sustain.”

The museum is also working on a land acknowledgement for the Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. The Met is exploring a site specific acknowledgement for the Cloisters as it is located near the Lenape trails and the caves just below Spuyten Duyvil—the most extensive surviving evidence of Indigenous habitation on Manhattan.

The full text of the land acknowledgement reads:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is situated in Lenapehoking, homeland of the Lenape diaspora and historically a gathering and trading place for many diverse Native peoples, who continue to live and work on this island.

We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, and future—for their ongoing and fundamental relationships to the region.