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Top 36 Best Museums in New York


Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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Cultural attractions in New York will be enough for more than one year of continuous walking and sightseeing. However, museums occupy a special place. The Big Apple has museums for every taste: art, history, science, whimsical objects, and many, many other collections. The list of the best museums in the city was compiled by the publication Time-out.

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Opened in 1880 and located in Central Park, this iconic New York institution houses 5000 years of art, from prehistoric to modern, under one roof. Here is the range! The museum's collection includes more than two million items. Of course, you can't bypass everything at once. But it's okay - just come again! And then again and again...

2. Museum of Contemporary Art (MoMA)

Photo: IStock

There is no point in talking too much about this place. This is the Museum of Modern Art. Do you love art and want it to be modern? Then this is the perfect option.

3. American Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History tells the story of the creation of the world from the Big Bang to the present day. Its attractions include the blue whale at the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and the Hayden Planetarium, run by famed astrophysicist and media personality Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Like many other large-scale museums, you won't be able to get around it in one day.

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4. Whitney Museum of American Art

In 2015, the Whitney Museum moved into a gleaming new building designed by world-class star architect Renzo Piano. The museum now boasts three outdoor sculpture areas that offer views of the Hudson and beyond. And the fantastic exhibitions in it are definitely worth your attention and time.

5. Brooklyn museum

Photo: IStock

It is the third largest museum in New York. There you will find ancient halls, ancient Egyptian and African art, as well as modern paintings and sculptures. This is a great place to spend the day, especially if the weather is bad.

6. The Jewish Museum

In addition to its excellent Judaic collection, the Jewish Museum hosts important contemporary art exhibitions. Housed in the 1908 Warburg Mansion, the museum houses a collection of over 28 works of art, artifacts and media installations. The museum strives to stay at the intersection of art and Jewish culture, to be of interest to people of all backgrounds.

7. fotografiska

The Swedish gallery Fotografiska has opened a New York branch. The museum includes three floors of exhibition space, as well as the Verōnika restaurant, named after the patron saint of photographers. The gallery itself hosts temporary exhibitions with photographs of "great masters and new talents". Check it out when you're near 22nd Street.

8. Museum of the City of New York

This is the place to explore the past, present and future of New York. The Museum of the City of New York on Fifth Avenue at 104th Street offers visitors a tour of 400 years of the city's history through ever-changing exhibitions and an extensive collection of vintage photographs, costumes, textiles, theatrical costumes, furniture, arts and crafts, and more.

9. Neue Galerie New York

This museum is dedicated to the German and Austrian fine and decorative arts of the late XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries. There are many works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

10. The Frick Collection

Housed in the former mansion of Henry Clay Frick, The Frick maintains a collection of old master paintings (including works by Rembrandt, Holbein and Vermeer) on par with the Met. Frick's assets include paintings by Whistler and Renoir, as well as furniture and other pieces of arts and crafts. This is a really great, albeit lesser known, place worth visiting. It's located between Fifth Street and Madison Avenue, so check it out when you're in the area.

Frick now operates on Madison Avenue at Frick Madison, the former Whitney and Met Breuer building.

11. The Morgan Library & Museum

Once the private library of J. Pierpont Morgan, the Morgan Museum was donated to the city by a Golden Age financier, along with its collection of art and rare books, including drawings by Michelangelo and three Gutenberg Bibles. Every Christmas, the first edition of Dickens' A Christmas Carol is shown here. Dream of a bookworm. Exhibitions are held here from time to time, so keep an eye on their website.

12. Merchant's House Museum

The only surviving 1835th-century family home in New York City is an elegant late Federal Greek Revival home, furnished and decorated with the same furnishings and decorations as when it was occupied by industrial magnate Seabury Treadwell and his descendants from 1933 to XNUMX. If you're in NoHo and want to know what the area was like, start here.

13. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Photo: IStock

Frank Lloyd Wright broke the mold of museum design when he completed the Guggenheim building in 1959. Since then, millions of visitors have come here to gawk at its spiral rotunda. And then they stay for bold art exhibitions and his collections. Here you will find collections of works by Cubists, Surrealists and Abstract Expressionists by Peggy Guggenheim, as well as the largest collection of Kandinskys in the United States. Beautiful and innovative both inside and out. What more inspiration do you need?

14. New Museum of Contemporary Art

Taking its name from the New School, where it was founded in 1977, the New Museum has evolved from a single gallery to a global showcase for cutting-edge art. In 2007, he moved into a purpose-built seven-story building on the Bowery, designed by Tokyo's cutting-edge architecture firm SANAA.

