“An astounding book about an astounding place. All the Beauty in the World is at once a keenly intelligent examination of the power of art and a profoundly empathetic exploration of the workaday culture that makes art visible to all.” – Alex Ross, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Rest is Noise

Patrick Bringley worked for ten years as a guard in the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to that, he worked in the editorial events office at The New Yorker magazine. Millions of people climb the grand marble staircase to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art every year. But only a select few have unrestricted access to every nook and cranny. They’re the guards who roam unobtrusively in dark blue suits, keeping a watchful eye on the two million square foot treasure house. Caught up in his glamorous fledgling career at The New Yorker, Patrick Bringley never thought he’d be one of them. Then his older brother was diagnosed with fatal cancer and he found himself needing to escape the mundane clamor of daily life. So he quit The New Yorker and sought solace in the most beautiful place he knew.

To his surprise and the reader’s delight, this temporary refuge becomes Bringley’s home away from home for a decade. We follow him as he guards delicate treasures from Egypt to Rome, strolls the labyrinths beneath the galleries, wears out nine pairs of company shoes, and marvels at the beautiful works in his care. Bringley enters the museum as a ghost, silent and almost invisible, but soon finds his voice and his tribe: the artworks and their creators and the lively subculture of museum guards—a gorgeous mosaic of artists, musicians, blue-collar stalwarts, immigrants, cutups, and dreamers. As his bonds with his colleagues and the art grow, he comes to understand how fortunate he is to be walled off in this little world, and how much it resembles the best aspects of the larger world to which he gradually, gratefully returns. All the Beauty in the World is his first book, and is a fascinating, revelatory portrait of the the Met in the tradition of classic workplace memoirs like Lab Girl and Working Stiff.  All The Beauty in the World is a surprising, inspiring portrait of a great museum, its hidden treasures, and the people who make it tick, by one of its most intimate observers.



Book Talk: All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me


Sacred Art at the Met: From the Pharaohs to the Old Masters.

In this illustrated lecture, Patrick travels over continents and across millennia, exploring sacred masterpieces that seem to transcend our ordinary, day-to-day world.


What the Old Masters Teach: Lessons about Life and Death in Art

Looking closely at masterpiece paintings, Patrick explores vital and resonant themes taken up time and again by great artists.


A Guard’s Guide of the Met: An Intimate, Illustrated Tour

With the aid of art slides and photographs, Patrick is your guide through the Met, shedding new light on familiar masterpieces and revealing secrets of its operation hidden in plain sight.

An Insider’s Tour of the Met Museum

Honors, Awards & Recognition

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Media clips

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Media Kit

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where you can download author photos and cover images.

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