Ever since its establishment in 1870 the Metropolitan Museum of Art has acquired important examples of American Art. A separate "American Wing" building to display the domestic arts of the 17th – early 19th centuries opened in 1924; paintings galleries and an enclosed sculpture court were added in 1980.
Today, the American Wing's ever-evolving collection comprises some 20,000 works of fine and decorative art: Colonial to early modern (mid-18th to early 20th century) American, Latin American, and Native American paintings, sculpture, drawings, and decorative arts—including furniture, textiles, ceramics, glass, silver, metalwork, and jewelry—as well as historical interiors and architectural fragments, produced by both highly trained and so-called folk, or self-taught, artists. Monumental sculpture, stained glass, and architectural elements are installed in the Charles Engelhard Court; decorative art objects of silver, gold, glass, and ceramics on the courtyard balconies. The story of American domestic architecture and furnishings, 1680–1915, is told in 20 historic interiors or period rooms. Changing rotations of paintings, sculpture, and drawings appear throughout the Wing. The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, an open-storage area and gallery space, is also a special attraction.