Space, Part 2: Behind the Scenes at The Met

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What is hidden in the 'empty' spaces of an art museum?

The Met is more than a museum of art. It is a city unto itself: population 2,000, with a transient population of 5 million. The Met is 21 buildings nested together like puzzle pieces, and it takes 400,000 light bulbs to illuminate all the spaces. But who actually changes those light bulbs? In this episode, peek behind the curtain and meet the people who maintain the hidden ecosystem of The Met.


Marco Leona, David H. Koch Scientist in Charge, The Met

Eric Breitung, research scientist, The Met

Anna Serotta, conservator, Objects Conservation, The Met

Louisa Lam, security officer, The Met

Frida Escobedo, architect

Featured artworks:

Coffin of Irtirutja, 332–250 BCE. Egypt:

Vincent Van Gogh, Cypresses, 1889:

For a transcript of the episode and more information, visit


Immaterial is produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Magnificent Noise and hosted by Camille Dungy.

Our production staff includes Salman Ahad Khan, Ann Collins, Samantha Henig, Eric Nuzum, Emma Vecchione, Sarah Wambold, and Jamie York. Additional staff includes Julia Bordelon, Skyla Choi, Maria Kozanecka, and Rachel Smith.

Sound design by Ariana Martinez and Kristin Muller.
Original music by Austin Fisher.
Fact-checking by Mary Mathis and Claire Hyman.

Immaterial is made possible by Dasha Zhukova Niarchos. Additional support is provided by the Zodiac Fund.

Special thanks to Maureen Catbagan, Iva Keselicova, Michael Millican, Elizabeth Reyes Moreno, Sarah Freshnock, Avery Trufelman, and Jennie C. Jones.

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  1. Immaterial: 5,000 Years of Art, One Material at a Time

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Stories of the materials used in making art are often as thought-provoking and illuminating as the o 
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