The Metropolitan Museum of Art is welcoming spring with an ambitious slate of new exhibitions, even as it’s taking steps to make up for a $150 million loss in revenue. The breadth of these new offerings is a return to normal programming for The Met after its closure a year ago and limited re-opening last August.

Dan Weiss, the Met’s president and CEO, said the museum — after reopening at 25% capacity late last August — is still operating at reduced capacity and hours, and on a smaller-than-normal operating budget. So it's kind of a big deal, he noted, that there are new displays of curated art on the walls. “There’s nothing like losing something you value deeply for a while to appreciate how important it is,” he said.

As part of the Met's new visual landscape, visitors will first notice artist Carol Bove’s large stainless steel sculptures perched in four alcoves on the facade. Inside, there is a comprehensive collection of drawings and prints by Francisco Goya, along with A New Look At Old Masters in the European Galleries, a show that opened last December.

Newly opened this week is a much-anticipated retrospective on portraitist Alice Neel. The museum is hyping her as “one of the century’s most radical painters, a champion of social justice whose commitment to humanist principles inspired her life as well as her art.” The exhibit includes more than 100 paintings, drawings, and watercolors. (If you care to be charmed by the artist before checking out her work, watch this video.)

Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian, 1978 Oil on canvas

Finally, look for three big openings over four days at the end of June that will cover Caribbean art, mid-twentieth century women photographers, and the family that set the standard for mixing high art with low scandal: The Medici. Oh, and the Rooftop Garden commission is back.

Like just about everything and everyone else in New York, the museum has been dealing with an unexpected, lengthy closure and the setbacks that resulted. Since the pandemic, attendance has dropped by 80 percent, down from an annual average of 7 million. Closing the doors for good on The Met Breuer (now home to Frick Madison) last year also drove down visitor numbers. This meant losses of not only individual admissions, but also income from the museum’s shops and dining areas, as well as the lucrative business of renting out its spaces for events.

READ MORE: See the 2020 Met Rooftop Installation

To make up the shortfall, the museum has closed two extra days per week. It has also cut executive salaries, dipped into its endowment, and used furloughs and layoffs to reduce staff by 20 percent. Some of those who remain may be paid in part from funds obtained by selling off art deemed expendable because it’s duplicative, rarely shown, or inferior to similar works in the holdings. The practice is called deaccessioning, and is customary at museums. However, profits generated by such sales are not normally applied to operating expenses — although other museums have tried it before with controversial results. It’s allowed now because, last year, the Association of Art Museum Directors loosened its recommended rules to help its member organizations cope with the crisis. A Met spokesman said the museum is considering using its deaccessioning money to pay curators and others to care for the collection.

It also helps to have rich friends. Private donors have ponied up an extra $35 million to help stem the tide of red ink. And the museum has applied for a $10 million “shuttered venue operators grant” from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The constituency of the Met has also changed. The museum reports that 90 percent of its current visitors are from the metro area. That’s an unprecedented number, according to Met director Max Hollein.

“In other years, half of our visitors came from long distances, both national and international,” he said. “But we have a much more local audience right now.” Hollein added that visitors with museum memberships now make up 25 percent of live attendance, up from 10 percent. “The museum is like an old trusted friend and they’re reconnecting,” he said.

The pandemic has also pushed the museum to grow its digital audience. It reports that in the past year more than 3 million people have taken its online tours, and that there has been a 95 percent increase in engagement on its Instagram account.

Still, Hollein says it’s the new roster of tangible exhibits that is “a powerful, strong, and positive symbol that we’re back.” A final note for those wondering about the five koi fish that live in a pond in the museum: they were fed by staff volunteers throughout the pandemic. All of them lived.