15. Queens museum

The Queens Museum's biggest attraction at Flushing Meadows Corona is undoubtedly the New York City Panorama, an accurate model of five boroughs created for the 1964 World's Fair. To be fair, there are a lot of other great things here. Especially given that the museum doubled in size during renovations in 2013. Check it out when you're in Queens, you won't regret it.

16. MoMA PS1

Housed in a former public school, MoMA PS1 hosts an international studio program in addition to numerous exhibitions by cutting-edge artists. MoMA PS1, affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art since 1999, is also known for its summer outdoor party series called Warm Up. If you happen to be nearby, visiting this place will be worth your time, whether it's an exhibition or just a fashion event.

17. Museum of the Moving Image

Located in Astoria, Queens, the Museum of the Moving Image presents exhibitions and screenings that reflect the history and cultural impact of film, television and digital media. In addition to a state-of-the-art cinema with 267 seats, the museum features permanent installations. For example, Behind the Screen, which explores the process of making a film. Movie buffs, if you haven't been there yet, be sure to check it out.

18. Bronx Museum of the Arts

Founded in 1971, this multicultural museum highlights local artists as well as African American, Asian and Latin American artists of the XNUMXth and XNUMXst centuries. The entrance is free. It is an internationally recognized cultural destination with many educational resources, events and exhibitions. If you're in the Bronx, be sure to check it out.

19. International Center of Photography Museum

Do you know the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words"? And the Museum of the International Center for Photography is worth a trip to immerse yourself in the world of visual storytelling. The institution caters to a wide audience, not just photo and Instagram lovers. The center truly offers stellar academic programs. Here is a library with old issues of photo magazines and thousands of biographical files. As of 2020, ICP has been based in new premises in the Essex Crossing area of ​​the Lower East Side. It hosts educational programs for people of all ages, as well as media labs. Be sure to visit it when you are in the Big Apple.

20. Museum of Arts & Design

The Museum of Art and Design is housed in the former Lollipop Building, a baroque modernist building that was considered one of the ugliest in New York. After a $1998 million renovation in 90, MAD moved in and began hosting lively exhibitions of the latest in contemporary art and design. Located on Columbus Circle to the right of Central Park, this is a beautiful and fascinating place to stop by after a morning walk. Here, among other things, there are tools for online learning.

21. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

A battle-hardened World War II veteran, the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid at Pier 86 was repurposed as a floating museum in 1982. With a collection of military aircraft filling its flight deck, Intrepid also has the Enterprise and British Airways space shuttle Concorde. It is full of educational institutions and is a non-profit institution, so your entry fee will be well spent!

22. Museum of Sex (MoSex)

Of course, MoSex is dedicated to institutionalizing pornography and erotica. But not every exhibit is presented only to tickle the nerves. His exhibitions include serious research into issues such as gender and the impact of new technologies on human sexual behavior. Interesting, isn't it? It might even be romantic!

23. Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

One of the two Smithsonian museums in New York, Cooper Hewitt is housed in a luxurious former mansion. It is dedicated to the field of design and contains a collection of items dating back 3000 years. Current exhibits include the Immersion Room, which allows visitors to interact with digital projections of the wallpaper. There are endless rooms and objects to look at. Besides, it's a beautiful building. Worth a look just to wonder what is in this luxurious house.

24. The Museum of the Neighborhood

Dedicated to Latin American artists from the United States and Latin America, this museum, located in Spanish Harlem (also known as El Barrio), houses a permanent collection of 6500 items. It ranges from pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary installations. Very few places provide such depth of history and culture in this region of the world.

25. American Folk Art Museum

As the name suggests, the American Folk Art Museum celebrates traditional craft work. Moreover, he plays an important role in promoting the work of outsiders, visionaries and other self-taught artists. You can learn all about this concept from here. The entrance is free. There are also educational programs here if you want to learn more.

26. New-York Historical Society

Founded in 1804, the New York Historical Society is the oldest museum in the Big Apple. And it is dedicated to the history of Gotham (not Batman) and its central place in American life, politics and culture. Its collection and library contains over 1,6 million items, including an outstanding collection of Hudson River School paintings, as well as watercolors by James Audubon for his Birds of America study.

27. The Museum at FIT

The Fashion Institute of Technology owns one of the largest and most impressive collections of apparel, textiles and accessories in the world. About 50 costumes and fabrics from the 000th century to the present day have been collected here. Led by fashion historian Valerie Steele, the museum displays selected items from the permanent collection. As well as temporary exhibitions dedicated to individual designers or the role that fashion plays in society. Free admission. One “but” - you can’t try on clothes! This museum has a good selection of activities and educational resources.

