The MET Museum's Biggest Mystery

Last Updated: 9/3/22 | Author: TOSTR

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of my favorite places to visit in New York City. I've been there countless times and I love seeing all my favorite exhibits, especially the Arms and Armor exhibit.

On December 26th, 2021, I visited the MET Museum with my family and we checked out the Asian Art exhibit. Right before we entered the room on Korean art, we came across this beautiful vessel covered with small flowers. I thought it was pretty, so I took a picture of it. I also took a picture of the caption so I could remember more about it. And that's when I noticed something strange.

The vessel was clearly an octagon. It had eight sides. So why did the caption read, "Octagonal vessel with cover decorated with peonies"? I kept looking between the vessel and the caption trying to figure out if I was just missing something, or if this object really was mislabeled. My family was just as confused as I was. I took a short video of it and uploaded it to YouTube to show off this strange typo. This wasn't just any typo, it was a pretty damn big oversight. This wasn't one word spelled wrong, they were literally two whole sides off from the correct shape.

I wanted answers. After visiting the MET Museum and the "hexagonal" vessel a second time,  I wrote an e-mail to the Collections Manager for Asian Art at the MET Museum. Today, I received a response. The manager told me that it was simply an oversight and that the data would be updated in the files and online database. Well that was somewhat anticlimactic. But then I stepped back and realized what I just did. I had, even a very small, impact on the MET Museum. While the object itself is not on display as of today, its page on the MET Museum website was updated. I have it linked below with a copy of the original page with the typo. Hopefully the vessel goes on display again so I can go there and see the new caption in person.

Take a look: Old Page vs. New Page

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