There was a piece in this week's NYT about the Met's new photography gallery, which features work made after 1960. Nobody really associates the Met with photography, much less recent stuff, but they have over 20,000 pieces in their collection, which rivals in size our local collections at the Amon Carter and MFAH (as mentioned before here on the newswire). The Met scored a long-awaited coup in 2005 when it acquired the Gilman Paper Company Collection, which was widely considered one of the finest collections of 19th- and early 20th-century photography in private hands at the time. All of this said, when one speaks of collections numbering in the tens of thousands, one wonders how meaningful the numbers really are. It seems impossible even that the photography curators themselves know every piece in their institutions' holdings — and seems likely that quantity must trump quality in the the majority of cases.