28. The Rubin Museum of Art

Opened in 2004, this six-story museum in Chelsea houses an impressive collection of Himalayan art and artifacts from Donald and Shelley Rubin. Large-scale temporary exhibitions are held here, which showcase the work of contemporary artists. If you have never been to a place dedicated to the ideas, culture and art of the Himalayan regions, then you have a chance!

29. National Museum of the American Indian

Another branch of the Smithsonian Institution in New York, NMAI, exhibits its collection around the large 1907 customs rotunda at 1 Bowling Green. In total, the museum contains about 825 items from 000 Indigenous cultures spanning 1200 years of Native American history. This is a very important museum as it houses many artefacts from the cultures of the erased communities. It's actually one of the most extensive collections of Native objects in the world and the building is amazing.

30. Asian Society

The Asia Society galleries host major exhibitions showcasing art (both historical and contemporary) from Asia, the Philippines and the Indian subcontinent. This non-profit organization dedicated to informing the world about Asia is one of several Asian societies around the world.

31. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

Opened as a foundation for the promotion of LGBT artists by Charles Leslie and his late partner Fritz Lohman, this Soho facility received museum status from New York State in 2011. Its program includes solo exhibitions as well as group exhibitions organized on important LGBT themes such as identity, gender and AIDS. They have about 30 items in their collection, so you can spend a lot of time here and not see the same thing twice.

32. Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

MOCA occupies a spacious former machine shop designed by renowned Chinese-American architect Maya Lin. In an interior inspired by a traditional Chinese home, with rooms radiating from a central courtyard and areas bounded by screens, MOCA's flagship exhibit traces the development of Chinese communities on these shores from the 1882th century to the present day through objects, images and video. The multimedia displays highlight the development of industries such as New York's laundries and restaurants, Chinese stereotypes in pop culture, and the suspicion and humiliation that Chinese Americans suffered during World War II and the McCarthy era. The layout of the Chinese general store resembles the multi-purpose spaces that served as vital public lifelines for men separated from their families under the Exclusion Act of XNUMX, which restricted immigration. The gallery is dedicated to temporary exhibitions, such as the work of contemporary Chinese-American artists. Sounds great, right? Admission is free too, so if you find yourself in Lower Manhattan, check it out!

33. The drawing center

As the name suggests, the Drawing Center is dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of works on paper, both historical and contemporary. Since its founding in 1977, the Drawing Center has been not only a museum, but also a gallery (admission costs $5). Its wooden floors and cast-iron columns are reminiscent of Soho's glory days as a gallery district. Check it out when you are nearby, wander around - and then you will be able to draw your own conclusions about this place!

34. The noguchi museum

When sculptor (and landscape architect, theater and furniture designer) Isamu Noguchi opened his museum in Queens in 1985, he was the first living artist in the US to establish such an institution. The museum occupies a former photographic engraving plant across the street from the studio it has occupied since the 1960s to be closer to stone and metal suppliers on Vernon Boulevard. The entire building was designed by Noguchi as an oasis for meditation amidst its rugged industrial setting. Twelve galleries and a garden are filled with sculptures by Noguchi. It also exhibits painted, painted and collaged studies, architectural models, as well as stage and furniture designs. Admission is free on the first Friday of each month, but you will need a ticket (they are issued two weeks in advance).

35. National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Whether you're a tourist, commuter, or longtime New Yorker, no visit to lower Manhattan is complete without paying your respects at the 11/3000 Memorial and Museum. Both the open-air memorial and the accompanying museum are solemn and dedicated to the nearly 11 victims who died during the September 26 and February 1993, XNUMX terrorist attacks. Designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad, these are two of the largest man-made structures in North America. Waterfalls mark the footprint of each tower, framing the perimeter and cascading into reflecting pools. This is a beautiful and emotional place, maybe not as carefree as other museums, but it will definitely make you think.

36. The Cloisters

Nestled in beautiful parkland overlooking the Hudson River, The Cloisters houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collections of medieval art and architecture. The path winds through peaceful lands to the castle, which seems to have survived from the Middle Ages. (It was built less than 100 years ago using materials from five medieval French monasteries.) Be sure to check out the famous Unicorn tapestries, the XNUMXth-century Fuentidueña Chapel, and Robert Campin's Triptych of the Annunciation. Particular attention is paid to the Romanesque and Gothic periods. The building is charming on its own, so even if you're just admiring the outside, it's worth a visit.

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